The tip for this Tuesday is so transparently obvious I'm probably outing myself as duh-humb. But here goes.
I do a lot of searching for death notices in Chicago newspapers. In fact, paid death notices are a vital source for anyone researching in metropolitan areas.
So I have over 240 death notices that have really informed my research. But those death notices usually only say something like "Services on Tuesday at 2 p.m." So for each death notice, I'd have to open up a perpetual calendar (I really like the one at www.timeanddate.com/calendar) and set the year and figure out the burial date from the perpetual calendar.
That takes a lot of time – time I could be spending finding more death notices. So last week while I was hip-deep in ProQuest Obituaries, the light went on. I'm on a full page of death notices and somebody somewhere on that page must mention the date in connection with services. And they do – every time!
Example: This death notice for Emma Anderson specifies "services Saturday 10 a.m." The Delbridge death notice the next column to the right says services will be held "Saturday May 4." The answer was right on the same page, inches away.
This is approximately two million times faster (time scientifically determined) and I can't believe it took me 200 death notices to figure this out. D'oh is me!