I accidentally discovered last week that I have a work-flow. This was news to me. I found myself falling into a routine – writing stuff down, dealing with photos, getting each pocket built, saving my files. There’s a flow to it all.
And I got to wondering whether or not others have a work-flow, too.
So I asked a few of the CT members to take me through their work-flow when documenting their everyday. Whether new (like me!) or an expert (like these ladies!), I think there are some wonderful tips here.
I’m returning to pocket scrapbooking this year after a two-year hiatus … and failure. Okay, so the failure was for a couple of years, but this year I’m determined to see it through. What I had to figure out was how to keep up. If I fell too far behind – again – I’d be sure to quit and, you know, just pick things up again in another year.
A few months ago, I started using a day planner for work. Keep in mind, up until then, I’d had a few planners, but never really got into using them, and doing things online just isn’t for me. I don’t know what’s clicked this time, but it is. In my week-at-a-glance pages, I write down projects or tasks that I have to complete for work, plus scrapping things, appointments, meetings, and events … and this last piece is really helping. My pages vary from week to week in how they look – similar in style, but still different.
Templates are my starting point, finding what might work for what I know is planned for the week. I’ll do this pretty early, like Sunday or Monday. As the week progresses, I’ll add photos to the templates as we go, spending 30-45 minutes in the evening to document the day. Sometimes nothing of any note happened, and that’s okay – I’ll use the time to play with journaling card fillers, or start my journaling. Working this way does require some flexibility on my part. I mean, not one week has gone by this year when I’ve started a week and finished with everything right where it started. I might have something unexpected that comes up, so I plan for the unexpected (sounds a little strange, I know), and leave some blank spaces on the template, deliberately. I can always use filler pieces in them at the end of the week if I need to.
I’m sticking to just one designer for the entire year, so that gives me the ability to mix and match her kits and still retain some measure of design similarities to the elements.
So, for me, the work-as-you-go approach is working. I’m wrapping up Week #7 in my 2015 album and already have a few things for Week #8 done, as I type this.
When organizing my week, I like to use a 2015 planner. Its just a little pocket sized, coil-bound one that I store in my purse. At the beginning of the week, I put what week number it will be at the top of the page. Throughout the week I add what I did, or any ideas of what I wish to include on the upcoming layout. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I may not be able to finish a layout for a few weeks. Those are the times I would have forgotten the little details, if I hadn’t quickly written them down. I’m thankful for my little planner! It takes the pressure off of having to remember everything.
For my photos, I use a “2015” file folder on the computer. I dump all un-edited photos in there throughout the week. When I use a photo on a layout, I drag it into the “done” folder (and delete any duplicates). Last year I used the Collect App to easily dump a photo-a-day for each month. At the end of the year, I included a yearly layout using all the months, with the tiny photos. I will probably do it again this year.
Photos: My first step is working on the most important part of the project, the photos. I select and edit the photos as I take them throughout the week. Since I use more than one device to take photos I have to make sure that I go through them right away on Dropbox (for the phone photos) and Pictures folder (on my computer) and get them in a folder for the week so that I won’t forget them. I always, always use the date as the filename for my photos when importing them from my camera. Phone photos already use the date as the name. That way if I order prints, more often than not, they print the filename on the back and I will know what date they were taken.
Keeping notes: This is a very important step that I started about six months ago, I use a simple planner and write down little notes and journaling daily or almost daily. Then when I start working on my weekly pages I have them next to me to help me with the journaling. It’s really amazing the things I can forget but I’m glad I wrote them down. Keeping notes allows me to create my pages at any point, even weeks later.
Adding Photos: Now, to start actually working on my pages! I look at my folder for the week and mentally divide my photos for the left and right sides and based on that I choose my template. This is something that has taken me a long time to find. This year I started just placing the photos in the pockets I want them to be in, just roughly deciding where they will be. I like a balance between photos and filler/ journal cards. I do that for both sides. In the past I used to work on one pocket at a time but I find that for me it just works better to have all the photos there before I start embellishing and adding journal cards.
Journal Cards: Then I add the journal cards and filler cards. I journal on the journal cards and on photos, so this is when I get my notes and journal on my page. I use my journal cards as frames often, if there’s a pretty journal card with lots of space for journaling I like to use it behind my photo. This is also when I decide if I want my photo to take up a whole space or if I want to make it smaller and put it on top of a journal card or paper.
