09 August 2012

Indecision may or may not be my problem

Right now I'm at the point where I have a lot of documents and files. But, I know that as I continue researching I'm only going to collect more. I had one organizational system, then read about another I liked better, then another. For now, I'm happy with my naming conventions and more recently decided not to include the "de" or "da" in my Brazilian surnames...otherwise most would be under D. (Plus, there is the problem of those two last names which are really one, such as da Silva vs. da Silva Lima.)

Where the real indecision comes in is in the process. I can no longer remember every search I performed for every person, or every resource I used whether with positive or negative results. So the question I'm now faced with is - How do I organize the process of research?

Obviously, a research log is ideal. But which version? I really like having it in my database (RootsMagic) but feel like I might need more. Randy Seaver shared his Research Summary recently and I think it may work for me.

Another question I keep asking myself is - What should be the "standard" order of procedures?

For example, when I find a birth certificate how do I proceed. Here's what I think I may do:

  1. Save using the standard naming convention in the appropriate folder.
  2. Add entry in research log. (This step will have to happen even if I don't find anything.)
  3. Transcribe/translate and save that file in the same folder. (Should I set up tables to make it look just like the original or just list all the information.)
  4. Create a source citation for the document using RootsMagic and add to both the word document and in the metadata of the image.
  5. Link the image into the database and add the transcription/translation to the detail notes section.
  6. Using this same citation, copy it onto all events which it supports - in the example of the birth certificate I may use it for the birth date, parents names, parents ages, place of residence, etc.
  7. Create a blog post to share my discovery.
Here's the big question - Can, or should, I "move on" with my research even though I have piles of "stuff" to scan and analyze?

Since I have so much stuff to go through is it better to scan it all before proceeding? I don't want to redo what I already have, but just don't know about. This is the part of the "research" that isn't my favorite...the housekeeping. In the end I know it will help but for now, I just don't want to deal with it.

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