The Layout Process – Telling Your Story Without Journaling

So far in this series we’ve talked about several different ways to start a digitally designed page – with product, with photos, with a prompt or challenge, and with a story.  I’m going to discuss a topic about which many people have strong opinions – journaling on your page.  Some feel that it is absolutely essential to journal on every (or almost every page), and that is fine (for them).  BUT for those of us who don’t like to journal as part of our digital scrapbooking process, it’s also OK not to journal.  There.  I said (or wrote) it.  It’s going on the Internet and can never be taken back.  IT’S OK NOT TO JOURNAL ON YOUR PAGES if you don’t want to.  Of course, it’s also OK to journal your heart out, if that is your passion.  My message is simply that scrapbooking is art, and there is no wrong way to do it.  Your pages aren’t any less important, or compelling or beautiful just because you choose to create them without journaling.  Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s talk about ways to creatively convey your story without journaling . . .

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The Layout Process — Prompt/Challenge

Do you ever find yourself sitting down to scrap and then, nothing? It seems as though you can’t get the right photo, or you have the subject, but just can’t get the creativity working to pull together a layout. I often find great inspiration by participating in a challenge or using a story prompt.  I might be inspired to tell a story I may not have told otherwise or get pushed a little out of my comfort zone and try a new style. These challenges provide a mechanism to get me moving out of a scrapbooking funk – you know, those times when you just can’t seem to make the photos, the story, the papers and icing come together.

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How’d She Do That? Blending & Creating Digital Art

Hi digi friends! Today I wanted to share with you a quick “How’d She Do That?” post. I created this page early last year and was reminded of it recently when I opened up one of my 2013 family albums that I just got back from the printer (Blurb). I snapped this photo of my daughter early in January 2013 so, since I like my books in complete chronological order, the page is front and center on page 3 of the book. Seeing it again reminded me how much I loved the look of this simple page.


How'd She Do That - A Poem Without Words


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The Layout Process – Story First

While I personally use pretty much all the different layout processes we will be discussing on a regular basis, starting with STORY first warms my heart the most. My pages often include lengthy journaling and space for that has to be planned from the beginning. Sometimes, I’ll look for a template that includes enough journal space or one that I can replace at least one photo with a large journaling block. Because pocket scrapping is very popular these days, there are a lot of digital templates designed to incorporate at least one of those cute journal cards that we all seem to be collecting, providing the perfect spot for your story. Pocket layouts themselves are a great way to capture large blocks of text and still leave plenty of room for photos and embellishments to feed our creative side.

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The Layout Process – Using Product First

Now that you have organized your digi stash, chosen a digital supply organization program, set up your folder system, tagged, key worded, de-cluttered, and purged your supplies, you are now ready to choose a layout process that works for you!  There are plenty of ways to approach the layout process: product first, photo first, design first, template first, story first, prompt/challenge, scraplifting, and pocket scrapping.  Please keep in mind that there is no right way to approach the layout process. You need to choose the approach that works for you. Every scrapper has their own way of tackling the layout process. This month the Peers will be sharing with you a variety of ways to approach your layouts to help you determine what works for you.

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How to Tag & Organize Using Picasa

I want to chat with you today about my digi organization system. There sure has been a lot of talk about organizing, purging and backing up your digi supplies here at Scrapaneers this month. Oh how I wish I’d have known all this stuff when I first started digi scrapping! In reading this month’s posts, the common theme is that we all just want to be able to find all our digi goodies when we want to use them so we can make beautiful pages and of course we want our digi goodies safely backed up!


Tagging and keeping my digi stash and photos organized is super important to me. I have to be honest, I do not enjoy tagging, but I’ve got a really focused personality and it would drive me absolutely nuts if I couldn’t find something at a moment’s notice. I keep my process simple and straightforward so it works for me. In the long run, tagging is a huge timesaver and I really don’t know that I’d be able to scrap nearly as well if I wasn’t organized. I keep my digi stash organized with Picasa and today I’m going to share with you an overview of my organization process.

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Back Up Your Digital Supplies

Backing Up Your Digital Files

We’ve been focusing on organizational issues this month, so it’s time to have “the talk.”  You know, the one about backing up your files.  You hear it all the time, don’t you?  “Have you backed up your files lately?”  You’ve also heard all the horror stories.  People who have lost all their photos, digital pages, digital supplies.  It’s so sad when you hear of that happening to someone else, but do you back up regularly?  Or are you one of those people who think that the inevitable will never happen to them?  I’m here to give you some tips on backing up your digital files.  Whether you’re a beginner or a pro at back ups, this article is for you . . .

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De-clutter and Purge Those Supplies

Do you have digi-supplies that you’ve never used?


Do you still have kits from the early days of digi?


Have you run out of room on your hard drives to store all your supplies?


If you’ve answered, “YES”, to any of these questions or even, “MAYBE”, it’s time you got serious about purging your digi-stash. 

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Tagging and Keywording in ACDSee

To tag or not to tag? It’s an age-old question with digi-scrappers on both sides of the fence. I’ve keyworded/tagged my digi supplies from day 1. Maybe it’s the logical accountant in me OR it could be the “I know I’m going to collect so much of this pretty stuff that I’ll never be able to find anything if I don’t”. At the very beginning I tried Photoshop Elements Organizer and Picasa but neither one was able to keep up with the level of detail at the time so I explored other options. I’ve been using various versions of ACDSee for about six years. The screen shots shown below are using ACDSee Pro 6. I tag just about everything but that is MY process, the way I work. I do think that looking at other people’s processes helps us to fine tune our own. I know a number of scrappers, including several of the other Scrapaneers Peers, that tag only the previews and that works perfectly for their process. Why add more time organizing to an already limited amount of scrapping time? Before you consider organizing your stash, take some time to figure out HOW you look for things when you scrap. If you tend to scrap within a particular kit or strictly by designer, tailor any organizing you do to match YOUR way, not anyone else’s.

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Journaling on Lines

If you’re like me, you love to use lined backgrounds, journal cards and stamps made especially for journaling. As a digital scrapper who likes to make her pages look real, I am always worried about fitting my journaling into those lines and here I share how I do it.

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