Monday, April 25, 2011

Feeling overwhelmed with your scrapbooking? Part 2

I borrowed this post from the Digital Designer Shop blog because I thought there were some great ideas on how to get organized. Everyone has their own method but if yours isn't working for you or you are just now getting around to thinking you need some organization, take a look at this part 2 of the organizational posts from the DDS blog.

Photo and Scrapping Stress
If you are like me, you’ll look at the ton of photos you and your family takes and want to do them all!  But is that realistic?  Very overwhelming.  
I’ve learned the hard way that when you load your photos onto your computer, you need to tag and think about them right there and then.  
Something that I have always done is to know what album the photos will go into in the end.  Will it be the family album for that year?  Will it be a child’s personal album?  Vacation album?  You get the idea.  I’m still trying to find the best way to do this on my Mac, so I am still putting the originals by Year-Month folders.  
Now I can hear you saying, “But I don’t know what I’m doing because I’m so overwhelmed!”  Yep, there with you again.  What I found personally was to have an Overview for my scrapping with small parts of categories or albums I wanted to scrap written out.  Take everything in smaller bites.
Getting an Overview
  • Review what you want to get done and WHY!  
  • What’s important?  Do you want to focus on albums with messages?  Or maybe an album of events?  Do you have the need to create chronologically? Are you wanting to create individual albums for each child or family member with chapters of life?  Or do you enjoy the freedom of a huge 100 page family album for the year? 
Write down each main idea you want to accomplish.  Assign a time span if relevant or a due date if it is for a gift.  (Speaking from experience of having something ready on time so I’m not running around like a you know what days before hand.)
Break it All Down
Once you know what you want and your direction, you can then begin to break it all down into smaller manageable pieces-parts and more importantly, manageable tasks.
First! Give yourself permission to do baby steps.  Daily baby steps if need be.
Second!  Take pride in each and every achievement no matter how big or small. 
Now step back and look at your list. If you already know Specific album names list them or use general names.
For example currently mine looks like this: (yes I do at least this many a year plus more).
2011 Family Album - This is usually a 100 page album.  All my misc. pages go in here. (what's awesome is I print several so all members of the family will have a copy, gotta love digital!)
Bailey’s “When I was Five” Album
Bailey’s “2011 Monthly Pages” Album - 1-2 pages for each month
Casey’s Grand Canyon Album -  These are all his photos from being a Boat Captain at work and his love of the American Natives and the beauty of the outdoors.
Kara’s “Land of Fae” Album - One day I will finish this. ;)
Messages to my Children Album - Ongoing Chapters of life.
My personal Art-Life Journal Album-  I do one each year
Since these are all digital albums, I create a folder for each of the above.  
Then I create sub-folders within each for all my items I will need to work with.
NOTE: For my "themed albums", ones with consistent art used throughout it,  I use COPIES of everything and leave original photos and art in my other folders.  I simply delete the folder when done with the album.
Why?  Because I just find it easier and faster to have it all in one spot then to go searching for it in the middle of my high creativeness which is valuable time for me.  

Here is what my sub-folders look like for example:
Art to Use
Completed Pages to Print
Journaling Docs
Photos-Scanned Items to use
Templates to Use
Working PSD files
So my break down of tasks for EACH Themed Album would be:
Gather Photos
Decide if and what art theme the album will be
Decide if I want to use a certain set of templates for an album
I assign time slots each day or week to do this until done or caught up at least.
Some days I can only do 15 minutes.  AND THAT’S OK!  I did something!  Remember, we have permission to do this in baby steps.
Photos to Use folder:  As I go through and/or upload new photos, I put a copy of them into the appropriate Album’s Photos to Use Folder that I think I might use.  
Templates to Use: If I know I have a set of Templates I want to use for a particular album, I put a copy of them in that folder.  Example: I am using Tiffany Tillman’s Summer Templates for Bailey’s 2011 Monthly Pages Album.  
Art to Use: Decide on Art - I do this for themed albums as the art I use usually has a theme.  So no matter if I make the art or I buy the art, I put a copy there for fast and easy access.  
If I buy a kit with a particular album in mind, I put a copy of it right into this folder as soon as I buy it.  
I don’t work on one album all at once.  I hop around as inspiration hits me.  Unless of course I have a deadline set to have it done.  Then I do try to focus on that album before others.
I keep my weekly 1/2 hour or so to keep up with my Supply organization but I found that more and more, I buy, download, and organize right away now that I am caught up in my downloads folder.  It’s easy to maintain once you gain control.
I schedule time each week to work on my albums and pages. This is MY time!  It does change week to week, but I block the time out on my desk calendar.  
Then I just keep plugging away.
Try and find a time in your schedule that works for you that you can sit down and do those baby steps.  If you are not feeling creative to make a page, work on journaling or gathering.  If you are caught up in that, go find yourself some inspiration!  Look at galleries or other scrapper’s pages you love.  Screen shot it, Evernote it, Pinterest it, anything in any way you keep track.
I have a few artists and scrappers that I adore and it never fails.  Five minutes looking at their pages and I have my inspiration!  
Know that no matter how or what you scrap, you CAN do it!  Just take those baby steps and have a plan that you can return to.  Hopefully you will find some useful tips from my system to adapt to your own.
One last piece of advise from my personal experience.  Archive!  Weekly or monthly doesn’t matter.  That will depend on how much you are creating or uploading photos.  Just do it!  Because the day WILL come, your compy WILL crash.  And like me, you will be giving a big old smooch to your external hard drive or offsite storage host.

How often do I archive?  NIGHTLY!  I have my Mac's Time Machine to back up nightly.  I also do a weekly backup to a separate External Hard Drive and I keep all my completed work there along with all new art created or acquired.

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