It’s been months since I’ve been able to look at my genealogy, but I have a couple of days now with some free time and I’m looking forward to digging back into my research! But when I pulled out my binder of research, I find that I’m at a loss as to where to begin.

While I will push through this time to figure out what I was working on last (and waste a lot of time going over things that I’ve already tried to figure out), I’m thinking that it would be helpful to have a “hint” as to what I was thinking the last time I did research. If I had a short form to fill out at the end of a research session, I could write to my future self provide that “hint”. But I know that if it is too complicated, I won’t take the time to do it. So what would I like to know right now before I start re-reading through my binder?

  • What theory am I currently trying to prove/disprove?
  • What piece of information am I trying to find?
  • What was the last resource I looked at?
  • If I had more time, what resource would I look at next?
  • If I only have a small chunk of time, it would be helpful to… (find the address for _____, organize the list of _____, look at the library web site and make a list of books about ______, etc.)

I have an electronic research log that I use for each person, so maybe these 5 questions could be added near the top of the log or as a cover sheet for the log.

For most researchers, I’m sure this is a “duh!” idea, but I tend to go over the top trying to make everything PERFECT, so this time, I need to focus on quick and efficient!