SYW123 – My Way with Jen Wong

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Jen Wong is a minimalist pocket page scrapbooker with a growing passion for photography. She’s also our featured artist for July. In this episode Jen shares a peek into her creative life, including what keeps her motivated to scrapbook!

(*) Affiliate link

Jen Wong 0:00

Done is better than perfect. I don't know maybe other people have said that too. But I really love going back to look at the pages that I've completed, or the albums like the travel albums that I've completed. I think it's really fun to go back and relive some of those memories. And just to see what was happening during those times.

Jennifer Wilson 0:18

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is Episode 123.

Jennifer Wilson 0:38

In this episode, I'm interviewing Jen Wong for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways Memory Keepers get things done. We're excited to have Jen as the July featured artist at Simple Scrapper a selection of her pages served as inspiration for our latest collection of members sketches and templates. My conversation with Jen also prompted one of the activities for our upcoming Refresh member retreat. This is a four day jumpstart for your hobby and the next session begins on Thursday, July 8. And now my conversation with Jen Wong. Hey, Jen, welcome to the podcast.

Jen Wong 1:19

Hi. So nice to be here.

Jennifer Wilson 1:22

Yes, Jennifers are of course, always my favorite. And I'm looking forward to our conversation and getting to know you a little bit better for another episode in our My Way series. So could you kick things off a little bit by sharing just a peek at who you are?

Jen Wong 1:39

Sure. So I'm Jen, of course. I live in Southern California in San Diego specifically with my daughter and my partner and my crazy cat. I work full time during the day as a software engineer, which doesn't leave me a ton of time to do all the scrapbooking that I'd like to. So usually you can find me sacrificing a bit of my sleep to work on my pages.

Jennifer Wilson 2:04

Oh, good to know so fun. Yeah, I mean, as a full time worker myself, it's sometimes hard to squeeze those in. I appreciate you taking time out of your day as well to to talk with me on the podcast. San Diego is such a beautiful place. I used to live in Riverside and it was always my like, we just need to go to San Diego as much as possible. We never went to LA we just went to San Diego.

Jen Wong 2:29

It's definitely nice. I mean, it's nice to be so close to the beach, and the weather is just it's perfect almost all year round. Yeah, I don't have any complaints that I don't, I'm from LA actually. So I don't miss the traffic from there.

Jennifer Wilson 2:42

Yeah, yeah, I bet, I bet. So we like to ask our guests every single time. What is one thing that's exciting, you now, in this hobby, it could be anything, a product, app, class, person, idea, really anything at all.

Jen Wong 2:56

Well, something that's been exciting to me recently is photography. I think, of course, most scrapbookers have some kind of appreciation for it. But last year, I got married. And we hired a professional photographer for that to take our photos, and they were so beautiful that it really got me thinking more about improving my own photography. So recently, I've just been practicing and watching a lot of YouTube videos and just trying to get better. And then of course, I love to take those photos and make layouts with them.

Jennifer Wilson 3:24

Oh, super fun. Are there any like super fun tips that you've learned or great sources for tutorials.

Jen Wong 3:32

I really just love YouTube. You can find all anything you want on YouTube. I don't know, I've been sort of just looking around at a lot of different types of photography to like, recently, I've been interested in doing a little bit of Astro. So I've been you can like last weekend I went to, I drove like an hour at 10 o'clock to go see if I could try to take pictures of the Milky Way just for fun, just to see if I could do it. I was really scared actually, when I got there because it was super dark and scary. And I was by myself and I'm like, Well what if there's like a mountain lion? Or what if there are crazy people here? Like I just don't know. But I did get a few photos and it was kind of fun. So...

Jennifer Wilson 4:12

Yeah, that's super cool. I'm always like dragging my family out in the evening to see whatever activity is happening. Whether it's, you know, meteor shower, or oh, special satellite or something. And they are so annoyed with me like, do we have to? And I'm like Yes, for the off chance that we might see the northern lights? Yes, we're gonna go. And yeah, I love that stuff. So...

