Watch List Improvements

February 3, 2014  - by 

The Watch List in Family Tree is now part of a larger lists feature. This new lists feature lets you sort and filter your lists so you can focus the list on what you are looking for. This new lists feature also provides a framework that the Family Tree development team can use to build more useful lists that we can use in the future.




To see the new Lists feature, go to Family Tree, and click Lists.

Watch List tool bar 1




From there, you can see two lists.

  • People I’m Watching. This is what was formerly called the “Watch List.” It is a simple list of all the people in Family Tree you’re watching for changes. This list should now load more quickly than it did in the past. When it first appears, the list is sorted alphabetically by the last or family name of the person being watched.



People I'm Watching 2








  • Changes to People I’m Watching (beta). This is a new list. It shows you all of the changes made in the last 30 days to people you are watching. When it first appears, the list will be sorted by the date when the last change was made, starting with the most recent changes.



Changes to Watch List 3










Sorting Lists

Use the column headings to sort the list. If a particular column has only one sorting option, click the column heading itself. Click the heading again to reverse the sort order.

Date 4











If a column has more than one sort option, you see a little triangle. Click the triangle, and click the sort order you want.

Drop Down Box 5A










Green highlighting and an arrow tell you how the list is currently sorted.

Birth 6










Filtering Your Lists

Sometimes you want to be able to focus your list according to what text that shows up in the list, such as a particular surname or other information. To do that, enter the text that you want to filter by in the Filter box, which is located at the top of your list.

Cowley 7










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  1. Wow. The Family Tree is becoming an unbelievably powerful tool. Thanks!!!

    An additional feature that would greatly improve the sort feature is to change the the last name sort task to “Last, First” sort. When working with multiple generations of a family, or multiple siblings or cousins families, it would help to be able to see if a specific person is on the list, rather than have to scan through the entire surname list. Please know that I greatly appreciate the ability to sort on last name, but being able to sort on “last, first” would just enhance the feature that much more.