It’s likely that a majority of your family history research is in paper form. There are certainly benefits to having hard copies of pedigrees, birth certificates, photos, etc. However, as time goes by, you will have to make the choice to go digital—to convert your hard copies to digital ones. Besides the ease of organization you’ll have in FHnotebook—remember, even images can have titles and categories added to them to make them searchable—there are many other perks to adding a digital copy of each record to your FHnotebook.
We’ve all heard the horror stories of fires and floods decimating people’s homes, including family albums and important paperwork. And previously, even digital copies were contained on computers, CDs, USB drives, and other tangible, losable storage systems. Now, you have the opportunity to create digital copies of photos or documents, save them to your own computer, and then save them to our servers using FHnotebook for added security. You can keep your hard copies and your own digital copies on your devices if you prefer those, but if anything happens to those copies, your family history research is backed up on our servers, allowing you to access them anywhere, anytime.
In my family home, we have a whole closet full of plastic tubs filled with papers, folders, and albums. It’s wonderful to have the resources we need to learn about our ancestors, but honestly, the accessibility to these documents is limited. Not only is it difficult to unload the closet to access a document, but to even know where to look is overwhelming. Maybe your family history is more organized than ours is, but digitizing your documents and photos allows you to hold all of your research in the palm of your hand. No more overflowing closets or bookcases, and no more heavy lifting to find the document you are looking for. All of your files will be together, organized how you like them, and accessible from your FHnotebook account.
Once your collections are consolidated in your FHnotebook, the ability to share files with others is considerably easier. My dad brought me a stack of legal-sized paper last year. It was a history of my great-great-great grandfather. The document was at least 200 pages long. My dad said he had made copies for each of my brothers and sisters. Besides the hassle my dad must have experienced while copying and transporting that much information, the document also caused me problems as I tried to find a place to store it. Since I live in a small apartment, I don’t have a designated spot for all of my family history research, and that meant I had to tuck away this document in a safe, but out-of-the-way spot. But I still love the idea of sharing histories with my family. Now, with FHnotebook, I can create a digital copy of that document and share it with anyone I’d like. Not only will the file take up little physical room anywhere, it will be easy to access by everyone it is shared with.
Now is the time
The task may be daunting, but now is the time to start digitizing your family history. Break it up into chunks. Add one album or box at a time, and create a task on FHnotebook to help remind you where you left off. Since it’s still January, make a resolution to get a certain amount done by a certain date. You’ll be glad you made the effort.
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