Jen Wong 4:35

Yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm also you know, I have just the one child and my husband and so I'm also making them pose a lot of times for just pictures and my daughter is a pretty good sport about it because she's been. She's been in front of a camera for all her life. But my husband is like, really? What do I do now? And so sometimes he's sort of, I don't know, photobombing is the right word, but he's making faces and I'm like, come on, come on, look normal.

Jennifer Wilson 5:00

For sure, I also like how, so you mentioned Astro photography. And then I was also thinking about how, when you're trying to learn something new, it's really helpful to be specific, like, don't just search photography tutorials. Search for, like your specific camera or a specific type of thing that you want to learn more about, because then you can learn more of the nuances of the types of lenses that you would use in the settings that work best for that scenario.

Jen Wong 5:27

Exactly. And I would say, for me, I mean, not only do I want to take beautiful pictures of my family, but I'm really into traveling. And so and we, we try to, you know, travel as much as we're as possible. And so I like to take pictures of landscapes. And then that's actually what led me to think about Astro photography a little bit, because sometimes we're in places where there are dark skies, and it's an opportunity to try something new there.

Jennifer Wilson 5:50

Oh, so fun. Yes. Are you going on any adventures the summer?

Jen Wong 5:54

I, well, I only have one plan so far. I'm sure we will try to get out as much as we can. But this weekend, we're actually going to drive to Yosemite. And do do a couple nights of camping there.

Jennifer Wilson 6:06

Oh, so beautiful. Awesome. So jealous. Yeah, I only live there in California for two years. But it was definitely a highlight of my time just because of all the natural opportunities. You know, and they run the gamut from mountains, desert, ocean, everything. So...

Jen Wong 6:25

Yeah, I feel like we're really lucky here on the west coast. And then also, because we haven't been getting on airplanes for the last year, we've been just doing a lot of road trips, just seeing how far we can go. And also, because of you know, the things that were happening this past year, we've been just going to more outside places. So we've done a lot of national parks actually, in the last six months. We've been to Joshua Tree and a couple of parks in Utah. And now we're going to Yosemite. This will be actually our second visit to Yosemite in the last year. So it's been really fun.

Jennifer Wilson 6:57

Ah, super cool. So shifting gears to storytelling a little bit. Is there a story that you consider to be on your memory keeping Bucket List? This is usually something a little bit deeper or important, or it sometimes it can even be frivolous, but it feels like something that really captures your your life or a part of your story?

Jen Wong 7:18

Sure. So I don't know if I can have two, but I'll start with the one that is probably most important to me. I feel a little, I don't know, ashamed. Maybe I'm saying this because I don't have any sort of documentation for my daughter for her first year of life. Like most people have, like a baby book, or something. But I have nothing. I mean, I don't, I don't have anything written down anyway. I mean, I have tons of photos, and I have lots of journaling. But the journaling is sort of scattered, and in lots of different places. But and I just think I was so exhausted that year that I didn't do anything with any of my photos, and I wasn't really scrapbooking like I am now. But that is definitely something I want to do. Because, you know, my daughter will ask me, well, when was I doing this? And I'm like, I don't know, I have to go look that up somewhere in some notes that I don't even know where they are, you know, but I would really love to have that done.

Jennifer Wilson 8:09

Yeah, it's not embarrassing at all, because I have not finished my daughter's first year of life album, and she's turning 10. So it's, yeah, I, don't feel bad about it at all. And what's your other one?

Jen Wong 8:22

So my other one is just, you know, I really started scrapbooking earnestly when she was born. And so I don't have any documentation really of my life before that. And of course, I did have a life before family. So I'd love to have some pages dedicated to like my life as a single woman. Just I traveled a lot, I was into doing a lot of other things. I just want some stories from back then.

