Getting ready to go on this really big trip out of town for the wedding, I have already scheduled some time for myself to do some family research. That brought me to a point that I would like to address here.
There are things that I take with me when I go anywhere. Yes. Anywhere. I have a bag that looks like a small messenger bag that holds a 10 inch tablet, a few composition notebooks and other odds and ends. It is stuffed with pockets and has a great strap, too. I carry a ginormous purse because life is easier when I have that with me. So, if I am going somewhere, I drop the research bag into my purse.
What all is in the research bag?
2 pens. I like Pilot ultra-fines. They don't smear, the ink seems to last a long time and they get the job done. As a lefty, I have to be careful of smears. My hand will drag through ink like nobody's business. It can ruin a beautiful document.
2 pencils. Automatic pencils so that I don't have to hunt down a sharpener and the point size is consistent. No brand preference.
2 composition notebooks. Why 2? One is for facts to relist online when I get a chance, and the other is for ideas, leads, information to look up and random things that make sense to me, like web addresses to look at later. This keeps my fact book straight and my ramble book can have anything and everything in it.
1 tablet. I am using the Samsung Galaxy E. I think it has a 9.7 inch display. It runs great, nice battery life and gets done all of the things that I want to do with a tablet. When I am doing research at a library and don't want to take the laptop because I am going to be in the stacks, this tablet is perfect. I can take a million pictures, add notes and more, and because I do it on Google Docs, the whole thing is on my laptop when I get home.
Power charger. Sometimes, I do run the tablet dry of juice.
Business cards. I hand them out all the time. I will do an article on my business cards later this month, because my cards get results and yours can, too!
Highlighters. Bold and fine line. This helps to be organized. If there is something that I need to make sure and pay attention to, I will put a star to the side in the margin if it is on paper. I will also underline. If there is a special fact I need to pay attention to, I will highlight it so that I don't have to search through a bunch of stuff. Highlighting in my facts book, all men's names are highlighted in blue, ladies in pink. Sexist? Perhaps, but at a glance, I know who is who without having to look it up. Not all names are easily determined of gender, so that little action has saved me a lot of aggravation.
Tape. Paper tears, things happen. Repair it on the spot if it is yours.
Paper clips. Keep all of those copies you just paid for together so that they remain grouped the way you want. I use colored ones for easy sorting.
Ziploc bags. Office in a bag? Yes. I have rubber bands, paper clips and miscellaneous stuff in one. I carry empties in case I get something that needs to be kept safe. I also like to carry those bags in case someone gives me documents that need to be returned, but they are small. The bag lets me know that it does not belong to me.
Flashlight. There are plenty of places that I have done research where either the light is dim or the printing on the page is so faded that the only way I have been able to see what I am looking at is with a flashlight. Same for going down stairs in dim hallways, and for reading fine print.
Magnifying glass. I do not know how people in the 1800's read at the font size that some things were printed in. I have to read these articles with a magnifying glass. If I am going to be reading a lot of these micro size articles and I cannot bump up the font because it is an actual book, I wear a stronger strength reading glasses so I don't have to hold the magnifying glass.
Snack bar. I bring a granola bar or similar with me. Why? Because some places that I go don't have a vending machine, and I don't want to lose momentum on something that I am doing, or hunger hits me and I don't want to have a headache.
Aspirin/pain relief tablets. Migraine? Headache? Whack your leg on a table? Continue with your research.
Adhesive bandage. Paper cut. I am told that Super Glue is fabulous, but I am told it is miserable if you don't do it right. So, I carry about 5 or six bandages of various sizes.
Bag of mixed change with no pennies. Some places only take cash for copies. Some places only take cash for the parking meter. If you take some out, replace it.
Baby Wipes. I once was looking something up at a small library. As I turned the page, my hand hit something wet. I don't know what it was, but I brought the book to the desk and I washed my hands like I had touched MRSA. Wipes are good for a multitude of sins.
Empty Water Bottle. (Full if they allow it.) Refill at fountain. Save money.
Lozenges. Libraries make me cough sometimes.
Any medicines that you need to take on a regular, timed basis. Don't miss your pill because you are looking up dead people!
Any emergency medicines that you may need. Insulin. Asthma medicine and so forth. Rescue inhalers.