Smartphones did not exist when I started out in genealogy research! I suspect that is true for most of us. Now my smartphone has become the most important organizational tool I use for on site repository and courthouse research . From keeping my research plan, my genealogy records and recording new finds, I can easily record and organize my research quickly.
How To,  Organize Your Genealogy

6 Smartphone Apps To Keep Your Genealogy Organized

My aunt started researched our genealogy the old fashioned way. Pencils, paper and visits to repositories were the mainstay of her research. Computers and smartphones have changed the way we access genealogy data.  While genealogy research seems slow many times, it is infinitely faster because because of technology.

[I think my aunt would have embraced the higher tech research methods whole heartedly!]

Smartphones did not exist when I started out in genealogy research! I suspect that is true for most of us. Now my smartphone has become the most important organizational tool I use for on site repository and courthouse research .  From keeping my research plan, my genealogy records and recording new finds, I can easily record and organize my research quickly.

6 Smartphone Apps To Keep Your Genealogy Organized and Accessible

Most of the smartphone apps I use are not genealogy specific.  These are all useful for other projects you may have going, too.

1. Dropbox – This is perhaps the most often used app on my phone for keeping my genealogy  files organized and accessible. Within Dropbox, A nesting file organization system works well. Use a main surname file, then sub-folders by record types then the ancestor name.

For example:

Talbott (Main surname folder)

     *Birth Record (Record Type Subfolder)

                      *Bossy Talbott (Individual Subfolder)

     *Marriage Records

                     *Bossy Talbott (Individual Subfolder)

     *Death Records

 *Bossy Talbott (Individual Sub-folder)

     *Census Records

                  *Bossy Talbott (Individual Sub-folder)

   

This is a brief snapshot of just  one filing system in Dropbox.com. Individualize your system.  Whatever system you use, be consistent!

Tip: If you keep your ancestors’ photos in a different digital location, use the same nesting file system for your ancestors’ photographs, too.  That just keeps things simple. Use the same nesting file systems for digital and paper files as well.

Read more about organizing your genealogy here.

 2. Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) – Similar to Dropbox,  Google Drive is another great cloud storage option.  This is simply a matter of choice.

3. Camera – Your smartphone’s camera is a wonderful tool in your on-site genealogy research. Use it to take digital photographs of documents you need. (Note: Many courthouses and archives do not allow digital photos or scanners.  Know the rules before you go.) You can immediately edit and file your digital files while the information is still fresh in your mind. Obviously your camera is a great for capturing impromptu genealogy stops at cemeteries and other family history “sights”.

4. Ancestry App (or app for whichever program you keep your family tree on) – Having easy access to your family tree  is important  when performing on-site research. No matter how prepared you are for your research day, you will want to be able to perform quick tree lookups.

5. EvernoteEvernote is a powerful tool for genealogists and non-genealogists alike.  You can capture ideas, bookmarks, screenshots, etc from around the web.  Evernote also acts as a note taking tool and syncs between your other devices including your smartphone and tablet. You can choose between free and paid plans. (I currently use the free plan.) Kerry Scott’s  How to Use Evernote for Genealogy: A Step by Step Guide to Organize Your Research and Boost Your Genealogy is a fabulous resource for organizing your genealogy.  Many of Kerry’s tips are great for non-genealogists, too.

6. TrelloTrello has become a favorite project manager app and also syncs across my devices. Create research plans and break the plan into individual steps.  Trello took some work for me to become comfortable using it for my genealogy research, but has quickly become indispensable in my research. I recommend you view the beginning Trello video before you start.

Organize your phone apps, too!

Create a folder on your phone for your research apps. Keep the folder on your phone’s home display page for easy access.

Remember….no organization system is perfect. The most important thing is to be consistent regardless of which system you use.

Pin This For Future Reference!

Organizing your genealogy research and files can be an ongoing challenge. These smartphone apps can help you stay organized from the start and keep your genealogy files at your finger tips.

Spread the love
  • 6
  • 113
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    119
    Shares

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge