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Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 8, 2018 9:18am
Thread
Thanks for getting the ball rolling, Angel Winks. I'm also a huge fan of the custom address feature.

We might want to mention at this point that custom addresses are a perk of an AQ premium membership. There are many perks and you can find them here if you're not already a premium member. (Disclaimer: Ryan is *not* paying us to advertise.) :)

One of my favorite premium features is custom menus. To use:

Go to My Page/Preferences. Select Custom Menu from the bar of options across the top of the page. It's just to the left of Premium Hat.

Under Add Menu Item on the left choose the submenu you'd like your item listed under (Home, Toolbox, Boards, People, etc.), type the way you want the item listed in the title box, and then add the link in the URL box. Once you click the Add Item button you'll be able to access your menu item from the menus that run across the top of AQ pages.

You can add links for AQ pages or external links like LbNA and Rumkin. I like to add links for events I'm signed up for under the People tab. It makes it easy to access the event page before and after event, and then I just remove it from the menu once all my finds are recorded.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 8, 2018 9:19am
Thread
I definitely do. And given your examples, I will often customize the Crown Hill Cemetery address to the 32nd Street address (Old Gates entrance). It’s the closest to my sweet daddy’s resting place. If anyone comes without a map, it is easily available at the 38th street entrance (offices).
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969186 by Dawnkey
Dec 8, 2018 9:41am
Thread
I didn't know that. Thanks.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 8, 2018 9:44am
Thread
This is a great conversation to have. I'm sure there are many helps on here that I don't know how to use.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969189 by Topcollector
Dec 8, 2018 11:21am
Thread
Thanks, Topcollector. That's what Dawnkey and I, and others, hopefully, have in mind. We will try to keep the conversation going over the winter months when there is less letterboxing to do.

And, we hope, anyone will feel free to jump into the conversation.

Angel Winks
*who is enjoying a relaxed Saturday afternoon at home after buying my last Christmas gift this morning.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 8, 2018 5:24pm
Thread
I use custom addresses constantly as well. But I didn't know I could add the name of the address i.e., "Jo's Pool Hall" as well as the street address. Can't wait to try this out.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969186 by Dawnkey
Dec 8, 2018 5:33pm
Thread
Wow! Didn't know this was available to us. Just added an event under the People tab just as you described. That's pretty cool, and easier to see my current sign ups. Thanks!
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969197 by BBStacker
Dec 8, 2018 6:33pm
Thread
BBStacker,

The way I have found that works best is to first STORE the custom address. Once that is in, then I edit the custom address with the pencil icon. I add the name of the park or cemetery or pool hall :) or whatever and save it again. It should show up with both the name and the address! Love it.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969198 by BBStacker
Dec 9, 2018 3:54am
Thread
That's pretty cool, and easier to see my current sign ups.

Not a Michiganer here but I do have a few AQ tricks up my sleeve also. For instance, in order to see my event sign ups, I just created a search for them and then saved it, calling it "My Upcoming Events". New ones are added in date order and as their date passes, they disappear from the list. That way they are all grouped together with the next one I will be attending showing up first. I have "Favorite Searches" as one of my widgits on My Page so the list is only a click away.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 9, 2018 3:59am
Thread
Once I know where I am going, I search the area. For example, when I do a search of Indianapolis, Indiana, letterboxes come up in a variety of ways and I adapt them to make finding them easier.

I have been doing this for years and loving it. It is amazing how many people are not aware of it. But I do take it a step further. There are areas that I box in regularly such as Florida, eastern PA, Delaware and Maryland, so I have searches set up to notify me of new boxes for each of those areas. (I am a big user of searches!) I have chosen to receive emails when there is a new box added for those areas. When I get an email, I simply check to see if there is a good address and if there is not, I add the custom address right away, even if I don't have plans to visit that area at the moment. That way, when I DO plan on going somewhere, I have the info all ready and I just need to choose a box and then click on nearby boxes and my trip is planned.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969205 by Janila
Dec 9, 2018 5:35am
Thread
Janila,

Welcome to our AQ conversation! I'm interested in learning more about how you do this. How do you actually create the search for them? I've saved several searches I've done by states, but not events. Do you do this under Advanced Search?

Thanks!
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969206 by Janila
Dec 9, 2018 5:44am
Thread
Janila, you are a letterboxer after my own heart :). I do the same thing. My husband and I are often dreaming about the next trip we are going to take, so I begin customizing addresses already at that time. I've found many boxes I wouldn't have found if I didn't customize it.

