Monday, November 7, 2011

A Paperless Research Trip

Have you ever gone on a research trip without printing anything to take with you? I'm talking about to do lists, research plans, maps, directions, family group sheets, timelines - all the stuff you need to remind you what you already know, what you want to find and where you need to go. 

I have experimented with this idea a couple of times on day trips to the Kentucky Archives and it worked out just fine. When I went to the archives, I had my Legacy Family Tree database on an Android phone using the Families app and a list of people I wanted to research in a memo app on the phone. From the memo, I knew which people in my database to check for "to do" items. I walked into the archives with a blank legal pad, pencil and my phone and walked out with the records I was looking for each time.

Now I'm ready to go paperless on a four-day research trip out of state. Since my test with the phone, I bought an Android tablet and that is what I'll be using for the most part on this trip.  

Granted, the thoughts of no back-up directions made me a little nervous after Lula (my GPS) got me seriously lost a couple of months ago so I saved Google Maps directions to PDF and loaded them to both devices in advance. That way I'm covered if Lula or cell service fails me in rural Georgia. 

The fun starts this morning. I'll report back later in the week.

11 comments:

  1. Good luck! This is a good test of new technology. Looking forward to hearing your results.

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  2. I do this quite often. It's very liberating to stash a netbook & cell in my purse and a digital camera over my shoulder!

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  3. Like that idea of PDF maps as back ups! I have Microsoft Streets and Trips on my laptops and have pulled that up on occasion to help me along. But, this idea is a great alternative. I'll be reading, see how you do.

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  4. I've done the same for short trips. I still can't imagine going completely paperless on a long trip. Something to contemplate.

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  5. Sounds like a great idea! Good luck with all your research and look forward to your results.

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  6. I like the sounds of going paperless! I look forward to hearing about your out of state research trip.

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  7. Impressive. I'm looking forward to hearing about your extended paperless trip.

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  8. This is what I'm hoping to do. I'm looking forward to how it went for you!

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  9. I took no paper when I visited The National Archives in England and then the New York Public Library earlier this year and I came away with very little paper except for a few books I just had to buy from the bookshop.

    I was not, however, brave enough to travel with just the Android tablet. I took my little netbook along as well.

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  10. Jill - I actually didn't travel with just the tablet either. I brought the laptop because I wanted to be able to update my Legacy database (and I don't do that on the tablet). I did only take the tablet and phone into research facilities.

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