To Do List TagsThe research log in TMG is a wonderful tool, if you are one who uses it. I was one who was constantly wishing I had. My main problem was there were times when I really wanted to create a lot of tasks that were basically the same, but attached to many different people. The only way I could see to do this was one person at a time. Another problem was I kept forgetting to look and see if I had tasks. What I really wanted was a way to see the task in the Person View of TMG.
John Cardinal solved part of my problem with his TMG Utility by allowing me to add a tag to a list of people using a text file. Notice I said a TAG, not a task. Tags also can be viewed in the PV of a person. Suddenly an idea began to form. What if instead of TASKS, I had To Do List Tags? What if the role of the tag was what I needed to look up? What if the place of the tag was the microfilm roll, so I could use the EVENTS window in the Master Place List, to see who I needed to look up easily? What if I had a separate To Do List Tag for each state I research in?
So I began to set up the tasks. The first thing I wanted to do was use the Place for the microfilm roll. I use the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) for most of my research, and they have their microfilm collection indexed and online, so that's where I decided to start. For other states, I use www.familysearch.org.
So the first step is to create a new place style to be used for these tasks. If you are one of those people who likes a small place list, this isn't for you. I personally don't care as long as places are duplicated, so this works great for me. Your place style will need to be: Microfilm for research and the output template should read: <[County Name], ><[Book Type], ><[Roll Number], ><[Archives], ><[City], ><[County], ><[State], ><[Phone], ><[FHL Film Number]>
Notice you will need to create some new place levels. If you don't know how to do this, email me for directions. In Book Type, I usually put what is on the roll of film. Try to keep this below 100 characters, otherwise, TMG can't optimize the place if you get more than two in your Master Place List. Roll Number is the State's roll number. I use the FHL Film Number for the Church of Latter Day Saint's Microfilm number. Archives is where am I going to be looking at the film. I usually use the state archives here even if the film is going to come from Salt Lake, just to be consistent.
Then I needed to create the task roles. I decided I wanted two roles for each document. One to use for research and one for when the document had been found. Later as I worked, I also created a third role for when the document didn't exist.
So I have roles like: Will, Deed, Marriage, etc. and Copied-Will, Copied-Deed, Copied, Marriage, etc.
I didn't want the information from these tags to print when I did a normal report, so I suppressed the sentence in ENGLISH, and created a new language for these tasks I call Tabular.
My sentences are:
[:CR:][:CR:][BOLD:]DEED RESEARCH: [:BOLD]<[:CR:][M]><[:CR:][M2]><[:CR:] [M3]><[:CR:][BOLD:]DATE of EVENT OR MICROFILM DATES: [D][:BOLD]><[:CR:][L3]><[:CR:][L1] ><[L2]><[:CR:][L4], [L5], [L7]><[:CR:][L9]>[:CR:]NOTES: [:CR:][:CR:][:CR:]<[M9]>
Just replace the word Deed with the type of document the role is for. The date here is for the range of dates covered by the roll of microfilm. If the deed book covers 1848-1852, that is what I put in the date field at this point. If I am lucky, I will find an online index of this roll and I can fill out the book and page numbers in the memo field. If I find more than one deed on a roll, I tend to make a task for each deed, since it makes the next step easier. All I have to do at the library is change the role name, and copy the deed.
For Copied-tags, the sentence is:
[:CR:][:CR:][BOLD:]DEED RESEARCH: [:BOLD][:CR:]Photocopy in possession of author.<[:CR:][M]><[:CR:][M2]><[:CR:] [M3]><[:CR:][BOLD:]COMPLETED: [D][:BOLD]><[:CR:][L3]><[:CR:][L10]><[:CR:][L1]>< [L2]><[:CR:][L4]><, [L5]><, [L7]><[:CR:][L9]>
Notice that the Date here reflects when the task has been completed. Once I find the deed, I put today's date in the date field and the date of the deed in the sort date field. That way my task prints today's date, but it shows in the PV as the date of the deed. With luck, you will find more than one deed on that one roll of film.
Now once you have these set up. You are ready to order your films. I recently ordered a marriage roll of microfilm. Once it comes in, I can go to the Master Place List and find that roll of film, and click on EVENTS. Now everyone I need to find on that roll of film will be listed in one place. All I have to do at the library is make the copies. The date field will tell me which ones I have found before. If it is a current date, the document has been found and copied, or it doesn't exist. If it is a date within the range of the film, I still need to make a copy. I can sort it by date, and have the ones I still need to look up sort to the top of the list.