As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we’re inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Peppermint Granberg with her simple tip.

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What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

When I’m importing photos from my phone or camera I sort my favorites into two collections: “Big Stories” and “Small Stories.”  Big stories are photos that are destined for full layouts, and small stories are set aside for pocket pages or sometimes combined together for a full layout if they start to form a natural collection – like food photos from the same restaurant, books I read one month, etc.  I try to look through the contents of each collection of photos on a regular basis and write out some thoughts and journaling in a “stories” notebook that I keep in my Traveler’s Notebook. Sometimes I’ll even sketch out a general page design or pocket configuration if one comes to mind and make notes of any products I know I have that would work well for the project.

What problem does it solve for you?

Usually I only have a very small window of time for personal projects and I can very easily spend all of that time clicking through photos trying to decide what to work on. With this system I have an ongoing list of projects that I’ve already given some thought to. It also helps alleviate any stress I may have about stories falling through the cracks or being forgotten. In the back of my mind I feel as though at the VERY least, someone could match up the notes in my notebooks to the photos in my photo library and put together the pieces to form the story of our lives.

Why do you think it works so well?

Whenever I’m trying to put together or improve a system in my life (I’m such a business school geek!) I ask myself “What is working for me, right now?” What’s the one piece of the puzzle that I really AM managing to do consistently, and how can I build on that? In my case, I’m the most vigilant about my photo library. I import my photos on a regular basis, and they’re nicely organized and named by date. Since that’s the one part I wouldn’t have to work at, it was easy to add the sorting component to it – since I usually look through the photos after I import them, marking some of my favorites is just an extra click or two. Writing down the stories in my journal, however, is something I have to schedule as a recurring appointment on my calendar.

How can others get started with it?

My photo library is in Lightroom, so my “Big Stories” and “Small Stories” are actually collections within Lightroom. The same thing could be achieved using flags, keywords or color coding in your software – or even just an extra two folders on your computer that you can copy photos into (while leaving the original with the rest of your photos). The notebook is admittedly a very analog way for me to jot down notes about stories, I used to do a lot of it in the metadata of the actual photo – which I still do, from time to time – but it’s far less portable. Since I carry my Traveler’s Notebook with me a lot, I’ll work on journaling or sketch out ideas when I have downtime waiting for an appointment or while traveling. I’ve actually found that words flow most freely for me right before I go to bed most nights, and the last thing I want to do at that point is pull my laptop out! But a digital solution like Evernote or a simple text file on your phone and/or computer would work just as well and be more easily searchable.

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