We all get them. Those contacts from cousins we’ve never met. Maybe we have a connection, maybe we don’t. They might contact you in any number of ways:
- by email
- via Facebook
- by phone
- maybe on Pinterest or Twitter
- or maybe even by good old snail mail
I definitely struggled with this question for many years. I first started saving all communication in surname folders in my email. Then, I began saving their names, numbers and addresses in my contacts in yahoo or on my smart phone. I would add little notes indicating which line of the family they were related to.
HOWEVER, those methods didn’t seem to be a good long term working solution. For one thing I couldn’t do a surname search if I’d forgotten the name of a particular cousin. I mean let’s face it, they usually don’t have the same surname as the ancestor we are related to.
I thought about using Excel and that wasn’t a bad idea. After all, you can sort and search in that program pretty easily. But, I wanted more than that. I wanted to be able to store all the communication between myself and those cousins, in one place, searchable and easily organized.
Then it came to me. EVERNOTE!!!
I’m a daily user of Evernote for everything from genealogy tips, storing my blog posts, setting appointments to recipes and landscape ideas.
I started this process not long ago and here is what I’m doing.
1. I open a new note in Evernote
2. I copy and paste any messages between myself and the cousin contact.
3. I tag the notes with the appropriate surname.
4. I annotate the notes with my own messages regarding the contact or the pictures.
NOTE: I have redacted names & emails to protect those cousins who may not want their information made public.
Here are some of my cousin notes stored in Evernote.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
Another thing you may have wondered about.
How do you save those private messages you receive from cousins on Facebook?
Again, they often contain information we want to use later or even photos.
I use Evernote for that too. Here’s how:
- Open a new note in Evernote
- Copy the text of the message
- Paste it into the note, tag it and save it
- You can also copy and paste any images the same way
Kind of difficult to read that information she shared with me, isn’t it?
When I click on that image it opens in a new window in Facebook.
I purposely left all the black around it to show you exactly what you will see.
When I right click on the image, these are my choices.
The bottom line here, is that there are many ways you can save that precious information.
Whether you choose Evernote, Excel, Word or One Note, just be sure you don’t lose track of those cousins.
NOTE: If you have Evernote Premium you can forward emails to your Evernote account directly from you personal email. Each Evernote account has it's own email. Find yours by going to "Tools" and "Account Info."
I’d love to hear how you keep track of cousin contacts. Please share with me here via a comment or in your own blog and then share the link.
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
EVERNOTE - A Very Useful and Free Tool to Help You Organize Genealogy and Everything Else
INTELIUS.COM - How to Connect with Cousins
Copyright © 2015 Diane Gould Hall
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