Research Planner

Family Historian is an excellent program for recording the results of your Family History research, but it does not come with an inbuilt mechanism for planning (or tracking) that research in a structured fashion, although there are many features you can take advantage of to do so.

The Research Planner supports one approach to structured research planning and tracking. There are other approaches you may wish to consider, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, as documented at Planning and Tracking Your Research. If you're looking for a simple 'Jotter Pad' approach, Research Planner is not your solution.

So, why use Research Planner? After all, Family History research is not rocket science – every genealogy researcher knows that. However, the process of:

* Assessing what you already know about an individual
* Determining what else you want to discover about them
* Formulating a plan to discover new evidence
* Executing that plan
*Using any evidence found to update what you know

can be surprisingly error-prone.

You forget to search a particular source. You do it twice, and don't make a note of your exact search terms so you can't be sure if you need to do it yet again. You order the same birth certificate twice because you didn't make a note when you ordered it the first time, and it's still the wrong one second time around! You forget how to do that weird search you did 10 years ago for another individual, and for the life of you, you can't remember what website you used… And it's tedious to make a note to do all the standard searches for BMD when you'll remember it anyway. Usually.

The Research Planner tries to make it easier to record what you intend to do, and how each search turned out, to avoid the common pitfalls as far as you can; to plan research activities based on past experience; and to keep track of your research activities.

It allows you to plan and track your research Tasks either by using a custom Family Historian Fact (Attribute) or by using Family Historian Note records. It allows you to create custom tasks, optionally based on Templates that you have predefined; or to quickly create multiple standard tasks, again using templates. It supports Tags to identify Research Planner tasks, and Groups to associate related tasks; and provides a query that allows you to view tasks based on a flexible combination of filters. It is highly configurable, so you can choose what elements to use in your tasks and what to call them.

It does not try to dictate methodology: you can plan and/or document your research in as much or as little detail as you like, and configure the plugin to support your approach.

There is documentation at Research Planner if you want to understand more.

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Hi, I've downloaded the RP Plug-In and it is going to prove very useful. Thanks for developing it. I have a few initial observations which might be of use going forward. Please let me know if you'd like my feedback (happy to send it to you in email or anything else!). Best regards.

Martin Barrett, August 7, 2020 at 3:12 pm