Organize for a Writing Project Through RootsMagic

Organize With RootsMagic

If you want to write a family history book, you should find a system that simplifies how you organize your writing project. RootsMagic simplifies the organization process.

The Wrong Way to Organize for a Writing Project

Whenever I have a grand idea to write a book or teach a family history workshop, I start recording all of my ideas and writing out things I will say. My husband patiently waits for me to hit a writer’s block, because I do this every time. You’d think  I would learn.

As time goes by, I catch myself falling into the familiar trap much faster and I stop. These days, when I fall into a familiar rut, I hear my husband’s voice, “Did you make an outline?”

Why do I need an outline to write something?

I have a flood of ideas. Shouldn’t I write and record them before they disappear?

Brainstorming and jotting down notes should be fast, capture everything before it’s lost process. However, that’s not always the case.

Organizing Your Genealogy With Software Improves Your Writing

In order to be successful in crafting an enjoyable narrative without too much pain and anguish, you need to be organized so that you can easily access the information you want when the need arises. The one I prefer is RootsMagic.

RootsMagic Pedigree Chart View
Roots Magic keeps my relatives organized.

RootsMagic serves me well because it can organize the people on my tree and keep track of their vital information.

RootsMagic Family Group Sheet View
RootsMagic keeps track of my ancestor’s vital information in the Family Group Profile

Additionally, I can create events such as a residence (based on city directories or census records), military service, education, property purchase and sale dates, immigration, and so on.

RootsMagic also allows me to organize my sources to help me remember where I found the facts for each individual.

RootsMagic Individual Source Organization View
Tracking where I find information and attaching it to specific events.

Links are made to media files on my hard drive as I attach photos and documents to an individual in my RootsMagic database.

Organize your media with RootsMagic. Tag all individuals.
A quick look at the photographs and scanned supporting documents.

The program allows me to attach general notes about the person I am working on and notes specific to events for each person.

Organize Research Notes for an individual in RootsMagic
General note for Sherman Brown
RootsMagic can organize notes for specific events in an individual's lives.
Note for specific events in Sherman Brown’s life

As I research an ancestor, I could keep a research log (which I admit I don’t utilize as much at present) and create To Do items connected to specific individuals.

RootsMagic helps organize our To-Do List.
What should I research today?

RootsMagic Becomes the Backbone for My Writing Projects

After I input all of these pieces of information while discovering my family history, RootsMagic has many ways to create organized ways to retrieve my information.

RootsMagic is the outline for my family history projects, no matter their size. With my research prepared in this fashion, I can move on to the business of writing my family stories. Next month, I will share the process of writing the story of when an ancestor was born.

Need help organizing your digital data? RootsMagic can help! #rootsmagic #organization #genealogy #digitalfiles
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Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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