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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Pageant Queen Principles for Productivity

You don’t have to be Miss America to use pageant queen principles to prioritize your life. These principles will help you organize your time, manage your business and get things done!

Pageant participants realize that only one girl will walk away with the crown. While it is a competition, the true competition is with themselves; being the best they can be. All the preparation they put into the competition helps them focus on their strengths and passions preparing them to seize all of the opportunities that cross their path whether they are awarded a sash and crown or not. They understand they are always wearing an invisible crown and operate accordingly.

So how do pageant queens manage to juggle school, jobs, oftentimes a small business, community service which can number in the hundreds of hours, family and relationship obligations, all while maintaining a health and wellness routine giving them the confidence to cross a stage in a swimsuit?

Balancing all of their responsibilities requires preparation. They prepare in 4 areas that are pretty consistent across various organizations and I have identified them as Being, Body, Brain, and Success. As a result, I set my planning routine around these major categories and coach others to do the same.

I like to start with Success.

Pageant Queens understand that a “crown” merely provides a platform for delivering their message. In order to have a successful pageant season they must identify their passion and purpose which will drive and motivate them to reach their goal. Then they envision reaching their goal by employing the strategy of visualization. They dream of seeing themselves standing on stage, hearing their name called out, walking in their evening gown with new sash, crown and flowers while waving to the audience and thanking the judges. They even practice their “I can’t believe I just won” face…why?

Studies show visualization improves motivation, coordination and concentration and has been understood since Aristotle described the process over 2,000 years ago, “First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends: wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.”

Once she has the vision, a Pageant Queen will assess her strength, weakness and resources. She will create a plan of action to reach the crown and set up a system for tracking her results based on her identified passion and purpose.

Since titles are passed on to a new Queen each year, her deadline is clearly defined and she can set up a timeline for reaching mini-milestones that will all take her to her ultimate goal. Sharing her vision with others…that journey may or may not result in a crown and she knows that. Her actions align with her purpose.

Mini-milestones are defined in three major areas of Being, Body and Brain. Her planning routine is broken down to reflect this all while moving her towards her intended goal … the coveted crown.

Being covers her spiritual house, so to speak. Her relationships with others and is also known as her network. It includes her platform, also known as her community service, and how she intends to make the world a better place. She will need to track sponsor relationships and fundraising in addition to her volunteer hours.

Body covers her physical house. Her health and wellness, nutrition and fitness routine and trackers for maintaining an appearance ready physique and giving her the confidence to stand tall, smile and shine the light of her crown on what matters most to her: her goal of helping others.

Brian covers her mental house. This is her scholastic focus and personal development and may include entrepreneurial goals.

As you can see, each of the identified areas allow a framework for creating a self-management system that is flexible enough for Pageant Queens to tailor but structured enough to provide a guide for reaching her potential. This empowers her to prioritize her life, organize her time and manage her business and it can do the same for you.

 

The SetUp

After initial research into how I am going to structure my planner for One Book July 2017, I have decided to transfer all of my necessary planning and project management into a pocket-sized TN (traveler’s notebook) from The Planner Society.  

behindscenesOBJ17setup

Behind the scenes of my YouTube setup video

The OnebookJuly2017 Challenge is to use One Book and One Pen for One Month.  However, there are no rules save for the rules you may set for yourself.  The goal, as I understand it, is to “get back to basics” and streamline or in some cases, learn what you need to be successful in your planning routine.  

Since I am a goal planner, I have included my current projects in each area (Being, Body, Brain) to help me reach my goals.  My goal for One Book July is to streamline all of my planners into one carry along planner/wallet that I can have to track EVERYTHING!  In order to keep moving forward, I need to assess where I am in any given project, once I evaluate my progress I can decide if I need to make changes or not.   

What I have learned so far:

  • Sometimes, I can not focus and am easily distracted.  When this happens I need to step away and do something else, usually a craft project, like mixed media to help my mind get clear and refocus.  Then I can come back to the task at hand.  It is helpful to know this about myself because I don’t get as discouraged and take a long leave of absence from my goals.
  • When I am riding the struggle bus, I need my planning system to have a structure and functional form to help me stay focused and follow my plan.
  • When I am hyperfocused, I need the real-estate that white space provides.
  • Having this self-knowledge is helpful in knowing which system to work out of at a given time to help me keep moving toward my goals instead of getting frustrated and giving up.

Knowing how you operate and researching the tools to help you is key to setting yourself up for success.  

Visit my Resources page to find the inserts I am testing as well as other valuable information I will add from time to time.

See you next week for an update to One Book July 2017 !!

Success Tracker

The above quote is one of my favorites and highlights a secret known by many successful individuals.  In order to make progress in life, you must set and work towards goals. Whether you are working on changing a bad habit, acquiring a good one or implementing strategic action to obtain excellence in a specific field, goal setting is crucial to your success.  Just as important as setting goals are to putting you on a path to success, tracking the progress of your goals is a key component to achieving that success.

Show me your calendar/planner and I will be able to tell you what you value and how successful you will be in reaching your goals.  Do you goal plan?  Is your schedule and tasks organized according to your desired outcomes?  Do you track the habits necessary for success?  I can guarantee that if you do, you will make discoveries about yourself and be able to reach success in areas that before were out of reach.

I have designed a monthly calendar and success tracker for use in reaching your goals. This eight-page digital printable has a  monthly (July) view and a week on two pages.  The left side of the page has a weekly with Monday start and the right side of the page has “This week’s focus” and is divided into three categories (Scholarship, Service, Style) so you can easily identify and focus on the tasks to be accomplished.

june wo2p plan

 

The bottom section of the page has a Success Tracker for you to list the habits/actions you intend to consistently practice and monitor for a successful week.  The last few pages contain a Project Management section for SMART Goal planning and a Task Checklist.  The sooner you start tracking your goals, the closer you will get to reaching them!

Happy Goal Planning!

 

Documenting the Journey

You are on the journey to the crown.  Congratulations!

Now what?

Besides all the appearances, community service projects, keeping up your grades, searching for scholarships, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and fitness, you have paperwork to fill out,  in addition to going to class and perhaps work!

Your year of service to the organization that has crowned you as their Miss will go by fast and it is important to document your successes, lessons and anything else you may want to remember or share with others.

Whether your style of documentation life consists of creating a scrapbook, documenting in ‘Project Life’ style, video formats or some other system, it is important to tell the story once you have captured images from your life and journey to success.

Below you will find journal cards to use in your documentation.  Simply print out, cut to use with or without the frame, journal the important information on the card and pair it with your documentation.

journaling spot cards-1

 

Organization for the “Miss” Lifestyle – FREE PRINTABLE

Welcome!

You are busy.  You have goals.  You need a way to organize your busy life and reach your goals.  The Organized Miss was developed with you in mind.

To celebrate getting the site live and to motivate myself to keep working, I designed a free printable for you!   I love gifts and sharing the planner stickers I make and use to help stay on task with my goals is one of the greatest gift I can give you.

I have been using planners in some form or another for years, but earlier this year I was introduced to the Happy Planner and took a big swan drive into pretty planning.  Not only is it encouraging and motivating, it can be quite relaxing and therapeutic to design your day with colorful decorations.

This printable was designed for the Large Happy Planner, as it had been difficult for me to find many in that size.  My struggle is your gain.  Just click on the image below and save, print and cut!

TOM WKLY - Miss Teal

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