Getting Started on Your Guide in Guidebook Builder

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At Guidebook, we feel that creating a mobile app should not be a difficult task.  That's why we designed our content management system, the Guidebook Builder, to be as intuitive and easy-to-use as possible.

If you've just signed up to build a guide or want to experiment with Guidebook Builder, this instructional guide will help you get started.  We'll show you how to use some of our basic features, and share some tips and tricks on how to optimize your guide.

You will learn how to:


 

1) Create Your Guide

 The first thing you want to do after you create your Guidebook Builder account is click "New Guide" in the top right-hand corner (or, "Create Your First Guide" from the bottom middle of the page).

 

Next, select your your guide category: Event, Campus, or Place.  You'll see a description of each type, and you'll be able to click to view a plethora of templates for each guide category.  Whether you are building a guide for a wedding, a tradeshow, a museum, or much more, these templates will get you started with some recommended modules and features.  The starting features were hand-selected by our Guidebuilding Experts; you can add as many features as you'd like on top of the template, and we highly encourage you to choose the template that best fits your guide.  You can learn more about each template by clicking "Learn More" under each of our offerings.  However, should you wish to start from scratch, you may choose "Continue without a template" from the top right of the screen.

Next, you will fill out some basic information about your guide (You can skip any step by clicking "Skip for now" from the bottom right of your screen).  

Name: Select a name for your guide.

Description: Enter a description for your guide -- this is a great place to include some general information; important contact information, hours, sponsor details, or even a welcome letter all fit here.

Short Name: Choose the ending for your guide's landing page.  The short name is used to construct the URL where people view your guide:  https://guidebook.com/g/{shortname}.

Duration:  Choose when your guide starts and begins, or leave blank if your guide is year-round.

Timezone: Choose the primary time zone for your guide.

Branding:  Add your guide icon and cover image.

Venue:  Name your main venue, and use the Address bar to enter and find the mapped location of your venue.

Private: Toggle this switch to turn on or disable guide privacy.  Private guides will require a passphrase to access; public guides can be searched by any user.  

Passphrase: For private guides, users will use the Passphrase to download the guide.  Passphrases cannot include spaces, and they must be unique to each guide.

Sharing: Sharing allows attendees to share sessions, speakers, and other aspects of the guide.

 

 


2) Traversing Guidebook Builder

Now that you've created a guide, let's click into your guide.  This will bring you to your Guide editor where you can start building.  Let's click on "Back to Dashboard" in the top left to check out the Guide Dashboard.

In the center of the Dashboard, you'll see five different guide-related options:

Depending on the current status of your guide, some options may be unavailable to you. For instance, there's no need to promote a guide that you haven't published yet!

On the left, you'll see the current status of your guide, your guide name, and the button to begin/continue building your guide. To the right, you'll see the Activity History which shows who made what changes and when!

Since we're focused on getting started, let's tap on "Build Guide" to get going with your guide content; we will find ourselves within the Guide Editor view.

On the left-hand side of the Guide Editor, you will find a list of your modules along with the “Add Features”, “Edit Guide Details”, and “Add Banner Ads” sections.  Simply click on any of the modules to edit the contents within.  You can reorder modules by clicking and dragging them.   The "Add Features" will allow addition of features and modules to your guide; in the "Edit Guide Details" section, you can review and modify core details of your guide (Name, Date/Time, Venue, Privacy, etc).   You may also click on 'Preview in App' from the middle of the page  to view your guide before you are ready to publish.  

In the middle of the Guide Editor, you will see your Guide Canvas (the phone in the middle of your screen).  The Guide Canvas shows how your guide might appear! Toggle between Home and Features to view how your guide will appear with the slide out drawer extended and retracted.  When in Home view, you can click the device to edit your guide details; from Feature view, you can click the Plus Sign symbol (+) to add new features, as well.

On the right side of the Guide Editor, you'll find the Build Progress Bar.  Here, the Guidebook Builder shows any barriers preventing your guide from being published (going live!) on our system.  With some of this navigation and terminology behind us, let's dive into uploading a schedule!




 3) Create a Schedule

You have two options -- you can either a) use our schedule template, or b) enter schedule items manually.  We recommend downloading and filling out our easy-to-use template (especially if you have complicated or extensive schedules).  We'll cover the basics in this article -- for more information, check out our schedule support article.

First, navigate to the Guide Editor (log into Guidebook Builder, click on your guide, and choose "Build Guide").  In your Guide Canvas (the details in the phone on your page), if you see a Schedule module present, click your schedule.  If one is not in your guide, you'll need to add one.  Click the Plus Sign symbol in the Guide Canvas, and choose the Schedule feature from the resulting overlay.  You will see two choices: "New session" and "Import from file".

a) "Import from file": If you want to import your schedule data, you have to first download our template (either in XLS or CSV format).  Fill out the template without modifying any of the column titles.

 When you're finished filling out the template, click on "Import from file", and upload the spreadsheet into the left-most file uploader (below the "Import Schedule" prompt).  In a short time, you will receive an email notifying you of the success (or failure) of your upload.  If your upload succeeded, you should see the individual schedule items appear within your schedule page (see below).  You may need to refresh your page to see them -- if your sessions do not appear, do check your email for the failure message.  The failed message often contains line by line error information to help you make adjustments to your spreadsheet.

If you need to change an individual schedule item, click on the title in the "Session Name" column.  You can also delete schedule items using the gear icon to the far right of each schedule item. If you want to add an item to your schedule, click on the "New session" button at the top.

As mentioned before, for a more detailed tutorial on importing spreadsheets, click here.

To add an image to a schedule item, click on the session, and use the Image uploader at the bottom of the session overlay.  You may reposition the image by dragging it around the box; you may also adjust the image size by dragging the slider at the bottom of the box.  

