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

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What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I decided to create what I call an ‘In Progress’ Album.  This album is where I keep my pages, photos and journaling until I transfer them over to their final spot amongst a chronological line of scrapbook albums. Still confused?  I always make sure the memorabilia is in chronological order. Each month is separated with a calendar.  In 2015, I used the calendars that my daughter’s daycare provided.  I keep her artwork in behind it and that’s my divider for the month.  Any photos I have printed in advance, I will decided whether or not it will belong to a traditional page or a Project Life page.  Each month, I usually have at least one divided pocket page that will be the “month in review”.  If a photo doesn’t need a whole page to itself, it will go there. There are also times that I do journaling in advance.  For example, a good friend recently fell ill and began compiling a bucket list.  This was something that I had never done before. I instantly I created one for myself.  It is now printed on a 12×12 and waiting for inspiration to arrive, along with the right picture. I use Post It notes to help with dates and important event information.

What problem does it solve for you?

The ‘In Progress’ album concept has allowed me to scrapbook and store my pages in a way that works best for me. I like my finished pages organized chronologically but I don’t like to scrapbook chronologically.   I also like to mix the Project Life style scrapbooking along with the traditional style pages.  In addition, I like to keep art and pages created by my children.  I was feeling overwhelmed and always “behind” – the ‘In Progress’ album has really helped me enjoy scrapbooking and has given me a sense of freedom like I have never felt before.

Why do you think it works so well?

This concept works because I am able to be inspired by anything.  I can be inspired by the story, the photo, my new supplies or a class and not feel hindered by ‘what month I am working on’.  There were times when I felt like I needed to scrap to “get it done” and that’s not what scrapbooking is about for me.

How can others get started with it?

All you need is an album, some page protectors and some sticky notes.  With some photos in hand, you can slide photos in the pages with notes scribbled on Post-Its to keep you organized.  It helps to do one month at a time.  I always suggest doing the most recent month first.  Go through the pictures of the month and print them in advance.  Once you go through this exercise once or twice, you’ll never look back.

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