It’s April, time for the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt—except this year I’m not going because last year those big boys beat my little daughter to all the eggs, and all she got was a smashed piece of chocolate that had been stomped on by someone with muddy shoes.
Actually, I just made that up, but that’s sort of how it feels as a new indexer to go to the Download Batch screen and not find a beginner project to work on.
More than 4,000 new indexers sign up each week. Their decision to continue depends a lot on their first few indexing experiences. FamilySearch tries to keep a supply of easier projects in stock, but they disappear quickly when experienced indexers gobble them up. I’ll admit those typewritten London Register of Electors projects from last fall were really fun because they were so easy to do, but was that really the best use of my talent and experience?
That’s why I’m making a goal to try some of the more challenging projects. I may not be ready for a lot of the ones that are marked “Advanced,” but I know I can do many of the projects in the “Intermediate” category. Obituaries are especially attractive intermediate projects. They’re almost all typewritten—it’s just the unique rules that make them a bit tricky. Once the rules are internalized, these projects can be really interesting. After all, they’re the stories of people’s lives.
So if you’ve been an indexer for a while, and you’re still doing only beginner projects, join me in a pledge to leave the easy stuff for the newcomers. Try some intermediate projects, such as obituaries, to show you’ve got what it takes to tackle the tougher jobs. And when you’ve mastered the intermediates, try your hand at some “Advanced” projects. You can always send them back, so what’s the harm in trying?
One tip: If your preferences are set to show only beginner projects when you open the Download Batch screen, you can change them temporarily by selecting Show all projects at the top of the screen. If you want to change this view permanently:
- On the Download Batch screen, click the blue Edit My Preferences link.
- Under “Project Difficulty Level,” click All Levels.
- Click Save.
The next time you go to download a batch, you will see a much broader array of available projects to work on. Challenge yourself, and try an intermediate project today!