Jennifer Wilson 8:47

Oh, that can be a really fun like mini album project and photo book maybe like there's so many fun ways you could approach that. I love things to have boundaries so that you can look back...

Jen Wong 8:57


Jennifer Wilson 8:57

And just make it a project. So it sounds fun. So this is one of our My Way series episodes. We like to peel back the curtain on your process. You're one of our featured artists, and so we're excited to have you on board. Can you share a little bit about how you started scrapbooking?

Jen Wong 9:16

Yep. So I've always been crafty and into arts and crafts when I was young. And when I got older my crafts were sort of just mostly about cardmaking or maybe a little bit of sewing. My sister and some of her friends they were into the traditional scrapbooking like 12 by 12 layouts and we would occasionally meet up to do some crafting together. Usually during the sessions I worked on some mini albums, since I was single and I had been traveling a lot. And I liked the ability just to do something with my photos and the stuff that I collected from my travels. But I didn't, I was really resisting traditional scrapbooking because I just maybe I just didn't know how to do it. Like I, you took one photo, one or two photos, and you wrote a little bit of words, and then you put some stuff. I just didn't, I didn't get it, at that point. And then the kind of the, the person, one of the girls in the group, she introduced me to pocket page scrapping, pocket page scrapbooking. And I thought, Oh, that's actually interesting, because it seems like there's more of a formula, like, you can just slip the pictures and the cards into a pocket, into pockets. I understand how to do that. But I still didn't touch it for a while. And then maybe a year or two after my daughter was born. And then at that point, everything was changing just so fast. And I was taking all these pictures. And I knew that I wanted a way to document all these things that were happening that were so new. And so I turned quickly over to pocket page scrapbooking. And that's how I got my start.

Jennifer Wilson 10:46

I love that, you know, I think these big milestones in life like weddings, and babies are often the times that trigger us to start scrapbooking. But there is that intimidation factor. I have been recording a lot of episodes this week. And this has been mentioned multiple times.

Jen Wong 10:59

Oh really,

Jennifer Wilson 11:00

In people's stories, that they they saw it as an outsider, but couldn't quite figure out how do you do that? And like, how does this is all come together to make something that looks you know, so pretty, and it can't be that hard. But if you don't know, then you don't know. So I think that's a common challenge for beginners.

Jen Wong 11:19

Right. And at that point, I had also, you know, searched the internet and I found Ali Edwards and Kelly Purkey. And it's like the end of Two Peas in a Bucket. And I saw that there were lots of people making such beautiful pages. And then I got sort of sucked in. I started following some of these people I got on Instagram. And the rest is history, I guess.

Jennifer Wilson 11:38

For sure. So you really got into pocket pages, and has your hobby evolved since that time?

Jen Wong 11:47

I still do pocket pages, I would say that now that traveler's notebooks have become more popular. I've been doing more of that I really like that size for doing some smaller mini albums. I've got a handful of unfinished mini albums in that size. Like I like them for travel albums. Mostly. But I still haven't really ever, I haven't done much of like 12 by 12 layouts. But yeah, I mean, I guess I've and I've mostly done pocket pages, but just changing up the size sometimes. But other than that it hasn't hasn't totally changed that much.

Jennifer Wilson 12:23

Yeah. So how would you describe your style overall? Do you have any advice for others who are trying to find their own style?

Jen Wong 12:32

I would probably describe my style as being pretty clean, and maybe more than minimal side. It's hard for me to I can appreciate these pages, but it's hard for me to put more product on the page than less. When I start putting more stuff on it, it looks just cluttered to me. And I don't like it. So I'll end up like taking stuff off. I love stamping. And so I like using those probably as my main embellishment. I like playing around with the stamps, seeing what I can do with them and trying to use them in creative ways, ways. As for trying, giving advice to people who are trying to find their own style. I think the internet is a great source of inspiration. There's so many people with so many different types of styles, showing their pages, and I would just try to you know, emulate some of those styles that you like and see if it works for you. You'll, you'll see what sticks and doesn't.

