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Research Log To Do

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#1 PatsyD

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 09:59 AM

Forgive me if this is already out there. I am an infrequent user of the forums... Maybe there is a good reason why these items aren't done, or there was an intent I didn't understand, but I find it hard to create a Research Plan with the current Research Log and To Do tools.

Research Log - To Do
I would like to see Research Logs and To Do List more tightly integrated. I would like to use the Research Log for work I plan to do for a specific research problem (Research Plan), as well as log the results. I would like to enter a task in the Research Log and have it appear in my To Do list.

When looking at my To Do List, I would like to be able to see what Research Log the task came from.

Research Log - Sources
I would like to be able to access my sources and have them integrated for "What Source Did You Check"

Research Log - Repositories
I would like to be able to access my repositories and have them integrated for "Where Did You Check"

#2 Laura

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Posted 19 December 2013 - 01:44 PM

To Do's or Research logs can be linked to a person or be a General To Do or Research log. This gives us a lot of flexibility of where and how to enter data into them.

I suggest creating a new Play database and dragging and dropping a few people into it and play around with creating To Do's and Research logs.

You could create a General Research log, Research Plan. Then create a To Do and use the Transfer to Research log choice on the Edit To Do window to add a Research item to that Research log.

I suggest typing in the Research log name in the Task details. You could also copy the source in the details. Copy any transcriptions or notes you want from where ever they are in the Edit person screen.

Enter what ever action needs to be taken in the Ref# box, i.e. Search, Found get image, etc.

On the Research Item edit screen, delete the Research log statement and cut and paste the source to the Source box.

You can transfer one To Do to multiple Research logs. Just select Transfer to a Research log again on the Edit To Do screen. One To Do is not linked to one Research log.

#3 Vyger

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:06 AM

Forgive me if this is already out there. I am an infrequent user of the forums... Maybe there is a good reason why these items aren't done, or there was an intent I didn't understand, but I find it hard to create a Research Plan with the current Research Log and To Do tools.

Research Log - To Do
I would like to see Research Logs and To Do List more tightly integrated. I would like to use the Research Log for work I plan to do for a specific research problem (Research Plan), as well as log the results. I would like to enter a task in the Research Log and have it appear in my To Do list.

When looking at my To Do List, I would like to be able to see what Research Log the task came from.

Research Log - Sources
I would like to be able to access my sources and have them integrated for "What Source Did You Check"

Research Log - Repositories
I would like to be able to access my repositories and have them integrated for "Where Did You Check"


I read your post with interest and completely agree with your wishes. Rootsmagic call this feature "Research Manager" but personally I find it more of a log than a manager and probably for some of the reasons you state.

Looking back over my old "workaround" attempts to manage and log my research I always kept CLOSED To-Do items some of which may have contained reference to the quality of the records and there whereabouts which being attached to a person is effectively lost. Also for particular collections of records "sources" which I was progressively working through I created dummy people, noted my progress against those individuals and also attached To-Do items to those individuals. Also not a good result and I am working to move these to Research Logs as time allows.

I would hope this would stimulate fresh discussion but I agree with you and believe the "Research Manager" should facilitate links to all research type tables like Source List, To-Do List, Address List, Repository List and Correspondence List at some level.

The "What source did you check?" should link to the Source List where the option to create a NEW source already exists.

The "Where did you check (repository and call#)?" should link to the Repository List where the option to create a NEW repository already exists.

So in essence these items should be database entries rather than freehand notes, makes perfect sense, well pointed out and I don't remember it being raised before although I may have missed it.

Should the To-Do list remain as a separate menu option or should it be integrated within the Research Manager ?, I would say it should stay as a separate menu option but should also be linked from within the Research Manager.

Correspondence is an important part of any ones research, whether it be a scanned letter or copy of an email or forum post and as such should be part of and linked to by any "Research Manager".

I find the search facility within Research Logs very useful but as the list grows should the facility to mark items Active/Inactive or Open/Closed exist for sorting purposes ?

One little cosmetic thing I would like to add to this topic is that Rootsmagic be programmed to remember the column size, as set by the user, of the Research Items within the Research Log.

Thanks for your post (wish), this was an area I was not focused on or making great use of and could certainly be a lot more powerful and useful.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 11:06 AM

Confirming enhancement requests are in our tracking system.

In webinar #32. New Research Log and Manager in RootsMagic 5


http://www.rootsmagic.com/webinars/


The RootsMagician mentions the reason we decided to not access the Source List and Repositories is because when you have Nil results of your search those items would still appear in your Source List or Repository, even though you don't actually use them. The Repository wouldn't be such an issue for most but since we didn't add that feature for Sources we left it out for Repositories.

That doesn't mean in the future we won't add that capability. I just wanted to explain why it wasn't done to begin with.

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#5 Vyger

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:54 PM

That doesn't mean in the future we won't add that capability. I just wanted to explain why it wasn't done to begin with.


