Episode 9 Elevenses with Lisa Show Notes – Evernote Organization

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

In this episode I share viewers’ family tree display, the latest genealogy news, answer your questions about my genealogy organization method, and show you how I file use Evernote and cloud notetaking in conjunction with my organization system. (This series on genealogy organization began with Elevenses with Lisa episode 6.) Scroll down for all the show notes for this episode. 

Today’s “Teacup”

About a month ago YouTube alerted that our Genealogy Gems channel had qualified to have a merch store. I couldn’t resist the temptation to create a mug of our very own for our time together each week!

The Elevenses with Lisa mug is now available here.

Elevenses with Lisa Merch

Elevenses with Lisa Merch availabe at the Genealogy Gems Store on YouTube


Genealogy News:

Free Access to Military Records and Yearbooks at MyHeritage for a Limited Time

In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to all if their military records from May 20–26, 2020. The MyHeritage collection consists of 57 million records and includes draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and other military documents from North America and around the world, dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century. 

Remember, Colorized  U.S. Yearbooks are available at MyHeritage for free through May 23, 2020.

Read all the details here

From You:

Linda wrote in this week and shared her family history display. She said her daughter-in-law started it in 2009 and she took the ball and ran with it, and she even added family photos.

“I am really enjoying your Elevenses videos.”

Linda's Family Tree Display

Linda’s Family Tree Display


Organizing Your Genealogy Files Q&A

From Lynnette:
​Q: I have my “working” tree on Family Treemaker 3–a very old version and not supported now. Can I make a GEDCOM from this program to upload into Roots Magic?
A: Yes!

From Barbara:
Q: By “master database” do you mean, e.g., My Heritage or Ancestry?
A: The buck stops with you.
Click here to listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #229 to hear more on the importance of a genealogy master database. 

From C Davis:
​Q: How will your family know how to use your genealogy database, let alone program name?
A: It’s the same challenge your passwords, bank accounts, etc. The Family Heirloom Tracking Binder offers a solution. Download the template from Elevenses with Lisa
Episode 6 Show Notes here. 

From Janice
Q: ​So, if you have recent documentation(not available online) for living people, like birth certificates, do you save those in a binder?
A: You can. I have mine in easy to grab folders with “official documents” in my file cabinet.

From Robin:
​Q: Do you download and save the census docs from the main sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch – as those are not most likely going to close and can be retrieved anytime…
A: Absolutely! Click here to read my article “If My Ancestry Subscription Expires, What Happens to My Tree?”

From Linda
Q: ​What year do you put first? Is it the birth year of the person or the date and place of the photo?
A: The year and location of the photo.

From Robin:
Q: Why do you use underscores in your file names?
A: It’s not necessary. Nice for spacing.

From MargtheCar 
Q: Does Evernote work if the URL is behind a paid wall?
A: No. You will be prompted to log in to the website.

From BeeMelo
​Q: What kind of scanner do you use?
A: My scanner: The Epson Perfection V550 Photo flatbed scanner. (I LOVE this scanner! It can do the high resolution I need for all my projects. If you decide to buy online, I appreciate it when you use my links because we will be compensated at no additional cost to you. This helps support this free show.)

Organizing Web Information with Evernote

  • Note-taking software is your active research. 
  • Final archiving of documents: on your hard drive backed up to the cloud. 

Select a free note-taking tool such as:

  • Evernote
  • OneNote


  • Web Clipper built in
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Syncing across devices
  • Note restoration to a new device
  • Free software, mobile app
  • Universal use

Get the Evernote Web Clipper from your browser’s app store. 

Types of Notes: typed, handwritten, audio, photos, videos, drawings.

Don’t Print, Clip!

Types of Tags I recommend:

  • Record Type (ex. Census)
  • Surname (ex. Jones)
  • Locations (ex. Minnesota)
  • Action to be taken (ex. Follow Up)
  • BSO (AKA Bright Shiny Object!) 

The options are limitless!


