Monday, July 22, 2013

Picaboo Yearbooks, a fun project and memory

We recently built and ordered a homeschool yearbook from Picaboo Yearbooks as part of a review with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  We put together a 20 page softcover yearbook which retails for $8.49 base price plus $8.99 shipping, additional pages can be added for $.22 each. We also received an e-book copy  of the album to download, it comes as an epub file, which is fairly easy to access. We ran into a minor issue with ordering, but the online live customer service chat feature was amazing and quickly took care of the issue.

Picaboo Yearbooks uses a web based creator to select, edit, and embellish pages. Photos can be uploaded from a computer or social media which was a nice feature. The program is loaded with a collection of papers to use for backgrounds for the pages, you can also upload papers if you would like. You can also add embellishments as well.  The cover is a wrap a round cover allowing for pictures on the front and back as well as text and background colors.
I liked that I had flexibility with the images and layout, but did run into a learning curve. As a digital scrapbooker for the past 6 years, I was a little stuck in my ways, so it took me a couple of sessions to get comfortable with the program and layout.  I had to get comfortable with the program, I'm not sure I would recommend this to an advanced scrapbooker, but to someone looking for something that is fairly easy with functionality and basic features it fits the bill.

I selected  and uploaded over 300 photos to arrange into terms as an overview for our 2012- 2013 school year. I was able to highlight some wonderful memories that we had including summer reading and a wonderful living history lesson on the Korean War with Papa.  So many wonderful memories are now preserved in a nice 8 1/2 x 11 softcover yearbook for my boys to enjoy.

When the package arrived, I was not at home, Cameron saw the label and knew immediately what it was. He opened up and saved the package and in the week since we received the book he has devoured it and loves it.  We did a matte finish to all the pages and the cover which gives a nice feature to the pictures, very realistic in my opinion. I intentionally left journal/ text boxes off several pages so that we can record the boys' handwriting on those pages. Not only will we have the memories on those pages,but also a bit of their personalities with their handwriting.

While the boys love the album, I am not sure if I would do the softcover option again, I tend to like a hardcover or traditional album when it is something that will be handled frequently. The craftsmanship of the product leads me to think that this will last for quite a while.
I think if I used the program more often ,I would get more comfortable with the program. It was nice having it  online where I could work on the project on any computer. I am looking at another project and thinking it might be fun to have the boys work on some of the pages and having it accessible on any machine would make that realistic to do.

I can't wait to see what kind of yearbooks other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew created and what they thought of the program. You can check out their reviews by clicking on the button below.


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