Friday, November 18, 2011

My Morning Tech Routine

Jill Ball over at Geniaus asked "What's Your Morning Tech Routine?"  I've had such a fun time reading the responses from Randy Seaver, Caroline Pointer, Joan Miller and many others. I even learned a few things too.  While I don't think I have the "techiest" routine I thought I would go ahead and share mine.

I typically get up early, before the sun is up.  I like the chance to get the day started before the rest of my boisterous house wakes up.  I am not one to check social media while still in bed.  I head downstairs and fire up the laptop. With one fell swoop I start Outlook, Facebook (on Chrome), Google+ (on Firefox) and Twitter (on TweetDeck).  My browsers default to Facebook and Google+ as their start page.

While my computer is loading everything I shuffle off to the kitchen to prepare a cup of hot tea.  Before I have my tea in hand and before my computer is ready I sometimes take a peek at the alerts on my Android smart phone.  I feel that this is somewhat cheating because I am going to see everything soon on my laptop anyway. However, this does tend to impact what I look at first on the laptop.

Typically I check my email first.  You never know when a request might come through for a talk or someone has a too-good-to-resist proposal or suggestion.  Then I head over to social media.  I like to see if there have been any responses to my posts and to see what is flying across the genealogical community.

On Facebook I have several lists setup - one for local colleagues and one for family.  I try to be sure to check those so I don't miss the posts of people who are less active on Facebook.  My connections on Google+ are more eclectic and I enjoy switching over there to see the latest from the photographers and hear the suggestions and thoughts of writers and genealogists.

And then there's Twitter.  I am addicted to Twitter so I actually try to steer clear of it as much as possible.  The rapid fire conversations and sharing of information is just my pace.  It's so diverse over there too.  You can connect with many different types of people on many different topics. I try to only get sucked in about one morning a week.  When I am disciplined I review the latest articles being shared in genealogy and preservation and then move on.  My favorite person to follow is Deb Ruth because she tweets some of the best genealogy news stories.  Others I like to catch include Caroline Pointer who is a powerhouse of activity on twitter and Lynn Palermo who always has great original content. Of course, there are loads of great people on twitter and I follow many more than just these folks. Sometimes I also spend the time to check out the latest Boston news.

By this time I am well into enjoying my hot cup of tea.  I might even be moving on to my second cuppa.  After reviewing social media I turn to my blogs.  I check out my blog stats from the previous day paying close attention to the search keywords and phrases that people use to get to my blog.  Sometimes I will see a trend in the phrases and will then write on the topic that is being requested.  In my head I am outlining my next blog posts.  If I am on the ball I start a quick post, jotting down the title and main idea so I don't forget the idea later.  That has been known to happen and it always frustrates me when I forget a good idea.

After that I try, though don't always succeed, at prioritizing my to-do list for the day. Because the activities I do are so varied, such as preparing lectures, doing research, updating my website, networking on social media, publicity for conferences, writing, blogging, etc it really helps to write it down and focus on what I really need to get done.  I am deadline driven and anything with a deadline gets done first.

My morning routine is now complete and I brace myself for the running, yelling, dancing, singing, last-minute-homework scramble and general choas that will take over the next two hours of my day.

What's your morning tech routine like? Does it look anything like mine?  Probably not!


  1. I like your routine of checking out the search key words and phrases that people use to get to your blog. It seems like a great way to produce content that your readers are looking for.

  2. I like how you use different browsers set with different homepages. I am going to do this now! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Marian,

    Thanks for responding to my question. I admire anyone who is so disciplined to get up with the birds.

    It's interesting to see how you use the different browsers. I use three but one for each of my Google acciunts. Chrome for the main and Ff and IE for the other two.

    I'll add your link to the list of responses.


  4. Marian,

    Love the keyword suggestions! You pack quite a bit into your morning.

    Thanks so much for the mention! Glad you enjoy the posts I discover during my morning routine. You could say I'm addicted to history & genealogy. Keeps me off the streets.

    Love reading your blog!