Quick Tips to Speed Up Your Scrapbooking

We’ve covered quite a lot of topics this month as we roll out pieces of the amazing collaboration, Magic of Beginnings. As I sat down to create my layout this month, I realized (as you will too when you see my layout), I really didn’t have a lot of time to spend on elaborate techniques. I really just wanted to quickly document our renovation progress so far. Then I thought to myself, I bet I’m not the only scrapbooker who wants a quick way to scrapbook. Therefore, today, I am going to share with you some quick tips to speed up your scrapbooking workflow.



Tip #1 – Use a Template

Seriously, you guys, use a template. Nothing speeds up your process as much as using a template. Except using pocket pages, which are kind of a type of template anyway. There are templates to fit any style: Clean and Simple, Clustered, Multi-Photo, even Artsy pages. I can’t stress this enough — use a template to speed up your scrapping.


Supplies: Template by Wendy Zine (Magic of Beginnings); Papers and Elements by JoCee Designs and Little Lamm & Co. (Magic of Beginnings)


Tip #2 – Learn Shortcuts

Shortcuts are keystrokes you can use to perform basic functions like, opening, closing and saving documents. You can also use them switch between tools and to perform tasks while using certain tools. Below are a list of some of my most often used shortcuts. I use many, many more, but these are the basics.

  • Open: (Mac: CMD + O; PC: CTRL+O)
  • Close: (Mac: CMD + C; PC: CTRL+C)
  • Save: (Mac: CMD + S; PC: CTRL+S)
  • Clip: (Mac: CMD + G; PC: CTRL+G)
  • Switch to Move Tool: V
  • Switch to Text Too:l T (Click here for other Text tool tips.)
  • Switch to Brush Tool: B
  • Switch to Transform Tool: T
  • Duplicate something: (Mac: CMD + J; PC: CTRL+J)

Tip #3 Use the Marquee Tool

To quickly get the text lines on the photos, I used the rectangular Marquee tool to select the bottom three lines of the stamp_textlines.png, purposefully omitting the top line with the word “beginnings.” I simply drew the rectangle around just the bottom three lines, then switched to the Move tool to drag just that part of the stamp onto my layout. Sure, there were other ways I could have gotten the same look — I could have drawn them using the Brush tool or used a layer mask and masked the top line away, but using the Marquee tool was the fastest way to accomplish my goal.




Tip #4 Grab Missing Anchor Points

Have you ever tried to resize (transform) something but when you hit the Transform tool, you can’t see all of the corner anchor points? Frustrating right? Not anymore. When that happens, hit  CMD +  ) (or CTRL on a PC and the right parenthesis) to automatically zoom out so that all of the anchor points are visible. You’re welcome!


Anchor 2

This is what my screen looked like when I switched to the Transform tool. You can’t see ANY anchor points!


Anchor 1

This is what happens after you press CMD + ) or CTRL + ). Now you can see ALL the anchor points!


Tip #5 Type on a Photo’s Negative Space

One of the fastest ways to journal when you are short on time is to journal right on a photo. Try to resist the urge to crop your photos tight and look for “white space” in your photos where journaling can rest. This can be done in camera when taking the photo or when cropping or clipping it. Super quick, super easy and super awesome!


Tip #6 Coordinate Color with the Eyedropper Tool

One of the easiest ways to unify a layout is with color. When putting together this layout, I wanted to change the “Beginnings” phrase from black to a color within the kit’s palette. So I added a Solid Color adjustment layer:




Click on Solid Color. Then, with the eyedropper tool, click on a color on the layout that you want the text (or element) to be. The page will be flooded with that color. Don’t worry! Just clip the adjustment layer to your element — CMD + G (Mac) or CTRL + G (PC).


Tip #7 Use Screen Mode to Quickly Lighten a Photo

I’m a Lightroom User. I love how you can fix just about any photo with a few tweaks of the sliders. However, sometimes it just takes too long to open it up, make the adjustments, import it into PS and then create my layout. Sometimes, especially if the photo is going to be small and all it needs is to be lightened, I’ll fix it in PS, right in the layout.




