Our previous article, Historical Newspaper Research Made Easy, explains how you can save time getting your newspaper research started by creating a Goal.  In this article, we will show how to organize your research using Goals.  We will also explain more thoroughly how OldNews USA uses your Goals to make your research both easier and better.

A Goal in OldNews USA is data that describes your research objective or topic. It defines the who (or what), when, and where of your research objective.  OldNews USA separately saves your search history, suggestions, and research log for each Goal.  You can create multiple Goals, and easily change the Goal you are currently researching.  Let’s explore how to use Goals in a little more detail.

Current Goal

After you create your first Goal, the main screen of OldNews USA will contain a number of new cards, one of which is the Current Goal card.  This card summarizes your Goal as you defined it, and provides easy access to functions that let you manage your Goals.

If you want to change some of your Goal data, simply tap the card and edit your Goal data using the Goal Details screen.  OldNews USA will update the Search Suggestions and Newspaper Suggestions cards whenever you make changes to your Current Goal.

Managing Multiple Goals

If you decide you want to start searching for a different topic, you can create a new Goal.  Select the Manage Goals button from the Current Goal card or from the main toolbar.  The Manage Goals screen shows all of the Goals you’ve created so far.  The Goal with the green icon is your Current Goal.

As you can see, there are two types of Goals.  If you are searching for articles about a person, create a Person Goal.  If you are researching a historical event or topic, create a Topic Goal.  You can find buttons for both types of goals in the toolbar.  After you enter your new data and click Save, the newly created Goal becomes your Current Goal.

When you return to the main screen, you will notice the Current Goal card now displays your new Goal, the Search Suggestions and Newspaper Suggestions cards have changed to make suggestions based on your new Goal, and the Last Search card is not displayed since the search history for the new Goal is empty.

Your previous Goal and all of the associated data is still saved and available on your device.  If you want to return to your previous goal, you can select a different goal using the drop down on the Current Goal card.  When you change goals, you will notice that the the Current Goal card now displays this Goal, the Search Suggestions and Newspaper Suggestions cards have been restored, and the Last Search card displays the last search that you tried for this Goal.

Deleting a Goal

OldNews USA allows you to create as many Goals as you like, limited only by the storage capacity of your mobile device.  When you have finished researching a Goal, you can delete the Goal and all associated search history, suggestions, and research log data.  To delete a Goal, go to the Manage Goals screen, and press and hold the Goal you want to delete.  OldNews USA then displays a checkbox next to each Goal in the list, and checks the box for the Goal that you pressed.  To delete this Goal, click the trash icon in the toolbar.

The Default Goal

You may be thinking “I don’t want to create and manage Goals, I just want to search.”  Well, you can definitely search without bothering to create a Goal.  If you don’t create a Goal, OldNews USA will create a Default Goal for you, primarily because the app needs a Goal to automatically save your search history.  You can ignore the Default Goal if you don’t care about research suggestions or organizing your research using the app.  If you change your mind, you can either edit the Default Goal or create a new Goal at any time.

Benefits of Goals

Creating a Goal will reduce the amount of data you need to enter to find newspaper articles.  OldNews USA uses the keywords from your Goal to create some research suggestions automatically.  Simply touch one of these suggestions to bring up a full populated search screen that you can use without any further data entry.  Also, if you specify a date range in your Goal, the app automatically populates the date range for each search, so you don’t have to enter it each time.  Entering data into a mobile app can be tedious, so the app is constantly trying to reduce the amount of data you need to enter by using the data from your Current Goal.

Advanced or professional genealogists know how important it is to follow proper research practices.  OldNews USA helps you perform research that complies with the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).  A few of the fundamentals are to start by defining detailed research question, and then to document all of your research steps.  A Goal is a summary of your research question.  You can also enable automatic Research Logging for your Goal.  OldNews USA will then log every search and action, including a complete source citation for every newspaper page that you save.

Using Goals to organize your research will save you time, help keep you focused, reduce the amount of data entry needed to conduct a thorough newspaper search, and improve the quality of your research.  It only takes a few seconds to create a new Goal, so try OldNews USA for free today, and start discovering your family history in old newspapers.

Using Goals To Organize Your Newspaper Research

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