Jennifer Wilson 13:30

Oh, for sure. Now I'm curious if you're growing passion for photography has influenced your style, or maybe even just further cemented your minimalism. But has, have things kind of shifted there?

Jen Wong 13:44

I think, I think it's starting to a little bit because I mean, I like I said, I think I'm kind of more on the minimal side. And now I kind of want the emphasis to be really on the photos. Like sometimes I take a photo that I think is really nice, like at some landscape photo, right? And I just don't want to put anything on it, maybe one sticker, or a stamp and that's it. Whereas before I would have, you know, like journaled over it or added some big die cut to I don't know, to hide some things that I didn't like in the photo. So definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 14:13

Interesting. And I think it's it's always a fascinating how the various, as we grow our skills in different parts of the hobby, whether it's in writing better stories, or taking more interesting photos or photos and more whitespace or even, you know, practicing how to use different products, it will shift even if our fundamental style is the same. It shifts how we're expressing that a little bit.

Jen Wong 14:36

For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 14:38

So how do you stay motivated to create? Are you someone that kind of ebbs and flows or are you really consistent with the creativity that you're able to accomplish?

Jen Wong 14:49

Well it definitely ebbs and flows. For me, I would say Well, I've been very fortunate to be on design teams for most of the time that I've been scrapbooking. So having a deadline forces me to get layouts done since you know, there's always stuff for me to work on in the backlog. I would say sometimes it starts with the products since I have product sent to me every month. And so I'll look at the products and think about what stories can I tell with these products? Yeah. So that's that's usually how it works for me.

Jennifer Wilson 15:22

Well that, yeah, we've heard that from many guests as well, that one of the reasons they appreciate design teamwork is because of the deadlines. And it really just, they need that source of external accountability. And you know, we do the same thing inside of our membership, trying to provide that with deadlines, and live sessions and things like that, just because it makes a difference, versus being only accountable to yourself and the self imposed deadlines, which sometimes we can skip over.

Jen Wong 15:51

Right. I hope I can be on design teams for like, while I scrapbook, because otherwise, I've just, I don't know, like I need, I need somebody to push me to create every month.

Jennifer Wilson 16:02

Yes, Yes, for sure. So it was just perfect serendipity that we are in our Photos Journey right now at Simple Scrapper. This is a two month period where we're exploring a topic. And so you're increasing interest in photography fits well. And I'm curious if you have like a favorite tip related to taking photos or photo editing or making them pop that you'd like to include?

Jen Wong 16:27

Well, I would say when taking photos, I would suggest taking them in different orientations. So I would take them in both landscape and portrait, if you can remember, because sometimes I'll run into a problem where I only took it in one orientation, and then I want to use it, but it doesn't exactly fit. The size doesn't fit the page. So I'll have to maybe, work, crop it in some creative way in Photoshop. So it's helpful if you can take the photo in both orientations. Another tip would just be to crop your photos. I mean, it's it sounds so basic. But I think cropping can really highlight the subject of a photo or can sometimes just make for a more interesting composition.

Jennifer Wilson 17:08


Jen Wong 17:10

Yeah, for photo editing, I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I would, probably none of my photos are straight from the camera. I just mostly I do some basic corrections like adjusting the white balance, or just tilting the image because apparently, I can't take photos on a straight line. So I always apply some sort of basic corrections to all my photos.

Jennifer Wilson 17:31

I can't take photos in a straight line either, even if it appears straight somehow.

Jen Wong 17:36

I've gotten better, but it's like almost never straight. I mean, I even turned on the gridlines in my on my camera, but I don't know somehow when I'm there, I'm just pressing the button and it's a little bit crooked.

Jennifer Wilson 17:46

Yes, for sure. And the tip about taking different orientations is so important because I think there's this tendency, especially as our phones have gotten so much bigger, it's more natural and easier to hold them in this portrait mode right now. With like, TikTok and Stories and all that. Like, there's all these things that are encouraging us to take things in portrait mode.

