Indiana Backyard Observer
Quick Start Guide

Start observing in three easy steps.

  1. Join Nature's Notebook

Use a computer...

Create your Nature's Notebook account.

All you need to join is your name and email address.

Be sure to join Indiana Phenology when you create your account.

or Download the App

Create your account using the free Nature's Notebook mobile app (available for iPhone and Android).

2. Set up your account

Choose a Site

Choose a conveniently located area where you will observe your selected plant and animal species. This could be your yard, a green space near your work, or a park you eat lunch at.

Select Species

There are more than 600 plant and animal species to choose from.

Keep things simple to start and choose two or three from the Indiana Backyard Observer plant list or select from Indiana species on the Nature’s Notebook Plants and Animals List.

Each time you visit your site you will observe the same individual plants.


Visiting our observer training page for full details on setting up your account.

3. Start Recording!

Familiarize yourself with our observation guidelines and standardized phenology protocols.

Use the Nature’s Notebook mobile app or create printable datasheets for recording observations.

If you use datasheets, you will need to log on to your Nature’s Notebook account using a computer and enter the observations you recorded on your datasheets.


Visiting our observer training page for full details on how to make and record your observations.