Best way to optimize binders for Mobile devices

Recently we received a support question from a college professor who wanted to “meet students where they are” and was asking how to best optimize her binders for viewing on mobile devices. We thought this would be a great post to share with you.

Viewing binders with our mobile app vs mobile browser:

Anyone can view a binder without needing to sign up for a LiveBinders account, however, you need an account if you are having your viewers viewing your binder from our App.

So unless you want your viewers to also create binders, we recommend letting them view your binder through the browser on their mobile device instead of using our App. They can then save that link to their device’s home screen to easily return to it when needed. The binder will always update with the latest content every time they click on it from their device. To access your binder from their device, you can email them the link to your binder or host it on your website.

The other option is to create a QR code for your binder  (available in your LiveBinders editor. See  “Content>QR Code” button options), and they can scan it and have it saved in their QR code app. 

FYI – If you are making the binder private, be sure to create a private access key so they can view the binder. 

Hiding tabs for more viewing space:

When viewing a binder on a phone the tabs will always appear to the left – regardless of how you set it – so that there is more viewing space for the content. However, you can create more space by clicking the arrow icon located to the right of the first tab that will give your viewers the option to hide or display the tabs on the left. Be sure to let them know when you share your binder.

Launching content full screen:

Any content that you link or upload to a binder tab can always be viewed outside of the binder – your audience just needs to click on the URL provided at the top of the tab so they can view it full screen. We recommend launching the file full screen for the best viewing experience.

Tab layout recommendations:

You can choose a text layout option that lets you write content next to the resource that you are adding to your binder.  When viewing on a phone device, the appearance will be vertically displayed rather than side by side.

If you choose text/media, the main body text will appear before the media file that you add or upload.

If you select media/text the media file will appear before the text content.

For a better viewing experience on the phone, we recommend adding any text in its own tab and any supporting material that you upload as subtabs so they can be viewed full screen.

Uploading Word Doc or PDFs:

When viewing files in a binder from a laptop we usually recommend clicking on the URL provided at the top of the tab page so that the file opens full screen. iOS and Android will treat each one differently.

iOS – Will give you the option to “view” or “download” a Word or PDF file. We recommend “view” unless they specifically have an App that can run both files.

Android – for either Microsoft or PDFs the file will download and will give the viewer the choice to pick an App to view the file in.

Hopefully these tips are useful for you.  If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us to help you at support @ livebinders.

What is a Virtual Binder?

Going from 3-ring binders to virtual binders

Are you looking for a digital solution that will mirror your experience with paper and 3-ring binders? Searching online can return a variety of terms: Is it a virtual or digital binder you need? Do any of those terms describe a binder that can exist in the cloud such as an online binder?

A virtual binder is a paperless version of a binder.  And like the term “digital binder,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the binder is online. It may just exist on your desktop computer and not be cloud-based.

But for many people looking for cloud-based solutions, a virtual or digital binder has to be easily updated and accessed in real time by others. With remote learning and remote work environments, “virtual” generally implies online as in “virtual office,” “virtual library,” and “virtual meetings.” These terms all describe a place that exists online to mimic the effects of a physical location. A virtual binder, then, can be a place you organize other online resources, similar to the way you’d organize paper in a physical binder.

If the solution you are looking for needs to be cloud-based, then the LiveBinders’ virtual, online binder platform might offer you the right solution for your sharing needs.

Virtual binders for your virtual library

For over 10 years, LiveBinders has been the virtual place for teachers to organize class exercises and reference materials; where administrators organize staff handbooks and board meeting notes; and where small businesses organize product catalogues, onboarding manuals, and training material. What makes our online binders their first choice is the intuitive navigation and the flexible framework for packaging media and links in the context of a physical 3-ring binder – but with so much more to offer because it is online.

Check out our Virtual binder page to learn more about how to get started.

