5 Easy Steps

Step 2d – Enter Your Family Info Into A Computer

It’s surprising what you might find after you’ve gathered, sorted and placed into file folders the information you have about your family.  You need to summarize this information into a format that’s easy to refer to and easy to update — and so you can complete the temple work for your ancestors and their families.

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Take The Information From Each File Folder and
Enter That Family History Information Into A Computer — Either Online At The Family Tree Website or Into A Software Program

To do this, you just open up each file folder and enter the pertinent information you’ve got on each family into the computer.

While you don’t have to have a personal computer to keep family history records…it sure helps! After typing the information once into the computer, you can organize it in all sorts of different ways.

The same information can be used in pedigree charts, family group sheets, and descendancy charts, and is easily shared with other people.  Reports and charts are easily updated without time-consuming retyping.

GetStarted-3EnterCThis is what your family history information looks like in the FamilyTree website’s main pedigree chart view.

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You have THREE OPTIONS with regards to entering your family history information into a computer:

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OPTION 1 – Use the Family Tree Website only

  • This keeps a basic record of your family history information, including life sketches and notes.
  • Is used to submit names for temple work, and tracks your temple work.
  • Lists others who have submitted information on your ancestor and lets you collaborate with them.
  • Lets you import pictures and source documents.
  • Lets everyone in your family log in and see the same family history information you have.
  • However, you cannot print complete pedigree charts.
  • You cannot export data.

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OPTION 2 – Use the Family Tree Website plus a Family History Software program

  • This keeps extensive, detailed family information, confidential information, research notes, images of family photographs and documents, records of living relatives, etc.
  • Tracks your temple work, submits names to the temple, and helps you collaborate with others (through Family Tree).
  • Prints nice pedigree charts, indexes, reports, research to-do lists, a variety of amazing charts, booklets, family narratives, etc.
  • You can export data — and even use the data to create a family website (with information on living relatives hidden).
  • Here are the Family History Software Programs you have to choose from.

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OPTION 3 – Don’t do anything — pretend you’re sad and helpless, whimper a little, and sneakily hoodwink an unsuspecting Family History Consultant into doing it all for you — (but the Lord will bless you more if you do it yourself).

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Which option do we recommend?

IF you just want to get your basic family history information into the system so the temple work can get done — then choose Option 1.

IF you’re a little more serious about it and want more flexibility — then choose Option 2.  This is a “best of both worlds” option; but it is a little more complicated.  Should you choose Option 2, here’s help on deciding which Family History Software Program to use.

IF you’re a complete flake — then choose Option 3.

Just remember, it’s your family history, so it’s your choice.

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BELOW in the “Extra Stuff” Is An Overview On:
Which Family History Software Program Should You Choose?

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Step 2e.  Set Up Your Family History Binder

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There are three main family history software programs to choose from.  They all have a free version (which syncs with FamilyTree) and a deluxe version (which does more and costs a few bucks).

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A family history software program helps you organize your records on your home computer.

It lets you record all the same basic information that Family Tree does — and gives you the added benefit of full pedigree charts (Family Tree only prints a single page 4-generation pedigree chart), book formats and publishing, color coding, wallcharts, ancestor and descendant lists, online publishing, and more!

Plus, no one can get in and mess up your family history.

GetStarted-3EnterD.

Here’s the list of certified software that works with Family Tree:

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These are the three main software programs that sync beautifully with Family Tree.

Each one is excellent.  And they each have a free version (plus a deluxe version with lots of great extra features that you pay for).  The easiest way to decide is to go to their websites and look at the screen shots that show what they look like — or, better yet, download their free versions and give them a test drive!

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Ancestral QuestSoftware-AncestralQuest2

  • Windows-based
  • Syncs with Family Tree
  • Free Download
  • From their Website: Ancestral Quest is the easy-to-use, full-featured family tree program which received the “Most Comprehensive Syncing” award from Family Tree. PAF was created from an earlier version of AQ, so PAF users will feel right at home using the screens, reports, and other functions. AQ includes an Ordinance Reservation and Tracking System, which helps users keep their personal data in sync with temple records. Ancestral Quest is the ideal program to help you organize your family tree.

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Legacy Family TreeSoftware-Legacy2

  • Windows-based
  • Syncs with Family Tree
  • Free Download
  • From their Website: Legacy Family Tree is the free genealogy software to organize, research, and publish your family’s tree. Use Legacy to print maps, get research suggestions, collaborate with other family members, cite your sources, publish books and shareable CDs and much more. Legacy makes it easy to work with Family Tree and will measure your progress against the goals you set for temple work and more. Easily import from PAF and other programs. Get started today by downloading Legacy for free.

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RootsMagicSoftware-RootsMagic2

  • Windows-based
  • Syncs with Family Tree
  • Free Download
  • From their Website: Winner of the Family Tree award for “Easiest to Sync”, RootsMagic genealogy software makes working with Family Tree a breeze, including reserving ordinances and creating temple trips. Import directly from PAF, Family Tree, and other programs. Take advantage of other features like running RootsMagic directly from a USB drive, SourceWizard, integrated web search, and much more. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced genealogist, RootsMagic makes family history easy.

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What about Mac Users?

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Mac users, you have two choices:

1.  You can use any of the above three programs on your Mac by using a PC emulator such as Parallels or VMware Fusion.  They each work fine.

2.  Or, use MacFamilyTree — it’s presently the only Mac program that syncs with Family Tree.  It’s not free, but you can download a demo that lets you play with it.

MacFamilyTree

  • Mac-based
  • Syncs with Family Tree (but doesn’t sync with temple work)
  • Demo Download
  • From their Website: MacFamilyTree is modern, interactive, incredibly fast and easy to use. It comes with countless features to record and visualize your family history — use it to create reports, charts or nifty 3D views within our Virtual Tree feature. Synchronize your data via iCloud, create web pages or back your research with the help of the gigantic FamilySearch database. On the go? No problem!  MacFamilyTree’s iCloud feature automatically synchronizes the data on your Mac with your mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

For a comparison of all the top Mac family history software (even though most don’t sync with Family Tree), visit this site.

What about Mobile Apps?

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Want to sync with your phone, iPod or iPad?

1.  Visit the websites of the software programs shown above to determine if they’ll sync with your particular mobile device.  You can also visit the FamilySearch software partner site (click on “Mobile” in the navigation on the left side of the page).

2.  Or, use MobileFamilyTree — it’s a mobile program that syncs iOS devices with Family Tree.

MobileFamilyTreeSoftware-MobileFamilyTree

  • iOS-based
  • Syncs with Family Tree (but doesn’t sync with temple work)
  • Product Info
  • From their Website: MobileFamilyTree 7 is the first full-featured mobile genealogy app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It comes with all the features you’d expect from a modern genealogy application, provides you with everything you need for genealogical research and works like a charm – without a Mac or PC! Exchange GEDCOM files with other genealogists share your family tree by e-mail or synchronize your data with other iOS devices or Macs using iCloud. MobileFamilyTree 7 is based on the same architecture as MacFamilyTree 7 and offers all charts and reports available in MacFamilyTree, making it the only mobile app of its kind and therefore unrivaled!

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Okay, now let’s move on!

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Step 2d.  Set Up Your Family History Binder

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