Ancestry Organization

If you have followed me here or on any of my social media platforms for any amount of time, you have learned that I enjoy researching my family genealogy.  For the past year and a half, I have worked towards a system of organizing my research that marries my love of mixed media and traveler’s notebooks.

There is no ONE way to organize your genealogy research as each system is as unique as the person (and their family) compiling it.  Whether you choose to keep your records in a digital database (i.e. Ancestry or Family Search) or in a paper file, there are a few fundamentals that will help you collect information.

Start with your parents and grandparents, while they are living.  The obvious information to record is

  • name;
  • birthdate and location;
  • parents names;
  • spouse and children

Using a notebook or my Family Record Booklet, identify what you already know about your family.  Be sure to capture the family stories that could die with them.  

Once you have interviewed your closest living relatives, you will need to decide what information you do not have and you want to learn about your ancestors. 

Using forms provided by your digital genealogy database or my Ancestor Research Booklet, select an ancestor to learn about and begin organizing your records.

Decide what you want to learn.  Begin with ONE question?  Trust me when I say, without a clearly defined search objective, you could climb up and down your family tree looking (and finding) information and be left with a pile of paperwork that can leave you frustrated and with more questions than you started with.  What do you want to find?

Once you have identified what you want to look for, identify why do you want/need to know this information?  Having the answers to these two questions will help you in your search.  Often while looking for the answer to your the first question you will discover new questions to ask.  Write them down.  Create a list of research questions.  Do not get distracted with the new questions…again, trust me on this point.  Your ancestors are not going anywhere.  Once you have answered the first question, you can look for information to answer the next, and next…you are bound to discover lots of questions to ask in your research.  

Finally, prepare a research log.  Knowing where you have previously looked for information will save you untold hours and headaches. 

Are you new to researching your family history or have you been tracking down clues for years?  How do you organize your material?  I would love to know how you organize your research.  Find me on FaceBook and Instagram and share your tips and photos with the hashtag #TheOrganizedMiss

 

 

 

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Morning Routine|Free Printable

“Behind every impossible achievement is a dreamer of impossible dreams.” -Robert K. Greenleaf

“Your brain has the ability to change and develop physiologically, and it does so based on how you use it. You have the ability to strengthen and develop your brain by thinking about a compelling future for yourself, by regularly and repeatedly thinking about an inspiring vision where you emotionally connect with the life you desire. You can train your brain to act on your vision just by thinking about it. The first step is creating an inspiring vision and learning how to stay connected with it.” – from 12 Week Year

For me, training my brain to act on my vision is found in the routines.  We are creatures of habit and as Henry Ford is quoted as saying, “whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right.” 

What you think about – you bring about!  

This happens whether you are being intentional with your thoughts and actions, as with following a morning routine, for example.  Or whether you are unintentional with your thoughts and actions, which by the way turn in to habits…

the habit of sleeping in because you can … 

the habit of taking a shower whenever you think about it … 

the habit of sitting on the couch all day, because “Why not? I have no where to go.”… 

the habit of self-imposed isolation which can and does, lead to depression.

For the 31 Days of Planner Fun Challenge, I am sharing my morning routine with you here along with a free printable you can use in your planner to help you get started with creating your own morning routine.  Or if you already have one, perhaps this can help you keep it front and center whether you actually place it in your planner or hang it on your wall next to your bed so you see it each morning (I may or may not do this) 🙂 

I find scheduling my morning routine into my planner helps me stay accountable to myself, my vision.  The truth is, whether you have a morning routine or not, your body and life will show it.  Having a routine will help your brain TRUST that you will take care of it…this goes for other routines as well, evening and sleep routines, work routines, family obligations and chore routines, the list can go on and on.  

When your brain trusts you, it is free to turn off the “flight or fight” survival mode and focus on strengthening and growing in the areas you are being intentional about. Your vision and goals become a reality when you are less stressed or have an effective routine for dealing with stress.  

A morning routine can help to start the day in an optimal state.  I focus my routine on three areas of my life, Being, Body, Brain.  Actually, all of my planning and routines revolve around these three categories.  

When I am consistent with my routine, I am more alert, engaged, productive and able to handle the stressors of life.  Because let’s face it, stress happens but how we respond to stress determines the outcome.  

Download your FREE PRINTABLE here and tag me on social media with how you are implementing it.  

