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10 Signs You Need a Research Plan

1. My research isn’t organized.
 I haven’t taken the time to organize my research. I have a software program and digital files, but they're not up to date or well coordinated. I really don’t know what I have and what I should be researching.

2. I don’t know what I need 
Up until now, I’ve been a collector, grabbing documents and information here, there and everywhere.  I haven’t defined the gaps in my research. My research is unfocused.

3. I don’t know what records might reveal the answer 
I’ve recognized what’s missing, but I haven’t developed a well thought out approach to what records might hold the answers and where I might find those answers.

4. I don’t have a research goal 
I don't determine a clear objective when I go looking online or head to an archive. I tend to just throw a name out there and hope something sticks.

5. I don’t have a strategy 
What’s a strategy? How do I create one?

6. I randomly jump online and start digging 
When I find myself with a few minutes, I hop online and do a little digging. But it’s random an inefficient and when I'm done it feels like I've wasted valuable time.

7. I research a lot of different lines and ancestors at once 
I spend my time investigating a wide variety of ancestors not giving anyone ancestor my full focus. 

8. I don’t find my research time very productive 
I can spend hours never getting anywhere. I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels.
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9. I catch myself looking at the same information over and over again.
I don’t record where I’ve searched, and so I end up going back to the same resources repeatedly.

10. I have so many brick walls.
I feel like that’s all I have is brick walls, and I’m at a standstill with my research. 

If any of these sounds like you, watch for next Tuesday's post.

5 Steps to a Research Plan with a free downloadable template.