A genealogist friend from Australia was in Salt Lake City researching. We were going over some mutual Irish interests when we both had an epiphany. We were scribbling our notes on the scrap paper provided by the Family History Library. She turned to me and said “We are doing what we teach in classes not to do.” It was hilarious.
In our rush to get the most done, we had scribbled down sources, ideas, and titles; which would probably make little sense a month down the road. Now if we immediately were to log down those scribbles onto a proper log or calendar, then it’s not a problem. Yet, how many of us never do that?
As a professional genealogist, I am used to keeping a “Research Log” or “Research Calendar.” These keep track of what we are looking at and why. Another purpose of the calendar is to help us keep track of what we didn’t get around to studying. A good calendar can be brought back on the next research trip in order to continue where we left off. It can also help us to not duplicate what we have already looked at. If we do, then we know there is a reason for looking at the same source again.
There is no correct way to record a calendar. As long as you know what you have and have not accomplished, that is the main point. I do suggest you print out a calendar-log from an online source. There are many versions, and it may be that you create your own that fits your purposes. Many researchers create their own on their laptops.
Some examples from online include FamilySearch: https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Research_Logs which has a link to the form; Ancestry: www.ancestry.com/trees/charts/researchcal.aspx and Family Tree Magazine: www.familytreemagazine.com/upload/images/pdf/calendar.pdf
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