3 Simple Steps to Purposeful, Productive Scrapbooking

by | Productivity Advice | 4 comments

I’m the type of introvert whom after a 1-hour car ride will think “Whew, that was productive!”, except the only conversation was happening in my head.

If I appear quiet, that’s because there are 1,000 words in my head for every 1 spoken. Marinating on ideas, analyzing options, and crafting a to-do list is what my brain does when I sit down to “rest”.

I suspect some (or all) of this sounds familiar to you.

And while most often this quality is a strength, it can get us into trouble. Have you ever, say, spent too much time trying to determine which website to purchase from to maximize both the number of in-stock items and your ability to get a discount? Have you ever devoted the majority of your creative time to researching “how to get organized”, rather than putting away the supplies on your desk?

The gift that helps us (while in the shower, no less) plan how to both host and document a birthday also steals our limited time and can leave us feeling overwhelmed by the small details. Our brains are zigging and zagging around so fast that focus constantly feels like a challenge and “caught up” in scrapbooking just a pipe dream.

Fortunately, you don’t need to change who you are to feel both purposeful and productive in your hobby. All you really need is a method to reign yourself in and press the reset button.


The 3-Step Method to Simplify Scrapbooking

From Day 1 (i.e. November 4, 2008), Simple Scrapper has been about far more than a simple approach to design. While creating fuss-free, more minimalist pages is fantastic way to simplify your experience, it’s just one option in the toolbox.

Fast forward to a day when computers with built-in cameras (i.e. our phones) are always within reach, the need to cultivate a sustainable experience in creative memory keeping is even greater. Fortunately there are even more options in today’s toolbox, including our very own Refresh method.

The method centers on the premise that all you really need to simplify scrapbooking is a pause to empty your brain, clear your desk, and make something now. This process helps you feel energized about the hobby and ready to keep creating, no matter how much is on your plate or how cluttered your closet.

And since our brains absolutely love planning and organization, the Refresh method leverages that ability to cultivate focus and help you start moving forward. The trick is in the scale; you’ve got to think small. Lists have 3-5 items, organization is done in sprints, and creating begins with a timer.

This method is the foundation of everything we do here at Simple Scrapper and once each season I personally guide you through a 7-day reset in the Refresh workshop. Each edition of the event includes a curated set of activities in three domains:

Plan – You’ll deconstruct your hobby and re-build it in a simpler, more sustainable fashion. Instead of trying to do it all you’ll learn how to create an experience that’s based on your interests and values.

Organize – You’ll eliminate clutter, develop new storage solutions, and improve your creative workflow with doable challenges. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the mess, you’ll see progress happening.

Make – You’ll put aside the frustrations and barriers to create just for the fun of it. Instead of being stuck in “analysis paralysis”, you’ll be able to ride the momentum of success on to your next creative victory.

When you reset your hobby once each season you can see the world with fresh eyes. Leaning on this sense of clarity and purpose, you’ll finish more pages, complete more albums, and finally stop feeling like you’ll never get caught up in scrapbooking.

Try the Refresh Method Today

To get a taste of the Refresh method, answer the following prompts in the comments below:

  1. What is one format or approach that is working well for you?
    Think about commonalities between items you’ve created recently or what’s most exciting you right now.
  2. What scrapbook supply have you been meaning to organize?
    This is likely an item (physical or digital) that you’ve already purchased or gathered a storage solution for, but you’ve not yet followed through.
  3. List the very next three steps you need to take for your hobby.
    These should be discrete action items you can complete in 15-20 minutes or less. If you aren’t sure where to begin on any item, it’s still too broad.

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. Sara Mitchell

    I think organization holds a lot of us back and the simple hoarding tendency that comes with scrapbooking does not help.

  2. Shirlene Davenport

    I have found when I bog down, I can clear my desk and start new really helps. You don’t have all that clutter in front of you.

  3. Kerry Goens

    The creative side of me wants it all out in front of me – I tend to be very visual.
    The organizational side wants it all put up up and neat – and every time I do a project, guess which side wins?

  4. Kathryn Quintana

    I’m really looking forward to the spring Refresh! This time of year gets so busy, and it will be wonderful to pause and reset priorities.


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