Does this sound like you?

  • You never have enough time for genealogy...
  • You always seem to get interrupted before finishing...
  • When you have some genealogy time, you fumble around deciding what to do...

then the Occasional Genealogist Planner + Digital Dashboard is for you!

YES! I need the Planner + Dashboard

What if there was a way to pick a productive and helpful genealogy task no matter if you have a little free time or a lot?

That’s exactly why I created The Occasional Genealogist Planner. I got tired of finally having a little bit of free time for genealogy. Then wasting it hunting for the project I wanted to work on... because I usually didn't know which project until I spent most of my time reviewing all my options.

Even if I knew what project, I usually didn't have time to do the great research I wanted to do. I knew I'd be interrupted. I'd have to repeat that research again to complete my thoughts.

Surely there was something easy, like a to-do list, so I could quickly pick the project and task that interested me and fit my available time.

The Occasional Genealogist Planner + Digital Dashboard is my easy solution to keep all your ideas organized so you can get to work on something helpful and interesting, no matter if you've got minutes or hours.

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Finally get it together and do the great genealogy you want to do!

What if you had a simple to-do list to choose from when you were ready to do genealogy?

What if that list could also organize the not-so-simple facets of your family history work?

With The Occasional Genealogist Planner + Digital Dashboard, you’ll find the inspiration for what to do, along with the organization to make sure it keeps your family tree growing.

What's a Digital Dashboard?

A dashboard provides information at a glance.

Your genealogy dashboard gives you one place to see what you need right then.

  • See and link to projects you're most interested in working on.
  • See and organize tasks you've already identified as needing to be done.
  • See and track sources you need to learn more about.
  • And more!
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The Occasional Genealogist Planner Dashboard is a place to find all the bits and pieces you'd put in a planner, like to-do lists. It comes preloaded with a variety of templates and lists to help you do great genealogy.

Most importantly, you can customize your Dashboard to include what you need the most. There are even links to videos to show you how to duplicate and link the content you need.

Your Digital Dashboard is the first place you stop when you have some time for genealogy. From it you'll be able to quickly go to whatever activity fits your time and current interest.

What's included with the Planner + Dashboard?

The PDF Planner file: textual information and printable forms.

The Digital Dashboard(Google Sheets): lists and links to everything else you need. Complete details on what the Dashboard includes are below.

Between the Planner and Dashboard you have templates and how-to information to help you keep your genealogy tasks organized.

How Will This Help?

One of the struggles Occasional Genealogists face is research isn't always your best option when you're short on time. Occasional Genealogists are always short on time!

Occasional Genealogists need to do more "tasks." Tasks are genealogy work that is not researching following the research process.

  • Tasks can be non-research that helps you follow the research process, like learning how to get a source for a research plan you've created.
  • Tasks can also be non-research, like filing notes for future reference.
  • Tasks are sometimes a type of research, such as finding all the census records for one person. This doesn't require you go through the entire research process or create a research plan. You still need to be organized! That's where the Planner + Dashboard comes in.

Tasks are a great activity for Occasional Genealogists because they usually can be completed in multiple short sessions. Tasks need to be done so doing them in short amounts of time lets you save your longer sessions for research that requires more focus. Tasks are also how you have your research ready to go when you have time.

The Planner + Dashboard is designed to help you organize the mix of tasks and research every genealogist has to do.

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Does this sound familiar...

You never have enough time for your genealogy. You waste time trying to find what you need when you're ready to research.

You get interrupted once you are researching, and then you just end up having to repeat it all, making little progress for the amount of time you're spending.

  • Imagine if you knew exactly where to go to find whatever you needed when it was time to do genealogy.
  • Could you save minutes or even hours which would become not just productive but fun genealogy work?
  • Imagine if you had plenty of pre-chosen, customized options for what to do.
  • You wouldn't just hop around the same genealogy website hoping you'd find something new.
  • You wouldn't be working on the same project again, simply because you couldn't remember what project you had thought of last month.

You'd be able to choose activities besides just research which would lead to better research results. You'd be able to find something that fit what you wanted to do right then.

The Occasional Genealogist Planner + Digital Dashboard can make it all possible. You'll find inspiration plus organization and that leads to success (and fun!).

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Hi, I'm Jennifer!

I've been a genealogist since 1989 and a professional genealogist since 2005. But I'm also an extreme Occasional Genealogist. Although I often get to do genealogy, other people’s, I rarely get to work on my own projects.

I created The Occasional Genealogist blog to help other genealogists like me. Occasional Genealogists have to adjust the traditional genealogy techniques---designed for retirees with too much free time---to fit limited free time.

After my kids got older and were doing activities, the techniques I developed and taught on the blog weren’t enough. I had even less free time.

I realized there were always plenty of options for “what to do” no matter how short my genealogy time. The problem was keeping ideas, especially those not related to a research plan, organized and easily available.

That’s how The Occasional Genealogist Planner was born.

The first edition came out in 2017 as a printable PDF planner. Since then most of us have become comfortable using technology so it was time to add a digital option, but not just a “digital planner.”

The Digital Dashboard is now the centerpiece of the Planner. It gives you a one-stop shop when you’re ready to do genealogy. Instead of having to find the page in a Planner, you’ll start in the Dashboard and click the link to go where you want. The Dashboard even includes instructions so you can expand the Dashboard with more tabs and links to fit your needs.

