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Pam McAuliffe

New to TMG, looking for some guidance and maybe a slap upside the head :)

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After much research, I have made the move to TMG. Have used a variety of software over the years, including Roots. I am running XP and currently have my data in FTM 2010. I exported that data into FTM 2008/09 format and then imported that format into TMG. The import made it across fairly well. Sources and citations seem to be in place (details aren't in the right location, but that's part of clean up right?). The one problem area was expected, places. Data came through fine for counties and states, and the description field in FTM ended up in the address field in TMG, which was perfect. Cities, however, didn't import. I checked the Master Place List to see if they just needed moving over a field, but they're not there. I'm not worried about this particular import yet, as I have labeled it a test data, but if anyone has any ideas as to a fix, I am listening! Media links also didn't make it to TMG, but that was my fault as I have been reorganizing my digital media and moving it around. I will probably fix all the broken links in FTM before I import the data again.


Now here is where I need some guidance. I have read the forums, spent hours reading the TMG-List, watched the video many times, d/led the User's guide and have been reading and trying things in my test data. Managed to marry myself to my husband's ex-wife even.....and fixed it. I have SO many good ideas about how to start using this that I am feeling overwhelmed at the prospect.....Flags for marking each individual cleaned up from the import (data set is only 1200 people), flags for marking the exhibits linked with some kind of reference number system for organization (that's on my list to do too)....flags created for extended family members so I can use accents in the charts I want to create, cleaning up the Master sources, citation details....figuring out custom windows to make each of these tasks easier....not to mention I have three new cartons of documents and photos stacked all over my office that I haven't had the joy of going through yet because I anticipated this move and wanted to wait until it was done before I entered any more data. (I've probably had WAY too much coffee today...sorry!).


I realize now that I can't do it all at once and I figure there must be someone here that's been through this before and would have ideas for a plan of attack in "bite size pieces." I will create the above mentioned flags right away so that I can catch some of those as I work through the cleanup. Any advice you have about how you went about doing this I would love to hear. I promise I will stay away from the TMG-List for a while so new ideas don't complicate this.



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First, welcome to TMG!


Second, I was in the exact same boat a couple of years ago. The advice I got from Teresa Elliott on the TMG list was: STOP. BREATHE. It was good advice as it is easy to get overwhelmed with ideas, plans, questions, etc. We have all been there.


I don't know whether you are familiar with Terry Reigel's TMG Tips website. He has an article about importing and cleaning up data imports that I followed when I did my FTM import. http://tmg.reigelridge.com/Importing.htm I'd say, jump in and go to it.


I would also say that I have found that I am constantly refining my approaches on various things as I get more experience with TMG, learn more from the list, and run across new problems in my research. From reading the TMG list, I think this is the case even with the most experienced users.


Most important of all ... HAVE FUN. Genealogy is a great hobby and you've picked a top-notch tool in TMG.



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Welcome, Pam,


From your post it sounds like you have already done a lot of research into TMG. I like and agree with the quote of Teresa's advice :lol:. Beyond the research you have already done, I suggest the following for getting started:

  • Create a single "Edited" Flag for all the people in your newly imported database with (at least) four possible values: N (for the default of No), P (for partially done), W (for people you are currently working on), and Y (for Yes, I have done 'enough' for right now on this person). Then set Accent colors based on this Flag.
  • Keep notes of the choices, decisions, and customizations you pick for your use of TMG, and be sure to include your own reasoning for why you decided what you did. You will value those notes later.
  • Create a small project used solely for testing and trying various options and choices before you implement them in your production database
  • Backup frequently so that you can always "undo" a choice
  • Next to last, JUST DO IT! Plunge in and try it. Yes, you will change your mind on some things later, but don't worry about that now. Get going, because the best way to learn TMG is to use it.
  • Finally, and most important, feel free to post questions on both the TMG-L e-mail list and this Forum. The list is run by users for users, and will often have lots of customization suggestions. Ideas flow fast and free there. This Forum is officially supported by WhollyGenes and run by volunteer users, and often is the place to report problems, but we are also happy to make suggestions and answer questions. But it is usually best to pick one or the other place to post a question and not both, since many of the volunteers and users monitor and reply on both.

Once again, welcome aboard.

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Jane...Thank you for the reminder to breathe....a good night's sleep and a deep breath did wonders. I should have listed Terry's Tips as one of the resources I had been reading up on. I thought I had read what he wrote on importing from FTM, but if I had, I was on brain overload. Thank you for sending me back there....if I had retained what I read I might not have felt so overwhelmed. He has a great checklist for starting clean up of the import.


Michael....I must have retained something of Terry's Tips on importing, I had set a flag for cleanup...but your suggestion to have a W=working on was something I hadn't considered and setting the accents for editing is a godsend!


I am going to slow it down, work on learning the aspects of TMG that I want to use right away and then build on that knowledge base as I need it.


I know this won't be my last post here. Thank you both for the warm welcome and the great advice.


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