First thing you do is duplicate the photo. (CMD + J on a Mac or CTRL + J on a PC). If it is clipped to something, be sure to clip this layer too. Next, you change the top photo to Screen Mode. You’ll see that it gets substantially lighter. All you have to do is play with the Opacity slider until you find a look that you like.


Tip #8 Check out Photosync

I just started using this gem of an app recently. It transfers, backs up and syncs photos wirelessly from your phone to your computer. It is the fastest and easiest way to move photos from your phone to your computer that I have found.


For this layout, All of these photos were on my phone. In the past, I would select each photo on my phone and email them to myself. Typically, I couldn’t put them all in one email because it would take too long for it to transmit, so I would have to send them individually or in small batches. It was painful! Now I use Photosync. Here’s how it works:


First, you have to download the app to your phone and then download the desktop version to your computer. Next you have to set it up so that your phone and computer recognize each other. In addition, you have to designate a destination on your computer to receive your photos. Finally, when you want to transfer photos from your phone to your computer, all you have to do is make sure both your phone and your computer are on the same wifi network and press the red sync button in the top right corner. You will see a message asking what device you want to send your photos to, select your device and it will automatically start transferring your photos!




That’s it! You can even set it so that it automatically transfers whenever you enter the house. It really is great!


And there you have it — a few quick tips to help you create quick layouts. Now go make some memories and be sure to scrap them!



The Magic of Beginnings Giveaway


On to the next installment of the Scrapaneers December Giveaway – The Magic of Beginnings.


A big THANK YOU to all the amazing designers who contributed to this Mega Collection. The Magic of Beginnings is perfect for your holiday and December sequential projects, but it is about so much more than that. Think about plans and goals for the new year, starting a new stage of life, new relationships or simply the start of exciting new adventures. This collection is so big we could not fit it all into one preview, so here is glimpse at the collection in two parts (we couldn’t fit everything in the preview so know there’s MORE!):


Magic of Beginnings Collection


Magic of Beginnings Collection


Magic of Beginnings download links are no longer available.





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  • Pam K December 28, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the PS tips and to Amie and Jo for their lovely contributions to this awesome collection! Thanks also for the coupons!!

  • Sandy_in_MD December 28, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks for all of the helpful tips! And thank you to the designers of today’s freebies.

  • Elaine Millar December 28, 2016   Reply →

    Photosync is awesome!
    I have had some difficulty using Photo Stream. Perhaps because I have and Iphone and Ipad but use a PC. Most of the time the sync would not be complete. I would spend a lot of time on it. This was fast…
    Thank you for this tip.

  • nj December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks again. Tutorials tops. Freebies fab.

  • willimena December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Thankyou – these were great ideas – first one I’ll try will be the ‘grab missing anchor points’! Thankyou also to the designers for the gorgeous freebies!

  • missbecki December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much!!! 🙂

  • Peggy S December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you, these are great. For those of us who upgraded to PSE 15, they did change Ctrl G to grouping. Since the new keyboard shortcut uses 3 keys, I just right click on the layer to clip and choose “make clipping mask” from the dropdown. One hand instead of two.

  • Christine Martin December 29, 2016   Reply →

    Lightroom also now does mobile sync. I have it set to auto upload/download any photos I take on my phone. You can also do videos.

  • Violet December 30, 2016   Reply →

    The Cmd-) trick is going to change my life. I get so frustrated when I go to transform something and realize the anchor point I want is off the screen! I’m excited about PhotoSync, too. I’ve been trying forever to create a system to manage my phone photos and not finding a good the sync solution has been my main roadblock. Thanks for all your helpful tips!

  • Renee December 30, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you Thank you Thank you!! To all the designers for this amazing collection and for the tips you have shared. Happy New year!

  • R December 31, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you 🙂

  • Jennifer Moore January 3, 2017   Reply →

    Thank you for the tips and goodies!

  • Megan January 7, 2017   Reply →

    i totally needed this post! THANK YOU!

    The minis are super duper too!

  • Irina.Dnv January 8, 2017   Reply →

    Can’t download minikits (

  • Debora January 15, 2017   Reply →

    Thank you for the goodies and the coupon.

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