Are there any free to use (and modify) Excel templates for modeling game economies and leveling?
Mitch Zamara, Senior Game Designer at Storm8, is writing a blog series on Excel in game design with downloadable examples. Check out his first post Spreadsheet Functions for Game Designers – Part 1 and watch for more updates on his site MitchZamara.com.
What is the best way to research your family tree?
Most families have an odd aunt who keeps track of the family tree. I can't speak to the accuracy and thoroughness of her work, but I've almost never had to start from scratch. The first thing a researcher would do is to interview elderly family members, and they'll know who, if anyone, has some group sheets. What I like to do for beginners is to make "My Little Tree." You take yourself, your parents, your grandparents, and their parents. That's 15 people, 7 marriages, 15 birth dates and places, some death dates and places. Fill it out. Give yourself one point for each thing you "know." Every Name, Place, Date is a point. I knew a lady that, speaking from memory, made an 85. Most people don't make 50. I agree with Alan Moll - you can find information online but you should approach it skeptically. If you are from the US, you can probably find your family in the 1940 census, and work your way back to 1850 pretty easily. By then, you'll either be hooked or burned out. Remember this before you start. Everybody who is partly English is probably related to EVERYONE who lived in England during the Battle of Hastings (1066). Everybody has queens and castles back up the line. What you really want to find, to stand out and feel special, is a horse thief. Have fun!
What tools are useful for making filling out/visualizing/showing a family tree given already having all the family tree information?
There's not quite enough information to answer your question. There are a number of family tree computer programs which produce nice pedigree charts, family group sheets, descendant charts and so on. However, if you mean a tree-looking shape with names written on it that's suitable for framing, then the answer is different. You can buy those and carefully ink them in yourself. Some of the computer programs can generate basic trees but they usually require a commercial print shop to print them out. You don't say how many generations you need. That would be important for the size of the document. Genealogical Charts (National Institute)
As a business owner, what online/offline templates would you benefit from having (e.g. a template to fill out and send invoices, business plan templates, etc.)?
One awesome highlight of ZipBooks’ invoice templates is that you can save default settings like your notes and payment terms for your invoices once you nail down the details of what exactly should be on your invoice. Using ZipBooks for your invoice means never sending off an invoice without your own company information on it (oops!). They actually score your invoice based on what information you include and so you'll be able to leverage the data we've collected from tens of thousands of invoices on what things are important to get you paid faster.Here are a couple tips on things that you will get you paid faster and should definitely be included on your invoice:Company logo: This is part of the invoice template that we prfor you. You'll save a company logo under company settings and you'll never have to think about whether your invoice template header looks good again.Notes: Thanking a customer for their business will always make you stand out in a crowd and leverages the psychological principle of reciprocity so that you get paid faster. Lots of studies show that including a thank you note gets you paid faster. I think that would especially be true when someone is getting a big bill for legal services.Invoice payment terms: Another great free feature of ZipBooks invoice templates for legal services (and anyone else who used our invoice templates for that matter) is that when you put terms into an invoice, we automatically detected it and set a due date for you. If you don't set terms, we assume that the invoice will be due in 14 days. This is the due date that we use to drive the late payment reminder and to display the number of days that a invoice has been outstanding in the AR aging report. If you don't want to set the invoice payment terms every time, you can set it up once under Account Preferences in the ZipBooks app. Pretty neat, right?Customer information: This one might seem pretty straightforward but it should always be on the list of "must haves" when thinking about what you should put on your invoice.Detailed description of bill: ZipBooks' invoice template lends itself to the ability to show a detailed account of everything that you have charged since you last sent an invoice. You can do that by manually entering the invoice details or you can use the time tracker to automatically pull in billable activity once you are ready to send the next invoice for your legal services.
How can I search my family tree in depth?
You gather every piece of information available on your ancestors — every time their name was recorded or mentioned — census records, church records, newspapers, court documents, land transactions, city directories, histories, etc. You do this not only for your ancestor, but also their siblings and other close family members. Much of this is not online — you need to do detective work!You also contact anyone in your family (cousins, aunts/uncles, 2nd cousins, etc.) who may have already done some of this work, and you then compare notes. You find who in the family has original documents and pictures. You get a DNA test and contact distant relatives who are a DNA match.You learn about the environment in which your ancestors lived — customs, jobs, social status, the village, the government, hardships, and wars. You then pull all this information together, resolve the conflicts, and write the story. The goal is to go beyond names, places, and dates — to paint a picture of your ancestor’s life — to learn enough about them to bring them to life!