One of my secret pleasures (and feel free to chime in if you’re a geek like me) is looking through various colorful guides and infographics, from what plants are edible in forests to hypothetical explanations on how best to survive the zombie Apocalypse that 2020 promised but never delivered.

The multi-million-member ‘Cool Guides’ community on Reddit is the prime place to go to for (yup, you guessed it!) cool guides. From aesthetically pleasing and very informative ones to quirky and funny ones, you’ll find a bit of everything to keep those noggins of yours learning and yearning for more, dear Pandas.

Bored Panda had a lovely chat with redditor Dadschool, who founded the r/coolguides subreddit way back in 2014 and is still its head moderator to this very day. Having started the sub with no real expectations of forming a community around it, he filled a niche on Reddit that had been empty. "I had a bit of a compulsive habit of saving every guide I came across on Reddit with the idea that I'd somehow reference it when I needed it later. There weren't really any subs for general guides so I made one and uploaded all my guides at once. I think a lot of people have a similar affection for bitesize trivia and hoarding generalist knowledge." You'll find the rest of our interview with the founder below.

Upvote your fave guides as you scroll on down, drop us a comment with your thoughts below, and go and join the r/coolguides subreddit if it’s right up your alley. But a quick note of warning before we begin: this is a community mostly for guides; infographics are in a bit of a grey area.

#1

Inequality V. Equality V. Equity V. Justice

Inequality V. Equality V. Equity V. Justice

hannah15153 Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
8 months ago

I want to print this and put it in my cubicle.

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#2

Hand Sign Guide For Loud Bars

Hand Sign Guide For Loud Bars

the_real_snurre Report

Birgit M
Community Member
8 months ago

This is a good idea, but the fourth sign will be confusing in a Heavy Metal Club.

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#3

A More Comprehensive Guide To Symptoms Of Depression

A More Comprehensive Guide To Symptoms Of Depression

starbuilt Report

Joanne O'Brien
Community Member
8 months ago

I'm also sad!

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The founder, Dadschool, was very humble about his role in expanding the community. "I can say it is only able to be this size because moderators like @etymologynerd and @robinsparkles18 are as active as they are, and the time they take out of their day to check in," he praised his colleagues. With a leader so supportive, no wonder that the mod r/coolguides mod team stands shoulder to shoulder, come hell or high water.

"The unique thing about Reddit is that subreddits really are independent and are autonomously moderated communities. I think our subscriber ranking is something like 190 across all of Reddit and it's not like there's monetization options after you break 200 or conversations with Reddit corporate. We're the same mod team we were a few years ago, excited that we broke 100k, and checking Reddit throughout the day to make sure no one uploaded the same damn apple guide uploaded 100 times that week," the founder claimed that things are still pretty much as they've always been.

#4

Recognizing A Mentally Abused Brain

Recognizing A Mentally Abused Brain

halfs2010 Report

Alex Bailey
Community Member
8 months ago

Oh dear... I didn't realise I was that bad. Thanks dad.

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#5

How To Get A Scientific Paper For Free

How To Get A Scientific Paper For Free

slickanglican Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
8 months ago

Whole lotta people about to get emailed.

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#6

How Paint Can Change A Room

How Paint Can Change A Room

dartmaster666 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
8 months ago

OoOo I will consider this if I renovate my house

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Dadschool revealed that the biggest challenge that he and the other moderators face is reacting in time to remove hateful and troll guides as soon as humanly possible. However, that's not always possible because they all have day jobs; moderating is something that they do during their spare time. "We all are working professionals so it's easy for something to slip by and stay out there for way longer than it should and that's always a total bummer—a total lose/lose for the community."

#7

How To Recognize The Artists Of Paintings

How To Recognize The Artists Of Paintings

StygianUnknown Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
8 months ago

totally correct!

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#8

How Masks And Social Distancing Works

How Masks And Social Distancing Works

PepeFrogLive Report

Somebody Here
Community Member
8 months ago

This should be shown to everyone :D

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#9

Geography Terms

Geography Terms

reddit.com Report

Mihran Hovnanian
Community Member
8 months ago

Where is this theme park??! ;-)

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Nowadays, the founder of r/coolguides is a tad more lax about infographics than when he first founded the subreddit. These days, he's more keen to let the community decide what direction it wants to go via upvotes and engagement. He trusts the community. "I see the moderator role as more akin to a landscaper: pruning [troll] posts, removing harmful posts, and moderating for content diversity. Subscribers are much better judges of content quality and validity than moderators and I think it's important to trust them in that role." He added (and this is a feeling that I completely agree with): "I will admit, however, that the majority of guides I enjoy most myself rarely break 50/100 upvotes."

