My tree is private, but when I do make a connection to a known cousin, I share my tree with them and I assign them as a “guest” which gives them the right to view the tree and to save items from my tree directly to their tree. I have also found it very convenient to view my matches’ trees and to copy their lines directly into my tree. Unfortunately, because I still maintain my most up to date information on my desktop, I then also have to copy information from their trees into my desktop application as well.
The discontinuity between my online tree and my desktop tree hasn’t really been an issue until now - since I’ve taken the DNA test - and I’ve had to rely more heavily on my genealogy database / family tree. This has really made me start thinking on how I can make the process of collaborating and determining kinship with my matches more streamlined.
Last month I read Randy Seaver’s blog posts about his beta user experience with Family Tree Maker 2012 which has the new “Tree Sync” feature between the desktop application and the online tree. I have to admit, this feature is very appealing to me. However, I do have my reservations.
2. Sources created in online tree stay in a free-form like or general format. Sources created using the Evidence! Explained templates in FTM 2012 will show up in the online tree, but cannot be edited in the online tree. The only sources that can be edited in the online tree are the ones created as free-form. (From Randy Seaver’s Notes Post)
This 2nd point is a biggie for me. If I cannot access my desktop application, then I will access the online version. And half of my tree editing is done via the source citation process. My long term goal is to become a professional genealogist and in order to achieve that I have to practice writing correct source citations every chance I get, including while I’m using my genealogy software. It doesn’t seem like I can do that with this software or online version of Ancestry.com trees and this is a limiting factor for me.
So what is the trade off?
I switched from FTM to Rootsmagic a couple of years ago. My number one reason was RootsMagic On-The-Go. Simply said I can take it anywhere with me on my flash drive. I don’t have to have the program installed on any machine to access my files. I actually have it installed in dropbox and I can open it anywhere. I love this feature. And the file is so much smaller than FTM which means it opens up on a dime. (And no, I don’t have any media attached to my file).
I also switched to Rootsmagic because I thought the sourcing features would work better and I liked the reports. However, I am on the fence about these two things and could be happy with either FTM or RM in this regards.
So again, I ask, what is the tradeoff? It’s not that I want to be able to access my tree anywhere I go. If that were the case, I would just use an application on my android. I want to be able to fully use my application, including writing proper source citations.
What do you think? What is more important to you?