How I Helped My Ward Get Excited about Web Indexing

April 7, 2017  - by 

Web indexing will become available to members worldwide in phases, starting in May 2017 and continuing through August 2017. As temple and family history consultants, you play an important part in helping local members become familiar with the new site and get excited about using it.

In this article, fellow temple and family history consultants share ideas for developing a successful plan to get members engaged with web indexing.

Five Tips for Creating a Rollout Plan

1. Keep it positive.

“A positive attitude about the program is vital to how well others take to it,” observed Cindy Cheney. “Change is sometimes challenging, but if you love it, they will too!”

One of the most common obstacles, especially for current users of the desktop program, is getting used to the new interface. The best way to learn the new tool is to dive in and use it, asking questions along the way. Assure indexers that it’s okay if it takes some time to learn the new tool; express your confidence that they can do it.

2. Spread out the training.

Christine Orton offered this advice: “The first thing I recommend is learning the program yourself and trying out everything so that you are familiar with every function.” Next, identify several people who will come up to speed quickly on web indexing, and be enthusiastic about it. Train them so they can help train others—that way, you can teach more people in less time. These trainers can also help answer indexers’ questions.

Identify additional groups, such as youth, family home evening groups, etc., and plan small introductory sessions with each of them. Spreading out the training allows for more one-on-one time within each group.

3. Teach the youth early.

The youth are quick to try new features and get in and learn.

Cindy Cheney found that youth in her stake took to web indexing easily. They can help engage other youth. They are invaluable to teaching and helping others who may need more help with the new tool.

4.  Adopt projects.

On the new indexing tool, local units have dedicated pages where they can “adopt” a project and set goals to encourage members to work collectively. If everyone gets to know the same project, it’s easier for indexers to help each other. Heidi Hardman’s stake adopted some easy projects at first. “That helped beginners or those restarting on indexing to get in quickly,” she said.

5.  Let current indexers know they can use both web and desktop apps as needed.

Experienced indexers who use all the bells and whistles on the desktop program may struggle with web indexing because it’s missing some of the features they are used to. Those features are coming! Encourage them to index in the new tool so they become familiar with it, but let them know it’s fine to keep using the desktop program until more features are added to the web tool.

In addition, encourage your arbitrators to continue arbitrating in the current indexing tool so projects can be finished and published.

You Will Succeed in Your Rollout!

As you work with your priesthood leaders and prayerfully develop a plan for engaging members in web indexing, you will have the inspiration to do what is right for those you serve. Remember to make it positive. Involve all ages and skill levels. Give people the knowledge and help they need to succeed. Not only will you help indexers make historical records searchable, but you’ll enable them to experience the joys and blessings of indexing.

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