Gotta love a hard deadline

It turns out that going to a genealogy conference in February has a galvanizing effect on January resolutions. Like many others I resolved to get my genealogy stuff organized this year and, guess what, I really have to do it so I can make the most of my trip to Salt Lake City for RootsTech . Top of the list was fishing out my notes from last year’s RootsTech and the extra days I spent at the Family History Library working on my own lines. It was my first visit to the library in 2011 and I was pretty overwhelmed by the family history goodies there.

This year I added days for research, too, and I have a better idea of how to plan for it. Or at least how I should be planning for it. I finally started a robust research log, after checking out lots of templates other researchers have kindly shared. I used several parts of Thomas MacEntee’s log template on Google Docs to build a Bento library for sources I have found and entered into my genealogy software. MacEntee’s template provides for the robust citation information we all wish we had done all along. It will take me a while to complete entries for all existing sources.

Then I set up an Omnioutliner file as a kind of ongoing notebook for ideas and potential sources to research. In it, I’m noting films and books I’ve already consulted, but with much less detail than in the source library. This will go with me on my iPad, so I can refer to it and update it as my research progresses. What does your take-along research log look like?

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