April 22, 2012

Organizing blog posts with thumbnail galleries!

Hey guys! I hope you are all having a nice weekend! I'm a lucky girl right now--I'm on vacation this week!! And, like any obsessed-with-my-blog-teacher, I've been using some of my free time to work on things for my blog!

And one thing in particular that I've been working on lately is my organization on here.

As my blog grows, I feel it becomes more and more challenging to display past posts. I want my blog to ultimately be a useful resource--easy to navigate and find things. But the nature of a blog means you have to keep digging back through those older posts to find more. And that must get so tiring for readers!

I actually started dwelling on this last July and decided to use InLinkz (that fab link collection tool a lot of us use for linky parties) to catalog my files. But I didn't end up sticking with it because I didn't love the look of the links on my blog and they weren't too many options to play with...you kind of just kept adding a link and couldn't change the layout or order of them.

So, this weekend, I thought I would try again and perhaps start building a gallery myself (ugh, the mere thought of that makes me exhausted). Out of curiosity (and a bit of desperation) I decided to visit InLinkz again, to see if I could tweak it to make it work for my idea.


I found they had created a tool to do just what I had hoped for!!! It is called "The Link Manager" and it is FREE!! How I adore that word!

Once you click on The Link Manager, you will be taken to a wonderful video explaining all of the features of this incredible tool and how to get started...

Then you can sign up! I did need a coupon code to use this tool...I found one right here on this lovely blog: Paper Crafts by Laurel. Once I entered the code, I was good to go!

I am currently sorting all of my free files, by category. So, instead of clicking on my Files page and reading back and back to find all the files I've shared over the years...
...you can see them altogether, on one page, to choose what you would like to read/download! Here are some previews of how they look so far...
I have about 120 free files, so it will take me some time to finish...but at least I have a bit of a start!

Here's what's really cool about The Link Manager:
  • It's really easy to add and organize links...just name them, add a URL, and upload an image. You can use an image from a URL, from your computer, or from a webpage. (I made mine circular, 'cause you all know how I love my circles!)
  • It's easy to maneuver the thumbnails. Don't like the order? No problem! You can arrange the order of the images in any way you'd like (I tried to put my more popular ones from Pinterest first in each category).
  • It's adaptable! You can choose the images you'd like, the size of the images, whether or not to display text links below them, or not even use thumbnails at all, just text only! There are so many choices to make it work for your blog.
I am beyond excited about this, really!! Now I feel like I can still enjoy the ease of use that comes with my blog, while making it have the functionality of a website--and I'm hoping it will really make everything much easier for my readers because you are why I blog!

So...what do you think? Will you try this on your blog?? I'm thinking it would be great for freebies, photos, shop items--the possibilities are endless! I hope this was of help and it is something you may like to try! :)


  1. This is a great tool. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. As always this is freakin' amazing!!!!

    I have to try this but I dont think I will be tackling this anytime soon

  3. Wow! This is genius! How organized and fun. I don't have too many files on my blog yet, but this is something to keep in mind in the future. :)


  4. Wow! I love the visuals. Now, I just wish I was as uber organized as you are.

  5. You constantly amaze me. By comparison I will always feel like a slacker. haha

  6. That's a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I think I might do the same this summer.

    Grade ONEderful

  7. I love it! I think I will tackle that this summer!


  8. Hi Kristen!

    I love this! They look great and I love the circles too! Thanks so much for sharing! This is definitely something that I would love to use once I have more files up on my blog!

    Lessons with Laughter

  9. I love this and have a great idea.....I am technology challenged in a few areas and you are not so you can do my stuff for me!! LOL! Oh how I wish!! You come up with the most amazing things!!! I will try this....not sure when but you will know cuz I will be emailing you for help!!! This is awesome, thanks for sharing and enjoy your vaca!!

    4th Grade Frolics

  10. Sounds like the perfect summer project! I love technical things like this! Thanks so much for sharing the links. I look forward to seeing your finished product.

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

  11. I LOVE these thumbnails...supercute!

    Officially became your latest follower using Google friend (even though I have been following you using Reader).
    Come and check out my Dr. Jean giveaway!
    My Second Sense

  12. I love this!! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try this out when I have extra time!! Enjoy your week off!

  13. Absolutely I will try this!!!!! :)
    Most likely, not till Summer, though.
    You are a genius. Thank you for sharing! I think your thumbnails look great and I love that they are CIRCLES!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  15. As others have said, you are amazing! Thanks for sharing! I don't have any files to share yet, but I will definitely check this out. I will use it once I get creative. This will make a great summer project-especially since we just adopted a new LA curriculum. I am hoping to start creating some files to go with it.
    Thanks, again, Kristen! You are a Rockstar!!

  16. oh wow - will you do a repost during summer to remind us all!?! ha!!

  17. I just pinned this for my board and I will pin for TBA! You are just amazing.

  18. Oh my goodness! New summer project. Thanks for sharing!


    THERE GOES MY FIRST MONTH OF SUMMER! I can't wait to sit down and do this!!!! As always you are my GURU of bloggy technology!

  20. Ah!!! I am so IN LOVE with your post and this idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I sense a big project in my future. You know... after I get through the other 50 items on my list!


  21. OOOHHHH....that is really useful. You always have the best bloggy tech tips. Thank you!

    Teaching in Room 6

  22. WOW! This looks amazing! I would love to start but would not even know where to begin! I agree with Stephanie, you always have the best tips :)
    thanks so much for sharing!!

    Color Me Kinder

  23. How did you make the circles? I watched the original tutorial and they are just the image. Thanks.

    Miss J

    Smiles, Crayons, and Endless Stories

  24. You know you are bloody brilliant! :)

    Ms. M

  25. I LOVE this!!!! Def. an amazing tool! Thanks for the tip! Now I have plans fot this summer!\

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

  26. Wow! Good job! Your blog is a true resource :-).

  27. Kristen,
    Thanks for coming by to check out my new design. I think this summer is going to be all about organizing my blog so I will be back to check out these tutorials!
    Thinking of Teaching

  28. This is beyond awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!!