* Research notes, to do and hash tags

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Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Ruth_W » 09 Mar 2021 17:14

I've read several threads with similar questions, but haven't quite found the answers I need, so forgive me if I've missed them!
I can see that it is useful to use a named research note (log?) for a specific person so that when I have searched, say, 1841 for all Thomas Burrows in Manchester, I can annotate each one with why I have discounted them, and not look at them all again next year (as if!).
But I have started keeping a more general to do list, so that when I notice something - a missing certificate, or an unidentified grandson in a census - I can make a note to come back to it later and not get distracted. Some of these, of course, will necessitate going to a particular resource or archive, so I was going to create hash tags - e.g. #CumbriaCRO or #GRO. I can search and find these hash tags, or other specific text, quite easily, but is there a way of getting them all to one place so that I could print out all the #CumbriaCRO tasks for when (if) we are allowed to go there?
Or is this too cumbersome and I'd be better off making multiple lists for each archive, etc?
I'm quite new to FH and not used to plug-ins or writing queries yet ... I'm hoping for something straightforward.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 09 Mar 2021 17:48

Have a look at Planning and Tracking Your Research -- Named Lists might suit your needs.

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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Ruth_W » 09 Mar 2021 20:29

Thank-you.
So a named list for each archive/geographical area would be best? I suppose that makes sense rather than fiddling around with hash tags etc and I won’t have that many! I will have a bit more of a play with the sample project again to get a feel for it.

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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 31 Mar 2021 15:52

Transitioning from RM7 to FH7 and just getting up to speed with the Research Notes structure in FH vs the Task and Research Log in RM which I used extensively. One of the features I like about FH is the ability to link the notes to multiple other records.
I am trying to understand the difference between using the Link icon in the tool bar when I create a note and linking the note after it is created via Person Record > Notes Tab > Shared Research Note.
I found when I add the individual via the Link icon, the name/link shows up in the note, but the link does not show in the individual records and if I link a note via the Person Record, it shows in the individual record, but the link is not shown in the note itself. I have not done a test with each type (log, task, plan), but I assume it is the same for each type.
Another great feature of the FH7 research note is the formatting/function command bar, but it appears to only be available when a new note is created. If I open a Research Note to edit it, the only command available is the Citation Icon. Is this by design? It would be nice to have the same format/function command bar available after the Research Note is created, especially for Research Logs.
Is it possible to delete a research note from the Reaserach Notes Tab?
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 31 Mar 2021 16:56

In FH V7 links can be created using two different mechanisms and both have pros and cons.
(1)
The link is created in the Notes tab of the Individual record and is the traditional FH method.
It is similar to most other record-to-record forward links where a GEDCOM tag is followed by the target record id:
1 SOUR @S32@ is a link to a Source record with Record Id 32
1 OBJE @O26@ is a link to a Media record with Record Id 26
1 _RNOT @E19@ is a link to a Research Note record with Record Id 19
(2)
FH V7 has introduced Rich Text for Notes and other long text fields that support record links.
That is the type of link you can create within the Research Note text and is a backwards link to the Individual record.
Therefore it does not appear on the Individual record Notes tab of forward links.

The Research Note and its Rich Text editing is similar to all other long text notes.
To open the command bar window click on the [...] button to the right of the text box.

I think you are talking about deleting records from the Research Notes tab in the Records Window.
The process is the same for all tabs in the Records Window.
Select the record and hit the keyboard Delete key or use the Edit > X Delete command.
For other deletion techniques see FHUG KB Delete One or Many Records.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 31 Mar 2021 17:24

Remember that Research Notes are just text notes. They are not fundamentally different to normal notes, but provide the convenience of keeping notes about your research ("when at archive x do y") separate from notes about people ("John Doe was a world-famous drag queen").

When you create a new Research Note, you are given the option of defining whether it is a Log, Plan, Task, blank, or one of your own creation. All that does is tell FH which template to use. Everything else is determined by what you write in the note (unlike RM, which has predefined fields that cannot be changed).