Jen Wong 18:06


Jennifer Wilson 18:07

But you know, for a long time, full photos were landscape. So we have to actually move our hands and change it to to take the photo differently. And that will be that your natural four by six size too. So...

Jen Wong 18:21

Yeah, yeah. And I would say another tip is just to take the same photo from different angles. Like you can try taking it from the ground or maybe from above, or maybe further back. You know, move yourself don't just like take it with the phone or the camera right at, you know, your your eye level. I think you can sometimes find some interesting compositions that way too.

Jennifer Wilson 18:42

Yes, for sure, for sure. So kind of going a little bit deeper into some of the things you're loving in scrapbooking right now. You mentioned that you're like you're hardly into pocket pages. But what sizes are you using with pocket pages these days?

Jen Wong 18:58

So these days, about two years ago, I switched from 12 by 12 to 9 by 12. And I'm really loving that. I used to also do Project Life weekly, but I've changed it to bi weekly. And so I love it because it's just a little bit smaller and it allows me to stay up to date. I when I was doing 12 by 12 I liked it. I had a lot of room to write a bunch of stories but I was never caught up. I mean I still have gaps in like 2016 and 2017 because they're just not done. But last year was the first year I completed Project Life which is kind of sad because I've been doing it since 2016. Yeah, sorry, what was the other question? You were just talking about the format.

Jennifer Wilson 19:45

That was it, you answered it. But I am curious, which type of, which style of 9 by 12 divided page protector do you like? Do you like have a preference that you, that is kind of your go to?

Jen Wong 20:00

I don't know what they're called, I think it's just, I feel like it's the most basic one where it's got the four by, two four by six, landscape orientation photos on the top, and the bottom. And then the rest of them are three by four portrait orientation ones. Sometimes I use the, I think it's like nine, three by fours. But I ended up just buying the page, page protector configuration that I mentioned, first, because then I can just like tape the two, three by fours together. If I want to do like, nine by nine, three by fours. Does that make sense?

Jennifer Wilson 20:38

Yes, 100%. I've been playing a lot recently with the ones that have six total pockets that have three, four by six, and then three, three by fours. And so I was just curious, because there seems to be more configurations.

Jen Wong 20:51

Yeah. Yes, I've seen that there are more configurations. And I haven't played with too many of them yet. It would be interesting. But for me, like my brain just works a certain way. And it's, it makes it just faster, because I know what to put in each of the pockets. So, So I mean, yeah, I know, like for 12 by 12. When I switched up the pocket configuration a few times, I it took me a while just because I didn't know what should I put here. Like, like I tried a couple of these configurations that had three by three cards. And I just I was kind of stuck for a while like, Well, what do I do here? But I mean, eventually I got it and it was interesting to try.

Jennifer Wilson 21:29

Yeah, it seemed like for a while things there might be more three by three and four by four products like square seemed like it was having a moment and then it's disappeared, right?

Jen Wong 21:38

Well, I think it's actually just hard to print three by three, or just square, right? Because most of that, like I print mostly on four by six photo paper. So it's just, I feel like I'm wasting paper all the time, if I just worry about orientation.

Jennifer Wilson 21:53

Yeah, so speaking of that, let's dig into your process a little bit more. So how do you, when you're working in pocket page spread, how do you get started with it, with your page?

Jen Wong 22:03

So first, I always start with the photos. I mean, I import all of my photos into Lightroom. And then as I'm looking through them, I will immediately tag some of the photos that I know that I would like to use in pocket pages or Project Life. Some of them I know are for mini books. So I have a lot of like ongoing travel books. So I'll tag those as well. And then eventually, when I like for a specific trip, I might put those in a different collection. And then I would say because again, I'm you know, the because the I get new products every month, I'll look at the products that I have. And then think well, what kind of stories can I tell what these products? So then I'll go back into into Lightroom and check out my tags and see if any of those photos would go with any of the products.

