First, I am at the point where there are so many letters that I am having trouble going back and locating a specific letter. For example, I know that Sarah Ann mentioned her wedding anniversary but I can't remember when she mentioned it. Anna's cousin's kept her posted on many family events but was a particular event mentioned by Ella or Elizabeth?
Second, I have been adding links to letters and articles I've written on individual pages on Footnote and on my Ancestry trees. [Links are found way down on the left on Footenote and on the right on Ancestry.] That works fine if there are only a few letters for an individual but for Sarah Ann or even Ella that would be a very long list of links to add! Add the fact that I have broken down my trees into family groups and that those groups overlap and I would have to add in Sarah Ann's links twice as she appears in two trees. It is much simpler to add a link to an individual index page.
Third, I have written a post or two over the years that have nothing to do with the letters and they seem to get lost in the mix. For example I've written about Ruby Camfield but if you click on the Camfield label you'll have to scroll through 270 other items before you find it.
For now my method of indexing is simple. I have begun with an Index to Individuals. I simply created a new post and changed the date on it to the date I began this blog. [The date you pick is unimportant. Going back to the beginning just made it easier to find later. By picking a past date for your index page it will not show up in your feed as a new post.] I then entered a few surnames and then individual's names. If there is only one post about an individual I link directly to it from the index page. If there are more than one post about an individual I start another new post and list all of their posts there and then link to that page on the index page. The individual index pages may vary slightly depending on the type of information I have. My page for Harvey Berry has only a few links so far and I have arranged them in chronological order rather than by the date they were written. I have also added just a few words of description to each link. On the page for Ella Hall McKinnon I decided to create separate categories for Articles and Letters. I skimmed each letter as I created a link to it and added a brief description to each link so if she mentioned a family event I can now find it fairly quickly. Eventually I hope to go back and create links on individual index pages to letters where a person was mentioned.
I have also created an index to all of my Carnival of Genealogy articles and will create other indexes as well for various topics or family groups. I have added a link to the main indexes on my right hand side-bar (go ahead, break out of your reader and take a peek.) I am hoping that having an index will not only help me find what I am looking for but that it will also help cousins who are only interested in a specific family group zero in on their lines.
So do you need a blog index? I never imagined when I started Apple's Tree, less than three years ago, that there would be so much here that I would need one but in hindsight I wish I'd had one from the beginning. It would have only taken a few minutes each week to update it rather than the
John Newmark has responded to this with a post of his own at TransylvanianDutch. He has some great tips on new features in blogger that may help you with how you use labels and also some thoughts on the new search widget that is available. As Jasia mentioned in her comment the old search feature wasn't worth using. I have implemented both of his suggestions.
With all of the new widgets available for blogger I would have thought that they would have added one that creates a drop down option for labels as they have for archive. Cheryl mentioned in a comment and John in his post that your label list can become much too long to be functional on your side bar. I have added a drop down menu for my labels so that they are all still there but take up very little space. I'd be happy to help anyone with this but I probably can't explain it as well as Amanda has at Blogger Buster. Her code is slightly different than mine but accomplishes the same thing. (Whenever you mess with your template create a backup copy first! I also have a hidden test blog where I try out new things to see how they'll look.)