Sunday, December 11, 2011
Common Ground for Book and Tech Lovers
I love tech. I love new apps, widgets, extensions for my browser, you name it, I love it...even when I struggle to figure it out! I love social media and the immediacy of exchange of information. After attending last year's RootsTech, I was very inspired to go more digital to help improve the way I recorded and saved my information.
I invested in a smartphone and a tablet. I purchased numerous software to increase my speed, efficiency and options for storing and recording data.
Earlier this month, my new laptop crashed. Long story, but the gist of it is that a lot of what I thought was backup-ed... wasn't. Before this, I was all aboard on the go-digital train...then my train crashed.
I have begun a very thorough review of how I store, view and organize my data, my files, my pictures.
After considering ever possible scenario from viruses and hard-drive crashes to natural disasters to EMP (electro-magenetic pulse), I knew I had to find a way for my records, pictures, files to survive.
My crash, while tragic, has served as a valuable lesson. Technology is only as good as you are able to retrieve and use it. I do not like my information being held hostage by WiFi, internet availability or even electricity.
I have been a life long book lover. I have 17 full size book shelves in my home. While I have Kindle on my tablet and phone, I still prefer a good book in my hands. I have come to time in my life where one begins to think of downsizing. 17 bookshelves might be a bit excessive...
So, here I am, a book lover, a tech lover. How do I marry these two loves? I don't see a conflict. I have places in my life for both. My computer derailment has taught me that technology has limits and working within those limits is important. I will continue to digitize my records, store things electronically...but my security plan for my data has gone into hyper-drive. Besides using an off-site storage like Carbonite, I have a portable external hard drive, I am using Dropbox and Evernote more, as well backing up onto flash-drives, pictures uploaded onto Flickr and emailing myself files and Google Docs.
The ultimate backup are hard copies (that's paper folks) of the important stuff and file it like the good old days. I just purchased Legacy's webinar of Mary Hill's FamilyRoots Orgainzer System and will begin implementing her system for my genealogy records.
I will be at RootsTech 2012, I don't know what's going on with whole book vendor fiasco, but I have complete faith in the people who are at FamilySearch that they will "revisit" this and will make things right. The people at FamilySearch are some of the finest people I know. This will be worked out.
RootsTech is a worthwhile investment for anyone wanting to learn how to improve their tech skills. I suspect that those who say they aren't coming now weren't really planning to come in the first place. Genealogist will always love their books and their passionate responses makes me think of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, "Off with their heads!" I like Leland Meitzler and all the other booksellers. I have bought from them in the past and will continue to do so, whether they are at RootsTech or not. In the meantime, I will give RootsTech the benefit of the doubt.
I will also workout a plan that will satisfy the book-lover and techie in me. How have you implemented this in our life? Would love to learn from you!
Posted by Valerie Elkins at 3:00 PM