Jennifer Wilson 22:53

Okay. So looking for, like a serendipitous match between...

Jen Wong 22:58


Jennifer Wilson 22:58

Here's my photos, you're staying kind of up to date with processing.

Jen Wong 23:01


Jennifer Wilson 23:02

Got new products and then okay, where can we, you know, have some sparks fly and make something new and fun.

Jen Wong 23:07

Right. And usually, that's I don't have a problem finding anything that matches in that way. I have plenty of like I said, I have plenty of things in the backlog to work on. But so in terms of the process, also I'm I'm just kind of a planner, I have a hard time like gluing things down. And like moving things around. So I do a lot of things digitally. If I have any sort of digital files ahead of time, I might like like, mock them up in Photoshop a little bit just so I can see what it looks like. For me, it's just, it's, it's easier to look at on a screen versus on I don't know, physically and then only then like, when I am good with how it looks, then I'll actually print out the photos and start moving things around and, and put everything together.

Jennifer Wilson 23:53

I've heard, I've heard that anybody who is kind of slightly more digitally inclined, they like to do more of that mock up and really lean on that to pre plan, to make the decision making a little bit less intimidating. Because you don't have to stick anything down in the beginning.

Jen Wong 24:12

Right. I mean, I do have to remind myself, because I have some anxiety about like gluing things down. Like if you mess up, it's okay, you can reprint the photo, you know, you can you can think you can cut this sticker off and reuse it. It's okay. I've give myself a little pep talk sometimes.

Jennifer Wilson 24:29

Now, is your journaling all hybrid typed up? Or do you do any handwriting?

Jen Wong 24:34

I do both. I guess, you know, I think typing is, I can fit more words on the page if I type it, so sometimes that's faster. So I just will type. I'll type probably most of the time. But I also like including my handwriting, I think it's nice to look at old journals. And you know, I wrote that or you know, maybe one day my daughter will look at some of these things and she'll appreciate that. Oh, that's my mom's handwriting. So I like to mix it up.

Jennifer Wilson 25:00

I love that too. So shifting gears here, what type of products are just totally your jam right now? Like what colors, manufacturers? Who do you lean towards?

Jen Wong 25:13

So Christine from Everyday Explorers, she just released this really cool mini book kit subscription. And I've been really loving that right now. The first one that she released was in April, I think, this year, and it was, the theme was places. And so I just recently completed that little mini book. It's like a four by six book. And I filled it with all the places that my husband and I traveled to before our daughter was born. And it was just a really fun project to put together. And it was pretty fast. And it was something that I never thought I would document you know, like, but now that I've done it, I'm like, Oh, it's actually pretty cool. So I really have been liking that. Like she has a different theme every month. And so this month, I think is just a currently type of theme. So what you know what's currently going on in your life. And so I've been sort of making pages about about June, in my life with my family.

Jennifer Wilson 26:11

Oh, that's super fun. I like kind of the mismatched, the I like the mix and match of maybe some more retrospective storytelling with some more present day storytelling too.

Jen Wong 26:21


Jennifer Wilson 26:21

Super fun. Yeah, I love her products as well. So let's talk about organization a little bit, you mentioned that you're using Lightroom. Are you using the Cloud version or the Classic version?

Jen Wong 26:22

I'm using the Classic version. And it's just, I've just been using it for years. And so I'm pretty familiar with that. I don't even know what the differences between the Classic and the Ccloud though I just figure that your photos are stored on the cloud? Is that the difference?

Jennifer Wilson 26:46

That, the apps are actually a little bit different. Do you use the Lightroom mobile app at all?

Jen Wong 26:50

I don't. I've, I was recently watching. I think it was like the Ali Edwards, one of the story chats maybe and somebody mentioned it. And I thought oh, I should look into that. But I haven't I haven't looked at it yet.

