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Research Notes 2019-12-2

Research Notes masthead

Journaling Your Research Notes

Have you ever considered using a journaling app for your genealogy research notes? The DayOne journaling app offers a number of features that make it easy to capture, organize and find the notes you add to your DayOne journals.

Each note created with DayOne automatically includes the date, place and time it was created. You can also add hashtags – keywords describing the content of each note – by including a hash mark (#) immediately ahead of each keyword. For example – DayOne will automatically identify the #Link hashtag as a tag for that note. Later, when you want to find all the notes related to that hashtag, go to the Search box and enter the tag in the Search box. Yes, it’s that easy.


Don’t be afraid to include photos or screenshots like this one in your DayOne journal entries. Upgrading to the premium plan gives you unlimited photos.

Another useful feature is the sharesheet. To access it, tap the share icon at the top right side of the note you are writing. Use it to email your entry to someone, post it to social media or your blog. I’ve tried it with both WordPress and Tumblr and it works beautifully!

DayOne is a free app and is available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Android devices. There is a premium option ($34.99/year) giving you even more features. These include:

  1. audio recording – voice-to-text transcription

  2. unlimited photos

  3. unlimited journals

  4. cloud backup

  5. all your notes are synced to all your devices

  6. end-to-end encryption for privacy

  7. 25% discount for book printing

The book printing feature is quite impressive. So far, I have created two books using DayOne’s Book Printing service. It’s really quite simple . . . select the journal entries you wish to include in the book, create your cover design, choose the printing options you prefer and preview your book. Once everything is the way you want it, submit your book. The “cart” is displayed showing you what your book will cost. When everything is the way you want it, upload the book and make your payment (Apple Pay or credit/debit card). Your book should arrive about 7 to 12 business days after you’re submission.

Last, but not least . . . DayOne supports Markdown. This means that your notes will not suffer from bit rot.  What is bit rot? If you have documents saved in your computer that you can no longer read because the program used to create them no longer exists, that is bit rot. Thanks to Markdown, years from now, when most of the apps you use today are no longer functional – your DayOne journal entries will still be readable. If you want to learn more about Markdown, check out the Markdown Guide.

The DayOne iOS apps (iPhone and iPad) are free and can be downloaded from the Apple apps store. There is also a DayOne app for Android devices at Google Play.


If you are looking for photos of the people and places that are part of your ancestry, one good place to begin is the Flickr Commons. Flickr is a photo-sharing service giving users a place to save and share their photos. But that’s not all. There is a section called Flickr Commons where archives, libraries and other institutions have posted photos from their collections. An impressive number of institutions from around the world have taken advantage of the Commons to display a broad range of things. These institutions include The Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. National Archives, The British Library, Netherlands Institute of Military History, National Museum of Denmark and our National Archives.

Our National Archives encourages people visiting their collections to help identify people, places and events in the photos to help them learn more about the person, place or event. It has helped get more information about our country’s history.


Flickr users can take a lesson from the institutions using Flickr’s Commons to learn more about their collections. Flickr is a search-friendly platform and it’s not unusual to connect with cousins. In addition to the the comments area for each photo, Flickr also has a Flickr Mail service where Flickr users can connect with other users. It is a delightful way to connect and collaborate with research cousins.

Flickr offers both free and premium subscriptions. The premium subscription costs $49.99/year and gives you unlimited photo storage along with a number of perks and discounts for photo books, Adobe’s Creative Cloud and other services.

If you think the permium subscription is a bit pricy, think of this . . . You are also getting off-site storage for your precious photos and videos. Should a disaster take out your computer, you will still have your collections at Flickr.

This year’s Christmas luncheon will be Saturday, December 14th, at Beaches restaurant on Vilano Beach. Beaches opens at 11:00am and although they don’t take reservations, we will be there early to make sure we have enough tables. We do need some idea of how many people will be coming. Please email to let us know you’re coming.

Final Notes

Each new post published at SAGS Support is automatically emailed to member subscribers and/or delivered to their newsreader. Research Notes is published every Monday morning and other articles are posted during the week. Subscribers have the option to control how often these updates are delivered. Look down at the bottom of this message and you will find a Manage Subscriptions link in the fine print as you see in this example. Click it and you will be taken to the Subscription Management page. Use the Delivery Frequency column to change your delivery options from “Immediate” to either “Daily” or “Weekly”.

Sample of the “fine print” at the bottom of each post.

Also down at the bottom of each delivered post is a Comment button. If you would like to comment on something discussed in a post or ask a question, just click the Comment button and you will be taken online to the comment section of the post where you can share your thoughts and read what others have shared.

To learn more, download a copy of the SAGS Support Guide.

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