The Occasional Genealogist Planner + Digital Dashboard is designed to be the place you start when you’re ready to do some genealogy. Yes, it’ll probably take you more than one click. If you’re like me, what you’ve been doing up to now is the digital equivalent of thumbing through your work. You try to remember what you want to do by (hopefully) coming across what you need.

No more!

Go to the Dashboard, decide if you want to look at a list of projects or a list of to-dos. Then get working!

What Kind of Templates and Lists?

The Planner + Dashboard is a time and activity organizing system (versus a filing system that is for in-active material).

  • The Planner + Dashboard includes templates, lists, and how-to information related to breaking genealogy up into activities you can fit to your available time and interests.
  • Templates are things like a note-taking template, a budget template, etc.
  • Lists are any "to-do" type information or actual lists. Lists are short amounts of text versus a template you fill in with sentences or paragraphs.
  • Some lists are complete and ready to go, like our "Generic Research Project To-do List."
  • Others are list templates ready for you to add your own items. All the digital lists are designed so you can customize them.

The templates come in a variety of formats based on what they are. Not every template comes in all these formats but we've tried to include options when appropriate. The formats include:

  • printable PDFs you can fill in by hand
  • printable Google Sheets, so you can print a list after typing it
  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets

Docs and Sheets can be downloaded to a different word processing or spreadsheet program of your choice. Docs and Sheets templates and lists are meant to be used digitally.

The Digital Dashboard also acts as a central organizing location. It includes links to all the digital templates (plus it tells you which templates are included as PDFs in the Planner). The Dashboard includes links to the how-to videos and step-by-step guides.

What's in the Dashboard?

  • Video on using the Dashboard
  • How-to videos or "step-by-step" for how to use Google Sheets.
  • Monthly Focus Worksheet
  • Project Idea List
  • General To-do List
  • Project Definition Worksheet
  • Generic Research To-do List
  • Source Idea (brainstorming) Worksheet
  • Initial Planning Template
  • Budget Template
  • Education Plan Template
  • Research Notes Template

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have to buy/learn fancy software for the Dashboard to work for me?

No, the Dashboard is in Google Sheets. You can get a more detailed answer by clicking here.

How will I know how to use the Dashboard?

The Dashboard includes videos and tutorials to guide you.

If the Dashboard is the "centerpiece," what’s the point of a PDF planner?

The two pieces provide different functions. Get a detailed answer by clicking here.

What do I get?

This is a completely digital product. You will receive an email with links to your products, see the specifics, here. Exactly what's included in the Dashboard is listed here.

How’s the Dashboard different from my genealogy software that has task lists?

The Dashboard is very different from genealogy software. Get a detailed answer by clicking here.

I prefer pencil and paper, is it worth buying the Planner+Dashboard just for the printable portions?

This isn't a question we can answer for you. The main value of the Planner + Dashboard is its ability to digitally organize via the Dashboard. If you don't use the Dashboard, you are getting a printable planner, suggestions for genealogy tasks, plus printable templates.

Many printable planners or collections of templates sell for similar prices.

It is up to you to decide if the cost is worth the features you will use.

If you still have questions we didn't answer somewhere on this page, click the button below to send us your question.

Have a question?

Who is the Planner + Dashboard for?

New genealogists.

Experienced genealogists.

Genealogists short on time.

Genealogists with plenty of time.

If you're a genealogist that likes using the computer and could use help better using your time and being organized, the Planner + Dashboard is for you.

How does this work?

1. After you complete your purchase you’ll receive several emails including one with your links. These are for the getting started video, the PDF Planner, and the Dashboard.

Start by watching the video, it’s short!

Please check your spam folder if you don't see your email with the links. Email us at support at the occasionalgenealogist dot com if you don't receive your email within 20 minutes of making your purchase.

2. Next, decide where you want to save the Planner file and Dashboard.

This is important!

Not knowing where to find your files means you aren’t organized. You have to perform this first organization step and then the Planner and Dashboard can help you organize everything else.

3. Once you know where you’ll save your files, save them and then get started (the video provides help on deciding what you’ll want to do first!)

That’s all you have to do to get started.

Once you start, you’ll find more help to guide you from the Planner and Dashboard, as you need it.

Imagine where you could be one month from now.

When you have time for genealogy, you know where to start. You'll have choices for what to do instead of doing the same thing and getting the same (lack of) results.

If you keep starting with the Dashboard, updating and customizing it for you, it'll keep getting better.

Imagine where you could be in a year.

Could you bust that brick wall? Many genealogists need to get organized and learn a few things, not just keep researching. But keeping up with everything can be the challenge. Your Dashboard gives you a place you know to look. Once you know what to do, not just what research to try, what could you accomplish?

  • Could you finally start writing that family history?
  • Will you have planned the family reunion?
  • Has your dream genealogy vacation finally become reality?

Inspiration + organization can equal success for whatever genealogy goal you have.

The Planner + Dashboard is ready to get you started today!

The Occasional Genealogist

Planner + Digital Dashboard

inspiration + organization = success

With The Occasional Genealogist Planner + Dashboard, you're getting a place to keep you organized but you're also getting the inspiration to break genealogy into activities that fit your limited time.

  • PDF Planner with printable templates, worksheets, and how-to information.
  • Digital Dashboard with digital templates, lists, and videos.
  • Inspiration for what kinds of tasks you need to do.
  • Organization to find all your genealogy lists.

The Planner is flexible to allow you to follow your personal interests. It includes suggestions of what to do and how to break it into little bits to fit the time you have available, no matter how much time that is.