Over the years, I seem to have developed a moderate collection of sheet music. Some of it is in soft copy, and a fair bit of it is in published books. Either way, I mostly use it for reference purposes. I find sheet music too unwieldy and impractical for day-to-day purposes. So typically, once I've understood how a song actually works, I'll scribble down the chord progressions for each of the major sections, maybe hand write any important riffs and any playing tips. I try to keep each song on a single page.

Over time, though, this is becoming really messy.

Recently, I've started trying to organise things. I've put together some Nashville-style chord charts. Apparently, jazz guys often use this style of chart for comping and it works fine for me when I play alone. But if others are trying to sing along, they need a separate lyrics sheet and we try and marry things together. It doesn't always work.

Alternatively, I use chord&lyric sheets like the ones stored here on UG. They work well for the singers, but sometimes I struggle with the rhythm because they don't really give you any indication of the chord duration. If I really know the song well, or if it is in a simple 4/4 time with chord changes on the bar, then it really doesn't matter. But slightly more complex rhythms, or songs I'm not entirely familiar with, start to cause headaches.

So how do most other people manage these things? What sort of notation/sheets do you use while you are building your repertoire? And how do you manage it (ie, any software or tools)?
Well when writing a chord chart I write out how long the chord should last within the measure.

When it comes down to it you can always count a tune. I normally listen to the song and count along and give strike marks to how long the bars / chords last. Eg;

| G / / / | Em7 / / / | D7 / G / |

This is a simple chord sheet but it let's me know that the G and Em7 last for a whole bar, where as D7 and G only last 2 beats each.

But usually if you have the sheet music you are in the money as all the rhythms, bar lengths, key sigs and time signatures are laid out for you. So all you need to do is read and play.

I hope this helps ?