I even go a step further. I search for boxes that are only listed by the state. Here is what I mean:
I do an AREA SEARCH under SIMPLE SEARCH. Under REGION, I'll go to the state I'm looking for. For example, I'll type in MICHIGAN. Once I've done that, all the Michigan boxes I haven't found are listed. But then I will EDIT SEARCH. I will change the DIST (MI) to 0 and run the search again. All the boxes listed with simply the Michigan location will come up and I'll have access to several other letterboxes. I then customize those locations and, hopefully, find those letterboxes while on my travels.

These letterboxes are often mystery boxes and are well worth the time and effort it takes to figure out the location and solve the cipher/puzzle if there is one.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969208 by Angel Winks
Dec 9, 2018 7:27am
Thread
Do you do this under Advanced Search?

Yes. Then on the Search Type in the upper right, choose Events (listed under Miscellaneous). Then there's a check box for events you're signed up for.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969208 by Angel Winks
Dec 9, 2018 9:06am
Thread
Do you do this under Advanced Search?

Yes, Advanced Search, change the search type to Events, check off "Include only events that I'm signed up for" and "Include only upcoming events". Set Sort Order to Start Date. Voila!

Did I mention that I LOVE saving searches? :-)
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969220 by Janila
Dec 9, 2018 11:01am
Thread
Thank you!
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969206 by Janila
Dec 10, 2018 7:59am
Thread
We do the same, I have alerts set up for Michigan to send an email.
The other locations I track, Rhode Island, Maryland, Grand Haven, MI I have set up as a widget on my menu!
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 11, 2018 6:19am
Thread
We use the custom address feature regularly. We then change the address at the top of the page, that way when we do a search of the area again, the boxes show up.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969181 by Angel Winks
Dec 11, 2018 5:23pm
Thread
Fun! I'm sure there's a lot of things! I like the notes feature, particularly for personal travelers, but it's helpful for other things like mystery boxes. Once I solve the PT clue, I add a note. When I print the list of PTs prior to the event, the note will print as well. I'm not sure if that is a premium perk or not.

One of my other favorite things is the trip planner. This is a premium perk, too. If I'm planning a road trip, I add a trip with my starting and ending destinations. Then I do a search using that trip, customizing distances off the main road (1-5 miles), type of boxes (driveby, stroll, etc). This makes it easy to grab some finds along the way.

I haven't used the custom locations much that Angel Winks mentioned, but this would come in handy with the trip planner to make sure things are really within your desired range.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969289 by BaliWho
Dec 11, 2018 5:32pm
Thread
Another thing I used a lot is the countdown widget. (not sure if that is a premium widget or not!) I add it to the very top of my page so I can easily see what I have coming up that needs to be done.

This is really helpful to keep track of things that are due by specific dates like postals, LTC swaps, stamps that need to be carved for events or whatever else.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969289 by BaliWho
Dec 11, 2018 5:56pm
Thread
I like the notes features also for PTs. Another thing I use them for is to copy and paste LbNA clues. Lastly, I use it if I read over comments on the letterbox and there is something important to note that someone mentioned. Another great feature!

I have never used the trip planner. I need to try that.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969289 by BaliWho
Dec 12, 2018 5:18am
Thread
One of my other favorite things is the trip planner.

Mine too. Although I have to admit it has some complexity to it (my small brain???). I travel a lot and am always looking for boxes 1 mile at the most off my route. Trip Planner along with custom addresses helps me find them. In conjunction I use tags. As a premium member I'm given eight of them which I've edited to fit my needs.
The green apple is "Good to go" - the box should be there
The red box is "Warning - Do not Attempt" - the box is most likely missing
Plus I have others for Long hike, Might be missing, Not this trip, Needs more research and Out of area.
I like the idea that I can edit those tags.
And with those tags I can edit my search to only include those that are Good to Go limiting the amount of paper I need to print.
I've wondered if there is a way to use tags on Clue Tracker.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969296 by BBStacker
Dec 12, 2018 9:11am
Thread
I've wondered if there is a way to use tags on Clue Tracker.

Yes, you can search for things like tag:red or tag:red,blue if you want boxes with your red AND blue tags. See the near bottom of https://cluetracker.pearlcrescent.com/ios/faq for more info.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969296 by BBStacker
Dec 12, 2018 11:44am
Thread
I experimented with tags early on, but you've inspired me to use them again.

You've given lots of good ideas, BBStacker; I especially like the "puzzle needs to be solved yet."

I'm curious what others use tags for.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969291 by Angel Winks
Dec 12, 2018 1:06pm
Thread
I use it if I read over comments on the letterbox and there is something important to note that someone mentioned.

I do that also!

I will also put the link to any trail maps or significant websites that I find while doing research for the custom addresses. This can save time when I am actually prepping to go find the boxes later.

