And it is probably one of the most important things you need to understand so that you CAN make sense of it all to get it into your program, and make sure you can document sources and citations.
I use forms. ALOT of forms! I learned years ago from watching one of the many free online classes offered by Ancestry.com just how important it was to use good forms to keep track of everything you do.
First, with good forms, you won't end up repeating searches in places you've already searched. Let's face it, sometimes you might go through dozens of online repositories in a single day/ Now be honest, how many times have you found yourself using a search engine and going right back to some of the same ones the very next day? Come on! Don't be shy! No judgement here. But it could have been easier if you'd simply kept a research log. Be cause these sites are often updated every couple of weeks, it's okay to go back in a few weeks to check again, but you really don't want to check it daily!
Ancestry.com has a few blank forms, including blank Census forms from 1790-1940. You can find those HERE
FamilySearch.org has quite a few listed HERE on their wiki page.
And FamilyTreeMagazine has 61 forms that you download HERE for free as well.
Good organization is the key to successful research on any project! All of the above forms are available for free download to print. I use them. I simply print them off at 5-10 at a time and keep them in my research notebook. But if you prefer, you can purchase pre-printed forms from Amazon.com.
While, yes, I would make a percentage off the sale if you purchase this packet, there are only 50 forms included in it. And unless you don't have access to a printer, I think you will find it more economical to save the files above and print yourself.
After you've completed documenting your information, what do you do with all of the forms when they are no longer needed? Well, once you have transcribed your date, and triple checked that you have everything in place (data, sources, citations, bibliography, etc.) then you can destroy those printed off sheets if you like. I do recycle mine, as I only print on one side. I cut the pages into quarters, use a heavy duty stapler, and I staple the quarter pages together, blank side up. These make fantastic note pads! Use them by your computer, by the phone, in your purse or tote bag, in the car, etc. They are great for shopping lists.
I hope this has helped you some! If you found this article helpful, please remember to share it, and leave a comment below!