I receive many requests for assistance from friends and conference goers on choosing genealogy software. If you have been researching your family for years or just a few months, consider installing this genealogy helper. Not only can the software assist in staying organized and keeping track of your family finds, it can help you share genealogy with fellow researchers and the family.
Genealogy software programs come in varying user levels and with different bells and whistles. Choosing one that fits your comfort level and needs is easier than ever. Most companies offer trial versions for previewing before you invest. Two popular programs you may have heard of are Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic.
Family Tree Maker by Ancestry.com is very popular and contains many bells and whistles to get your family materials organized and ready for sharing. Many fellow genealogists love its interface and annual updating of features. New this year is Family Tree Maker for Mac. I have experienced through assisting others that some beginning users with computer knowledge challenges may find the program difficult. Ancestry offers free tutorials and webinars to assist the user learning as well as a guidebook for purchase. Family Tree Maker retails for $39.95 and is currently on sale now for $31.96. the Mac version retails for $69.95 and on sale for $55.96. Upgrades are regular retail price and on sale now for $27.97.
RootsMagic 4 by RootsMagic, Inc. is popular for its simple interface without a loss of features. One of my favorite features is a built in browser that allows you to surf online websites without closing or shrinking the software window. Its great for the beginning user to the professional. With its short learning curve I feel it functions well for those with computer knowledge challenges. Perhaps that’s why RootsMagic remains my genealogy software of choice and have been a fan of this program since its humble beginnings from Family Origins. They offer free tutorials and webinars to assist the user learning. A guide book is also available for purchase. It retails for $29.95. Small updates to the program are offered free of charge. An upgrade from previous versions is $19.95.
There are many additional software choices and Cyndi’s List has a long list of those options.
For the rundown on software features and their pros and cons for users, instead of comparing here, I’ve noted a few links to previous reviews:
And just as I write this blog, one of the many bloggers I like to follow is Amy Coffin, MLIS and her blog We Tree Genealogy Blog. Amy is currently hosting a contest drawing for a copy of RootsMagic 4 and the book Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 4. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her blog as well as a chance to win through March 2nd.
As new programs are announced, I give them a spin. But seeing how I have continued with RootsMagic, I believe I have found the program that works for my family history gathering needs.
How about you?
Keep looking for those lost leaves!