This how-to will give you an introduction to OurShelf, help you get your shelf started, and explain all the features available to you while viewing your shelf. Login and let’s begin.
When you login, you’re taken right to your profile. You’ll see an overview of your shelf, reviews, and most recent friends. This is also where all your notifications are presented (borrow, friend and group requests).
You’ll notice in the top right section of the profile, just below the main navigation bar, there’s a little button that says, “Share.” When you hover over it, it provides you with options to share the page you’re currently viewing on lots of social media and news sites. This button let’s you share interesting finds on OurShelf with your friends who might not be OurShelf users.
Let’s move to the shelf now, by clicking the “Shelf” tab in the profile navigation.
When viewing your shelf, there is a helpful “Shelf Overview” located on the left, just below your user icon. This is also where the import feature is located, making it easy to populate your shelf with large collections of items.
Importing is a great way to get a lot of items on your shelf all at once. Currently, we can import all the albums from your iTunes Library, your past purchases on Amazon, your Shelfari book collection and your LibraryThing book collection. To import, click on the “Import Items” link in your shelf overview on the left side of the profile.
If you’re doing a particularly large import (iTunes or Amazon), OurShelf may timeout or not pick up your entire collection in one pass. If this happens, just import a few times. Every single time, OurShelf will pick up new items it might have previously missed.
Creating labels is a great way to organize and use your shelf. Labels group collections of items together. An item on OurShelf can have multiple labels. Take a look at my labels, for example. I use them to group my movies, books, and music together, but you can use them to make an item collection that suites your lifestyle (college textbooks, baby goods, toys, kitchen and home goods, etc.).
Let’s add a new label now. Go ahead and click the “Create Label” link.
Enter the label name. It can be anything you want.
Next, select whether you want all users to be able to see the items in this label, or if you only want you and your friends to be able to look at it.
Besides organizing, labels also help you make certain groups of items private on your shelf, without having to make the entire shelf private. (If you want to make your entire profile and shelf private, you can do so by editing your profile).
You can start adding items to your new label by hovering over the item, selecting the label tab, and applying the label. This is window is called the “Item Control Dialog.”
You can explore the other tabs in the Item Control Dialog too. This same dialog is available to you when you shelve items from the search results. This makes searching, shelving, organizing, and reviewing all in one step, a total walk in the park.
I hope you found this how-to useful. Let me know!
Paul and the OurShelf team