Thursday, March 6, 2014

Photo Organization & Scrapbook Planning

First of all, this post is a bit lengthy, but bare with me! If you are a scrapbooker, you'll be glad you did.
So, I am somewhat of a neat freak, and I'd say I have a titch of OCD. It can be very annoying at times, but when it comes to scrapbooking it is SUPER important! In this digital age we live in, we snap & share pictures in an instant, and usually multiple times a day. Add that to scrapbooking, and you have got an overload of important and not-so-important-but-important moments to remember. I find myself taking lots of pictures, most of which I want to always remember in a special what. Insert scrapbooking. But then there is this problem.  I've got a picture here, a picture there, and on and on, but each is not related so it takes multiple layouts to scrapbook them all. My phone is overloaded with these memories via photographs, and I need some way to keep up with them all. I need to know the date, what we were doing, if it's going to take one or more layouts, and all the pictures for a particular event or time or day in one place. Thinking about it all at one time can be completely exhausting! See I am exhausted already just talking about it! Stick with me! I have a solution to your problem.
Keyword: Organization.
Every couple of weeks or so, I upload the pictures from my phone (and sometimes DSLR camera) to my computer (either by plugging in my phone or camera to my computer or by emailing the pictures to myself and saving them to my computer).
I organize them into folders according to the date and event. I usually start with an event, name my folder the event name, such as "The Little Mermaid."

Then I find the date of my photo, sometimes which is on my calendar, and sometimes which I need to find the date stamp for (don't know how to do that? Simply right click your photo, choose properties, and the date next to "Modified" should be when your photo was taken. Be careful because this doesn't always work. If it doesn't, at that point I take to Facebook or Instagram to see when a photo was posted (almost always a photo I am scrapbooking is shared via social media)
Once I've found my photo, I date my folder. So my folder will be titled something like this: 3.1 The Little Mermaid. Now, some dates have multiple events, some dates have one, and same dates none (sorry for the nursery rhyme). When this happens I date my folders like this: 2.14 (1) Tiny Valentine's, 2.14 (2) My Valentine, and 2.14 (3) Our Valentine Dinner. Each event having it's own folder.

Then, all of these folders are placed in one folder for the year on my computer. My folder ends up looking like this:

At the end of the year, I burn the year's folder onto a disc and store them away. I'll share more on that tomorrow, so be sure to check back. {You can find that post here}

 Now you might be thinking why do you go through all of this trouble naming and dating your files? Why not put them in one giant folder? Why not keep each days pictures in one folder? I suppose I could do all of those things, but when I am planning out my scrapbook, it would make things a little difficult. Now, I used to just scribble what I need to scrapbook on a scratch piece of paper, which worked fine at the time, but since the age of Instagram I find myself taking single photos of something cute my dog or nephew did or a date with Lovely. All of which I find important enough to scrapbook. So what's the big deal? Well, up until 2013 I always scrapbooked double page layouts. Now, I have all these things I want to scrapbook, and only one picture to go with it.

So it takes a little preplanning on my part. I take my information from my pictures file, and put it in an Excel sheet.
I list the events according to date.
Then look through the photo files to figure out if there is only one picture (or only one good picture) for a certain thing I want to scrapbook, if that's the case, it's listed as a single page.
I also like to decide ahead of time if a page will be digital or traditional (I likemake digital pages with the photos I fancy up with the Rhonna Designs App), so if it is going to be digital I mark it "D."
Also, I may come across layout inspiration on Pinterest that I want to use for a particular page, if I do I check that I have inspiration for that page.
My plan will look something like this:

I add to the plan at the same time I save my photos to my computer, so this is an ongoing spreadsheet. Once I complete a layout, I highlight it so I know it is done, and I move the pictures' folder to another folder titled "DONE" within my year's picture folder (you can see that above). At the end of the year my plan ends up looking like this:

I add a couple of more things to the spreadsheet. I mark through the date/event if it is in my scrapbook. I do this because some pages are traditional and some are digital. If they are digital, just highlighting them doesn't mean they are actually in my book--I need to order the page. Having the mark through helps me keep track of what I've ordered & what I haven't on digital pages.
You'll also notice some dates/events are in a bold font, this means I have shared it on my blog. :)

Now, all of this may sound crazy, but I can't tell you how much more organized I feel and how much more I enjoy scrapbooking by doing this! It helps me stay on track and now how far I've come. I hope that any of the information I've shared with you today helps you. Maybe you need something simpler, or maybe you just do double page layouts, your spreadsheet can easily be modified from mine. Please feel free to comment if you have questions or if this plan helps you! Check back tomorrow to see what I do with my photo discs at the end of the year!

Happy stamping,

{Cover photos created using the Rhonna Designs App & Simply Sent Stampin' Up! App for iPhone}
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