Just about the only thing I missed about not sending our kids to public school was the yearbook. I loved getting yearbooks when I was in school, in fact, it was pretty much the only thing I liked about school. I was excited to learn about Picaboo Yearbooks, and as part of the TOS Review Crew I was given the opportunity to review a 20 page softcover yearbook, 8.5″ x 11″ in size. A 20-page softcover yearbook is just $8.49, the hardcover is $18.99. You can add additional pages for .99 cents each. You can also get a FREE eYearbook, which is available 48 hours after your order is placed, and there is no printing obligation! The turnaround time for physical books is 3 weeks.
Picaboo Yearbooks allows you to create customizable yearbooks for your homeschool, but you aren’t limited to just homeschool yearbooks. You could make a church directory, a personal scrapbook, your co-op could make a yearbook, or if you’re a photographer, you could make a portfolio book of sorts. I think it would also be fun to make a cookbook as a family heirloom! I chose to make mine as a general family photo album, combining family photos, field trips, co-op pictures, and scenery shots. I am already thinking about what other kinds of books I could make!
How it Works
First things first, you create an account at Picaboo, which of course is free to do. Next, a good idea would be to watch the tutorial videos, because I didn’t initially, and did have some frustrations putting my yearbook together. Just trust me on this. You’ll then click “New Yearbook.” A page will pop up asking about your yearbook information, such as the yearbook name, organization name (I used our homeschool name), address, phone number, yearbook type (homeschool, middle school, elementary, church, camp, etc), and the yearbook ending year. Then you’ll estimate the number of pages your books will have, number of books ordered, and order date. You can also choose your book size, either 8.5″ x 11″, or 9″ x 12″. Once you pick your book size, you cannot change this later. On a side note, previously created yearbooks will be in your library, so if you need to remake one because, say, your kids got yours wet and some pages stuck together and a magazine got stuck to the cover and you didn’t find out until it dried, well, you’re in luck. Sort of. *cough* As you’re creating your yearbook, there will be little pop up windows giving you tips on how to make the best yearbook possible. You can edit your book cover to add text, or not, and your cover can be any color. You can create sections for your book, and those sections can either be a free-form style, or portrait, which will automatically flow portrait photos into grid layouts. I chose to do mine free-form and just do 1 “section” to make things a little easier this time around. You’ll want to go through your eleventy million pictures and try to decide which ones to use. I feel like that’s how many I have, anyway, then I remember how much my mother-in-love enjoys taking pictures, then I don’t feel so overwhelmed. 🙂 To add images, you can click Images at the top of the page, then on the left are 3 sections listed (for mine anyway, since I only had 1 section inside the book.) Choose the section you want to upload photos for, then add photos. You can upload photos from your computer, Facebook, Flickr, or from web content. I used some from Facebook, my computer, and Flickr. I used a combination of photos I had take with my iPhone, my Nikon D3100, and from my mother-in-love’s Canon. Note that the inside front and back covers are not editable. To add photos to a page, simply click the page you want to edit, and drag the photo(s) you want on the page. OR, you can use some pre-made page layouts. The right side of the page includes page layouts you can use, background images and colors, photo editing tools, and stickers. You can make your photos larger or smaller, but when it gets too large, the page will tell you if the photo will be cropped because of being too close to the page edges, or if the photo quality will be poor during printing. Once you place a photo on a page, the photo in the photo stream on the bottom of the page will show a green check mark. Once you’re done editing each section, click the Sections button on the top left of the page. You’ll be shown each section, including the cover. There is a gear for each section, and you will need to click either “Mark as ready for review” or if you’ve reviewed them, click Lock, and no more changes will be made unless you unlock them. You will not be able to order your yearbook until all sections are locked. Once you make sure everything is in order, all you need to do is check out!
The full page photos were fun. Make sure you have great quality photos to use for these, though.
I am SO happy with how my yearbook turned out, and definitely plan to make more in the future. Click below to read more reviews from Crew Members!