Thursday, 20 June 2013

College Binder Printables: Budget And Finance

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Part two of my free college binder printables today (the first part can be found here if you missed it). These ones are all focused on budget and finances, which is very important if you are a student!

First up is a budget sheet to track income and outgoings. Since everyone's finances are different, I've laid out the monthly expenses so that you can break them down into four categories of your choosing, such as groceries, clothes, rent, fun, etc. 

The budget sheet gives an overview of where your money is going, but the payment checklist makes sure that you stay in control of your bills. It helps keep track of when each payment is due, how much it is, and includes check boxes so that you can mark when you've paid the bill each month. 

The third and final printable for this week's post is a loan repayment tracker. Since a loan is one of the biggest and most important expenses a student has, I thought it needed its own spreadsheet.

The next installment of college binder printables will be centred around classes, and organising your studies. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

How To Optimize Your Photos For Pinterest

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I think that one of the most important things a blogger can learn is how to optimize photos for Pinterest! If you know how to make your images pinnable, you can greatly increase the amount of traffic your blog receives. Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert on the matter (far from it), but these are the things I think have the biggest bearing on whether people will pin your image or not.

1) Make Your Photos Fantastic

The best thing you can do to make a post pinnable is add a truly brilliant photo. I've seen "amazing" posts go virtually ignored because the accompanying photo was a dud, and "okay" posts getting dozens of pins because I nailed a great picture. 

In my opinion, it is not necessary to go out and buy a fancy DSLR camera. You can get good results with a digital camera if you follow some simple guidelines for taking better blog pictures. (Do check out the tutorial I posted last week if you are a newbie who wants to take better photos).

2) Label Your Pictures

An eye catching picture will attract pins from your blog visitors, but you want to attract re-pins and click throughs on Pinterest too. Not everyone gives their pins a proper description, so make a habit of labeling your pictures too. That way, people will know what the corresponding post is about even if the pinned picture is not accompanied by any real information. 

3) Watermark Your Pictures

Isn't annoying when you are searching for ideas on Pinterest, and the pin you fall in love with leads to a broken link? Sometimes people accidently mess up the links when they are pinning. Some mean people will also pin your photos but put their own link in, so that your hardwork is attracting click throughs to their website. Either way, a watermark on your pictures will help people track down the proper source of the photo if the wrong link is attached to it. 

4) Portrait Performs Better Than Landscape

Vertical and square pictures are far more likely to be pinned than horizontal ones. Seriously, take a look at your feed on Pinterest. They will also display better when someone performs a search on Pinterest, as the search results are set to a certain width (rather than height). Therefore, portrait orientated photos  display at a slightly larger size and are more likely to grab people's attention. 

5) Add ALT And Title Text To Every Photo

Add a title and ALT text to every blog picture. Not only is this good for search engine optimization, it will be the text that pops up when someone pins your photo. It means that more pins from your website will end up with a useful description. To add the text on Blogger, click on the photo in Compose mode and select "Properties". It will bring up a box for adding 'Title Text' and 'ALT text'.

Does anyone else have any good tips for optimizing photos for Pinterest?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Free College Binder Printables

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Today I am sharing some free college binder printables! I've shared plenty of management binder printables in the past, but recently had a sweet email from Sabra at College. Crazy. Life asking if I would be willing to create some new ones especially for students who want to get organised. There are quite a lot of printables in this series, so I'm splitting them over four weeks (with every installment scheduled to go out on Thursdays).

I've tried to give the printables as broad an appeal as possible, so that they are adaptable to the needs of high school, college and university students. Now let's get started!

The first printable is a coversheet for the college binder, (because binders are always prettier with a coversheet!). 

Next is a calendar to keep students organised month by month. All twelve months are included in one PDF, and I've created each page as a monthly perpetual calendar so that the same printables can be used year after year. 

Next is a printable for keeping a record of important dates. Obviously these can be written on the calendar too, but it is very helpful to be able to see everything at a single glance.

The last free printable I'm sharing today is a time tracker. You can laminate it and use it to schedule things like classes, study time, social activities, etc. I kinda wish I had a printable like this when I was still a student!

Next week's college binder printables are all to do with managing student budgets and finances. 

I understand that these printables are aimed at a demographic different to my typical reader, but if you have a school or college age child (or know one) then please spread the word! After all, it is good to instill good organisational habits at a young age. ;-)