GRAMPS review and decision #1

Using GRAMPS as a primary management, storage and presentation tool for our genealogical data came about slowly.

As many of you may recall, I tried and still use numerous family databases such as TNG, RootsMagic etc.  However, moving genealogical data back and forth across three or four tools before placing it in a single secure location took a lot of extra time.  As luck would have it, I have need to create both hard copy and on-line versions of a branch of our family tree this week.  All weekend I was moving data around, sourcing new information, merging old files and images.  Doing all this in one place is a lot of work; doing it in three or four was just too much. I had to stabilize my tool-set and simplify my work load.  I choose to move things into GRAMPS version 3.1.2.

Here are my primary reasons for choosing GRAMPS:

  1. Media Management, especially photos, is superb.  The whole process of adding an image and having it be associated with an Event, Person, etc. is very straight forward and easy to do.
  2. Event sharing. I truly prefer the way GRAMPS allows for the sharing of a single event artifact and related media across numerous persons.  Like you, we have a significant amount of Census data and images to share across whole families- some folks had a LOT of kids! This tool-set makes that easy and direct.  It also greatly reduces the amount of storage space you consume; not to mention reducing the entire image and document caching load.
  3. Backup are simple and complete.  GRAMPS seems to offer the most powerful and complete back-up process around.  It allows for a quick AND complete backup of all your data, including external media files.  My 60MB GRAMPS database backs up in under 60 seconds.
  4. Automatic text document creation is powerful and direct. GRAMPS offers a host of output options.  They offer ‘fair’ web output and excellent hard copy output.  Since I most often require printable medium, this arrangement works fine for me.
  5. Standard but peculiar interface.  Most maintenance functions have the same look & feel ie. event, person, source, place, etc. Once you get the hang of the style, it is simple to move around the system and get things done quickly.
  6. Oh and did I mention, GRAMPS is free. I love open-source tools!

I’ll follow this posting with additional insights and observations regarding the GRAMPS tool-set. I will include both pros & cons.  Until next time…