Join me this month for all things planner related, OneBookJuly2018 and 31 Days of Planner Fun on social media at:

Facebook and Instagram as @theorganizedmiss

YouTube @Deanna – The Organized Miss and check out

31daysplannerfun

It’s time for One Book July !!

HIP HIP HOORAY!!  If you are not cheering along, it may be because you have no idea what I am talking about…Read this history of One Book July that will get you up to speed with this year.

Allow me to be the first, or the first of many, to welcome and introduce you to this wonderful, one month experiment that will help you organize, categorize, calendarize and all around improve productivity!
 
I will be sharing my journey, using a #bilateralplanning approach, along the way.

Whether you are already well ensconced in a system that works for you, or your system is made up of a thousand pieces of paper and post it notes, I believe One Book July will teach you something new about yourself and your planning routine!

I am excited to see what I learn through the experiement of One Book July this year!

Are you planning on participating?  Please find me on social media and tag me, I would love to see what you are doing!

YouTube TERMINATED my channel

Dear YouTube Team,

I believe my channel was WRONGLY terminated. My video “CBD & Kratom in Kansas | Legalities and what is going on?!” “was flagged for review, determined to violate community guidelines, and removed from YouTube as was my channel.  I do not believe I violated Community Guidelines.

My video, one of several in a series, was educational in nature (allowed by Community Guidelines) documenting (allowed by Community Guidelines) my trip to the Topeka State Capitol and the Senate Bills being discussed, voted on and ultimately passed.

These bills (S.B. 263 and S.B. 282)  which have been passed into law,

  1. Create a program to research the use of industrial hemp in Kansas, and
  2. Remove CBD Products containing 0% THC and Kratom, from the Controlled Substances Act and makes them legal products to sell, purchase and consume.

The video in question, as were the other videos in that series, educated the public on the legalities surrounding those Senate Bills and what that meant for Kansans.  

At no time did my video(s) “encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.” as was implied in the email I received informing me of the rationale for terminating my channel.

Additionally, the said video followed the guideline of “…need to be educational or documentary in nature…”

My title clearly informed the viewer of the primary purpose of the video, which discussed the legalities of CBD & Kratom in the state of Kansas.  

Your email went on to say, “We understand that users seldom intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever – this strike will expire in three months.” However, my channel was terminated with no further information from you on how to correct the situation for the future.  How am I, or any other YouTuber, expected to learn and grow, if an honest mistake was made? Where is the grace allowed? I could understand your decision if I were posting videos of myself using illegal drugs and telling viewers where to obtain them, but I didn’t. I was sharing the LAW as it was being discussed and voted on, in my state capitol.  

I followed the recommended form of appeal and received (what I believe) was an autoresponder, which stated the YouTube Team would thoroughly review my appeal and contact me and inform me of the mistake.  That was not the case and I have never received any information which would educate me on the flagrant violation I have been judged to have committed.

Sincerely,

Deanna Bonn 

The Organized Miss

 

 

Goals – How to set and reach them

Ask people closest to me and they will tell you that I am a highly creative person and have a ton of great ideas.  In fact, someone very close to me, my brother-in-law, made the following statement yesterday. “This is the first time I have ever known you to complete something you have started and you have been staying on task for the past year now.”  True statement. Starting one project after another is not a challenge for me…it never has been. What has been a challenge in the past was completing those projects and accomplishing those goals. So what is different now?

One word…organization!

I have found the organizational system that works for me.  Oh, I have tried so many ways (think Franklin Covey) to stay organized in the past but to no avail.  Why? Because I was trying to think the way someone else thinks and therefore I failed every time. I didn’t fully understand how my brain worked and as a result felt I like a failure.  My daughter pointed out that I have taught her how to fail and keep trying again. Each failure was a lesson in what doesn’t work for me.

The challenge then became about learning what would work for me.  We are all different but there are some similarities we can focus on when determining how to set and reach goals.  I am a highly creative individual who thinks outside the box and needs an organizational system that works with my thinking style. My brain vacillates between a left and right brain thinking styles so I am not predominantly a left brain, list making planner, nor am I predominantly a right brain, visual planner – rather I am a mix of the two and fluctuate on a daily basis and therefore need to have separate systems set up to help me stay on task when my brain changes gears.  ←- This was a HUGE “aha” for me!