Embellishing: Once everything is where I want it to be I start adding elements and stamps. I love using as many elements as I can including stitching, splatters, frames, buttons, alphas, tags, labels, scatters, enamels dots, tape, etc.! I mostly use flat elements.
Finishing touches: At the end I like to play a little bit with the shadows and with blending the journaling. The last step is saving it, I do save often as I work on my pages because I have had photoshop crash and learned my lesson. I save it as a Tiff file and I also save a JPEG version. I keep the Tiffs only until I get the pages printed, then I delete them. Backing up my JPEGs is a very important part of my workflow. I try to upload them to more than one place, usually Dropbox right away and then Flickr as well as Persnickety Prints.
Becca is a hyrbid pocket scrapbooker! She says:
This is my third year of pocket scrapbooking. The first year I tried all digital, the second year I did traditional most of the year with some digital, and last year I did a mix. This year I’m sticking with the hybrid since I seem to have found my groove with that!
Here’s an overview of the guidelines I stick to for my album- setting it up this way helped me to get my pages done faster. I use the same design every week, with the exception of inserts that I trim to 6×12 or 9×12. I usually stick with one kit and complete a spread per week. I do most everything digital and print it out to slip in pages. I choose weekly cards that stay the same week after week and tend to put filler cards in the same spot each week too.
To start my workflow, I plug in my phone camera (I have an iPhone 5s) and upload all my photos to my computer using the Image Capture. I then pull them into iPhoto and sort them into events. For example, I pull all the photos from February 8-14, 2015 and pull them into one event, labeled “week 6.” Then, I move all the photos into a new album on the sidebar of iPhoto. Once I have my albums set up, I can choose the week I am working on. When I’m ready to work on my Week 6 spread. I click on the album, and delete any photos from the album that I’m not going to use. When I have the album photos narrowed down, I am ready to start scrapping.
I have a template set up in Photoshop CC for my pages. It’s two 12×12 pages side by side, in a 24×12 canvas. I have each pocket set up as a 4×6 inch or 3×4 inch rectangle, flush with all the other rectangles, appearing in different colors and numbered on the side “1 left, 2 left, 1 right, 2 right,” etc. I usually set up my workspace so that my iPhoto album is on the left of my screen and my PS is on the right. This way, I can drag and drop the photos I want to use right into the layout. I use File ->Place to import any papers, elements, journal cards, or other kit elements into my spread. I then use a clipping mask to keep all my photos and kit pieces attached to their corresponding rectangle, or “pocket.” When I’m all finished with my spread, I save a copy of the file “PL15Week6” in PSD format and flatten it and save it as a JPG as well.
This next step is one of my favorite parts. I discovered this process last year from another scrapbooker and it saves me so much time! This is why I set up my template the way I did, with no spaces or digital pocket protectors – to turn my digital page into a hybrid page. To start, I open the JPG file of my weekly spread. I have automated commands to turn my 24×12 spread (double page) into a 12×12 page. It automatically splits my page in two and saves as two files “PL15Week6-left” and “PL15Week6-right” as well as two web files. Once those files are split and saved, I then open both left and right files of my spread. During this step I can use one more automated command to split my 12×12 page into 6-4×6 files and save them as “PLWeek6-left-topleft,” “PLWeek6-left-middleleft,” “PLWeek6-left-bottomright,” and so on. I do the same thing for the other right hand page. It sounds like a long process, but it only takes a few minutes to do both commands, when it would take me about 30 minutes before to set this up! Once I have all 12 4×6 files, all I have to do is print these, cut the 3x4s apart and slip everything into my physical page protectors. On the weeks I am not doing digital, I set everything up the same way, just editing the photos and including words or text on them, and print. Then I adhere them to cards and attach embellishments and put in pockets. I have two small children, and have small windows in which to scrap, like naps, afternoon playtime or after bedtime, so anytime I can create shortcuts and streamline my process I’m all in!
Here’s a link to my template.
Persnickety has a great tutorial on how to batch process 3×4 photos onto 4×6 photos using automated commands.
- After reading this, I think getting all the photos for the week into one folder would be so helpful for me. From there, I can decide which photos I want to use and start the editing process. It seems less overwhelming than my current method of “do nothing”.
- Save your files as you’re working. Save often. ALWAYS WITH THE SAVING.
- I love Kat’s plan of working-as-you-go. It’s a new concept for me. Building two pages every week can be overwhelming and working a little each night is very appealing.
So what’s your work-flow? What’s working for you? What’s not?