- Print CLEARLY. Don’t slant, don’t write sloppy half cursive and print. Don’t write over the top of anything written or printed before. There is not a person with x-ray eyes reading your form. Print clearly when you fill out forms. People have to read your data!
- Be accurate. For the most part, we’re recording history. Don’t skip your birthdate unless you want to be lumped together with the rest of the folks born in 1789. Or worse, get put on the Youth mailing list instead of the generation more appropriate to your interests. Or some combination thereof.
- Complete everything. Don’t assume data is being entered or gathered in the same place you provided it before. There is a reason your church is asking for information. It also helps clarify specifics when comparing people with multiple similar or exactly the same names. For sure, fill out your REAL name completely. Not everyone knows who Rebekah and Juan are, or that Trey is short for Sam Smith III, despite your opinion they do know.
All that said, I heart personal data. I love working with it, processing it, making sure things are as accurate as can be, because like I said, it’s history. It’s like putting a church family puzzle together and making sure it’s safe and sound.
I especially appreciate those who have come before me, writing long form and gathering paper records, preserving them for the future so we can know our people. I’m working on a membership data project as an independent contractor. I’m lucky to be able to serve a church remotely, earning some money to help support my family, and help complete their project efficiently. I’m just crazy enough to think this stuff is fun!