Excel, Evernote, RootsMagic, and my research log

Excel spreadsheet for New Hampshire – a combined planning tool and research log

After my first day at the Family History Library, I realized I need a major over-haul of my research log.     For quite a while now, I’ve used Excel to plan what materials to research at a repository and updated the spreadsheet with what I’d located.  However, I didn’t have a really good way of incorporating that into a research log.

However, I think I’ve come up with a system that will work and is relatively simple to use.  Above is the spreadsheet that I created before coming to Salt Lake City, listing the various films and books I wished to see for the state of New Hampshire.  (I created other worksheets for additional states that I was focusing on.)  To utilize this as a tool that can be referenced in RootsMagic 5’s internal research log, I added a column for a reference number on the far left.

Another modification is the use of a link to Evernote, as applicable, in the column on the far right.  Included is a brief summary to identify what was found, and a link to more comprehensive details that are saved in Evernote with scanned images, when available.  For example, Daniel Wescott was found in the New Hampshire Provincial probate records (Ref. ID #110).  The blue hyperlink shown in the far right takes me to this page in Evernote:

Daniel Wescott

Images from the Family History Library CD-ROM that were saved using “Screen Snip” and loaded to Evernote

This evening I will be working on entering my research results into RootsMagic’s new research log function.  I’ve just started experimenting with this, but think it will be helpful to utilize this new feature in RM 5 so that all research results are available within the program at a glance.  Here are a couple of screen shots, using the search above completed for NH probate records:

The Reference ID is included in the upper right hand corner (taken from Excel spreadsheet)

And here is the completed log in RootsMagic:

Completed Research Log entry

Completed research log entry; additional resources will be added under this one research goal of “probate”

While this process may take a couple more steps, in the long run it is saving me time, as I know what I’ve checked, and can easily reference these lists when at other repositories.

What do you use for your research log?  If you are a RootsMagic user, have you started to utilize their tool?


4 responses to “Excel, Evernote, RootsMagic, and my research log

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