 

b) "New Session": If you have a shorter, less complicated schedule, or if you wish to add a session to an existing schedule, you can opt to upload schedule items manually.

Click the "New Session" button, and fill out all of the relevant blanks.  Ignore "Tracks" unless you want to organize your schedule according to different tracks (i.e. day, topic, etc.).  Keep in mind that Schedule Tracks are a premium and beyond feature, and you may need to upgrade your account in order to use the feature.

You may add as many sessions as you need, and, conversely, delete any that you no longer need.  Once you've added and saved a session, you can click onto its name to view a few additional tabs -- Links & Feedback.  Here, you may tether this session to other useful places in your guide, surveys, PDFs, and/or external URLs!


4) How to upload a map

First, navigate to the Guide Editor (log into Guidebook Builder, click on your guide, and choose “Build Guide”). In the features sidebar on the left-hand side of your screen, if you see a Schedule module present, click your schedule.  If one is not in your guide, you’ll need to add one.  Click the “Add Features” button at the top of the sidebar, and choose the Schedule feature from the resulting overlay.  You will see two choices: “New session” and “Import from file”.

Click on "New Map", and choose a JPG or PNG map file greater than 1000 x 1000 pixels (we recommend a 2000 x 2000 px image, since much larger images can slow down your guide downloads).  Once your file loads, click on the map to modify its name.  For more information, see our Maps support article.

 


5) How to upload a list

To create a list, you'll need to use a Custom List.  Navigate to the Guide Editor section of the Guidebook Builder (click into your guide, and choose “Build Guide” from the Guide Desktop).  Within the features sidebar on the left-hand side of your screen, click into one of your lists.  If you are missing a list, you may add one in by clicking “Add Features” at the top of the sidebar.

 

As with schedules, you have two options for loading in your information.  You can either "Import from file" or add items manually.  We suggest using our template.

a) "Import from File": If you want to import your list data, you first must download our template (either in XLS or CSV format).  Click the "Import from file" button, and then select one of the "Custom List Items" templates from the right hand side of the page.  Fill out the template without modifying any of the column headings.  Be sure to delete the extra rows.

 

Once you have filled out the template, save it, and upload it by clicking "import from file" and choosing the "Import List Items" file picker.  You will shortly receive an email notifying you of your upload success (or failure).  If you've succesfully uploaded your list, refresh the page, and you should see your content populate the page.  If you refresh the page, and the items are not appearing after some time, please check your email.  Our failure emails walk line by line through any errors that could've caused the sheet to fail during upload.

You may add additional list items by clicking "New".  To delete an item, simply click on the gear icon from the right on each row, and choose the delete option from the drop down menu.

If you want to sort your lists, you may click and drag the horizontal stacks of dots on the far right of each item.  You may also use the "Quick Reorder" button to sort alphabetically by name or label.  You can also search for items in your list using the search bar at the top.  Simply type in the name of your item and hit enter.

b) Manually Adding Items:  You can also add list items manually.  Click on the blue "New" button.  Fill in the appropriate blanks, and hit the save button.  If you want to add more items, you can click on the "New" button again.

To edit an item, or to link an existing item to other places in the guide, surveys, PDFs, or external links, you can click on the item name from the list.  You'll see a Links and Feedback tab, where you can tether your session.

For more information on creating custom lists, check out our Custom Lists article.


6) Social Media Features

For all of the following social media features, you will want to follow the same initial steps:

TwitterNavigate to the Guide Editor (log into the Guidebook Builder, click on your guide, and choose “Build Guide”).  From the features sidebar on the left-hand side of your screen, click the Twitter icon.  If no Twitter icon exists, you’ll be able to add one by clicking “Add Features” at the top of the sidebar.

In the hashtags box, you can type in hashtags that are related to your guide.  In the Accounts box, you can type in the twitter handle(s) that pertain to your guide.  Please do not enter the physical # or @ symbols in the box.  See the example below:

 

Facebook: In the URL slot, enter the Facebook URL for your guide:

YouTube:  In the Account slot, enter the name of your YouTube user account or channel. This module should not be used for individual YouTube videos.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are the standard, out-of-the-box social media features.  To learn more about other social media offerings, or for greater context on how to set up these modules, check out our support article on social media.


7) How to Organize Your Guide

You can organize your guide in a few ways:

a) Click and drag modules from the left-hand features sidebar to reorder your features.

b) Use folders to organize your guide.  For instance, it’s often a good idea to group your social media features together within a single folder.

To create a folder, you’ll want to be in the Guide Editor (log into the Guidebook Builder, click on the guide you’d like to edit, and choose “Build Guide”.  Click on the “Add Features” button from the top left of the sidebar, and add in the folder feature.


To add an item to your folder, click and drag any modules on top of the folder; release the mouse, and the item should be added.  You can remove an item from a folder by clicking into the folder (you can tap the arrow on the side of the folder to reveal its contents) and dragging the item out (see below for both actions):

For more information on organization, check out the article on customizing guide layout and folders.


8) Publishing Your Guide

Once you've added all the content and features to your guide, you will want to make your guide accessible for your users - you'll want to publish your guide!  You can find more information about guide publishing in this support article.


 

Hopefully, these tips and suggestions give you a better idea of the first steps you can take to build your guide!  if you have any additional questions, feel free to peruse our support site -- there are tons of helpful articles and resources; you can also reach out to support@guidebook.com.

To learn more about real clients that have chosen to go mobile with Guidebook, and to see event technology best practices, visit our blog.  It is the most approachable and complete resource for all things mobile technology, mobile apps, and your planning career.

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    Paul Tanton

    Step 6 doesn't mention the Social Media module.

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