I joined SP on May 21, 2013. I found it very confusing as to what to do next. I hope that these links make it a little easier to navigate this excellent resource to become healthier. So, here are some tips:
NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTIONS
1. New Member Welcome Guide
2. It is also good to go to Articles/Videos--SparkDiet. You'll get a better understanding of the SparkPeople program.
3. How to use the Start Page--VIDEO
HOW TO USE THE TRACKERS
4. How to use the Nutrition Tracker --VIDEO
*How To Use the Calorie Counter, Recipes, etc.
5. How to use the Fitness Tracker
6. How to stay on track with a Monthly Calendar ---updates automatically
HOW TO USE TEAMS AND MESSAGE BOARDS
7. How to Get the Most Out of the SparkPeople Community: The Difference Between SparkTeams & Message Boards.
8. A Beginner's Guide to the SparkPeople Message Boards
9. How To use Your SparkTeam Page
10. What are message boards and teams? VIDEO
Video (NOTE: Their Start Page is "vertical" whereas the new Start Page is "horizontal." It's still helpful though.)
11. What are the SparkPeople Community Guidelines?
12. How do I stop getting notifications for a particular Message Board thread?
When you post to the Message Boards, a box below your message is automatically checked to subscribe you (via email) to the conversations, which means you’ll receive an email in your regular email when someone replies after you. If you decide later that you no longer want to receive these notifications, you can unsubscribe yourself from the conversation in one of two ways.
1. To see all of your current Message Board notifications and/or bulk unsubscribe:
Click on “Start” in the top left corner of the screen.
You'll now see your Start page.
Scroll down your Start page to "Step 3, Community & SparkTeam Check-In."
Click "Message Board Subscriptions," which is listed under the "My Community Quick Links" section.
You'll now see your Message Board Subscription page, which lists up to 100 of your current message board subscriptions.
Check the box(es) next to the Message Board thread(s) that you would like to unsubscribe from.
Scroll down the page and click the "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of the page.
When asked to confirm that you would like to unsubscribe from all checked threads, click "OK."
2. To unsubscribe from one particular Message Board notification:
You can unsubscribe from a specific Message Board thread by not clicking on the link in the email sent to you. If you delete that email without clicking on the link inside of it, you will be unsubscribed from that particular Message Board thread and will receive no more notifications for that particular conversation.
NOTE: To avoid getting these notifications in the future, simply un-check the pre-checked box that subscribes you to the email notifications before you post your response.
NOTE: If you put a check mark in the "Map" column, it will show where all the members of your team are located.
14. SparkPeople's Internet Safety Tips
HOW TO USE SPARKPOINTS
It may initially sound silly, but earning Sparkpoints really is a good motivation tool. Then, you can use Sparkpoints to send goodies to friends, which are also motivational. Most of the list under the heading My Trackers/Sparkpoints is self-explanatory, but I was confused about how to get points for emails. You don't get them for Sparkmail emails. IF you have the items checked that would go to your regular email, like daily recipes, daily exercises, etc., look at the bottom left corner. It is VERY easy to overlook, but it says, "Click here to receive SparkPoints."
I'm sure there are many other helpful hints that I've missed, but I hope having these links in one location will be helpful