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Using Fact Notes and Individual Summary Report vs. Research Notes

Fact notes individual summary research notes

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#1 draydev1


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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:01 PM

I have been pondering making things simple for myself.  I love the idea of fact notes and the research notes report in sources but sometimes it feels like duplicated work.  Let me explain.


When I enter information for a person it is by no means perfectly put together to print out in a family history book (for all to see).  When all is "done" it will all be saved as a Word Document and revised to it's final form. 


I like the idea of running a research notes report for individual people, so I can see extracted information from the source document. But in reality, that same information can be found in the fact notes printed out on the Individual Summary Report.  Is there a benefit to only entering the source for each fact (without detail text within the source) and then any detail text you would have entered, only putting it in the fact note instead? 


Ex.  Birth certificate states:  Kimberly Drayton, b. 28 August 1969, Lubbock, Texas.  Mother- Linda, Father- William.

I enter this information in the detail text of the source but then I also would enter it in the fact note.  If I print a Research Note Report and the individual summary report, they will have the exact same information.


If I enter a fact note and detail text, the way my brain functions (and I tend to be a perfectionist) it will basically be the same information.  Just trying not to duplicate work. (and justify to myself that I don't need to use every aspect of this amazing software!) 


I'm looking for any ideas or ways everyone else uses the fact notes vs. detail text.  I know it's what best suits me but that seems to be the problem - not sure what will best suit.  Helps to know what others do.




#2 Laura


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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:11 PM

I put the data in both places to give myself choices.


In the long term, switching back and forth from the fact note screen and source citation screen to read the data in Edit person will take up more time than just copy and pasting the data to both places to begin with.


The question for me was really "Do I want to add the data to the fact note.".  I wanted the choice to print the Citations in a Source list report.  Now, we need to have the data entered into the Source detail, Research note to use the Research note.


When I create a report, I can choose whether to print fact notes and/or Source detail, Research notes.  So, If I don't want the data doubled, I choose not to print the Source citations as I may have notes not pertaining to sources in the notes.


In a report, like a Narrative report, that is going to be a long report, I usually choose to print both fact notes and source citations which saves on scrolling back and forth in the report.


I also had one fellow researcher that wanted the data in both places and another that wanted the data in only one place when I sent them a report.


There is also the option of putting the notes you don't want printed between curly brackets in the fact note.  Then when you print the report, choose not to print private notes and to print source citations.


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#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 08:22 PM

I pretty much do the exact same thing that Laura does for the exact same reasons.


Because the data is the same both places, I most typically copy and paste from one place in RM to another, and what I'm copying and pasting usually has some formatting (bold surnames, for example). So it's important to me that RM has the capability to copy and paste formatted text, and I leave the "paste formatted" option enabled all the time. Many RM users turn off the "paste formatted" option because it can cause strange results when copying and pasting from other applications such as from ancestry.com. I deal with this issue on the rare occasion when it's a problem for me by copying and pasting into and out of Notepad to remove the formatting codes. Better still would be an RM option where you could right click and either Paste or Paste Formatted.




#4 TomH


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Posted 13 July 2014 - 09:23 PM

In the example given, I would not enter anything in the Birth Note. The evidence only supports date, place and parentage, all of which is entered in other fields. The Research Note for the citation would contain the transcript. If I were to enter something in the event or fact note, it would be more literary and maybe more colourful than the transcript as it would become part of the narrative. In exceptional cases, I would paraphrase or quote the transcript in the fact note because I would not normally include Research Notes in a report or book for family or general consumption.

That said, I wish I could Edit a fact AND see the supporting citations at the same time without the one-window-at-a-time clickiness of the current user interface.

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#5 Vyger


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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:23 AM

That said, I wish I could Edit a fact AND see the supporting citations at the same time without the one-window-at-a-time clickiness of the current user interface.


In the examples given I would lean more towards TomH. The birth information stated is supported by the database structure and does not need to be duplicated in the fact note. The only information I would enter in such a fact note is follow on information that would add to the quality of any report like ", while the church bells chimed".


Just to throw my wish into the ring I would like to see the beginning of such a fact note added to the sentence preview bottom right of the Edit Person screen so one know exactly how the follow on will read and print before leaving the Edit Person screen. In other words the text from the pane above beside Note, punctuation is always a problem here like is the note a new sentence or a follow on statement deserving a comma.

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#6 Renee Zamora

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:19 AM

Confirming enhancement requests are in our tracking system. 


#7 draydev1


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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:01 PM

Thank you all for your suggestions.


Laura and Bryan - I'm going to follow your advice about adding the same information to both the Fact Note and Detail Text of the Source, which will let me have the information on the Research Notes (I use only for me) and the Narrative/Individual reports. 


Tom and Vyger - I agree with notes about birth where it only validates the date and parentage, etc.  For these instances I'll probably just add other information or my own thoughts.


Thank you all again.  I really appreciate it.



#8 Nettie


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Posted 20 July 2014 - 08:29 AM

How I use the 4 sections.  

  • Notes:  on census records on FO, I was using it to state the age, and born where.  RM I have transferred this into the activated description and is now part of the sentence structure.  Other notes are in Comments in Citation Manager.
  • Research Notes: in RM are abstracted or a transcribed copy of the source information
  • Comments below the research notes:  What I used to have in the Notes so it prints in the Research Note Report. Also prints in a Narrative Report. IF  I check in the Sources box the 1st  2 [two]  options. 
  • Description activated on all fact types, incorporates what was in the Notes into the sentence structure so it prints where ever the sentence prints in a report.

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