Rootstech: The Aftermath

Rootstech: The Aftermath

Rootstech 2013: Valerie Elkins

Rootstech is over, but since I was just a wee bit busy during the conference and had no spare moments to post, I want to share some of my highlights and to clear up a few things.

First, in my live-streamed presentation, “From Paper Piles to Digital Files: Technology for the Disorganized Genealogist,” none of the messy offices were actually mine.

I think it is hilarious that people were questioning my daughter about that, so while no they weren’t my office, they sure felt that way. The amount of “stuff” I was holding onto, had reached critical mass and it was time to tackle the beast. When things are not labeled, searchable or retrievable it makes me a bit crazy. While my house is organized, the inability to keep my office in order was what pushed me to research a better way to keep track of it all and become “genOrganized”.

Highlights at Rootstech for me, were meeting some awesome people – people whose lives and careers I have followed for a long time. Yes, I could do some name dropping; yes, they are very well known, but meeting them was just a treat for me personally – a real “WOW” moment. So, getting to meet them isn’t something I will just brag about, but something I will tuck into my heart and smile with the memory.

So if you didn’t come to Rootstech this year, come next year. You never know who you will meet!

Another special highlight, was seeing so many in the genealogy community finally talking about the power of our stories. When I became a Board Member for Story@Home, (well over a year ago), a lot of people weren’t getting it. To see the light bulbs finally go on, was really, really exciting. I hope more get the message, that our stories are how most of us began our interest in family history and our stories, connected to our research are what will carry them further.

My takeaways from Rootstech 2013:

  • Very impressed with Jyl Pattee’s keynote video presentation. I want to look into ReelGenie as a means to helping me tell my family stories better. Mark my words, this company is one to watch!
  • Skill levels vary greatly at Rootstech. Never assume.
  • Kind words mean a lot to a frazzled presenter and will be remembered.

I’ve been at every Rootstech. Each year has gotten better. Look forward to next years!


  1. I learned so much from your “From Paper Piles to Digital Files” presentation. My office doesn’t look like the photos either but at times it feels like it. I am trying to get genOrganized. Too many years of just collecting and not organizing makes it a bit overwhelming. My WOW moment was your sharing Evernote and Onenote. Thank you!

    • Thank you so very much! Evernote and OneNote are seriously 2 programs that every genealogist should use. Really helped me to find, save, share and retrieve! Would never give them up!

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