The black "combs" you see are the 2 inch size, I get them at my local office supply or if you can't bind it yourself the office supply can bind for you in a comb that fits properly. These have a locking feature so nothing accidently comes open. They also lay flat so its easy to work with & write in.
The research notebooks are great - being comb bound means that if you drop it everything stays intact, no messed up papers. I index the material in the notebook, divide it up by County or repository depending on the length of the trip and number of stops. If I have cemetery stops to make my cemetery search lists are also included in the notebook. Group sheets on the families I will be working on are included along with printouts on the repositories & libraries I will be visiting. The photo above shows some of the lists & print-outs ready to be put into my notebook for this trip.
The photo directly above this text shows a completed notebook, open to some family group sheets. Note the handwritten notes. Once the notes that I have written in the notebooks have been typed in I place a red strike (line) thru the information & I know I've put it in the computer. Many times I continue to use the notebook as a "workbook" long after the trip is done. They are a great way to see the "holes" in your research. I do love my laptop but many times "holes" get lost in the computer and its hard to see exactly where you really need to be working!
Recap of notebook contents:
- Repository/library printouts
- Cemetery search lists
- to do lists for each county
- Pedigree charts for lines in area
- Family group sheets on lines of interest
- Blank family group sheets & blank pages for notes
- hotel reservations (w/o credit card info)
- any other pertinent information I might need
I use maps alot when I do research trips so there are always quite a few of them in the research notebook. This one below shows the state of Pennsylvania, with the counties I am researching in outlined for clarity. At a glance I can see where other counties are that might affect my research any given county. This particular one came from William Dollarhide's book, Map Guide To the US Federal Censuses, 1790-1920. Very clear and easy to use! To finish off the book I add an index of where everything is in the notebook, and then close it off with a white cover so I can list the surnames & dates of the trip, a dark cover on the back helps the notebook look cleaner & hold together better. For durability I use cardstock on the covers rather than regular paper.If you have any questions about the research notebooks feel free to drop me a line or leave me a comment on the blog & I'll get back to as soon as I can. Hopefully someone will get something from this little tutorial, I never really thought anyone else would be interested.
To all of my followers who may be moms - I hope you have a wonderful mother's day this Sunday. Spend some time with those who matter most, & most important be sure to make some time just for you! Happy Mother's Day!