Set your objectives
You can become a good genealogist if you like mysteries. Very similar to detectives, genealogists also need close to figure out likely scenarios when looking for answers. Genealogy involves things, which are as easy as looking for a name in an index or as complex as relating patterns amongst communities and neighbours and deciphering all those clues into answers. One of the basic objectives to be set when formulating a research plan is to understand and pinpoint what exactly you want to know and from questions, which will give you, answers to what you seek. A good genealogy research plan includes a clear-cut objective. This will give you specific information you want to know about your ancestor. This could include things like the date they got married, who they got married to, where they stayed at that point of time, when they passed away. Being specific in arriving at the single question helps to keep you focused on research and your plan is also on track.
Information you already have
So what is the information that you have already picked up about your ancestors? This should ideally be identities, relationships with documents with the details of dates and places. You can look at your home for papers, diaries, family charts, other important documents and also have conversations with your relatives to fill the gaps. You should be able to reach some probable or possible conclusions, which your genealogy research will either prove or disprove. For example you can start with a hypothesis that your ancestors died in the same town where they last lived. You should be able to identify which records will help you with your hypothesis. Is it census records or marriage records or property deeds? Make a list of all the sources that you can reach out to, libraries, societies, archives or even collections on the Internet where you can look for records and sources.
Whats the strategy?
The last leg of the research plan is to identify a process and an order to follow to go through these repositories depending on which records are available and what stage your research in and your needs. Usually this will happen in the order of the available records but can also be affected by factors such as accessibility. Take into account the fact that you might require information from one record so that you can easily locate another record from there.