Scrivener Mini Boot Camp – 31 January 2015

genealogy, technology, evernote, webinars

Just what is this program called Scrivener* that everyone keeps talking about? And how can you use it for your genealogy and family history projects? Scrivener by is a combination word processor and project management tool that’s affordable and simple to use. Priced under $50, this powerful application seamlessly takes you from idea to outline to finished product. Whether you are a blogger, an aspiring author, or a genealogist looking to share your family history findings, Scrivener can help you plot, organize, and publish your writing.

Already using Scrivener? You might be surprised at even some of the “secrets” you may not know that are important for a solid understanding of how to make Scrivener work for you. Here’s what you’ll get from this new Boot Camp:

  • Learn all the basics you will need to get up and running with Scrivener, including how to start, edit, and format a genealogy/family history writing project using Scrivener’s built-in templates.
  • Review the key components of the Scrivener interface, and its four main modes: Outline, Document View, Corkboard, and Scrivenings.
  • Get practical tips for using Scrivener to “storyboard” your family history.
  • Learn how to store notes, citations, images, and research materials and use keyboard shortcuts and Quick Command keys to access many of Scrivener’s main functions and project and interface shortcuts right from your keyboard.
  • Briefly review the options for compiling your finished draft for printing or exporting for final formatting.

* NOTE: It is highly recommended that you download the free trial version of Scrivener (Available for Mac or Windows) before the boot camp in order to maximize your learning experience. Visit the Literature and Latte web store at for your free trial.

Sign Up for the Scrivener Mini Boot Camp Today!

With the Scrivener Mini Boot Camp you’ll receive 1.5 hours of educational content for a special low price of $7.95! You’ll receive an extensive handout, a special Scrivener “freebie” created by instructor Lisa Alzo, as well access to the recorded version of the webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 26 January 2015 and receive $3 off the registration price for a low $4.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handout, the freebie and access to the recording!

Saturday 31 January 2015
Duration: 1.5 hours
11:00 am EST /10:00 am CDT
Getting Started with Scrivener
Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Presenter/Moderator Bios

Lisa Alzo – Presenter

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog For more information see

Thomas MacEntee – Moderator

Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more.

Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started building his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He’s also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.”

How To Register

Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:

  • Click the button above to go to PayPal and make payment or click here. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
  • IMPORTANT: If you use a different email address for Paypal than your normal email address PLEASE LET US KNOW! We have not way of sending you the registration link or password otherwise! Email us at
  • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive a link to register for the webinar.
  • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the password for the webinar as well as links to the handout and freebie so you can review them before we start.
  • After the webinar, all registrants will have access to the recording for personal use for a period of one (1) year. The recording will be hosted on Vimeo and set to play only on a specific page here at Hack Genealogy. A password will be required to access the video pages.

Questions? Email us at

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 1 – My Progress So Far

Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers describes his Week 1 progress for the Genealogy Do-Over

Wow! Don’t think that just because I came up with this crazy idea called the Genealogy Do-Over, that it would be easy for me. I’ve been making good progress since last Friday, January 2nd, and I’ll be in good shape by time Week 2 starts.

Here’s an idea of what I’ve done:

  • I copied my old Genealogy file in Dropbox to my c:/Documents folder on my hard drive (which is NOT in Dropbox) and renamed it HOLD Genealogy. And of course, I made sure it was added to my iDrive backup . . .
  • I went through The Box which is an old photo copy paper box where I’ve had a few things sitting such as original records. I know – very bad and not very archive-friendly. That is one of the things I’m committed to as well: making sure that I am preserving original records in archivally-safe materials. I also went through my files and pulled the records I think I will need over the next 13-week period.
  • As for guidelines and standards, well I’ve already committed myself to the Golden Rules which I’ve posted. I also have been paying close attention to all the file naming conventions that other participants in the Genealogy Do-Over are posting over at the Facebook group. One that I really like is the one Diana Ritchie has put forth (you can see the photo here if you are a member of the Facebook group).As Diana states: “I use a system I found long ago (I can’t even remember where) that names documents starting with the person’s name then the year that person was born and then the year of the document and document type: LastFirstbxxxxYYYYDeathCert.”So for my grandfather’s birth certificate, it would be “Austin Alfred b1917d1984 Death Cert.”

* * *

Well I am off to do some writing and getting materials ready for Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over. Just a housekeeping note: I will be traveling to Salt Lake City starting Wednesday, 7 January and I’ll be attending the Association of Professional Genealogists Professional Management Conference 8-9 January 2015. I will be fully connected with wireless access, but it may take me longer than usual to respond to Genealogy Do-Over emails, messages and requests.

