When Tara Cajacob of The Historium asked me if I would like to try out her new Historical Research Planner, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. [Update: As of December 2018, The Historium is no more, but its creator can be reached at TaraCajacob.com.] I often find that the most difficult aspect of genealogical research is not the research itself – no matter how many brick walls I may encounter – but rather taking those first decisive steps to organize a massive amount of research material into a cohesive end result.
The Historical Research Planner is sold currently as three separate packs designed to meet a researcher’s needs. Together, they break down the daunting task of organization of both the actual research and the end result into bite-size pieces that can be easily applied and tailored to fit a specific research goal. Check out Tara’s video below to see just how the planner packs can serve as a guide through the research process:
The Calendar Pack is your friend whether you’re gearing up to tackle a big research project or are simply ready to define your research goals for the year ahead. The former 4-Her in me loves the structured opportunity for goal-setting that the Calendar Pack has to offer, as well as the helpful tips for reaching milestones through short-term goals and manageable tasks. As a bonus, the goal-setting worksheets and weekly and monthly calendars have charming yet subtle backgrounds and borders, and are organized as PDFs with handy fillable form fields.
The Genealogy Pack is designed especially for the family historian and includes all of the familiar genealogical forms, such as pedigree charts and family group sheets, as well as a surname index and source index. What is most clever is that these resources, in addition to featuring, again, beautiful backgrounds and borders and fillable form fields, are color-coded based on the branch of the family tree. While I’m on a first-name basis with many of my ancestors (hey there, George and Sarah!), I have to recognize that not everyone who peruses my written family history will be on that same familiar level. Thus, color-coding the branches as blue, green, pink, or yellow (for one’s paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, and maternal grandmother, respectively) will make it much easier to immediately grasp the bigger picture when looking at an individual in the family tree.
The Filing Pack lets you keep on color-coding your research materials with four colors of tabs, labels, and title pages, all compatible with specified Avery office products. How much fun is that? Organizing printed research materials for presentation in a binder is a laborious and time-intensive task, but thanks to this colorful and practical format with thoughtfully developed materials, it has never been this appealing to take the plunge and complete that research project!
My favorite thing about the Historical Research Planner packs – aside from the high level of organization they offer? They are just so pretty! Tara has a great eye for fresh patterns and sophisticated color palettes, and I only hope she will come out with an expansion pack to offer even more designs for her color-coded charts and labels. Tara believes that there’s no reason that genealogy should be black and white, and I couldn’t agree more. The Historical Research Planner packs, available for purchase and immediate download at The Historium, are a great way to get organized, add some color to your research, and give your ancestors’ stories the attention they deserve.
Disclosure: I received this product free of charge as compensation for my time spent reviewing it. All opinions expressed are my own.