Tips from CoDA Training #3: The Art of Narrative in Your Workflow

Hi, Nikki Here! Our tips for this week come from The Art of Narrative in your Workflow webinar with Ruth Tringham. This webinar is one of my favorites because we get to look into how we collect, perceive, and share data as archaeologists. In this class, Ruth breaks down the process of how to incorporate narrative throughout the entire workflow process, not just when it comes time for progress reports and publications. 


When is Narrative Most Important for Archaeologists?

Ruth’s key tip for efficient narrative construction throughout your project workflow is to consider collecting as much of the narrative as possible while still in the field and whenever possible, do it digitally. For example, you could record an audio narrative when you are out in the field filling out forms, allowing a longer narrative to be produced alongside the dry data. The benefit of doing this in the field is that the memory of the experience is recorded immediately, avoiding lapses of detail from distractions and delays. 

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Which Database Software Should I use?

If you are curious which database software Ruth recommends, look no further than FileMaker. This software will work for both PC and Mac, and can be used offline in the field so long as you have a plan for regular syncing. FileMaker also happens to be the at the base of Codifi’s paperless recording system. Ruth’s tip for working with this, or other database platforms, is to store your media files external to the database, and then link to those external locations. This helps to keep the database itself light for active use so that it is not bogged down by media storage.