My family has had a directory for many years now. My mom was in charge of keeping it up to date until her eye sight got too bad, then my aunt took over. About a year ago the task was passed on to me. If your family doesn’t have an official directory it would be a great gift to put all the contact information for your family in one spot.
There are lots of ways to handle this. My mom and aunt used a word processor and periodically printed out copies to share. This works but it can be hard to keep the formatting consistent. I think a spread sheet might work better. When I took over the job I decided to transfer all the information to Microsoft Outlook and use the tools under contacts to manage all the information. The family knows to let me know if there are changes. If someone needs an up to date list for a wedding or such I can give them the latest information. Once a year in January, I email out the family directory in a pdf format and as an exported data file from Outlook. This way it isn’t too hard to keep things organized and accurate.
A printed out in a half sheet booklet form would also be a great way to share it with family. If you really wanted to get fancy it would be fun to collect photos from each family or person to include in the directory. I’m sure there are ways to put together and manage a family directory that I haven’t though of yet, If you have a suggestion let me know and I’ll include it here. A directory is a great way to help keep extended family in touch with each other. Isn’t that what family is all about? Making and keeping those bonds and connections strong.
I found this page on eHow for making a family directory that might be helpful: