When you go to those seminars-check out the new things offered for sale during intermission. I found a pack of Census Records-for 1790 t0 1930. I don't WRITE on it much, but I grab it for reference ALL THE TIME, when my old eyes can not see the record I am looking at.
I teach a lot of classes, and I can not stress enough-the great use of a time line. I do my notes by year-or approximate year. You are able to see what you are missing-as well as what you have.