Indiana Backyard Observers

Register your Site

Set up your site and register your plants with Nature’s Notebook online.

Log in to your Nature's Notebook account, then add a new site to your observation deck. You can use the online mapping tool to locate and describe your site(s) in Nature’s Notebook.

After you have registered and described the location, register your individual plants and/or animals.

Watch the video

Read the transcript

Once again, my name is Amelia Auberry, and once again I am a volunteer for Indiana Phenology.

In this video we will talk about how to register your site on the Nature’s Notebook website.

We will also focus on your Observation Deck, how to add a new site, and how to add and sort plants.

Firstly, go to

You enter your username and the email address, and the password from when you signed up for an account.

Click, "Log In".

After you log in, the site will take you to your observation deck.

Or, you will now see a gray, or orange, button in the upper right that says, "My Observation Deck".

Click that to open your "Observation Deck".

This is your observation deck. From your observation deck you can register your sites, make and view your observations and access helpful resources.

Scroll down so you can see everything under the Observations section.

Under the section “Sites”, select "My Sites" from the dropdown box.

There are two types of sites; there are group sites, and your own personal sites.

Personal sites are sites you create yourself, where you will be the only person making observations.

Group sites are places where more than one person uh- observes the same individual plants.

You may choose to observe at your own sites only, or at group sites, or at a combination of the two.

Everyone’s "Observation Deck" will look a little bit different based on what and where they observe.

Click on the link that says, “Add a New Personal Site” under the “Sites” section to add a new site.

To create your site, choose a name for your site.

Then, either move the pin on the google map, or enter the site’s address into the address box to set it’s location.

Scroll down. Further down the page, you can then answer a series of questions about the conditions at your site in the dropdown boxes.

When you're finished, click the "Create Site" button.

Once you create your site you will be taken back to your "Observation Deck".

The site you just created will now be listed in the Sites box.

Now you can add plants or animals to that site.

Start from your "Observation Deck" again, click on the site by finding it in the box under "Sites".

Select your site by clicking on the name of your site.

It will become dark gray.

Then, move your mouse to the next box to the right, "My Plants and Animals.”

You can click on either the "Add or Edit Plants link, or the “Add or Edit Animals” link depending on what organism you would like to add.

For plants you will give each individual that you wish to observe a unique nickname.

For my site for each plant’s nickname, I put the name of the species and the location at which I can find them in my yard (for example, I have a tulip tree that is located in my front yard that I call tulip tree front yard).

Click on the box next to the word “Nickname”, and type in whatever name you would like.

For your second plant and all other plants, first click “add new plant” in the top left, and the site will refresh the page.

Then once again, start typing in the “Plant Species” box.

As you can see, uh excuse me, I typed in common sunflower, and clicked on it’s name and picture when it popped up in the Plant species bar.

When you choose a plant, the site will automatically fill in the scientific name in the Plant Species box.

Now, answer the questions that you are able to from the list.

It's ok to not answer them and leave it as "Unknown".

Then click on the button "Save This Plant" to save that plant.

You can add multiple plants to your site, and multiple individuals of the same species by clicking add new plant and going through the same process.

If you wish to delete a plant, on that same page, click on the plant you want to delete from the list of your plants in the left box.

Then move your mouse to the “Delete?” checkbox below and cla- click on that.

Once you check off that box it will bring you to this page, where you can click the circle that applies to your reason for deleting the plant.

You then scroll down and click on the button “Delete”, which will delete your plant.

As you are observing, it's helpful to have the plants listed in the order that you will be observing them.

So to sort your plants, start in the "Observation Deck", and use the link under "My Plants and Animals" again, but this time you click on "Sort Plants and Animals".

Then this screen comes up, First you select the species.

Then you can use the "First", "Up", "Down", and "Last" buttons to change the order of your plants.

Here you can see that by clicking the “First” button, I moved the individual plant named “redpine-1-frontyard” to the top of the list, because it’s the first plant I want to observe when making observations.

Press the button “Submit” at the bottom of the page when you have finished sorting your plants.

And that is how you set up your site.