For example, if you create a Log note, you will see the template is part filled in with "Type: Log". If you change that to "Type: Plan" it is now a Plan, not a Log. All FH is doing is looking for lines of text that begin with certain words, in this case "Type: ". Whatever follows that is the Type. Field descriptors don't have to be at the top of the note, they can be anywhere and in any order. If you want to create your own field, just enter the text, say "Visit type:", configure the Records Window or a Query to display that field, and it's job done. The trade off for this complete flexibility is that if you want to change a field value, say "Open" to "Complete", you have to change that text in the note. It's not quite a simple as opening the task in a pre-defined window and selecting from a drop-down menu.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 31 Mar 2021 17:24

I have discovered that is you double click on the text field of an existing Research Note, a new edit window opens and the format/command task bar is available.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 31 Mar 2021 17:31

Exactly - what you are calling the format/command task bar is just the Rich Text Editor, and standard Notes behave in exactly the same way.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 31 Mar 2021 17:42

Mark - Good to know about flexibility to change the type field - allows one to develop a system to create specific types of Research Notes or even subcategories of the existing 3 types.

Does FH allow to change the "default format" of the predefined types. For example I like to use a 4 column table for Logs. When I Add>Research Note>Log it opens a blank note with a 3 column table in it. Can I change this to default to a 4 column table so I do not have to add and additional column every time a create a new Log?

Looks like if I want to see where the note is linked in the note I need to use the Link icon in the text field and if I want to be able to see Linked Notes in the Individual Record I would need to add it as you describe.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 31 Mar 2021 17:55

The Help page for Research Note Records explains that you can creating Research Note autotext.
The Help page for Autotext explains how to do that via the Rich Text Note edit window cog menu options for Insert/Save as/Manage Autotext... that let you define additional formats in addition to the defaults. If you try to Edit a default then you are warned that when FH V7 is upgraded/installed they may get reset.

Yes, if you want to see links from either end then you need both types of link.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 31 Mar 2021 22:18

Thanks MIke - it's not that the information is not there - the challenge is where to find it and what I am learning is I need to review all three (Help, KB and the Forum) before running in too many circles.

I have success fully created a couple of custom templates for Research Logs and Tasks and even manged to get them in the pull down menu for Add>Research Note>select template.

Tomorrow will look at the the linking and generating lists of say, tasks at specific repository, or all the individuals linked to specific task.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 04 Apr 2021 00:26

I have created draft templates for my Tasks and Research Log using auto text and playing with them to get them in final form and determine best way to use them in FH. One of the things I would like to do is be able to create a list of all the tasks for a given Repository and Tasks and Research Logs for given individual.
I read through the Query section in Help, reviewed the KB and watched Helen's video. The examples and discussions seemed to focus on creating queries based on field values within a given record or record to record connections. All of which led me back to how the Research Notes structured and how the links are created.

As Mark and Mike explained to me in the Import RM To Do List thread, the links can be done two ways, record to record or links within the note. The record to record, method 1, required the user to create a Research Note (Task or Research Log type) and then going to Record Tab for the individual, repository, or place you would like to link. Within each individual/repository/place record select the notes tab>add note>shared note. The other method, method 2, the link is created by using the Link icon in the text editor.
For my work flow, method 1 would be very cumbersome. Typically, I use tasks to replace the scraps of paper or note pads. Many times I will have a document image up on my monitor when I come across something that I come across a name I did not expect or something I want to look at later. I would quickly create a task and link it to a repository. The most efficient way to do this would be to add the links as I am creating the task. To use method 1, I would have to close the note, go to each record and then create the link. Time consuming if one had several people and/or repositories I wanted to link to.
If I was working on a research log, it would also be cumbersome to close the log, link to the individual, repository or source and then go back to the log. Although all the imported tasks from RM7 came with record to record links, my preference would be to use the links created within the note - it is more efficient to create, they are visible and they are easy to access if you need to quickly view the linked record.

