27 December 2014

Let's Brainstorm Research Logs

In the Facebook group "Genealogy Do-Over" we have been chatting about doing a spreadsheet to help us track our census research. In addition, I have posted a file with a research plan worksheet for an individual (see below for pictures of a blank worksheet, feel free to adapt for your needs)... but the "form" I just can't make work for me is a research log of any sort... most printed forms just don't give enough space to write enough of anything to really track my research (unless I am totally missing the point on those logs).

Brian Langley's spreadsheet idea for the census is making me consider using a spreadsheet format for a research log... course then my question is do I use a separate "book" for each major branch (for example my sweet sixteen surnames)? and then have a sheet for research on each individual in that branch (for example in the "Newman" book a sheet for Linda D Newman, a sheet for my dad, a sheet for his dad, etc)? What columns/rows do I need on this spreadsheet? to me the problem with using a computerized spread sheet comes when I go to someplace like the FHL and I am sitting at the microfilm readers and am researching a film.... I have a 17" laptop, so can't really have that sitting open in order to add stuff to the spreadsheet as I go, a physical paper notebook or journal works better in that case where i can jot down notes.

I am totally looking to hear what has worked for others (although from some of the comments in the group it would seems I am not the only one that struggles with this). Let's brainstorm!

1 comment:

  1. I agree that there are times when a notebook is most practical. I can see using a form or log like you have, filling in all fields except Notes online, then taking a printout with me to the FHL, so I can jot down findings on the last page. I could then transcribe my notes back home. I have done essentially this before, but I didn't have the log to start with. Thanks for sharing!