Simple Tip Saturday with Jennifer Johnson

by | Productivity Advice, Projects & Processes | 2 comments

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we’re inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Simple Scrapper team member Jennifer Johnson with her simple tip.


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

To simplify my scrapbooking, I’ve developed two methods of collecting stories – making notes in the metadata of my photos and keeping a master list of story ideas in Evernote.

Sometimes I look through my photos and a story will pop into my head. When that happens, I’ll jot a quick note in the metadata in Aperture. I do this by clicking the Info tab and typing into the Caption field. Then I tag it with the word “story”. This allows me to easily find all the photos that I have a specific story for.

My other way of collecting stories is by using a master list of page ideas in Evernote. I have a new folder for each year, and I just go month by month, adding to my lists as ideas come to me. These are usually time-specific ideas, but they don’t have to be. If the story is very important to me, I’ll highlight it in red. Once I’ve completed a page it gets highlighted in green. It’s nice to see my lists go from red and black to green!

What problem does it solve for you?

When I first started scrapping, I was so overwhelmed by all the ideas swirling in my head for layouts. I couldn’t focus, and I wasn’t always making pages that were important to me. Then someone on a forum mentioned making a master scrapping list, and the lightbulb went on over my head. I could clear my mind and focus on what was important with a simple list! The metadata idea came much later, but it’s just an extension of my other lists.

Why do you think it works so well?

I’m a list person. It helps clear my brain to get my ideas out into the world. The thing for me is, my lists are tools, not something that makes me feel guilty. I don’t feel a compulsion to make all the pages on my list. I have LO ideas from 2010 that I’ll probably never make. I’m totally fine with that.

How can others get started with it?

You can do what I do and make electronic lists. Or a piece of paper works just as well! I will be incorporating my lists into Jennifer’s editable PDF planner this year. The medium doesn’t matter, it’s how you choose to use your lists. Set a timer and start looking through your photos. Write down your story ideas. Then go back through them and pick out the ones that are the most important to you and highlight them or put a star next to them. Next time you have a few minutes to make a page, you’ll have lots of ideas all ready for you.

And one final note- I know lists aren’t for everyone. Some people find them stifling or guilt-inducing. If this is you, please feel free to ignore this entire post. Go on with your day and enjoy your list-free existence. We still love you.

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. Carol White

    I can tell how technologically behind I am by this post. I didn’t understand most of the first part of the post! I need to do some investigation into metadata and aperture, etc.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  2. Gab

    I think I need an Evernote lesson . I’ve heard so many people talk about it but haven’t taken the time to look into it myself


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