I created several tasks in FH where I linked repositories using both methods 1 and 2 and then attempted to create a query to provide me with a list of tasks for a given repository. I was able to create the column 1 list of Repositories, but struggled with to create the criteria for the rows or how to limit the column to just one repository. The discussion in the Help and Helen example in her video were all based on looking for a value within a given field in the records and I could not figure out how to create the commands to query for a certain record link or a text link within a research note. I have ordered Get the most out of FH 6 and hopefully there will be additional info there, but why I am waiting for the book to arrive, I have several questions.
1) Can I create/use a query to search for specific text within the Research Note record?
2) If I can search for text, does it make a difference if the text is in a table?
3) Does it make a difference it the text is typed in or created with the Link icon?
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2021 09:51

I guessed this question would be coming :D

You don't need to close the Research Note Property box to find Individuals/Repositories.
When those other records are selected the Property Box content will be automatically changed.
When done adding Notes tab links, use the large white left arrow Go Back button at the top to return through records to where you started. I accept it is not ideal but not quite as disruptive as having to find the Research Note again.

If you are likely to export your Project via GEDCOM to other products then record to record forward links should be handled OK, but Research Note backward links will at best be reduced to just names.
BTW: Related to the Import RM to do lists? (19176) discussion, it would be feasible for a Plugin that automatically added a record to record forward link to match every Research Note backward link, or vice versa with suitably labelled fields.

Queries are somewhat limited in what they can search.
Individual type Queries can only search fields directly attached to an Individual record, i.e. Note tab forward links.
Repository type Queries can only search fields directly attached to a Repository record.
They are not able to scan all Research Notes looking for any backward link to themself.

Research Note type Queries might be able to find backwards links to nominated Individual or Repository records.
However, I need to investigate whether this is actually possible with the link analysis functions provided.

If Queries are not a viable solution then a custom Plugin will provide the required lists.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 04 Apr 2021 10:09

This illustrates that FH "Queries" are not queries as understood by people who have worked with "proper" databases before. If FH used a more traditional database structure, a query such as SELECT Details FROM Research Notes WHERE Repository = 'National Archives' would be trivial.

The FH flavour are much more limited, and have their own slightly idiosyncratic syntax. As a result, many data retrievals have to be done in code, either baked into FH by Calico Pie or via a user plugin.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2021 10:12

I guess a Wish List Request for functions that helped with new features such as the backward Note links might be a solution.
i.e. effectively providing the SELECT ... function you described. I am sure that relational data exists inside FH, but is just not accessible to users.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by AdrianBruce » 04 Apr 2021 11:10

Mark1834 wrote:
04 Apr 2021 10:09
This illustrates that FH "Queries" are not queries as understood by people who have worked with "proper" databases before. ...
Yes, but size of audience, Mark... I would suggest that the number of FH users who can deal with SQL in one of its many forms, is small compared to the rest of FH's users. It's just what you (and to a lesser extent, me) are used to. Personally, I do feel that SQL style queries would be easier to use for basic queries - but is that because I'm slightly used to them? Or have a logical mind? Dunno... But I do feel that when it gets to complexity, the "obvious" nature of SQL falls away rapidly as you "nest stuff" (if that's the right phrase).

If we're talking about people who understand technical stuff, rumour says it that there are people on this earth who actually understand Regular Expressions ;) (although that's not quite the same thing as I don't think that's a choice made by CP but presumably is bundled in with LUA?)
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 04 Apr 2021 11:14

Adrian, yes, bundled with Lua and they're not even real Regular Expressions (which you can finds tools to generate and test) but 'Lua patterns' for which I have never been able to find an online generator or test facility.

And having said that and then idly searched again: https://gitspartv.github.io/lua-patterns/ exists as does https://www.regextester.com/115959

re SQL versus 'Queries' I suspect if you told the vast majority of FH users they needed to use some technical thing called SQL to mine information from their data, they'd go 'nope -- too hard and difficult.' Queries may be less functional but at the simpler end of things they're more accessible.

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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by cwhermann » 04 Apr 2021 11:45

Good to know that it might not all be user error with the query :).
In a perfect world, I would be able to select a repository (similar to selecting the surname in Helen’s video) and then have the Query provide a list of all “non-closed” Tasks linked to the selected repository. e.g. something I could print and take with me to the repository. From a report standpoint, I don’t think the type of link would be important.

