Over the years I have developed several techniques for tracking people that I thought I might throw out there. If you have "invented" such a technique, please add it in a reply to this post.
TOP OF LINE US ANCESTOR (To me)
I have created a custom fact called "top of line ancestor). I have several hundred ancestors of mine, many from New England ancestry, that come from approximately 150 immmigrants. For each immigrant (top of line), I put the surname of that line in the description field. If the same surname for several ancestors, I add the first name. If a wife whose surname is unknown, I will put something like "Mary, wife of John Doe". I can now create a custom report for these people, or create a filter for them.
TOP OF (European) LINE (to me)
Here I have created a custom fact called "Top of European Line" and put the surname in that dsecription field of that person.
COMMON LINES (to me)
Over the years, you may add a bunch of people who are related to you in one way or another. But, as the years go by, you don't remember how. You could go to the Relationship Calculator; but often you just want a "quick glance" at the lines we have in common. I create a custom fact called "common lines" (meaning ancestral lines in common with me). For example, I have all of the New England presidents in my file (except Obama - I'll try to catch him with the next issue of AAP - Ancestors of American Presidents). I usually have at least one New England ancestral line in common with each one - sometimes more than one ancestral line. If I share Smith, Jones and Doe New England ancestors, I will put those surname in the description field of that person / president. I do with this with correspondent (or ancestors of correspondents) as well. If I want to see how those lines are created, I can refer to the relationship calculator, or to the outline descendant report - direct line.
LINE OF ASCENT
I often have descendants down other branches of ancestors. This is particularly true of New England ancestors. I will often fill out a line of ascent, at least for their surname line, like:
or his son
David-2, John-1 Smith
or his son
William-3, David-2, John-1 Smith.
In my surname study, for example, I may have 75 William Smiths. I find it useful to distinguish them to have their line on the Person page so I can quickly see which William this William is.
I will often use this this custom fact for the first generaton or two of a female line. But I often don't go beyond that. (If I were to add the line of ascent for each of my female lines, I would have to add 149 custom facts to my person page - which clutters things up quite a bit. I have web pages that show those lines.
ANCESTORS OF NOTABLE PEOPLE
Most people with New England ancestry share ancestry with millions of Americans - some of whom are famous (or infamous). From Wild Bill Hickok to Laura Ingalls to Johnny Appleseed to Lady Diane to the New England Presidents to whoever. One of the fun things to do with our hobby is to figure out we are related to these people. Once I have figured out I am related to a famous New Englander, I put the famous person's name in the description field of the ancestors of that famous person - so I will recognize them when I run across them. And, in the Notable person's Person Page, I will enter our common ancestral line or lines in the description field of the "common lines" above.
ANCESTOR OF PRESIDENT
This custom fact is the same as "Ancestor of Notabel Person", but presidents only.
DESCENDANT OF NOTABLE PERSON
I'm usually not too concerned with descendants of notable persons, but when I run across them and put them into my database; I will enter the famous person's name in the description field of this fact for each descendant.
Do you have other ways of identifying or describing people in your database?