Genealogy Research Log
I have a genealogy research log that I use and that I recommend. It is an multi-sheet Excel file that can be imported into Google Drive as well as Numbers for Mac users. Past participants in the Genealogy Do-Over have stated that the file converts cleanly in many programs, even Open Office.
Some genealogists have asked if I could create a similar research log in another program such as Microsoft Word since some people find spreadsheets difficult to use. Due to the nature of tracking information and the need for a very wide table, Word just doesn’t lend itself to a good genealogy research log format. Another option is to place all the fields in a “fillable form;” however, you would then have to create a new document for each record located. And then, how can you quickly see what you’ve found? Open and close a series of documents?
What you decide to use for a genealogy research log is up to you. If you’ve been opposed to using spreadsheets in the past, I just ask you to give the research log above a try.
Once you have your research goals and a way to track them, then you’re ready to research. This means both offline research at archives, libraries and repositories as well as online using various free and fee-based resources.