Since FH is already looking for the text after the word Title: should I just develop a report title standard that includes the repository and individual in the title of the report?

The same for Individuals or places, a report that shows all the outstanding tasks or the research log(s).
I have not looked at #Tags. Is this “ideal world” list easier to generate with #tags?
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 04 Apr 2021 11:58

I've previously posted the query for Notes that I generate within Research Planner, which allows you to choose a variety of criteria...
Screenshot 2021-04-04 124922.png
Screenshot 2021-04-04 124922.png (12.27 KiB) Viewed 757 times
I haven't modified it yet to run with research notes, but will post the Rows and Column definitions if you're interested. Note that the links to Sources and Repositories are ole style links, but the Individual Link is embedded text (so I'm not sure if the query will work with embedded links).

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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 04 Apr 2021 12:16

Curtis,

It doesn't have to be in the title. You can search anywhere in the Research Note text, so by adding row qualifiers in the correct order you can already be fairly selective with a simple query. For example, this was a query on the Sample Project dataset with RM tasks that lists all open Research Notes related to the Munro family.

Condition 1 for the rows is add if Text contains 'Munro', then condition 2 is exclude if Text contains 'Status: Completed'. If we include the Repository as a standard field as well (as per discussion in the other thread, and it wouldn't matter here if it were plain text or a link), you could just as easily list open tasks by repository. It's not ideal having to have the Repository in the text as well, but it might be the easiest option.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by AdrianBruce » 04 Apr 2021 12:23

Helen - I suspect that you're right about SQL v. FH queries. A very simple one-liner might not have much in it (but bear in mind that I'm saying this with a very, very basic knowledge of SQL) but beyond that, I'm sure that FH queries win out for the vast majority.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2021 12:54

Just to clarify what Mark has posted is a Research Note type Query that reports backward names/links from a Research Note to another record as I mentioned in my first reply to Curt. It cannot report the record to record forward links.

I realise it is only a demo but searching for a Name anywhere in the Research Note text is unreliable.
If the Name were 'Read' or 'Tate' it could report many false positives because the search is not case sensitive and not restricted to whole words so it would match words such as 'tread' and 'state'. So it needs to search just labelled text, but does not work in rich text tables.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 04 Apr 2021 13:18

No it isn’t. It’s a simple Query that just searches the Text field of the Research Note. It’s got nothing to do with links. It’s also an option to make the search case-sensitive just by ticking the appropriate box for that condition.

I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it is something that users can try now. If that serves their need, there’s no point in over-complicating it.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by tatewise » 04 Apr 2021 13:52

It should match links too where the Text option is chosen to provide the Name.
Apologies, I had forgotten about the 'Match case' tick option in Queries and was thinking of the =ContainsText(...) function.
I did say I realise it is only a demo, but it may still produce false positives unless full names are searched for.
I just thought potential users need to be aware that the list produced may include more than they expected.
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Re: Research notes, to do and hash tags

Post by Mark1834 » 04 Apr 2021 15:19

So we seem to be heading towards a consensus for both this and the related import thread that including linked records in the text of the Research Note is a worthwhile addition. For the RM To-Do list, this is one Repository link plus a single Individual or Family, so a maximum of two extra lines of text. For FH7, the only reason not to have active links is compatibility, but that's general to all Rich Text, so I assume the Export GEDCOM plugin will convert links to plain text. For FH6, it will have to be plain text. I doubt anyone will actually use this in FH6, but we might as well make it available for the sake of a couple of lines of code.

It will get more complicated if we want to accommodate RM8 Tasks in the future, as their links can be much more extensive (more like FH), but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

It's not perfect, but it sounds like it will give our RM refugees the functionality they want at the moment, without having to resort to additional plugins or complex Queries. It can be improved in the future as we all gain experience of working with Research Notes and more tools/experience develops to optimise their use.

It's probably easier if I do it, so I'll post version 4 with this enhancement tomorrow morning.
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