Having watched the webinar I'm in two minds about this now, if a source or repository have been checked with negative results do they deserve to be part of the database? I am still leaning towards yes although one might make a freeform list of many sources and repositories where the first one yields the desired results leaving the rest unchecked so I would not want them as part of my database.

it's a busy time of year and I do intend to come back to this and give my opinions at some time in the future FWIW

A Research Manager is a powerful and very welcome feature, a strong selling point and so a subject that deserves some careful consideration.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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#6 PatsyD

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 07:53 PM

Vyger,
I completely agree with your comments as well. I look forward to more of your opinions on this subject.

I do think this is potentially a very powerful tool.

I would think you would want to track sources and repositories that produced negative results. I always think data consistency is better than free form fields. I am a Data Architect and I would not have designed it this way.

Having looked back at the webinar.... He mentions using the Research Log for entering future research, which is exactly what I would like to use it for - research planning and then to log the research. Then later in the webinar he mentions using the ToDo list to print a report based on Repositories, I would like to do this from the Research Log as well.

#7 Vyger

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 06:04 AM

Vyger,
I completely agree with your comments as well. I look forward to more of your opinions on this subject.

I do think this is potentially a very powerful tool.


Thank you for your comment, unfortunately I have not had time to work with this much more but on any data related sets I would find it hard to find a reason that they would not be actively linked.

I am not sure how long you have been with FO/RM but various issues such as this have come about through a program evolutionary practice of adding things on rather than integrating them within one Master UI which is something I hope the Rootsmagician is beavering away at in his den. Adding features such as Research Manager is a quick fix but it's only when users such as you and I start using the feature that improvements come to light and thankfully the Rootsmagician does listen. The obvious problem with add-ons is that the problem becomes more convoluted, more menu options, more fragmented and less user friendly, I believe that is something that RM strive to avoid and should continue to.

So Research Manager should incorporate To-Do's, Correspondence, Repositories, Sources should all stem of the one UI in my opinion and Sources and Repositories should link to those lists and the option to link To-Do's and Correspondence should also exist.

I hate using work arounds but many years ago I added a custom fact called Email to my database, the reason I done this is that I had no way of linking Correspondence to an individual. I used the Description field of this fact for the subject line of correspondence and pasted the rest of the email into the Notes. But now through Research Manager the log can be linked to an individual which is perfect except the other important tables aren't linked to it.

The other area which has suffered from fragmentation through evolution is the various "new" Place Management features where the user has to jump in and out of different features to manage a common geographic item.

I feel there is great potential for providing powerful single and intuitive UI's for both Research and Place management. And I strongly believe anything that helps walk users through these often time consuming practices would be a winner in the market place. The tools of Research Management are well established across the genealogy world as is the process of Place Management so software providers should aim to program these around intuitive interfaces to help users, after all that's exactly what computers should do for us.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

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Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#8 Nettie

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 08:53 AM

Will add my own frustration with the To Do. Cannot keep it open while working with items like cleaning up the Source list or Place List. To many keystrokes to get back to it.
So I use either a paper To Do list or OneNote and then if important transfer it to the RM lists for history purposes. I know it is hard to program this to keep it open, but that is the way I work.

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#9 zhangrau

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:15 AM

I think it DOES make sense to have sources and repositories be part of the database, even when they have nil results. This is because it has become important to me to know WHERE I have already looked. If I didn't find any facts of direct use to me on the first look that doesn't mean that I will NEVER find something useful there.

Along similar lines of thought, I don't understand why Repositories are not part of the Narrative Reports nor Publisher. After all, if the information is important to store, then why isn't it important enough to include in reports? In fact, the Repositories should be liked to the Sources just like Sources are linked to facts within the report - through the use of superscripted numerals or maybe alphabetic characters (to distinguish between the two types of citation).

#10 Renee Zamora

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

Confirming enhancement request is in our tracking system.
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#11 KimMC

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

I love that RM has a research log but I agree that it could be more user friendly. I would love it if the window would stay open and be usable while you entered notes and sources into people. Right now I have to keep a text editor open to record everything then try to remember to copy it into the research log.

Also being able to link entries to the correspondence log would be a huge help. I find it frustrating right now when I receive an email about family data. I want to record this in the correspondence log, but it's also a research item. It would be great if I could enter it in the research log for the person or family group it deals with and have the option to chose what type of research entry it is. In this case select correspondence and have the fields available to add a text copy, image etc. and comments/research notes based on the email received.

#12 Vyger

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 02:35 AM

Keeping research tools like Research Manager, To-Do's etc open in a separate window is a long outstanding wish to negate the use of some other form of editor or paper We can only hope it gets addressed sooner rather than later as it's a frustration to many users and the way we work.

I would just like to add to this Research Manager wish thread the following:

At present when Research Manager is opened the focus on the highlighted person is maintained, however when the "Who of what is this log for" selection is changed to Family and the highlighted person does have a family tag the Family focus is lost. This means scrolling down the family list to find the family again and needs to be facilitated better in a future version.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.8, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#13 Renee Zamora

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Posted 17 February 2014 - 10:34 AM

Confirming issues & enhancements noted in our tracking system.
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