#10

I Think These Simple Points Could Help A Lot.

I Think These Simple Points Could Help A Lot.

happyafk Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
8 months ago

that's it,

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#11

Just A Little Something For The Upcoming Holiday Season

Just A Little Something For The Upcoming Holiday Season

killswitch4987 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
8 months ago

Thanks, I will show this to my friend

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#12

A Restaurant Guide For How You Want Your Steak Cooked

A Restaurant Guide For How You Want Your Steak Cooked

madairman Report

Kubu
Community Member
8 months ago

Funny at first glance, but it's too passively aggressive, not cool.

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For those of you Pandas who are raring to post a guide on r/coolguides, head moderator Dadschool is all for it: "Go for it!" Just remember to avoid reposts, so have a look through the newest posts. "We do try to maintain some content diversity, so don't upload all ten of your favorite ab workout guides at once. If you have the source, be a buddy and list that too in the comments or title to give credit where it's due!" he gave some advice for newcomers.

#13

Paper Snowflakes

Paper Snowflakes

thealiensgotme Report

troufaki13
Community Member
8 months ago

I'm so bad at crafting, mine would probably end up being just confetti :/

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#14

I Liked This One

I Liked This One

reddit.com Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
8 months ago

The niqab and the burka should not be legal in our society. First because the face is the way of conveying emotions and covering it it’s dehumanising but specially for security. The other veils should be all legal for adults but not for kids since they cannot consent to them. I am heartbroken each time that I see a 8yo covered like if she needs to be hidden while her brothers run around freely.

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#15

Animals With Misleading Names

Animals With Misleading Names

fsterneder Report

Woets
Community Member
8 months ago

Also Mayfly will certainly fly (I'll see myself out)

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The University of Bath has some excellent advice on how to create a proper guide that’s useful for your readers. Yes, it's a guide for creating guides: we're officially in meta-territory now.

They suggest that you address the reader directly, rather than in the third person (i.e. ‘you Pandas should upvote this awesome article’ instead of ‘Pandas may upvote this absolutely amazing article at the very bottom of the page’). 

#16

Different Shades Of Light

Different Shades Of Light

rickypark Report

Hans
Community Member
8 months ago

Good office lighting has a function to simluate daylight. Very warm with the early morning, going towards natural through the day, then back to normal in the evening. If you get good LED drivers, you can drive RGBW LED stripes like this.

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#17

How To Email Well

How To Email Well

OnlyUsesFourWords Report

Láďa Durchánek
Community Member
8 months ago

I will rather be less of a boss than give up "No worries".

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#18

Guide To Pain Scale

Guide To Pain Scale

redcobra762 Report

Annabeth Chase
Community Member
8 months ago

or ninjas

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What’s more, you should aim to write concisely. Plainly. Simply. Structure and break up the content to make it easier to read. Give your guide some flow and make it easy for the reader to understand what’s what.

Meanwhile, some of the things that you should avoid are incredibly technical terms in the title and headings. Also, omit useless words and info. Less. Is. More. (Unless you absolutely have to add in those extra words for whatever unavoidable reasons.)

#19

How Untreated Adhd Causes And Traps You In Depression

How Untreated Adhd Causes And Traps You In Depression

dartmaster666 Report

Anon Anon
Community Member
8 months ago

This is 100% true, and it's disheartening :(

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#20

The History Of Confederate Flags.

The History Of Confederate Flags.

SFgiant55 Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
8 months ago

In the age of cancel culture, I'm astonished that nobody's gotten to the Dukes of Hazard yet. 🤔

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#21

How To Treat People With Dementia

How To Treat People With Dementia

Snoo_3771 Report

Helen Haley
Community Member
8 months ago

Good rules for dealing with anyone really.

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The ‘Cool Guides’ subreddit celebrated its 7th birthday, a magical milestone if there ever was one, just over a week ago on March 20.

