Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sorting Saturday ~ How I Organize My Digital Files

Organizing your digital files is so important.  It is so easy to misplace important files in the abyss of your hard drive!  Not to mention having your files properly organized makes it so much easier to back up your data to the cloud or an external hard drive for safe keeping.

When I first started adding my genealogy records onto my computer, I tested out a few different file systems to see what worked for me the best.

I store all of my genealogical data in my Dropbox folder.  I love Dropbox because it makes backing up your data so simple and it's easy to access your data from another computer.

In my Dropbox folder I have a sub folder called Genealogy.  In this folder I keep sub folders for my correspondence copies, history books, photos, my RootsMagic back up files and working files and surnames.

Inside the surnames folder I create a folder for each person the tree belongs to.  I have one for my tree, my hubby's tree and any other friends I might be helping with their research.

Inside each of these folders I break the lines down with surname folders.  Inside each surname folder I give each family group their own folder.  Inside these I make folders for birth, marriage, death, and any other fact that I have images or documents for.  I store all documents created before a persons marriage in their parents folders.

I find this system works really well for me.  I can quickly find any record by going straight to the persons family group folder.
Currently I've been keeping my genealogy photos separate from the records collections.  I've been thinking it might be simpler if I merged these together by adding a photos sub folder to each family group that I have genealogical records for.  I haven't fully made up my mind yet.

How do you organize your digital genealogy files?

If your not currently using Dropbox to backup your files and would like to try it out, using my affiliate link will give each of us an extra 500 MB of free space, on top of the 2 GB of free space they start you with.  I receive no payment of any kind from Dropbox other than the extra free space, I'm just a very happy user.  Thank you!

Friday, April 26, 2013

How to export from Evernote as a PDF and convert to JPG

I am a huge Evernote fan and I've used it daily for the past few years.  I've found it to be a wonderful help when I'm researching.  I can clip webpages, forum comments, images and make notes for the person or area I'm researching.

Evernote does have a flaw that I've had many genealogy friends mention.  You can only export from Evernote in .enex, .mht, and html formats.  This is not helpful if your wanting to export notes or images to attach to genealogy software!  Most genealogy programs are able to link document files, PDFs and image files like jpg with out a problem.

My work around for this is instead of using the Evernote export option I use print to file.  Then I have it print the note as a PDF.  Linux and Mac's can do this normally with out issue, but if your running Windows and don't have Adobe Acrobat you can still set this up.  You will need to install a free PDF printing program.  I've used both PDF995 and CutePDF in the past and both worked well.  As with most free software remember to check for browser add-on bars and unselect these if they are not something you want during the install.

The screenshots I'm demoing below where taken with the Evernote web interface, but it works the same what with their desktop software.  I'm a Linux user and since Evernote doesn't have a Linux version I often find I work in web format.  As a sidenote I do have Evernote installed in Crossover and use NixNote as well, I'll post more about that another day.  Your screen might look slightly different depending on what operating system your using but the options should sill be there.

In Evernote, select the note you want to export then go to the File Menu and select Print.  When the print window comes up select Print to File.

After selecting Print to File you will have the option to enter a file name and decide where you want to save the PDF.

You can see below I've given the PDF the name evernotetest.pdf and told it to save in my Kim folder.

After clicking print go to your destination folder and your Evernote note will be there in PDF format.  Now you can easily attach this to your genealogy software or upload it to

If you prefer to work with JPGs instead of PDFs you can now convert this PDF into a JPG.  I like to use the free GIMP software for this.

In GIMP go to File then OPEN and find your PDF.  You will see an option screen to select how you want to import your PDF.  If it has multiple pages, you can select any or all of them to import.  You can also select the image resolution option.  If your only going to use this for web then the default 100px is more then enough.  However if you want to print this then you will want to increase it to 300px.  When ready click on Import.

Your PDF has now been imported into GIMP.  Now you can crop and edit it if you like.

When you are finished and ready to save it as a JPG, go to the File menu and select Export.  Now you can give your file a name and use the Select File Type box to pick JPG.

After clicking Export you will get one more menu pop up to select the quality of the JPG file.  Click on Export when you are done here.

Now your JPG is ready and you can work with it as you would any image.

Because you are using the Export option you will still have your original PDF copy and your new JPG copy on your computer to work with.  Now you can go a head and link either file to your favourite genealogy software, add the jpg to your blog or share with others who don't use Evernote.