Hello to all, and thank you so much for your responses! I have read most of them and skimmed some of them. You've been so helpful, and yes, the responses are helping me. Mostly you've all made me realize that there's no single "right way" to use Quicken. That's good; I can stop guilting myself for not being perfect! Your responses, and the diversity of your own practices, have made me realize that as long as I find my own way and keep using the program, I'll be fine. I'll be doing better than I am today and that will be great!So here's how things have been going for me:I'm opening Quicken pretty much once per week. I like to get into Quicken Bill Pay usually on Saturdays; set up my payments for the next 1 or 2 pay periods, and then open Quicken and do an online update. I haven't yet tried to do any reconciliations for checking account, but I'm no stranger to those with prior Quicken versions. Reconciling credit cards and investments will be a new thing for me.As for the budget, there's no urgent need to have one this month, and maybe not next month either, so I'm doing what a couple of you have suggested...enter my transactions and start accumulating data. Having categories set up correctly will go a long way toward helping me gain a functional understanding of my budget and, as one person suggested, a better understanding of myself too.I also got all of my retirement accounts in Quicken now (first time ever for my 401k), so I'm pretty excited about that.As for those "best practices" that we should all be following, I take a backup whenever closing Quicken after making any changes, and I have my hard drives backed up by Macrium Reflect more than once each day.Thanks again to all who've contributed to this thread!