This is part of series of articles on how to set up and use version control on your computer. There are many systems for version control. In these articles, you will use a program, git, and a repository, github.
This article explains how to work with a shared repository.
Here’s another take on git from Scott Munro.
Your first message can be something simple like “Initial commit” or “Starting new project”. How you define later commit messages will depend on what practices the others on your research team want. If you are working alone, think about using messages to help build a changelog file.