I can't find everything I want/need on the internet. Sometimes I go to the Ohio Historical Society Archives Library (OHS) to search their newspapers or other resources on microfilm or in some of their books. Sometimes I go to the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) (which has genealogy resources for every state, inherited from the State Library of Ohio when some statesmen decided that genealogy resources didn't belong in the state library) to search through their books. I find both places very useful in different ways.
When I go to these places, I prepare in advance. For OHS, I prepare a chart with a list of the people I want to find, the date of the event, what the event is, and the microfilm roll number or numbers. On my chart is space to make notes indicating the beginning and ending dates of my search, which is especially useful if I don't find anything, as well as space for other notes. For CML, I prepare a list with the same information as for OHS and have already looked up the call numbers for whatever books I want to look through.
When I find an obituary, a marriage announcement, deed information, or whatever it is I've been searching for, I carefully adjust the microfilm reader so that the image is large and in focus then I print it. When it comes out of the printer, I even more carefully note on the back of the paper the name of the newspaper, the day and date it was published, the page and column number where I found the information, and the microfilm roll number. I'm equally careful if I'm looking at an index of government records or a city directory or other book. Isn't that good?
When I get home around dinner time I'm usually exhausted and my eyes are sore from spending the day in a dark room watching the microfilm roll by. Unless I'm very, very excited by some find at either place, my papers usually stay in the portfolio I took with me until later in the evening or the next day (and sometimes even longer). Then I move the papers into separate surname folders and pull them out when I'm working on a particular family and am ready to add the information to my genealogy program.
The reason this is bad - at least for me - is that sometimes these papers with information to be recorded accumulate until there are a dozen or more in the folders. With 15 surname folders, each with a dozen papers.... Well, you can imagine my dilemma. Not only do these folders have photocopies of information to be recorded, they also have notes that I've taken while searching online, notes to myself about what to do next, ideas about connections, etc.
I'm good about being organized and careful. I'm bad about being prompt.
I'm Trying to Be Better...
Again today, for the second time in two weeks, I've started going through my surname folders, pulling out the papers, and recording the information in my genealogy program. I make some progress, and then I have a question about a child or a marriage or whether I can find some other reference, source, or document online somewhere for some event -- and there I am, once again, with more papers going into a file to be recorded later.
I can't decide whether I take two steps forward and one step back, or two steps forward and two steps back. It must be the first because I am making progress . . . little by little. I hope you, dear reader, are not beset by a similar challenging dilemma.