Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Genealogy Gem’s Evernote for Genealogists

Lisa Louise Cooke's Evernote for Windows for genealogistsI recently received an offer to review one of those folded and laminated 11"x17" reference sheets. I’ve reviewed some of and been quite enamored with Genealogical Publishing’s QuickSheets featuring citation reference information from Elizabeth Shown Mills.

I’ve reviewed some of and been generally disappointed with their “Genealogy at a Glance” series, although I haven’t seen them all, so I can’t speak unilaterally. (Funny story: I had their editor approach me at RootsTech a couple of years ago asking if I would be interested in authoring one. I gave him my card and told him I would, but he should know that I was the guy giving them generally negative reviews. For some reason, he never called me. :-)

The difference has been whether or not the material was of a reference nature—would you need it often enough to want a laminated sheet sitting close by your computer.

I hear more and more frequently about genealogists using Evernote. I don’t use it much at all, and certainly not for genealogy. So when the opportunity came along to review Lisa Louise Cooke’s Evernote for Genealogists quick reference guide, I was intrigued.

As an inexperienced Evernote user, for me the reference guide passes the “reference nature, often need” test. I’m at that stage in life where remembering things takes many iterations before they are committed to memory. I will use the two lengthy lists of keyboard shortcuts constantly until I commit them to memory. I will use the short list of steps for several tasks, such as capturing information for a citation or creating a saved search.

I thought the production values of the sheet fell slightly below those from Genealogical Publishing Company (GPC) reference guides. There are tiny bubbles in the lamination. The edge had little bits of fraying plastic. The plastic did not extend uniformly in all directions. And the fold in the paper was uneven. But those are just cosmetic problems and the thickness of the paper and lamination equals those from GPC and these reference guides should last just as long.

The information density falls below the GPC citation QuickSheets. The text size is larger, which may or may not be a bad thing for older eyes. The “Free vs. Premium” comparison table wastes a complete column of valuable space.

The graphic design is nice and bright (matching Cooke’s Genealogy Gems website) and the layout is visually interesting. The guide is available for both Windows and Mac. I reviewed the Windows version. The guides are also available for PDF download.

Evernote for Windows for Genealogists
Evernote for Windows for Genealogists (PDF)
Evernote for Mac for Genealogists (PDF)
8.5" x 11", 4 pp., folded, laminated. [2013?].
ISBN: None?
Genealogy Gems Publishing
1-925-272-4021 *
$7.95 + $2.00 shipping
$5.95 PDF download

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