Create a research plan for each one of your ancestors, and start a research log. When starting out research in a locality new to me, I start a journal or research notebook to keep track of information about the place, and then consult finding aids and research guides to learn more about researching in that locality.
Sometimes before starting work on an ancestor, I create a Genealogy Source Checklist to remind myself what I've already found and to plan which sources I want to look for next. Reviewing all the sources you have about a person as a group can reveal clues and point you at other records.
For Switzerland, the following guides may help:
For each of your ancestors, try to keep in mind:
- All the ways their names appear on records. View these as "variant spellings" rather than mistakes.
- The time in which they lived.
- The places they lived in.
- Members of their immediate family.
- Their friends, neighbors, and associates (the "FAN" or "FAN club"). Memberships in organizations can give clues about occupations.
- Any other information you have about them that will distinguish them from other people who have the same name.
It helps greatly to learn more about the places your ancestors lived in, even if the local history doesn't mention your ancestor in it. Knowing more about the times and places gives you context and helps you spot clues that you might miss otherwise.