Simple Tip Saturday with Amy Melniczenko

by | Productivity Advice, Storytelling Ideas | 2 comments

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series this year, I’m inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Simple Scrapper team member Amy Melniczenko with her simple tip.

Simple Tip Saturday with Amy Melniczenko

What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I have developed a simple two step process for tracking the stories and photos that I want to document in our scrapbooks.

The first step in my process is that I keep a notebook sitting on my desk that I jot notes in anytime that an idea comes to mind about a story that I want to be sure to tell in my scrapbook layouts. This notebook allows me to corral the stories into a central place so that I always have a current list of stories or layout ideas to choose from without having to spend a lot of time thinking about it when I find myself with time to create.

The second part of my process is connecting the stories in my notebook(s) with my photo management system in Lightroom. I create individual Quick Collections in Lightroom that group any photos within a particular story together so that I can quickly take a look at the Quick Collections of stories that still need to be told and quickly gather the photos in order to create a page that is meaningful.

What problem does it solve for you?

It was beginning to feel like I was always struggling to find a story to scrapbook when creative time came open in my schedule. I’d have an hour or two to create and instead of enjoying that time by being creative, I would find myself spending half of that block of time looking through random photos, hoping to come across a story that I wanted to tell. It was a huge time waster and it was a really frustrating way to spend the little time I had to create. I even found myself sometimes avoiding scrapbooking because it was so stressful to have to dig through my photos to find a story.

Why do you think it works so well?

I created this two-step process in order to simplify the way that I leverage my creative time to tell the stories that are important to me to document in our scrapbooks! It saves me time and aggravation which is always a good thing! I ultimately feel like I’m doing a better job of capturing the stories I want to tell.

How can others get started with it?

It can be as simple as keeping a notebook or a piece of paper on your desk (or wherever you spend a lot of time) and start making an effort to write down notes when you have ideas or think of stories you want to tell. The most important part is having something that is visible to you, so that you will remember to use it. (If you are more technologically inclined, you could use an app such as Evernote or a Word document for this purpose).

Once you are regularly documenting the stories you want to tell, you can decide if there is a way to integrate the capturing of stories in your notebooks into your photo management system. If you use Lightroom, this can be done simply with the use of Quick Collections. I’m sure that most photo management software programs have a similar function that you can leverage for this purpose!

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Jen E.

    I’d love to know how you use Quick Collections for this purpose. Do you set them up in advance or are you just using them after the fact based on tagging? I use QC for my PL photos (weeks) and I use tags extensively. I’m always open to other great ideas.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Amy Melniczenko

      Hi Jen! I create my Quick Collections as I tag my photos (which I tend to do on a monthly basis). If I think of stories from the past, I will create Quick Collections and use my tagging system to find appropriate photos to add to that particular Quick Collection. Does that help?

      When I was doing PL over the last 2 years, I also used QCs to corral my photos! It made life so much easier as I created each PL spread!


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