Rock – paper – scissors

Or in the Project Life world: physical – digital – app.

Three formats, each with their pros and cons.  It’s a completely personal decision and no one format is the best.   Whether you’re a complete paper or digi scrapper, or find a hybrid in between, like anything else in this hobby, find what works best for you.

Personally I’m a physical product scrapbooker.  There’s a lot of different reasons I’ve stayed working with paper.  First, it’s what I know – digital wasn’t really a thing when I started scrapbooking.   There’s something about the actual act of flipping through tangible cards, paper, pictures, and embellishments that’s comforting to me.  Plus products seem to be released in the physical format first and I’m not the most patient person when I want something new!  I think it’s easier to capture handwriting when you’re working with physical product.

Of course, there are downsides.  Living outside the US, it can be difficult to get my hands on new releases, and especially frustrating when there’s exclusive kits released to US-only stores. When you have a certain card in a kit that you love, there’s not an unlimited number of them, and you often end up with a stack of ones you’re not crazy about.   And there’s storage to consider – how much space they take up and how to store the collection of cards you’re sure to amass.

Digital

The biggest appeal to me of digital scrapbooking are the fact that you can modify cards fairly easily.  It’s easy to mix and match between kits and even brands, and there’s hundreds of digital-only options out there.  If there’s a card you love, you can use it over and over without running out.  If your physical space is limited, all you need is a computer and you’re good to go.

I see some of the same challenges as with physical scrapbooking though – how do you organize all that you have digitally?  And although it’s easier to add space digitally, through external hard drives or storage in the cloud, space still can be an issue.  It can get expensive as well – between purchasing software such as Photoshop, then printing out pages either individually or in a photo book.  The number-one reason I decided to stay away from digital when I switched to pocket scrapbooking was that I’m on a computer at least 8 hours a day at work.  I want my hobby to be a break from the screen!

The Project Life App

An inexpensive app with kits that are reasonably priced, it’s the perfect way to scrapbook on-the-go.  I downloaded the app to see what it was all about, and I’ve used it to create a few collages but that’s it.

The biggest downside to the app is that currently, it’s available for Apple products only.  An Android version is in the works, but tough bounce if you have a Windows phone or don’t have a smartphone/tablet at all.  Using a small screen is a turn-off to me – even working on an iPad strains my eyes after a while.  There’s still the costs of printing pages as with digital scrapbooking.  There aren’t as many ways to manipulate pictures or cards easily through the app, or utilize non-Project Life brand products.

In the end, I think it’s fantastic that there’s a variety of options to get your pictures off your camera and get your memories recorded.

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Scrapbooking goals – where I’m at

The first quarter of the year is over and I thought it would be a good time to evaluate where I’m at with the goals I set in January.

Taking more pictures – it’s been hit and miss, but I’ve been trying to get more everyday shots.  I haven’t gotten as many with myself in as I’d like and most of my pictures have been still kidlet-related.  Part of my problem is the fact that we have a big DSLR camera which isn’t easy to port around.  Now that I have my new iPhone which seems to take amazing pictures, I’m planning on using it more for day to day photos.

Photo organization – uploading, organizing and backing everything monthly has worked extremely well.  Editing them and uploading selected ones to be printed, not so much.  I’m really torn about paring down my pictures.  I find it very difficult to look at two or three pictures on a computer and pick the best one, where it’s much easier to do when I have them printed out.   I’m going to attack February and March next week and see how it goes, then I’ll decide if it’s worth the time and effort compared to the money I’ll spend.

Memorabilia – it’s sorted into folders and I’ve included some in my 2012 album.  I think going through it and deciding what to keep, scan or photograph will be something I do on a quarterly basis or when I get to that month in my albums.  Life’s been pretty busy to try and find the time to do it on a regular basis.

Week in the Life – yeah, not so great about that.  I managed to get pictures one day but didn’t write down any notes as the day went on.  I think I can go back and document some of it, and whatever I don’t remember, I won’t include.  Next time, I want to have my husband take some pictures of his day, and also get a few at daycare for Miss A.

Catching up – I completed our cat layouts, journaling my pregnancy pages, putting Miss A’s professional photos into her first year book, and all my pictures and cards are in my album up to December 2012.   I still need to do our engagement story, my month-by-month pregnancy page, journaling up to December 2012, then do photos, cards, embellishments and journaling for 2013 and 2014.

It’s coming along, and I’ve definitely been trying to find more time to scrapbook on a regular basis.

My Scrapbooking Process

Prior to starting pocket scrapbooking , I would do my pages in an orderly fashion – decide on pictures, coordinating cardstock, patterned paper and embellishments, do my layout then complete the journaling.  I continued with this kind of process when I did my Project Life baby album – I picked out pictures and cards for a layout, then did my journaling.  It was a bit easier for this album because I was using one kit only so my card choices were limited.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my big AH-HA moment from watching Creative Live was the idea of batch processing.  Rather than approaching it a layout at a time, you take the time you have to scrapbook and work on a specific step in the process.

I did a few pocket layouts working from A to Z but I found it frustrating.  So the last time I worked on my album, I decided to try the batch process idea to finish my pages from August to December 2012.  I’d already printed all my pictures for this time period, taking advantage of a Costco sale.  I spent a few hours going through my photo albums, pulling out pictures that I wanted to use.  Once I had the pictures in a stack, I went through and put them in the photo pocket pages.  Right now, I’m working on going through and adding cards to the pages.  I find it easier to do it this way rather than dealing with cards and pictures at the same time.  Once I have all the cards in the pockets, I’ll go back and do my journaling.

This is working really well for me, and I can see that it’ll be something that I continue.  It really helped me narrow down what pictures I wanted to use.  Also, because I’m using multiple kits now, it seemed to make things go more smoothly.

Going forward, here’s how I see batch processing working for me.

  • I’m going to take a night a month to decide on keeper pictures, do any editing, and then upload for printing or send then to be printed.
  • Once they’re printed, rather than putting them all in storage albums, pulling them out then putting them in my albums, they’ll just go straight into the pocket pages.
  • Insert cards into pages, and embellish.  That’s something I want to do a bit more of.
  • Do my journaling.