The Future of Indexing

November 1, 2013  - by 

We are so grateful to the hundreds of thousands of dedicated volunteers who willingly give their time to help provide indexed records on Your efforts are very much appreciated. We understand that you contribute while patiently working through limitations in the current FamilySearch indexing system. While the current system has done a wonderful job of supporting a growing workforce and allowing us to index hundreds of millions of records each year, it is due for some major renovations.

We are happy to report that we are moving ahead on a new indexing system—and what’s even more exciting is that you will soon begin to see some of the results. A new indexing website will be launched later this year, followed by changes in the indexing system in 2014. This new system will incorporate many improvements, such as (1) enhanced project selection, (2) the ability to join multiple groups, (3) achievements and recognition, (4) Facebook integration, and (5) an improved beginner experience. Today we’re going to give you a sneak peek at three key areas that will improve the indexing experience for you.

Please note, images shown are mock-ups only and shown in English. However, what you see will be translated in the future.

Indexing Overview Page

When you navigate to indexing on, you will be able to learn quickly about indexing, take a test drive, learn how to get started, find a project to begin working on, and see current news articles and indexing statistics. Everything in the new indexing system—including the actual indexing tool—will be available on through current web browsers. You will no longer be required to download a separate desktop application or go to a separate website to participate in indexing.

All pages in the indexing system will be built so they automatically adjust based on the screen resolution and type of device a person is using. We are specifically targeting traditional desktop and laptop computers as well as tablet devices in both portrait and landscape mode. We have found that smartphones don’t have a large enough screen to provide an optimal indexing experience, so support for those devices will be limited to viewing informational pages.

Indexing Overview Page

My Indexing Page

The My Indexing page will allow you to see which batches you currently have checked out or find new projects to work on. You will also be able to view your indexing-related messages, the progress you have made over different time periods, information about the groups you belong to, and your activity and achievements, as well as those of your friends.

My Indexing Page

Indexing Tool

You will be able to check out a batch and begin indexing directly from a project page or the project list. All the traditional data entry methods and toolbars will be available in the new indexing tool, plus some new options, such as data entry by column.

You will also be able to choose favorite projects and filter the projects list to show your preferred collections automatically. Perhaps most exciting, you will be able to look into certain projects and select a batch in a specific location or time period!

Future Indexing Tool

You will start to see changes to the indexing website before the end of the year. We anticipate that the new indexing system will be rolled out in stages during 2014.

Interested in hearing more? Join us at RootsTech in February 2014! The RootsTech session “Introducing the New FamilySearch Indexing Tool” will provide a more detailed look at the new system.

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  1. I’m new. When I click on the link for a tutorial or quick start video, The window that pops up says that the service is unavailable. Is there a preferred browser for indexing or is part of the system just down temporarily?

    1. They are both working for me. I am using chrome on windows but it should work no matter what. Have you tried again lately? There could be a conflict within your browser settings.

    1. Jeremy, thanks for reaching out! Click on this link to find indexed records. If you would like to start your own indexing project click here. Good luck with everything!