FTM 2017 or Rootsmagic, or none?

+3 votes
200 views
I've been reading & watching videos for days and am not finding an answer to this ... Not "which is better" but "which is better for the following..."

I'm an Ancestry.com user reasonably pleased with it, for the past 18 months.

The reason I'm considering desktop software is:

- Can you say "ADDICTED" ? (to the hobby)

- Complement Ancestry.com

- ***Most importantly*** I'm going to see my grandmother in a few weeks and it was hard sharing with her last year with just my iPad and the Ancestry website.  I'd like to gather notes & documents from her, photos, etc, without making them public on Ancestry.  I'd like a software program that helps make a book (in FTM it seems you have to buy a plug-in?  Can you get a rudimentary book out of it without?).  My Microsoft Word / etc skills are advanced but it'd be nice if it was a one-click thing.  

- It'd be nice if I could leave my grandmother with a copy of the software and access (through my Ancestry.com account) to research.  It'd need to be fairly hassle free for her to use it.  

- I like the idea of adding multimedia to the tree but that's not a huge thing.

- I'd prefer to just buy software once, and have it be something that supports me in being a better genealogist learning to use more resources besides Ancestry.com and Google.

- I'm happy to pay more for something that makes it easier.  I'm a single working mom with a small child and while I'm pretty good working intuitively, I don't have time

- I'd like it to not require dozens of steps to do things that are important (for instance I read that merging duplicate people can be hard on one - but is it really if it's syncing?)

- Being able to automatically sync my tree with other websites would help me collaborate with other researchers despite not having a million years to maintain the separate trees (I *am* working on my GEDCOM upload here, really I am, but WHEW!)

- Any ideas at all that help me share my work with my grandmother without her buying memberships or having an aggravating interface are appreciated. And she's really going to want a book.

- On the book thing again:  All 4 of my grandparents are living, and I kind of want to print out a book single-sided and ask them over the next few years to flip through and add handwritten notes in the blank sheet facing each page, of what they remember.  Then these books will become source documents themselves, in a way!   But I'd need to do this in the next 2 weeks.  

Thank you!
in The Tree House by T W G2G1 (1.5k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

I personally prefer Rootsmagic over FTM. That being said I haven't tried the new MacKiev version. Rootsmagic has a built in wordpad in it where you can write notes and it will upload it directly to ancestry.com (if you so choose). I think the formatting is always pretty bad though on ancestry in the little notes section. Rootsmagic is a pretty cheap all around good, full featured genealogy program. The only other software program that can beat it is Legacy Family Tree. It even has an integrated Stories word program on top of a research, medical, and notepad. It's a little harder to use but it has way more features in my opinion. You can download both Rootsmagic and Legacy for free and try them to see what you like best and they are both under $30 too.. unlike McKiev smiley

P.S. Legacy prints out wonderful books, reports and even questions you can ask your grandma.

by Danelle Freed G2G2 (2.1k points)
Thank you!

Does it help you make books?  I won’t be buying anything just now if it didn’t; I’d put the money instead into a book off of Ancestry and do software later.

And how about collaborating with another person sharing my Ancestey.com account?
Yeah Legacy Family Tree can make books, as long as you have a printer. It's all included in the software in the reports menu. They have a section called books and then they have a section of interview questions for every member of the family and then some.
Legacy can export gedcoms which can be uploaded to ancestry and vice versa. Rootsmagic is truly integrated to ancestry just like FTM was.
I think both Legacy and Rootsmagic still have free versions you can download and see which one you like best.  The free versions don't have all the good features but you should be able to get a feel for how they handle the basics.

Both of them have really good inbuilt sourcing templates, which I particularly like, and also run online seminars and videos.
Sorry I didn't read Danelle's original answer in full.

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