Starting off 2009 on the right foot – a few tips

Back in the office for the start of 2009, and it seems a good time to put together some help from the things we’ve learned since the new version of our online yearbook creation system got running. If everyone starts off well, making yearbooks will be even easier and even more fun 🙂

So, things that the last few months have taught us…

– Clear instructions to joining members

A few times, since offering the instant yearbook creation link from our website, we’ve found that students who are trying to join a yearbook will end up creating a new one instead. Not ideal, for anyone!

We’ve set up a few fixes on the website so that students are getting warned. But for those of you who are yet to get students logging in, our advice is to give clear instructions (if you’re not going to use our email invite option in ‘edit members’, which we’d recommend). Tell the students that they need to go to the link in the top right of the website – ‘access your yearbook’. That way they get in fast and easily, and ready to fill in their profile 🙂

But many yearbooks are now busily running now, so here’s a couple of tips for the next stage…

– Members writing too much?

We’re already getting excited members who write too much in their member profiles. Great that people are enthusiastic, but no good if it won’t fit the template the editors chose.

If everyone is doing it, maybe it’s time to change to a template with more space, which you can do at any time! (We get the other end of the scale too – if you have a big profile for each member, try to give them questions to fill it, rather than just name and one question with a ten word limit!).

If the templates are how you want them, but one or a few members have too much text, the most common problem is members writing lists separated by line returns. A good piece of general advice to anyone filling in a yearbook entry is: if you’re making a list, write it on one line with commas or semi-colons to break it up. It’s the best way to save space to use on other questions 😀

– Create your pdf as you go

To test the space limits, just create your pdf – for those who don’t know, this option is in ‘edit pages’ and gives you a view of your yearbook pages instantly online! You should do this as you go to see how the yearbook is progressing. It shows a watermark while the deposit is not yet paid – gone once the deposit is in.

If the pdf does not create, odds are that someone has written too much. To check who, you could look through the profiles edited since you last created your pdf, or you can send us an email and we’ll search them out and get back to you.

No good tryting to work on the yearbook when you can’t see the pages!

Hope that helps a little. And hope everyone is feeling fresh after the holiday and ready to jump on with their yearbooks!

It’s freezing here in Cambridge, but we’re strill coming into the office. So get I touch with problems, questions, pack requests, new yearbook projects and deposits. We look forward to hearing from you all! 🙂

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