Since having been founded in 2014, the community now has nearly 2.1 million members and continues to grow. Despite the vast number of members, the team of moderators remains compact, numbering at just 5 (as far as we can tell from their page on Reddit—there may be more who choose to remain more mysterious and secretive).

#22

Cool Guide Of Words You Can Use Instead Of Very

Cool Guide Of Words You Can Use Instead Of Very

InfernoEclipse Report

SykesDaMan
Community Member
8 months ago

And please avoid using very twice or more in a row : very very very ...

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#23

Types Of Asian Architecture

Types Of Asian Architecture

Antish12 Report

River Webb
Community Member
8 months ago

all just downright amazing

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#24

Tattoo Pain Chart

Tattoo Pain Chart

toletpainter Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
8 months ago

I never wanted a tattoo, but this chart would be very helpful!

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According to the mods, their online page is for “picture based reference guides for anything and everything. If it seems like something someone might print, physically post, and reference then it is a good link for this sub.”

However, this doesn’t always include infographics. The mods explain that infographics are learning tools, whereas guides are reference tools. Sometimes, the area between the two becomes blurred.

If you do end up posting what the mods deem to be an infographic, they might decide to remove it. “An infographic is more educational in layout and content, finding something specific on an infographic is not as easy because it is designed to inform through more narrative structures. If your guide is more of a visual essay than a structured table or list, then chances are that is an infographic. Sometimes infographics can masquerade as how-to guides.”

#25

How Human Flesh Decomposes

How Human Flesh Decomposes

saladioo Report

Somebody Here
Community Member
8 months ago (edited)

THAT, my friends, is a work of art

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#26

U.S. Flag But Each Star Is Scaled Proportionally To Their State’s Population, In Roughly It’s Geographical Position.

U.S. Flag But Each Star Is Scaled Proportionally To Their State’s Population, In Roughly It’s Geographical Position.

OmarZiada Report

Lilly Rose Poppy
Community Member
8 months ago

I like it

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#27

Cool Idea Of How Fresh New Babies See The World

Cool Idea Of How Fresh New Babies See The World

crescentcelledarch Report

Sabienn
Community Member
8 months ago

It's not like newborns are blind though. They can see sharp for a small distance, 30 cm as far as I know

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The subreddit also has a no-tolerance policy for any content that’s dangerous, harmful, hurtful, or destructive. It’s supposed to be a wholesome and informative community that adheres to morality, the rules of Reddit, as well as common legal structures.

“Guides depicting harmful, dangerous, or destructive content will be removed. This includes guides describing the creation of dangerous items/materials and/or guides that are designed with the purpose to harm or hurt others do not fit the culture of this sub and will be removed.”

#28

A Simple Spell

A Simple Spell

thou_undercoverjack Report

Kristal
Community Member
8 months ago

Lol before I read 'congrats' I thought it was referencing World of Warcraft. Cause, if you aren't tired or stressed, you can be after playing WoW for a while

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#29

For All You Dog Lovers Out There

For All You Dog Lovers Out There

mikeymikespeirs Report

I I
Community Member
8 months ago

got 4 dogs and one , Cali , she will put ANYTHING in her mouth , and if she thinks you want to take it off her she will try to eat it , this could come in very handy , she is also the most loving dog i know

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#30

From The Us Holocaust Museum

From The Us Holocaust Museum

Placeptnik Report

Kubu
Community Member
8 months ago

Sounds a lot like my country is leaning towards fascism, what an ironic twist of events for country being invaded first by Nazi Germany...

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So, dear Pandas, which of these guides did you find to be the most useful (or, let's face it, the most intriguing because we all like looking at pretty pictures)? What's the most useful guide you've ever seen in your entire life? Is there a guide for something that you'd do pretty much anything to read through? Share your thoughts with everyone else below.

#31

How To Assert Dominance Over A Waterfall

How To Assert Dominance Over A Waterfall

reeces_geeses Report

troufaki13
Community Member
8 months ago

I hope I never have to come to a point where I would need this information

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#32

Activities That Make Your Brain Release Happy Chemicals

Activities That Make Your Brain Release Happy Chemicals

Poohannes Report

Kristal
Community Member
8 months ago

Not really a hack but some helpful ideas

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#33

How Gerrymandering Works

How Gerrymandering Works

jacksonsprite Report

Roland
Community Member
8 months ago

Awesome USA.

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#34

How To Turn Down An Invite.

How To Turn Down An Invite.