25% Genealogy Gems Premium Membership

Terry asked: ​When do you typically have a sale for your prime membership?
So I created a special discount coupon code for you. Now through May 27, 2020 get 25% off with the coupon code ACTION25

Stay Smart, Stay Brave

I always think very carefully about what I want to say to you each and every week, and particularly how I close each episode and the thoughts that I leave you with.  Lately, it seems like everyone says “stay safe” particularly as they say goodbye or end an email. I’d just like to share a few thoughts with you about this phrase. “Be safe” implies fear, and when fear kicks in, it replaces reason. “Be safe” also implies that it’s attainable in this life, and it’s not really possible to be completely safe. 

I like more empowering salutations like “be smart”, “think, and make good decisions for yourself”, and “be brave”.

At the end of episode 6 I told you that I believe that not knowing your family history is like arriving 60 minutes into a movie and expecting to understand the story.

Family History is Knowing the Full Story - Lisa Louise Cooke

Family History is Knowing the Full Story – Lisa Louise Cooke

And of course if we know this story then we can also help our kids and our grand kids know theirs. And that’s so important for children to hear about the adversity the family has faced and how it overcame it. This helps them be resilient. This current adversity we face, like all adversity, is temporary in nature, and will evolve. We have the opportunity to help the kids in our lives understand that and gain a longer range perspective. (Click here to watch my conversation with New York Times best-selling author and television personality Bruce Feiler on How Family History Creates Happy Families.)

This is SO on my mind because my family is my number one priority. So, I’ve been looking carefully again at my family history these last few weeks, and I noticed something very interesting about my ancestors. None of them appeared to be preoccupied with staying safe.

In fact, there were an overwhelming number of brave and hard-working people in my family. So this week, consider taking an inventory of your family, and cultivate the simple stories of bravery and persistence that exist there in your family tree.

With Memorial Day approaching this weekend here in America, it’s a timely reminder that we are a country with a rich history of risk-taking and bravery, particularly in the name of freedom. So I’d like to end this episode with a short video I produced a few years ago that pays tribute to the very brave men and women who have served their country, featuring an historical author who happens to be from the other side of the ocean.

Stay wise, stay brave, and thanks so much for watching friends.

Note: Author Chris Cleave was my guest in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 139. Premium Members can click here to listen now
Click here or the image below to get your copy of this wonderful book:

Everyone Brave is Forgiven Chris Cleave

From New York Times bestselling author and Genealogy Gems Podcast guest Chris Cleave.

I’d Like to Hear from You

In this episode I encouraged you to leave your comments in the Comments section below the video on YouTube. Silly me, I didn’t realize that the Comments section doesn’t appear under the Live video because there is a live chat in progress. It only becomes available after the show has ended and the video replay is posted. However, I thank all of you who left comments in the Live Chat about what you would like to talk about in future episodes of Elevenses with Lisa. Two topics I suggested were How to Save Your Research from Destruction and Using Google Photos for Genealogy. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you would like to hear about and learn about in upcoming episodes. And of course I welcome your questions. Thanks for watching!

Episode 5 Elevenses with Lisa Show Notes – Family History Show

Live show air date: April 23, 2020

Episode 5 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the details from Episode 5.

This week’s tea cup:

Old Country Roses by Royal Albert.

From My Viewers:

From Barbara C.:

When teaching 2nd grade years ago, I read Winnie to my kids after lunch each day.  When I began, little did I know it was a story for adults, too.  I’ve always remembered this line.

“When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.”

It's 11 o'clockish!

It’s 11 o’clockish!

Genealogy News this Week

The National Archives of the UK

The National Archives is making digital records available for free online for as long as Kew is closed to visitors. If you have British ancestry, this is a great time to do some genealogy research from home.

“Registered users will be able to order and download up to 10 items at no cost, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.”

Learn more here at the National Archives UK.



MyHeritage is making U.S. Yearbooks available for free and they are in color.

MyHeritage has opened up access their yearbook collection for FREE, through May 23, 2020!

The collection includes 290 million names in 36 million pages, from yearbooks across the U.S. from 1890 until 1979. 10 million photos were colorized in the first 3 months following the launch of MyHeritage In Color™.

MyHeritage In Color™ has been applied to the Yearbook collection.

The goal is to “give people a fun activity to do when they are isolated at home that is genealogical, enjoyable, and free.”

Search MyHeritage U.S. Yearbooks for Free Now


Viewer Questions

Cristen shared a photo of herself watching the show with her Great Grandmothers hand painted China (which is lovely!)

Here’s her question:

Q: Can you create a new tag in Evernote on mobile?

