Picaboo Yearbooks {a review}


For many of us, our busy seasons of co-ops, extracurricular activities, field trips and schooling will be winding down to a close in anticipation of summer.  Likely somewhere along the way you have had some great moments (I pray many great moments).  Moments you'll want to remember for a lifetime. Moments you can draw upon to keep you going on the bad days (because we all know those days unfortunately come) to maybe remind you why you homeschool.

As the season winds down, now is a great time to gather up all your happy memories.  Gather your thoughts and your photos from the great times you've had and make your very own Homeschool Yearbook with Picaboo Yearbooks.

With Picaboo Yearbooks there is no minimum order to burden you.  Pricing is very reasonable, starting at $9.49 for a 20 page softcover book, which includes a free eYearbook version of your book.  If you want your book to be just for you, it can be just for you.  Make one book, order it, receive it and you're on your way to treasuring your memories for a lifetime.

Of course, there is also the option to order more than one book as well.  With Picaboo Yearbooks, you have the option to create your own store where you can mark up the books for profit, or keep it all same cost for everyone (zero profit). 



For me, one of the hardest parts of using Picaboo Yearbooks was to just try and narrow down exactly what I wanted to do with my book.  With the easy to use designing software you're literally starting with a blank slate.  Just some of the ideas racing through my mind, beyond just a simple personal memory book of our own homeschool, was maybe I'd make yearbooks for our annual family reunion camping trips.  Each family could contribute photos, journaling, and/or design and in the end each family would have their own book.

Or maybe I'd want to create a book in memory of my best friend, my Grandma, recently passed.  Family members could each add their own memories and photos and in the end we'd have a wonderful keepsake that so many could enjoy.  This is actually what I almost did instead of my own homeschool yearbook, but I would have needed months of time and no deadline pressure.  The great thing about Picaboo yearbooks is there is no deadline, however this review did have one.  :)

What I loved about the idea of making a memory book is that I could add contributors to help make our book.  There could be people that just send photos in, or to send in stories, or people that help design the layouts.  I wouldn't be doing it all alone, but would be working as a team with family.

The ideas I had for yearbooks were seemingly endless.  Just a few others I thought of:
  • a co-op book
  • Picaboo Yearbook as a student project
  • Boy/Girl Scouts camp book
  • Church camp or VBS week
  • field trips
  • extracurricular activities
  • high school yearbook
  • prom
  • baby's first year
  • daycare/nursery school
In the end I decided to create a simple record of our own school year.  The kids are young, life is hectic and we sometimes quickly forget all the great fun we've had.  We are unit study homeschoolers here, so I decided to go unit by unit on my pages.  I am no designer so I used the handy pre-designed layouts.



I wanted an elementary feel to our book, without it looking overly childish.  I searched the backgrounds for "chalk" and was presented with a list of great options for my backgrounds.  I selected a black slate for the outside cover and the inside a tan chalk for each page.  You could get way more creative than I did and have each page be unique, or you could create title pages.  I went for simplicity.

There is a high learning curve with making your own yearbook.  I found I was often stumped on how something worked, such as adding my first background or swapping a misplaced photo.  There are so many options and things got overwhelming and confusing - but this is a good thing.  Having options that overwhelm you also means you have a rather large playing field for creativity. 

Picaboo Yearbooks does very well in helping us along by providing many instructional videos and a Guidebook.  In addition there are advisors available to help, should you choose.

Picaboo Swap Photo

One thing I particularly liked with Picaboo's Yearbook Designer is that I could save time and edit photos that needed a little help right inside the program.  This saved me so much time.

Picaboo Photo Editor

Once my book was finished I previewed a copy and sent it off for printing.  I allowed myself a 3 week turnover, as stated on the website, but I found my new book came much quicker than that. 

I was very happy with the printed version of my yearbook.  The book, while being a softcover, is very durable and high quality.  More importantly, my kids loved having their very own picture book.  I found them thumbing through it often, laughing and pointing things out to each other.


I'm so grateful I had a chance to review Picaboo Yearbooks.  I'm definitely planning on making more books this summer, working backwards to the start of our homeschool and working with my family to make a lifebook of Grandma.

 

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