Creating a manual life list

Does anybody have any advice for creating a manual life list outside of iNat? I want to create a life list on my laptop, so I was just wondering whether anybody had any suggestions or has done this before.

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I use Excel. Besides species name you can put in family, order, etc. and date and place of first sighting. These will all be separate columns then you will be able to sort by any particular column. I add species as I see them, but you could instead put all of them (if feasible) and mark which ones you’ve seen. You can do separate tabs or different files to break things up (ex: insects, herps, birds) so you don’t have a huge number of species on one page.


I use bird journal. It’s a great free program and you can attach pictures with each sighting

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Or make a blog, visible only to you. You can add photos, text, sort. And resort as you wish.

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I did something similar. Not quite as detailed.

If you can program a bit, you could download your data from iNaturalist and use it as a base and manually fill in non-iNaturalist sightings (eBird, eButterfly,, and records without photos.

You can export your iNaturalist lifelist as a CSV file which you can convert into a spreadsheet using Excel. No programming knowledge required. The link to download it is at the very bottom of your lifelist page.

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