Sunday, February 18, 2018

I Now Have a Research Disciplinarian

No whips. No threats of harm to me or my family.  It’s software that forces me (sort of) to do step-by-step research planning and gives me a place to put research notes. This is necessary because I have no self-discipline.

I mentioned Research Ties in my 4 Feb 2018 post Getting my Act Together…
I learned about it in Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy  4th Edition by Val D. Greenwood. He implies that he uses it. It is a cloud based program specifically designed for family history.  I signed up for a 2-week trial.

It was a rocky start in spite of having a Beginner’s Guide and a series of tutorials. Even with that help, it was non-intuitive to me. Could have been crystal clear to other folks, but not to me. I stuck it out and now think I’ve mostly got the hang of it. Mostly.

Research Ties leads you through your research step-by-step.  You can upload a Gedcom file or enter individual names manually.

You first state an objective.
Then one or more searches to accomplish that objectives.
Then the results of each search.

The discipline comes in defining each step and then carrying it out. The sequence is very logical. Left to my own devices, I tend to jump all over the place and have vague plans, if any. I go down rabbit holes and lose track of what I was looking for. I write (often abbreviated) results in a notebook - some of the times.  I am poor at citations. When I go back later, I can barely read my own handwriting let alone figure out my abbreviations.

There are two great benefits: a) because it’s in the cloud, I can use it with my tablet when away from home; b) it has excellent report capability.  Reports can be downloaded in either MS Excel or PDF format.

I have now signed up for a $30 annual subscription.

DISCLAIMER: This works for me mostly because I use 2 displays. When doing online research, I have Research Ties on one screen and do my searches on the other.  I am not certain this I would be so enthusiastic using only one screen and having to switch back and forth between applications

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