Productivity Update 21 August

Today I’m quite pleased with myself, and I don’t see anything wrong with announcing it!

  1. I attending my niece’s cooking demonstration at her school. It was called ‘Cafe for a Day’, and the girls got into pairs and cooked lunch with dessert for the parent that could make it, or parent-substitute (that was me). Spaghetti with a tomato and basil sauce, parmesan crisps and coffee tiramisu, at a bench set with table cloth and all. Very nice!
  2. I then paid a visit to the President of the Ku-Ring-Gai Orchid Society to show him how to update the website I set up for them a couple of years ago. Have a look in a few days and see how he’s going – www.kuringaiorchidsociety.org.au. It’s the best time to visit such an exceptional orchid grower, with so many orchids in flower!
  3. I then finished, yes finished, the client research and report that has been hanging around for months. My illness and lack of knowledge of, and access to, Queensland records, got in the way, and I sat down yesterday and systematically went through all the digitised records that are now available on Ancestry, World Vital Records, the Queensland State Archives, the State Library of Queensland, and Judy Webster’s website and wrote a list. Actually more of a worksheet. As a result of all this research I had a breakthrough.

A good day.

Tomorrow, back to the essay.

Productivity update 14 March

Very productive day today. My blog comes up on my blog reader, so I read it this morning to see what I’d said I was going to do today, and I was further inspired. Or perhaps determined is a better word for it.

  • I finished editing the article for Descent and sent it off.
  • I made a serious start on my essay, so that it seems possible that I will be able to finish it.
  • I learned enough about Word 2007 and the way it handles footnotes and the bibliography (separately, unfortunately) to be useful
  • I learned enough about Word 2007′s so-called SmartArt (diagram drawing) to start on the diagrams for the essay
  • I didn’t start on the client report but I’d done that the night before and decided that was enough.
  • I did a load of washing (unplanned bonus!)

I think it works, you know, this making public announcements of what I’m going to do!

Tomorrow, instead of going into the city for the bi-monthly TMG User Group meeting I’m going to stay at home and work on my essay all day, with occasional breaks to go outside and enjoy the forecasted warm weather. I may even sit in the sun for half an hour and read a book about the colonial administration of the colonies of Australia between 1831 and 1855. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Word 2007 is a bit of a struggle but I’m getting there. The last essays I wrote were written using Office XP (is that what it was called?) and I had to put references in manually and I didn’t need to draw diagrams.┬áCome to think of it, I started using OneNote. It was the version we were allowed to download as students of the University of Sydney, and it’s an ugly, cumbersome thing. It did work with Word, though. I can’t afford to upgrade it, and I haven’t found anything that has similar functionality. I wonder how it handles footnotes? Might be worth another look.

Does anyone use OneNote, or Word 2007, for genealogical writing?

By the way, I’m trying to keep the title on these posts consistent so that those of you you aren’t remotely interested in my daily tasks can ignore them.

Productivity update 13 August

I can’t remember what number I’m up to, so I’m going by date.

I’ve also decided that I don’t have to do this every night – just when I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything much today.

I spent a lot of today out at the State Records NSW Reading Room at Kingswood searching for Conditional Purchase correspondence. I found two sets and started on a third.

Conditional Purchases were a method in the early years of the Colony to get settlers out into the country. They could choose to buy land, before it was surveyed, and pay it off on the condition that they lived on the land and improved it. Once they’d paid for it and inspections showed they met the conditions, the title deed was issued.

The correspondence covers the initial application form, requests for survey, declarations of the purchaser, transfers, and all manner of other documents. Earlier documents were pulled from where they had been filed and filed with later correspondence, and you have to find the register to know whether this happened, so finding where the correspondence is actually stored involves a chain of links from one register to the next. It takes time, patience, and accuracy.

So I can be pleased with what I achieved today!

Tomorrow I’m going to start writing my Diploma essay. I’m also going to finish editing the article for Descent (the journal of the Society of Australian Genealogists) and process what I found today.