I decided to go through the 13 week Genealogy Do-Over for the second cycle that began on 3 April. I got stalled in the first cycle around weeks 3-5 and then finished up by picking and choosing to do only some of the topics for the remaining weeks but never blogging about it. The Do-Over forced me to take a hard look at the way I wanted to approach documenting everything in OneNote while making sure to follow the guidelines of the Genealogy Proof Standard in my research–something I was neglecting in my do-over process started in January 2014.
Previously, I was focused first and foremost on the document itself, ignoring its basic purpose—as a source of information to answer research questions. Downloaded or scanned, every source that comes into my possession is part of a Research Quest[ion].
The very beginning of every Research Quest[ion] is a Research Plan. Whether I am using the source for a Research Plan already begun, or need to begin a new one, that’s the starting point. I have always wanted to breeze by that step. When I breeze by it however, I miss the important step of analyzing what the evidence in the source is telling me in relation to other evidence I may already have in my possession and/or exposing the need for further sources of information.
The topics for Week One of the Genealogy Do-Over are:
1. Setting aside previous research
Breaking up with my old research wasn’t that hard to do. (Like breaking up with a boyfriend who just makes you miserable and you know the relationship is going nowhere.) First, it isn’t properly sourced and second its in file folders which I dislike. I moved all my digital files into a Hold folder during the last cycle.
The Surname folders shown above are where the digital files from the Hold folder get moved into after I’ve revisited them. And (looks under table at plastic file boxes with file folders containing old research), the rest of it is still sitting right where I left it 13 weeks ago.
2. Preparing to research
I feel more fully equipped to research this time through the Do-Over cycle. I have my OneNote notebooks set up exactly how I want them and I have my new tree already started in RootsMagic from the last cycle of the Do-Over.
3. Establishing base practices and guidelines
For this step I need more chocolate. Or maybe more wine. (Are my French roots showing?) During the last cycle, I was relying on the workflow chart I had set up last July. (I started the process of redoing my research at the beginning of 2014 so I had this chart made before I started the Genealogy Do-Over in January 2015.)
As you can see, the flow starts on the left with sources and finishes at the bottom right with inputting information into my genealogy software. I want to rework this chart, rename some steps to match my OneNote templates and simplify the look of the chart. I’ve got that started but it’s not coming together. My brain is stuck. (Thus explaining the need for more chocolate and there’s none here at the house…)
At the end of Cycle 2 Week 1 this is where I am: Working in Scapple on a new mindmap. Because I have very little to do for Week 2 for Cycle 2, I am going to keep working on this until I get it to where I am happy with it. More about my Do-Over process next week.