Answer: Yes!

How to create a new tag in Evernote on mobile:

  1. Tap the Info (“i” in a circle icon) and
  2. Tap Add Tag
  3. Type in the new tag you want to create
  4. Tap the Return key on your keyboard
  5. The tag will appear in green, and will now be included in your list of available tags.


How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Part 4


Creating a Supportive Computing Environment

The following tools are available for your computer desktop or laptop.

Restore Tabs

In addition to using Ctrl+Shift+T (Win) or Cmd+Shift+T (Mac) to restore a closed browser tab, you can also right-click on the new tab plus sign and select Reopen closed tab from the pop-up menu. You can do this multiple times and web pages will continue to open in the reverse-order that they were closed.

Turn Multiple Tabs into One and Save Memory with OneTab

Online genealogy research can leave you with a lot of open web browser tabs. While using multiple tabs allows you to jump back and forth between web pages and records, they can take up valuable computer memory.

You can dramatically reduce your memory usage with the OneTab extension available for both the Chrome and Firefox browsers. With one click, OneTab will combine your open tabs into a clickable list in one browser tab. You can even export the list for future reference.

Get OneTab in the Chrome Web Store here
Get OneTab in the Firefox Web Store here

Reduce Email Distractions

Gmail now has a Snooze feature which allows you to temporarily file an email until the date and time you select.

Snoozed emails will reappear in your Inbox at the scheduled time.

Retrieve snoozed emails at any time by clicking “Snoozed” in the menu on the left.

Get Back on Track with MyActivity

When you are signed into your Google account, MyActivity tracks the searches you conduct and the websites you visit. By visiting your MyActivity, you can search for and return to any previous activity. You can also turn it off. Go to MyActivity and click Activity Controls from the menu. Switch the slider to the off position.

Visit MyActivity at https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Save Time by Previewing Your Google Search Results

Rather than clicking on each search result and loading the page (which also takes you away from the rest of your search results), use  the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome. Once installed you can simply hover your mouse over a result link to reveal a preview of the page. Then you can decide whether to click through or preview additional results.

Click here to get the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome.

Resources for Further Learning

Genealogy Gems Premium Video: Organize Your Online Life
More tech tips for getting and staying organizedsaving time, and getting more results!

Organize Your Digital Life

Premium Video: Full length class by Lisa Louise Cooke.

Genealogy Gems Premium Membership includes 50 video classes including 6 on using Evernote, and 2 on mobile genealogy topics. Click here to learn more or become a member. For a limited time new members can save 25% off Premium membership. Use Coupon code ALICE25 now through May 15, 2020.join now button

Genealogy Gems Premium Video: Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan.
The key to a successful family history research plan is having a set process for gathering and analyzing data. I will show you how to set up your plan in Evernote. 

Evernote for genealogy genealogical sources

Premium Membership also includes the video class: Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan by Lisa Louise CookeEvernote Quick Reference Guide, by Lisa Louise Cooke. Available at Genealogy Gems Store

Next Episode of Elevenses with Lisa

Click here for Episode 6 of Elevenses with Lisa. 

Be sure to click the “Set Reminder” button on the video page for all future episodes at my Genealogy Gems YouTube channel here

Evernote for Windows Upgrade Offers a Major Face-lift


The Evernote for Windows upgrade has received a major face-lift. It is getting some great reviews online. Here’s what to love about it.

If you’re a Windows user and you’re still not using Evernote to organize your genealogy and the rest of your life, perhaps it’s time to take a look and see if it’s right for you and your research.

If you’re already a user, a new Evernote for Windows upgrade will make your experience all the better.

Evernote for Windows Upgrade New Look and Functionality

The Evernote blog explained that their goal “is to provide an experience that feels natural and familiar for Windows users. Our latest version is designed for all types of Evernote Windows users in mind, whether you have just a handful of notes or thousands of them.” They continue to say, “We began by paring down the left sidebar for a more streamlined workflow, so you can find and manage your content even faster.”

