Well, you have now begun to look at your family tree. The minute you begin to make notes and find out more about people there is a very strong risk of becoming totally disorganised. I know that when I first began my family search, I started with a notebook. This grew to more than one notebook. I printed off interesting articles and before you know it, you are collecting shopping bags, stuffed full of odd papers, articles, notebooks and sticky notes.

There are some really good programs that you can purchase that will make your collections so much more organised. So what is available? I don't know all of them and I haven't tried all of them, but a lot of them have a free download of a trial version which can help you make up your mind.

I have found that Family Tree Maker is excellent, whether you belong to Ancestry or not. It allows you to branch off in as many directions as you please and yet it is still easy to follow. Documents, photos, stories and the source of your findings can be attached to the appropriate person in your tree. You can print from the application and convert to a gedcom.
Normally on first purchase, you are provided with a selection of useful free discs and a couple of weeks free trial membership to Ancestry. When you wish to upgrade, it's easy to purchase just the download - you don't have to buy the entire package each time.
A version especially for the Mac has just been released.

Family Tree Maker 2012

This is a popular software and you can download the free standard edition from their site. Of course the DeLuxe edition has far more features and can be purchased for under $30usd.
The standard edition only allows you to go back 4 generations so if you're getting serious about going back as far as you can, then the Deluxe version would be a better buy.
It is an American software so accesses more USA sites than other countries.

This software comes from a USA based company. You can download a free trial or purchase the full version. It's recently undergone a major update so should have a lot of updated features. It seems to be quite user friendly and organised.

Ancestral Quest has special features to aid the Jewish researcher.

I don't know an awful lot about this software but it has got an unusual feature in as much as you can create emotional links between ancestors which can show friendships, hostility and love. There is a free downloadable trial version available.

This looks to be a nice and user-friendly software. They offer a free download and there is the option to buy their premium version which has more bells and whistles.
A lovely feature though is that it has face recognition technology.

This is a Windows genealogy shareware program so you can download the program and try it out for free, but the registered version will cost you $45 - and that will come with a manual.
It is only suitable for Windows and there is no Mac version as yet.