Avoid Search Paralysis: Use these Tools to Plan Complicated Searches – Part Three of Three

This is the third post in a series about how to avoid search paralysis during complicated searches. To recap:

The first step is to figure out which approach is most applicable to your search. The minutes you spend figuring this out will save you a ton of time down the search-road. Nothing is worse than feeling like you’ve spent hours flipping through links and websites and getting nowhere.

The three are:
1)      Fill in the Box

2)      Tarzan Style
3)      Core Drilling

Today’s focus is on the approach called CORE DRILLING.

The Core Drilling approach is best when you only have a vague idea of what you’re looking for or you aren’t even sure if what you’re looking for exists.

Where to start? Where to dig? How to not waste time chasing nothing?

It’s as if you are looking upon an open plain, and an oil deposit is hidden somewhere out there (or gold or water if you’d prefer the Earth’s oil supply stay hidden). If only you had a dowsing rod to help! Take a clue from geologists looking for mineral deposits, try core drilling like this:

1)      Start by “scanning the horizon” for anything relevant. You do this by typing (what you imagine are) useful keywords into a search engine.

2)      Take notes of possible, albeit lukewarm, leads as you go – but don’t follow them yet!

3)      When you find something that seems promising, plant a flag and start digging. This is your first CORE DRILL.

4)      Follow that lead all the way to its logical conclusion – Be careful not to get sidetracked during this core drill!

5)      Unless you strike black gold, go back to your original search – the open plain – and keep going until you hit something else promising and do another CORE DRILL.

It looks like this:

This process may seem laborious, but I guarantee you it will save you hours down the road. It will keep you focused on possible leads. It will ensure you don’t stay too shallow with your research. It will save you from retracing the same old leads.

Happy Drilling!