©2015, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Do-Over: Slow Down, You Move Too Fast!

Things are moving so quickly with the Genealogy Do-Over that many of us are already overwhelmed! What we all need is a slow down - Thomas MacEntee shows us why.

As we get closer to the official launch date for the Genealogy Do-Over, here is what I’m seeing over at the Genealogy Do-Over Facebook Group as well as on blog posts and in social media:

  • Some are already worrying about whether or not they have to evaluate genealogy software choices and pick a new one.
  • Others are concerned about how they name their files and how they’ll organize their data.
  • Still others want to know if they have to cite their sources or not.

These are all valid concerns, but to be honest, they are a bit premature. Let’s stop a minute, take a collective breath, and think . . .

This is Exactly How Many of Us Research: We Get Ahead of Ourselves

One of the concerns I had about posting the Genealogy Do-Over topics too far in advance was exactly what seems to be happening: people either over-analyzing topics (“analysis paralysis”) or simply skimming over topics (“skimming”). This is exactly how I used to research.

I say “used to” because I developed the Genealogy Do-Over so I could share my insights into what has worked for me in the past year. One of the major bad habits I had to break? Getting ahead of myself and working too quickly! Here’s what I tweaked in my research habits and an area we’ll focus on over the course of the next 13 weeks:

  • Capture everything and save for later. This means using apps like Evernote to “clip and save” articles, links to new databases and even digitized documents and photos for closer inspection when time permits.
  • Build a good research toolbox and keeping adding to it. Use those capturing skills above, but know add the art of curating content to create a set of resources that can greatly advance your genealogy research.
  • Create to-do lists. When I start researching a specific branch of my family, I always have a document open and available – a text file, a Word document, a spreadsheet or even a pen and paper – for writing down those nagging “I have to remember to do THIS” thoughts. Example: As I research my great-grandfather John Ralph Austin, I determine that his birth date means he would have been the right age for being drafted during World War I. So I enter on my to do list: “Locate World War I draft registration for John Ralph Austin.”
  • Pay no attention to that bright and shiny object. Note how in the example above, I didn’t stop everything and look for that draft registration card right then and there. Why? There is an evil rabbit at the end of that rabbit hole where I think the draft registration card lives. Mr. Rabbit likes nothing better than to rob me of time and to distract me. If I don’t place the task on a to-do list as it pops into my head, I will then go out in search of the draft registration card. And guess what? I find out that on the reverse it says “missing half of index finger on left hand” and then I go off trying to find out how he lost the finger and then . . . and then . . . And then it is 3:00 am and I have not accomplished ANY considerable research. And let’s not talk about all my research goals I had for that night.

According to “fallible mom” and blogger Katy McKenna, “You can’t make up with speed what you lack in direction” which applies to so many things including genealogy research.

The fact is that I didn’t even know I was working too fast and most of us don’t realize it. I just happen to think it is one of the ways (or curses) of modern life. We might be working during one of’s freebie weekends and want to get the most out of that research time. Or we’re working at the Family History Library and worry that we won’t cross everything off of our ambitious research check list.

To be honest, what good is working quickly if it gets you where you are right now: doing your research over for a second (or third, or fourth) time?

Technology and Social Media to the Rescue

One of the benefits of the Genealogy Do-Over and doing it in 2015 is that we have so many more tools via technology and the Internet than we did 30, 20 or even 10 years ago. We’ll be discussing tools such as Evernote, Pinterest and others throughout the next 13 weeks and showing you how they might be able to help slow down your research and keep you in the moment.

To set a good example I’ve set up a Genealogy Do-Over board on Pinterest ( where I’m collecting blog posts related to this project and also resources that others are sharing over in the Facebook group. I personally use Pinterest to capture research goodies I want to remember and review later (this is a good use of Pinterest’s Secret Boards function).

And finally, if you are at your wits end trying to remember the upcoming Genealogy Do-Over topics or that neat tool that someone posted on Facebook last week, there’s help. The Genealogy Do-Over mailing list ( has been created; sign up and each Friday you’ll receive a list of the new Genealogy Do-Over topics as well as a recap of resources and goodies shared during the previous week.

* * *

So between now and January 2nd when the Genealogy Do-Over officially beings, think about slowing down and putting the advice above into action. Create your own “to do list” for the Genealogy Do-Over. Start to collect resources. By doing so you’ll get a head start on building good research habits and you’ll already be working smarter.

Remember . . . you’ve got to make the moment last – that research moment. And get the most out of that moment. You may never pass that way again; you might not get a “do-over” again.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.