Back when my kids were first born, I made lots of photo books stuffed full of baby pictures. Seriously, it's so easy to figure out what to give new grandparents- just put some pictures of their cute grandkids in a book or on an item, and it's going to be a guaranteed hit! I kept up with this for the first couple of years of parenthood, then decided that the online photo book-making process was just too time-intensive. Still, when I heard about Mixbook, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try. Here's a bit about Mixbook, from its website:
Mixbook is the easy and fun way to make completely customizable photo books, cards, and calendars on the web – for free. With Mixbook, you aren’t limited to static pre-designed templates – our powerful design software gives you the freedom to lay out and design your creations to your heart’s content. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing you the best experience in creating photo products so that you can make keepsakes that truly reflect your vision. With Mixbook, you can truly Make It Yours™.
You can use Mixbook to make photo books; calendars; announcements, invitations and stationery; yearbooks or digital scrapbooks. In addition to being completely customizable, Mixbook has another great feature- a collaboration feature which allows a user to invite friends and family to work on a project together. I love this idea for a class project or family holiday/vacation memory book. What a great way to get everyone's memories and photos all in one place!
I ended up doing a photo book for my review here. Since I am utterly and completely devoid of any creativity, I decided to use the premade "Year In Review" template. I really liked this feature, as it came with lots of pages already laid out with photo cut outs, stickers, and themes. I also really liked that I could remove or rearrange pages with a lot of ease. Adding my photos to the project was simple, and Mixbook did a nice job of showing me the photos in a way that was easy to work with.
There are lots of premade template pages in the program, with all sorts of options for numbers of pictures, themes, and colors. And, as mentioned in the site description above, everything was very easy to customize. If I didn't like a sticker on a page, I could just click a button to remove it and add in another one of my own. If the premade page had a space for two pictures and I wanted to add three- then I just dragged another one on and was all set.
The only minor complaint that I had was that, since I work on a computer with a very small screen, sometimes it was hard to see exactly what were the themes of the templates on the template list. Things like Mother's Day or Father's Day were especially hard to identify until I dragged them over to my project to see exactly what all the words and stickers were saying. Even then though, it was a matter of just a few clicks to check out the templates and remove them again if they weren't what I was looking for.
Although it still took me a good bit of time to complete my photo book, it was a far simpler process than any other photo book that I've ever made, and the end product looked so much better. My book looks like a real scrapbook, not just a random collection of pictures dropped onto a page. Here are a couple of glances into my "year in review" book.
The quality of this book is great- both the nice hard cover and the quality paper that the pictures are printed on. All in all, I'm very impressed!
If you'd like to make a Mixbook for yourself, use the code GROWING20 to get 20% off your order! No expiration date, good once per customer.
And I have good news- one of you will win a 20-page, 11x8.5, landscape hardcover Mixbook for yourself! Open to US/Canada/UK addresses.
Mandatory entry (must be done for extra entries to count):
Let me know what you would put in your Mixbook
Extra entries (please leave a separate comment for each one that you do):1. Follow me publicly with Google Friend Connect
2. Follow Mixbook on Twitter
3. "Like" me on Facebook
4. "Like" Mixbook on Facebook
5. Follow me on Twitter and tweet this: @gabreviews is giving away a personalized photo book from @mixbook! Visit http://bit.ly/hpEpqH to enter. #giveaway
You can tweet this once per day- just leave a separate comment with link each time that you tweet.
6. Enter any of my other currently ongoing giveaways. Please leave a separate comment for each one that you've entered.
7. Put my button up on your blog/website. Code is on the right side of this page. Please let me know where I can find it!
Giveaway will close at 9PM Pacific time on May 6, 2011. I'll choose a winner with random.org and will email that person who will then have 48 hours to respond. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a Mixbook to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.