I am interrupting my step by step guide to planning your Best Homeschooling Year Yet to answer some questions I have been getting about my workbook and planner.
1. What is the best way to bind it once I have printed it?
2. Can I use it on my tablet?
These are good questions for any downloadable file or ebook, so I thought you might all be interested in the answers.
1. Binding PDF files for homeschooling
Over the years I must have printed off hundreds of books and documents to use in homeschooling!
I have tried a number of different systems for binding files and documents that I use in my homeschooling. The simplest method of course is to just punch and place in a ring binder. That makes it easy to swap pages around and add extra stuff as you need to.
Maybe it is just me, but I seem to have an almighty hatred of ring binders. I hate the way they snap shut. I hate the way they don’t open flat all the way – and don’t let you fold the document right back over itself. I hate the way the rings get in the way when you are writing. I hate how plasticky they are. And where on earth did I put the punch?
Getting documents professionally bound is expensive. And you can’t add extra pages later. I looked at home binding systems but they were always huge or expensive (and usually both!).
Some ebooks I have even pasted into a pre-bound notebook, especially if I wanted to carry it around or work in a lot (yes, I am that sad 🙂 )
But finally I have found an answer!
It is small and doesn’t cost the earth. You can fold the pages right over so things lie flat. And the coils come in 3 sizes so you can keep the binding neat and discreet.
And the icing on the cake? You can open up the coils to add/remove pages after you have finished binding. Or re-use them on a new document.
If you are a ring-binder-hater too, then check it out!
2. Editing PDF documents on your iPad or tablet.
At the moment my workbook and planner aren’t ‘interactive’ so you can’t type onto the pages directly.
But you can write and make notes on the pages with your iPad!
This works great on the iPad (and I am sure other tablets would work too.) You can load the document and then write on it with your finger (or a stylus) – or type out a note. Just as if you had a paper version.
There are so many things you could use this for in homeschooling. You could put worksheets for the kids on your ipad, or crosswords and puzzles. You could proof read and correct your children’s essays or novels! If you loaded up blank forms you could fill them in (planners, chore charts, checklists) to keep track of things electronically. See what I mean?
So, to get started the first thing you have to do is to get the document onto the iPad.
You can either
1. Plug it into your PC and transfer the file using iTunes.
2. Use a file server system (like Dropbox). This gets installed on both the PC and the tablet. Then any documents put into the ‘dropbox folder’ are available in both places.
3. Email it to yourself! And pick up the email using the tablet.
Now you are going to need an app that lets you write (or annotate) the document. I use the free PDF-notes which I like (but there are a whole bunch of them). For Android it looks like iAnnotate would do the same thing.
Once you have installed the app then just open the PDF using it. If you have emailed yourself the file, then (for iPads) hold your finger on the document name in the email. You will get a pop-up box and one of the options will be ‘Open In…’. Select that and you should get a list that includes your PDF annotating app.
When it comes to writing on your document, fingers work fine. But for more precision we tend to use a tablet stylus (like this although you might want to shop around).
So now you can import a document – then write directly onto it. It works great for theBest Homeschool Year Yet Workbook – and lots of other documents too.
I hope that is all useful to you. Let me know if it is (or not!) in the comments. Will you be using a tablet for your documents from now on?
Disclosure : If you click on the Amazon links on this page then buy what I recommend, I get paid a small commission. Cool for me 🙂