Listen. I’m all about technology. I run with two computers (one Mac, one PC), use the cloud, feel that I have become quite adept at online research, and am a Family Tree Maker user. And I have been, for over two decades.
However, while it’s lovely to have digital folders and it’s cool to click through my growing archives and quickly retrieve something that can be emailed/uploaded etc…there comes a point where I just have to go old school.
I have to have paper. Lots of paper.
I need big paper to sketch out family trees as they build…and to thought map potentials when there aren’t enough primary sources (yet) to pick one direction.
I need narrow ruled, hardbacked writing pads to review and compile research from various sources.
I need a pen in my hand, and paper in front of me.
I need physical photos and documents too. Not the originals, but copies that I can mark-up and flag and post-it to my hearts content. It is a large part of how my brain works.
It’s like physically writing all that information down longhand puts it into a different part of my brain. Being able to compare documents that I have physically in front of me to verify handwriting is key when I need to know if that’s really a 9….or is it a 4?
Sometimes, paper is really the only way to go.
Sure, it may mean double work at some stages, whether I need to extrapolate information I’ve obtained digitally, or enter information into my databases that I’ve sussed out the old school way, but it works for me.
I’m curious if there are others out there that find the same combination works for them…or if most people are all tech, or, conversely, no tech at all….
I’m looking forward to hearing what other folks do!