Because I didn’t understand that I needed the two different styles, I would fail to reach objectives when using a left brain, list-making logic-based approach and my brain starting thinking in its creative right hemisphere.  Now, I have a planning system, Bilateral Planning, that allows me to alternate between the two formats as quickly as my brain shifts gears…that can be pretty fast…and I am able to stay on task and reach my goals.

Are you a predominantly left brain, list maker who needs to see everything, structured and in black and white, or in digital form?  Are you predominantly a right brain, creative who needs a lot of real estate on your paper to doodle, draw or color code? Or, are you like me and need a combination of the two?  Knowing this one aspect of yourself, how you think, will help you tremendously in your goal setting process.

Learn more about Bilateral Planning and receive a FREE printable to help you start designing your own organizational system!

Bilateral Planning

The brain. We all have one and use it every day. But how often do you actually think about the thing that helps you think?  Aside from an occasional headache, deja vu or perhaps a dizzy spell, you may not give it a second thought.  Instead, allowing your brain to operate and orchestrate the myriad of bodily functions it is in control of. Breathing is the first activity that comes to mind and is an important (dare I say THE most important) function that affects every other aspect of your life.

I admit I didn’t give a lot of attention to my brain health before 2013.  All of that changed in what seems like an instant to me but actually spans the course of approximately 10 years.  I say approximately because I don’t know.  I can not actually recall, in order, many of my life events from 2008 to 2016.  That’s not to say that I don’t remember anything.  I do, actually, and I am remembering more and more as time goes on.

While I have been in the pursuit, along with medical professionals, to determine the cause of the cognitive malfunctions and memory loss resulting from severe headaches (for lack of a better word), I embarked on a brain improvement journey near the end of 2016.

This journey, or science experiment as I like to refer to it, lead me to try many new things as brain exercises during the past year.  After much researching, I discovered I was actually giving my brain the best chance at recovery by aiding in its plasticity.

Enter OneBookJuly2017 and my dive down the rabbit hole of all things planner related, paper organization and habit tracking. Over the course of July, and the ensuing months of 2017, I learned what would work best for me.  While planning and organizing thoughts are unique to individuals, I discovered something about myself and noticed a pattern emerge within the planning community.

I found that part of the time I planned and benefitted from using a traditional, list based, heavily worded system.  The other part of the time, reading and writing words and therefore following the system was overwhelming or just plain difficult due to my struggles with recall and retention. As a result, I began looking for or creating stickers to create word-picture associations in my mind.

I quickly discovered the need to dual plan my time using two weekly spreads and began “Bilateral Planning”.  One weekly spread communicated the information in a language my creative right brain would understand using pictures when the left side was not connecting properly and reading words was difficult.  Another one communicated to my logical left brain, the events and tasks needing my focus when the nerves in my right brain would misfire, and looking at colors and pictures were distracting.

 

Both of these layouts communicate the same information for the week of October 30-November 5, 2017.

This “ah-ha” moment led me to research planning styles and I decided to incorporate both and identify it as “Bilateral Planning”.  For me, the repetition in planning aides in memory recall and improves my retention.

If you or someone you know struggles with completing tasks, whether it results from a memory issue like mine or some other challenge, I believe bilateral planning can help.

Sign up for my Newsletter and receive a FREE printable to start Bilateral Planning.

FACT: Being active is associated with lower risk of brain issues.

Want to track your health and wellness to encourage and promote activities geared toward creating and maintaining a healthy brain?  Check out my Health and Wellness Tracker

 

 

 

How I plan – Weekly Review

I have finally turned the camera on during my planning sessions to show “HOW” I plan.  Making a video (series of videos) on my planning structure has been on my to-do list for a while but it wasn’t until I watched a video by MissVickybee titled, “Where is Planning?” that I decided to do it.  In her video, she mentions all the “Plan With Me’ videos available online and how beautiful the art of pretty planning is but she wanted to see the structure, “what was being planned” too often she would see planners that were decorated but not set up.

I am all for decorating and pretty planning for the sake of self-care and creative expression (I love stickers) but planners need to be functional or else they are not planners but scrapbooks.  This is where I should mention that I love watching scrapbook process videos, but when I am interested in personal development and looking for new ways to be more productive or efficient with my tasks, I want to watch and learn from a planner who is employing replicable organizational strategies and techniques.

In addition to my “How I Plan” video series, I am making my Weekly Review questions available for you to use in your own planning routine.  To learn how I use this invaluable tool, check out my weekly review video.