Consumer health informatics (CHI) is a rapidly evolving sub-discipline of medical informatics. Such developing fields typically share common needs, such as harmonizing terms and building a common foundation of research methods and instruments. The authors describe a pilot study to conceptualize and develop a "CHI toolbox," a repository of existing methods and instruments across relevant established fields. The challenges encountered in attempting to organize concepts in a nascent, interdisciplinary field are discussed. The authors' experiences in creating a comprehensive CHI toolbox suggest that a larger, concerted effort to develop a similar product by members of the relevant research communities could accelerate the development of common terms, operational definitions, variables, and instruments within the CHI field.