And, since many of my own planted boxes are ciphers, I put the actual uncoded clue in the notes so I don't have to go back and solve my own clue to answer questions.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969312 by Angel Winks
Dec 12, 2018 6:34pm
Thread
I'm curious what others use tags for.

I use tags all the time. The ones I currently have are:

  • Mystery/need info - means I have to do some sort of homework before finding
  • Scared to get it - at least I'd be scared to look for it by myself.
  • Tried box - for boxes that I made some sort of effort to find without qualifying as an "attempt." I may have run out of time or the clues were vague at the end. It's interesting to see if people find it after my "try." I generally write a note about when I looked and why it didn't pan out.
  • Fun day - for boxes I'm planning to find on a particular outing
  • Want box - general boxes that look interesting to find
  • MI Counties - boxes that look like they'd be good candidates for my continuing quest to find a box in every Michigan county
  • Last finder - after I find a box I give it this tag. Then I have a saved search I run that lists boxes with this tag in reverse chronological order of when they were last found. Generally when a box pops to the top of the list it means that someone found it after me and I can say, "Oh look, Angel Winks found that fun box in the library in Kalamazoo too!" (Of course 9 times out of 10 Angel Winks has already found the box before me.)

That leaves one tag. It was most recently pulled into duty for "Virginia Trip." Self-explanatory. Now it's generic again waiting for a new assignment.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969321 by Dawnkey
Dec 12, 2018 7:29pm
Thread
Wow. That really gives me food for thought. I like the Last Finder tag. I had never thought of that.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969312 by Angel Winks
Dec 12, 2018 7:37pm
Thread
I use tags a lot for trip planning. I use the trip planner and city searches to see what boxes are in the area I will be passing through and staying in, and then I start to tag the boxes that I think I most want to search for. It helps organize the mass of boxes that might come up with any given search and helps me keep track of an oddball box that I notice but that doesn't fit the main search parameters.

So I'll have green for the route to my destination. Green plus red for boxes around my destination. Purple for short day trips. So when I'm on the trip I'm just choosing from boxes I've already checked out and thought would be good.

I also have orange for boxes I'd like to find in one nearby city and blue color for another city. When I get ready to spend a day in either city, I'll add a second color.

Then doing an advanced search it's easy to make a list of just the boxes I want to look for. I usually map just those boxes, and it's easy to print all the clues from that list. I'll run the list again afterward to record them. It helps me find what I want quickly.
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969312 by Angel Winks
Dec 12, 2018 7:52pm
Thread
I'm curious what others use tags for.

I used to use them a lot when I was doing LTCs a lot. I don't remember what they were.

But, I love all the ideas listed above! Thanks for starting this thread! Great ideas here already!
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969325 by BaliWho
Dec 13, 2018 6:06am
Thread
I use tags for:
Caution - go for it if plenty of time (while traveling), but likely not there
Stop - multiple attempts, likely not worth time adding another
Go for it - used especially if I've attempted it in the past, and someone else has logged a find
Printed - to avoid duplications
Trip Planning - used in advance trip planning to an area I don't regularly get to for flagging 'boxes to find
Solved - to note that I've figured out the mystery, puzzle or clue
Dad's Letterboxes - my Dad'll go out 'boxing with me occasionally, and doesn't log his finds on AQ, so I track them with a tag
Box Type Changed - Ryan occasionally changes the type of listing of 'boxes, and I tag those 'boxes
Re: Letterboxing Conversations
Board: State: Michigan
Reply to: #969312 by Angel Winks
Dec 13, 2018 6:25am
Thread
I'm curious what others use tags for.

I use one color for each state I travel regularly, and tag new boxes as they pop up on the new letterboxes widget.
One additional color is labeled Mapped, meaning I have located the parking spot on a map and placed a pin there. I sometimes do that when I first read the clue, and sometimes it's in an area I won't be visiting for a while, so I don't map it until I'm sure I am going there.
One final color is labeled Clue Collected, meaning I have the clue in a document ready to print. For travel clues, I copy/paste the clue portion into a document, then trim out things I don't need on the trail - the backstory, driving directions to the park, etc. If you've seen my clue sheets, you know roughly 5 or 6 clues will fit on a single sheet of paper (landscape / two columns / skinny margins).
So as I get ready to travel, I search for the color tags that represent the states I need, then read clues more carefully and select those I want - tag them with the map color if they already aren't, and then finally, prepare the clue sheets and add the Clue tag so I can work on it over several days and figure out what's done and what isn't.
edit: The map pins are transferred to my GPS before the trip so the driving instructions in clues are unnecessary.

I found it's important to remove the tags as I log finds or else I have way too many tagged clues.

You all know how to change the labels on your clues, right? That's a Wonderful perk!