Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Communication Interlude (aka an Ode to the Shutterfly Share Site)

First off I’d like to say, I am not associated with Shutterfly in any way. They give me no money, I own no stock, I have not a single family member working there. I just found the Shutterfly Share Site a Godsend for my troop.

A good friend of mine introduced me to Shutterfly Share for our troop. She used it for my daughter and her son’s kindergarten class to share information and sign up for volunteers (yes, it is soooo much more then about picture sharing). We were able to get all our information on there in an evening and it revolutionized the way the troop runs and communicates.
Sample of Share Site (took me 30 seconds to create)

Only drawbacks: The site “owner” has to have a Shutterfly account and has to buy something off the site at least once a year. I do that anyway so it wasn’t an issue. The other members don’t need to buy anything.

Shutterfly has an easy to manage, easy to update, calendar available on anything that has the internet. The whole troop has access to it at all times, so they don’t need to call, email or text “when’s our next meeting.” Best of all, it automatically emails everyone 24 hours (or any other time period you select) before every meeting and event.

It keeps you organized and the troop informed.
Calender Sample

Sign Ups
This is really the best part. There is a tab for any kind of sign ups you need. And we needed them a lot. Sign up for meeting snacks. Sign up for food items for a party or field trip or pot luck. Sign up for a wish least for random craft materials we were running low in. We used it for whose turn it was to take care of the team mini-garden, for what people were contributing to our charity “Project Elf,” and for chaperones. It was great.

One of us simply created the sign up and instructions and the site would automatically email it to everyone. You can check to make sure people are signing up (most do pretty quickly). Then the site automatically emails each person who signed up 2 days before they need to do their volunteer job or bring in their item. Brilliant!
Snack Sign Up

Message Board

The message board quickly took the place of almost all email in our troop. Everything we wanted to communicate was a new topic and sent to everyone. This way, if anyone needed any information about what was going on and someone couldn’t find their email, it was easy to log on and find the massage. You can link permission forms and field trip websites as well.


Even though this is Shutterfly, I’d say the pictures (and videos) are just a plus. A pretty good plus, though. It keeps an easily accessible series of albums for the troop. Best part: I take pictures on a field trip on my IPhone. As we climb into the car on the way home I hit my Shutterfly app. In 5 seconds it’s downloading all the pictures to the site. By the time I’m home all the pictures are on my Shutterfly and it takes me 5 minutes to get them organized, up on the Share Site, and out to all the parents. The families love this!

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from parents about other troops is “I never know what’s going on.” This makes that easy and fun. Seriously. It’s great.


  1. This is so helpful! I had no idea shutterfly did all this.

  2. I've had Shutterfly for almost 8 years and had no idea that it did all of this! Thanks for the info!

  3. I just checked with Shutterfly, and they do NOT require you to buy anything to have a SHARE site. This is great information! Thank you.