Sunday, January 25, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over: Week 3

 Tracking and Conducting Research

Tracking Research:
    The challenge for week 3 was to evaluate how research logs were used in our research.
     I have always kept a log of some sort as I have researched. I have used Legacy Family Tree's To -Do List to help me keep track of things needing to be done and the Research Notes section to record and analyse my finds. Keeping a spiral notebook that serves as a research diary has also helped.
    Here's the problem. Writing in the diary is great, but it's hard to go back and find things that I need so I tend to look for things over again.  My use of the To-Do list and Notes section in Legacy has not been as consistent as it should be and probably has not been used to it's potential.
     Wanting to see how others were keeping track of their research, I participated in Thomas MacEntee's Research Right: Tracking and Evaluating Your Genealogy Research Boot Camp, read all the posts about Research Logs on the Facebook Do-Over Page and went to the Legacy Virtual Users Group Community run by Tessa Keogh to see examples of how others utilize the To-Do and Notes features. Michelle Simmons Lewis has posted some wonderful ideas on how to use Legacy  on her Ancestoring blog.

     With all these examples, I am putting together a Research Log work flow that is best for me. Thomas MacEntee's Excel/Google Sheet Research Log is something that I want to try. Using a spread sheet isn't something that I am used to doing. Another idea is be to create a research diary on Evernote. That way my handwritten notes would be searchable and could be easily copied and pasted to my Legacy note fields. 

Conducting Research
          Starting with myself, I have begun making sure my data is correct, sourced and any missing information is noted and added to my To-Do list. My process will be to work on one family group at a time, adding what I have done to my Research Log and notes. Another part of going over my previous work is to check my computer and hanging files. After checking to make sure my data for each person is up to date and correct, I am organizing picture and document files on my computer and going through the corresponding hanging files to see what needs to be kept, archived or thrown away. Already I have noticed some holes that I hadn't seen before and information in records that I had overlooked. 

     The process is going to take some time but in the end, I will be better organized and my data will be correct for me and for future generations.

On to week 4!
Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Cheri, I keep notes in a spiral notebook recording my research; general notes on the direction I go in.Like you I found it difficult to go back and find a person or research event. I changed slightly. Now I have two notebooks; one for Mom's side and one for Dad's side of the family. That is a bit easier to handle.

    1. I have one for each surname but still have a hard time! Lol! I am going to give the Evernote idea a try and see how it works. I love Thomas MacEntee's Research Log as well. I will let you know how it goes!
      Thanks, Colleen, I appreciate your comments!

  2. It really is about what works best for you (what system you will stick with) and how easy it is to get what you need when you need it. I always try to think about how I want to use something (the end product) and then work the process back (my dad and sister are engineers - what can I say!). For me it works best to have it all in one place together with some ideas on where I might find it. That way if a research trip comes up (or I talk one of my relatives or friends into looking something up for me) I have the information I need at my fingertips. Play around with a couple of ideas Cheri and see what works best for you and what you are able to stick with. Let us know what you come up with - I am always up for new and better ways to do things. And thanks so much for the shout out!

    1. Thanks, Tessa. Yes, it's so important to figure out what works for you. I think some get frustrated because they think they have to do it they way someone else suggests. Looking at others ideas is great but if in the end you know you won't stick with it, then it's not worth changing. Working it back? Great way to think of it! Great suggestion! Hope to meet you in person in Salt Lake!