I’ve had a variety of posts about my workflow and tools that I use to stay organized. When someone emailed me recently about one of my Ninox database posts, I realized I should probably post an update on my process.
After playing around with several applications for use as a research log, I found no tool or database beats simple Microsoft Word for keeping track of my research. Each research question is assigned it’s own MS Word file, and listed in the beginning is what is currently known about the research problem. Next is listed the resources that will be searched, followed by the findings, both positive and negative. Last is the summary and next steps. The file is an active document; it is drafted as I research, as opposed to documenting finds afterward. It really drives me to be thoughtful and methodical. It also helps to ensure potential resources aren’t overlooked, and forces me to think through what information has been gleaned.
So out with Ninox, Airtable, and other applications that I was testing out. I’m keeping it simple; MS Word is this genealogist’s best friend.