Here’s a run-down of the improvements they’re touting:

Evernote for Windows streamlined workflow

  • A new higher-resolution display looks crisp and clean, even on high-resolution screens.
  • The left sidebar is pared down for a more streamlined workflow. This makes it easier to find and manage content. For example, you can select Notebooks to pull up all notes in the Note list, and expand the Notebooks section to see all the notebook stacks and notebooks. You can drag and drop notebooks between stacks. The trash is now its own section.
  • A new quick navigation feature lets you hover over the Notebooks section and jump quickly to a specific notebook or create a new one. This also works for tags.
  • The search is smarter and more powerful, even for those with complex tags and tons of notes. It also feels more like web browser searching. You can widen or narrow your search to specific notebooks. The search system will rummage through your Evernote Trash now, too.

Image by Evernote.

  • There’s a new color-coding system to let you mark important notes. So far, this is pretty popular with dedicated Evernote users.
  • And finally, if you use Evernote Business, you’ll find a new separation between business and personal content.

It’s worth noting that the upgrade takes a while to complete and while it’s happening, you won’t be able to use Evernote. And at least for now, the saved searches of previous versions have disappeared. Evernote says that’s temporary.

What others are saying

TechTimes says the new Evernote for Windows has “a slew of improvements bound to enhance the overall experience.” Engadget.com calls the upgrade “a streamlined, cleaner approach with refinements addressing the sidebar’s design and functionality.”

How to get organized with Evernote!

Click here to learn about how to get started with Evernote, and more about using Evernote to organize your genealogy life.

What do you think about the new upgrade? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

Evernote for Genealogy Tip: Create Your Own Genealogy Library

evernote for genealogy evernote libraryHere’s an innovative way to use Evernote for genealogy: create your own genealogy library for easy on-the-go reference.

Have you ever come face to face with a riveting book at a genealogy conference or bookstore and wondered, “Gosh, do I already have this at home?” Worse yet, have you bought multiple copies of the same genealogy book? It happens to the best of us. I cringe to think how many times I’ve checked out a book from the library only to find that I already own it!

It struck me a few years ago as I was creating the first of my many Premium videos on using Evernote for Genealogy that this handy free software and app could solve the problem. One of Evernote’s greatest strengths is that it applies Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to all of your notes. This means that the text in your photos and web clippings become word-searchable. Let’s use that to our advantage!

Here are 7 steps to create a reference library you can carry around in your pocket:

1. In the free Evernote app on your smartphone or tablet, tap Photos. (Tap OK to allow Evernote access to your device’s camera.)

2. Take a photo of the cover of one of the books in your personal collection. (With the new Auto capture feature in Evernote all you have to do is point your camera at the cover.)

3. Tap to select the new note you have created.

4. Tap the “i” icon and add the tag library. (You will need to set this up the first time, and then just select it thereafter.)

5. Evernote will automatically apply optical character recognition (OCR) to each image while it is synchronizing your notes (with an Internet connection). Once OCR is applied, your photo becomes keyword searchable.

6. Continue snapping photos of your book covers and tagging them.

7. Now you can use Evernote’s search feature to see if you already have a book. Just search an applicable keyword, such as the author’s name or a word from the title. (Do be aware there are limitations: OCR won’t catch cursive, Gothic or other fancy or hard to read scripts.)

SEARCH TIP: I use the Evernote app on my iPhone and iPad, and as of this writing, you can’t access all the notes associated with a tag with one tap the way you can see all notes in a Notebook. Here’s a way to target your tags. In the search box type tag:library and all of the notes with that tag will be listed. Take it a step further by searching within that tag with this search query tag:library German. The results will be all notes tagged with library that have the word German in the image, title or description.

I shared this tip in the free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 179 and then heard from Janelle in New South Wales:

“I love the idea of saving the photos of our genealogy books to Evernote. I saved them to my phone ready for a conference earlier this year, but saving them to Evernote is taking it just that one step further.

As you said, Evernote’s OCR doesn’t handle cursive script very well, but in cases where the title is in a font that the OCR would struggle with, the photographer could snap the title page instead, which will have all the relevant information but in a more standard script. That way the OCR will be happy, and the information will end up correct in our Evernote Library.”

That’s a great tip! Title pages can be even easier for OCR to read than book covers.

Ultimate Evernote Education abbreviatedLisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems is home to the Ultimate Evernote Education for Genealogists! Click here to learn more using Evernote for genealogy. We have free and Premium how-tos; articles, podcast and video tutorials; and instruction for beginners clear through advanced Evernote users.

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