As the new year approaches, I’ve been assessing my research habits. I’m always striving to improve on my methods, organization skills, and research habits.
I’ve been working diligently on my project to input all my old documentation. It’s slow going–but it’s going! I had hoped to have it completed by the end of this year, but a couple of events interfered. Some of them within my family and some of them within my research.
I was going to stop researching and only work on these old documents. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that is impossible. I cannot resist new databases as they become available. Just this month the records for Achada, Nordeste, Sao Miguel Island, Azores became known to me and the records for Mt. Calvary Cemetery in San Francisco came online. Both of these I’ve waited for for a long time. There is no way that I won’t take a peek.
So, how do I keep myself from compounding my problem of too many records not input? I’ve decided that since I won’t stop researching that I can change how I do things. First, I’m back to taking notes as I research. I find it easier to input from my notes and it gives me something to play with when I’m not on my computer.
Second, starting this week, every new record I find has to be researched immediately–or within a timely manner. For instance, I’ve been working on the baptismal, death, and marriage records of Achada. Every day or so, I take the records I recently found and add them to my notes if I haven’t done so already, then I input them. In this way, my new data will be in my database and I can continue to work on the old stuff in between.
How am I doing so far? I found out about the Achada records about a week before Christmas. Since then, I’ve input 23 baptismal records, 6 marriages, and 11 death records. I have 14 documents to translate and input.
The trick is going to be not letting my research get way ahead of me. If I do this pattern of research, notes, input in small doses, I should be able to keep up.
It’s no fun not having your information in your database. You end up with duplicate documents and when someone asks a question you think you’ve got the data but you can’t find the source.
So, here’s to 2013…and my new leaf!