Adding Online Binders to Microsoft Teams is Easy

In an upcoming podcast we talk with a LiveBinders customer who has added both binders and LiveBinders shelves to the menu on their Microsoft Teams dashboard. They use LiveBinders to organize handouts, training material and company resources in a group of binders that are much easier to access than by searching through a shared file folder. Online binders are now fully integrated into your Microsoft Teams App! Imagine sharing staff binders, sales binders, and product binders from an easy to find location eliminating the need for resending URLs or printing out pages of a paper-based binder.

Steps to add your binder or shelf URL to Microsoft Teams Dashboard

  1. Copy the URL for your binder or binder shelf
  2. Open your Microsoft Teams App
  3. Go to the Dashboard and find your team
  4. Click on the + sign at the top Navigation Bar
  5. Choose Website URL as the option to embed media
  6. Paste your binder or shelf URL in the URL box
  7. The name of the binder or shelf will appear across the top, but you can shorten it if needed from the Teams dashboard
  8. Click on the link to launch your binder or shelf

You can find screenshots in our Help Guide binder. If you would like to learn more about how to share resources across your team, let us know on our new Contact page and select Request a Demo.

How to Add Your Google Calendar to an Online Binder

If you would like to have your audience view your Google calendar inside of your LiveBinder tab, use the embed code instead of the link. Using the embed code will add your live calendar to your online binders. It’s an easy way for your stakeholders to find your calendar and see all the up-to-date schedule and event changes in real time. We recently created a Youtube video on how to do that and added it to our Help Guide binder.

In the 3 minute video below, you’ll learn where you can find the embed code of your Google calendar, and how to add it to a tab in your binder.

If you use another calendar tool where the link to the calendar is not embedding in your binder, check to see if it comes with an embed code, and you can use the same procedure to add it. Let us know if you use something other than Google calendar and we will create a demo for our Help Guide binder.

Step-by-step instructions along with the YouTube video tutorial is available by clicking on this link.

An Easier Way to Change Your Binder Cover

We are always trying to make the process of creating and editing binders smoother and easier for you. We’ve had a lot of input that changing the binder cover was not intuitive, so we have redesigned that interface to make it easier to upload a binder cover or to pick a fun Flickr image to use.

For those of you who are used to having to put your binder cover’s image in a tab first, that is no longer necessary.  Just click on “Binder Settings” and then “Update Binder Cover” and use one of the options from that menu.

Selecting a Binder Cover

Here is a quick video on how to change your binder cover:

 

Please let us know if this works for you. Also please let us know if you think of other ways that we can make binder building a smoother process!

LiveBinders Subscription is Here

Our individual subscription service is here!  LiveBinders Professional is now available for individuals who want a more secure way to store their uploaded documents in binders, increase their storage capacity, and upload larger file sizes.  Subscribers can now upload private documents, store up to 50GB of information, and upload files up to 25MB in size.

Even more exciting, we are offering a one month Introductory Offer for the month of September. Educators and students receive a 50% off of our pricing.

The existing LiveBinders Basic will continue to be available for everyone to use free of charge.

We are very excited to announce collaboration!

Thank you to everyone who asked us for collaboration features. Now you can have multiple people creating and editing the same LiveBinder. Here are just some of the uses that educators came up with for this feature:

  1. Student group projects – in your class or with a school across the country
  2. Teachers collaborating on lesson plans
  3. Teachers and students working in the same binder
  4. District or school binders that are a collection of resources

Dawn Wall, Technology Coordinator from Kansas State University, was one of our early testers of the collaboration feature.  Here is how she is using it:

“This collaboration functionality is really awesome. For example, we have created a private binder to share information regarding a complicated program transition. This allows us to have select staff update the binder in a timely manner while all interested parties have access to view the binder and have up-to-date information. I also think it has great potential for K-12 and post-secondary education project collaboration”

A note to all of our early Collaboration users and beta testers:  We wanted to let you know that we made some changes to collaboration since you started using it. For security reasons, we switched from user names to email addresses when you invite a collaborator. Your current collaborative binders should still work, but for new ones, you will need to use email addresses instead of user names.

Please see this binder to find out how to use the new collaboration features:

Please also keep those suggestions coming in.  We greatly appreciate your help in making LiveBinders a better product!