Thursday, May 27, 2010

Research Trip Prep - Getting Started

In early June I'll be heading south for a few days of research along the border of Alabama (Chambers and Randolph Counties) and Georgia (Heard and Troup Counties). Even though I'm very excited about this trip, I've put off doing all the prep work and only seriously started working on the "To Do" list last week. It's a good thing my genealogy software of choice, Legacy Family Tree, has such a great "To Do List" function.

Having a detailed to do list is a great tool whether you're headed to the library for a couple of hours or hitting the road for several days. Having a record of the places you have already searched for something can save you from wasting time covering the same ground over and over. All of these things can be tracked in Legacy.

It's called a "To Do List" but this Legacy function is really a research tracking system. Items can be general or specific to an individual. There are fields for: Category, Locality, Task to be Done, Open Date, Reminder Date, Close Date, Open/Closed Status, Priority and Tagging. There are tabs for Task Description and Results - both free form notes. There is also a tab for Repository where you can enter the name, address, phone number, e-mail, website and notes (like hours of operation).

Blank To Do Item

Items can be filterd by Category and/or Locality with the ability to include or exclude items based on status, type, priority and tag. Reports can also be filtered and sorted to get the specific items you want and you have control over which fields to include on the printed report. (Sample reports to come in a later post.)

List Filtered for Cemetery Category in Chambers County, AL

In addition to identifying the actual records I want to find, I use the To Do List to plan and prepare for the trip. I set up a new Category (AL/GA Trip 2010) and add To Do items for all the pre-trip things that need to be done - like making calls to courthouses and libraries to find out where records are housed; identifying cemeteries to visit and creating lists of grave sites in each cemetery; and finding addresses and directions for repositories and cemeteries.

I should get to work now. Hopefully, I'll be back in a few days to discuss my well laid plans and more about the trip.

Disclaimer: I have no connection to Millennia (creator of Legacy Family Tree software), receive no compensation from them and did not discuss this post with anyone connected to the company. I've just loved Legacy from the first day I started using it in 2007.

1 comment:

  1. That is a nice feature. I don't think Family Tree Maker has it. I will be down in the Morgantown, WV area for a week this summer and will be working on my paternal grandmother's genealogy while there. I best get busy making up my to do list, too. Enjoy your trip and will be looking forward to your blogs on all the new "finds".