Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Picaboo Yearbook

 photo 67706_520522131306078_514079593_n_zps2983de7c.jpgAs a homeschooler, we are constantly bombarded with the "Aren't your worried about your kids missing out on...blah, blah, blah?" statements. We hear this about everything from socialization, to standing in line, to prom, to yearbooks. (In case you are wondering the answer to all of the above is a resounding NO! lol)

We recently were blessed to receive a review opportunity to take this pressure off of one of these "traditional school worries" that people are so concerned about. Picaboo Yearbooks gave us a chance to use their online yearbook creating program to create a 20-page softcover yearbook.

About Picaboo Yearbooks

Picaboo Yearbook strives to offer simple and collaborative software to create reasonably priced yearbooks.

Some of the software features I really liked:

 *Easy-to-use web app

 *Third party photo contribution
         -Anyone can submit photos! Does grandma have some photos all the way across the country?
          Tell her to log in and load them up.

 *Organize and collaborate with a yearbook team.
         -Since this is an online program, you can work with   your homeschool friends and create a
           yearbook together. You can assign different sections to people to create one yearbook.

 *QR Codes to add video to your yearbook.
         -I didn't try this feature but I might next time.

 *Portrait Manager
         -Autoflow portrait images quickly. Very useful for co-op situations.

 *Very Reasonably Priced
         -We had the opportunity to buy a yearbook through our homeschool co-op for big $$$. Picaboo  
           Yearbooks is well less than half of the price of what our co-op was charging.

Our Experience

I have been digital scrap booking for quite a while now. I prefer to make my pages from scratch so I thought that this would be a breeze from the get-go. However, it was not as intuitive for me as the program claimed. I had to relearn to let the program do the work instead of doing it myself. lol Once I was able to do that it was smooth sailing.  For the average person, I think that you would find this very easy to use from the start. If you're used to doing things one way then it might take a little time to get the hang of. Watching the tutorial videos helps immensely!!

The first thing I did was organize my book into the sections that I wanted to include. Then I decided how many pages that I wanted in each section.  If I were doing this over the course of a school year I would've broken down the sections even more specifically but for the shortened review period I did more general sections. This screen is also how you access each section to create and edit it.

 Next I uploaded any photos that I thought I might include. I just uploaded them all to a general pool. When you want to actually include them in a specific section you have to move them to an area just for that section.

From there you can add your backgrounds, choose your photo templates, and add your photos, text, and embellishments. There are a variety of different backgrounds, fonts, and embellishments to choose from. You can also use your photos as the background or upload your own backgrounds. For the most part, I stayed with the backgrounds they offered or my own photos. In the future I plan to upload some of my favorite digital scrapbook paper as backgrounds. I did upload one and it was pretty simple to do.

Another feature that I liked was the way that they alerted you to the areas that might be cut off during printing so that you don't put text or people in those areas. If something important is in the highlighted area, you might need to go back and adjust it.

Once you get the hang of it, you just keep going until all of your sections are complete.  Feel the need to rearrange your pages? It's as easy as drop and dragging them on the sections screen. Easy-Peasy!!! Then you go to the main screen and lock each section, which prevents anyone from messing with them, and then order away. You even get to pick your finish, matte or glossy. I'm a matte girl myself.

I was really surprised and pleased with how quickly our yearbook arrived. And it was beautiful. The pages were bright, clear, and beautifully printed on nice paper. Our entire family loved it!!!! And you even get a free e-year book. It loads up real nice on the iPad. Very handy for when the kids make off with the yearbook and you want to admire it. It's also a great option for those on a really tight budget.

Another neat thing that you can do is start a "store front" that will allow family and friends to purchase them if they'd like. They'd also make great gifts for grand parents.

I can't wait to do another one next year, maybe with our friends. (Do you hear that friends? I'm talking to you!) It's going to be bigger and better than ever.

I love, love, love Picaboo Yearbooks!!!!!

Here are some of my favorite pages...



Age Range: All ages!!

Pricing: Starts at $8.49 for a 20-page soft cover. I told you it was a deal!!!

Additional pages are $.22 each.

Plus the cost of shipping which is currently $8.99. This shipping might seem high but the total cost is still under $20. Which is less than half of what we would've paid through our co-op. A deal in my book.

Check them out on Facebook too!!


1 comment:

Tonia said...

We loved our yearbook too! Love your idea for including a page of favorites for each child.


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