In doing genealogy, use the following checklist to get more out of your efforts:
1. Research log. It shows where you have searched and may help you decide where to search next.
2. Correspondence log. This reminds you to whom you have written, emailed, or called and when. Include the reason for the contact.
3. White gloves. White gloves are essential in many archives so that skin oils do not damage fragile documents.
4. Research plan. Develop a research plan and write it down! A plan provides focus.
5. Record your sources. Photocopy or copy the source information. It should be complete enough that another person can find the document using the source information provided.
6. Pencils and loose paper. Only pencils and loose paper are usually allowed in archives. Spiral bound notebooks are not permitted because of the possibility of damage to documents from the spiral wire.
7. Yellow cellophane. Yellow cellophane held against a page with faint writing will often make the document easier to read.
8. Photographs of tombstones. In photographs of tombstones, it is often easier to read the inscription if the photograph was taken on a partly cloudy day.
9. Acid free ink pens. If it is necessary to write on the back of any photograph, use an acid free ink pen to prevent damage to the photograph.
10. Acid free storage. Only acid free boxes, files, paper dividers should be used with original documents in order to preserve them.