Falom Report

troufaki13
Community Member
8 months ago

First you decline, then be gracious. Wording is very essential and people tend to pay attention to the sentence after the "but". For example "I won't be able to make it, but thank you for considering me" vs "thank you for inviting me, but I can't come". I think the first one sounds better, even if it's essentially the same.

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#35

Marginal Tax

Marginal Tax

TheMexicanJuan Report

Stimpy
Community Member
8 months ago

Seems fair

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#36

Copper Through The Patina Process

Copper Through The Patina Process

reddit.com Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
8 months ago

I love the colour of both new and rusted copper. So pretty!

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#37

Communication 101: As A Ux Researcher, I Study How People Understand Technology, Content, And Messaging For A Living. During This Crisis, Vague Messages Like "Practice Social Distancing" Will Have Far Less Impact Than Concrete, Specific Messages Like "Stay At Home. Get Groceries Once Per Week"

Communication 101: As A Ux Researcher, I Study How People Understand Technology, Content, And Messaging For A Living. During This Crisis, Vague Messages Like "Practice Social Distancing" Will Have Far Less Impact Than Concrete, Specific Messages Like "Stay At Home. Get Groceries Once Per Week"

Hybrid_UX_Research Report

varwenea
Community Member
8 months ago

Totally agree with NO on new term. Trying to teach new behaviors while using a mouthful of new words is weird.

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#38

When Coming In Contact With A Bear

When Coming In Contact With A Bear

twobirdsandacoconut Report

mulk
Community Member
8 months ago

If it's pink: laughing

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#39

How To Pack A Hiking Bag

How To Pack A Hiking Bag

sidhao Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
8 months ago

This is very helpful because I go hiking a lot, next time I will pack this way!

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#40

Apples On A Scale From Most Tart To Most Sweet

Apples On A Scale From Most Tart To Most Sweet

surfinmozart Report

Sue Hazlewood
Community Member
8 months ago

Pacific Rose is not tart

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#41

What To Say To Kids Instead Of “Be Careful!”

What To Say To Kids Instead Of “Be Careful!”

something115 Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
8 months ago

Sometimes it is just quicker to say be careful when in/near a dangerous situation.

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#42

Biking Or Running In The Dark? Here's How The Drivers See You Based On The Clothes You Wear.

Biking Or Running In The Dark? Here's How The Drivers See You Based On The Clothes You Wear.

tamar Report

Sabienn
Community Member
8 months ago

And at night, you're much more visible if you have reflectors on your bike and two lights (white at the front, red at the back). And not on their blinking setting, because that's distracting for other traffic

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#43

I’ll Never Remember This Mid-Heart Attack But This Is Good To Know

I’ll Never Remember This Mid-Heart Attack But This Is Good To Know

sweet_potato_75 Report

Eva the Egg
Community Member
8 months ago

Why do women have more symptoms?

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#44

A Quick Guide To Tea!

A Quick Guide To Tea!

Relojero Report

Mihran Hovnanian
Community Member
8 months ago

Sorry... green tea is tea, but the rest of them are types of infusions/tisanes.

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#45

Explanation Of The Subtle Differences Between Equality And Equity

Explanation Of The Subtle Differences Between Equality And Equity

SocialPredicament Report

sofacushionfort
Community Member
8 months ago

In all three scenarios the soccer players are robbed of gate receipts

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#46

Five Demands, Not One Less. End Police Brutality

Five Demands, Not One Less. End Police Brutality

gitgudsam Report

Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
8 months ago

So common sense.

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#47

Simple Guide To Staying Healthy

Simple Guide To Staying Healthy

esuuuu Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
8 months ago

Lol. And I cannot do more than 2000 steps a day without massive pain for the next two days. I hate my body. Please healthy people, cherish your body and energy.

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#48

Different Forms Of Color Blindness

Different Forms Of Color Blindness

guilded-iron Report

Dark Pearl
Community Member
8 months ago

Tritanopia looks cool, to be honest...

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#49

How To Make An Amazing Sofa Fort

How To Make An Amazing Sofa Fort

gmlg14 Report

me
Community Member
8 months ago

I need this, my pillow forts always suck

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#50

The Joker

The Joker

GhettoAvenueBoys Report

me
Community Member
8 months ago

GO LEGO JOKER

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Note: this post originally had 72 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.