Start with the living and the recent dead, NOT the tupuna for they need to get to know you first to decide if they will let you work with them.
Start with your grandparents then list under them all of your parents brothers and sisters, INCLUDING still born, those who died as infants and those who have gone.
With your uncles wives, make sure that you have their maiden names, as that is the name for their whakapapa - do not use their married names as they do not have whakapapa rights to those lines. Also, where are the wives from? Their iwi? Are they also related it your lines? If so how? Where are those connections? Then add them in, again working from the common tupuna down to tie in the lines.
Is there more than one marriage? More than one relationship? Who with? Where are they from? Iwi? Connections with your whanau lines?
Add in all your first cousins, their spouses, where they are from, if they are related, including once again still born, infant death etc.
Then the next generation down with the same information and so on.
You can work a line at a time, say your parents's eldest sibling, the marriage(s) the children etc then the next sibling of your parents, but make sure you come DOWN!!!
Working with these people is not as draining as when you start to work with the older people back in your whakapapa, hence another reason why you start here to build up your stamina for the time when you start working with the tupuna.
maori.org.nz recommends GeneWeb Software for keeping your records as it is free and it is brilliant for whakapapa and will show all of the relationships. Here is a link to our evaluation of the software and why we recommend it.
The link for GeneWeb Software can be found in the links section under Software.