Jennifer Wilson 27:02

Yeah, I will send you a link because, I have a, just tooting my own horn here, I have a video that shows my process of taking taking a photo with, in my, you know, on my phone, and the Lightroom app automatically slurps it up, and then I'll see it on my computer moments later in Lightroom Classic.

Jen Wong 27:18

Oh, that's cool. Yeah, I'm gonna watch that.

Jennifer Wilson 27:21

It's super fun. And just makes everything even easier. And I also have the Lightroom app on my husband's phone. And so I can just open the app and it slurps up his photos. And I can see them too. So I don't have to like figure out how to get his photos.

Jen Wong 27:38


Jennifer Wilson 27:39

I don't hesitate to to say, Hey, give me your phone, because I need to take a photo in a pinch. I know I can get it really easily. So...

Jen Wong 27:46

Yeah, that could be a game changer for me. I mean, because most the time like, Hey, can I can I borrow your photo for a few hours? So I can like, you know, download any interesting photos from there?

Jennifer Wilson 27:55

Yeah, for sure. And I did like delete a lot of his photos because it takes photos of like the grocery store. Like, is it, do you want this salsa or this salsa. But yeah, I will obviously not just send you the link, but include the link in the show notes for our listeners as well. And to just kind of, you know, give a bigger picture perspective on Lightroom Classic versus Cloud. Classic has a lot of additional features. It has a print module, which is awesome for creating like photo collages, even as simple as like just the two up three by four on a four by six.

Jen Wong 28:30


Jennifer Wilson 28:31

You could even technically even mock up your whole Project Life page in there if you wanted.

Jen Wong 28:35


Jennifer Wilson 28:36

And then there's a there's a photo book module. And there's even a website module. I've never used that one. But it has like, additional features beyond just what the, the mobile, the cloud version, which is what the app is. And there's just an app now called Lightroom, which is the cloud version. And it does store all your original photos in the cloud versus just referencing them on your computer. So they are quite different, but the ecosystems kind of intersect with each other and who knows where it's gonna go in the future. But for now, they are maintaining them side by side. It's kind of sister programs.

Jen Wong 29:13

Right. Oh that's cool. I'm definitely gonna check it out.

Jennifer Wilson 29:17

Yeah, and if you're already a Lightroom lover, then just go into the next step there and add some parts to your system. Shouldn't be too bad either. So what about your supplies? How much do you have coming in? Do you purchase things in addition to receiving things as part of your design team work?

Jen Wong 29:35

So I have a lot coming in because currently I'm on to design teams. And then I'm also an affiliate for A Paper Person which is Kelly Purkey's shop. So she sends me some things every month. Sometimes it's overwhelming, I have to say. But I do try to use the products and then like you know for some projects for the next month, and then I try to figure out what I'm going to do with them. Am I going to keep them? Am I going to donate them to a friend? Those are usually the two options. But I don't have a dedicated room or a lot of space for all these supplies. So I tried to quickly either purge them or just sort of store them in my one bookshelf that I have for that stuff.

Jennifer Wilson 30:20

Well, you know, that's a really important point there is that it's not necessarily that we need more space for our stuff, sometimes we just need, you know, habits surrounding how we use the stuff so that we don't need the extra space for it. And yeah, I'm sure you might want a bigger space. But...

Jen Wong 30:36


Jennifer Wilson 30:36

But I think there's also a lot of scrapbookers, who have jam packed full rooms with decades of supplies that maybe wish they could have what you have, and also the habit of just making sure that things are being used, or, you know, being let go of.

Jen Wong 30:53

Right. I mean, I would definitely say that I've improved on some of this. Some of these habits, like you're saying, during the time that I've been scrapbooking. At the beginning, when I was, you know, doing layouts for Project Life, and I was looking back, you know, three months, six months, I couldn't remember some of the journaling, or I'd have to look at a picture and try to remember. And so then I thought, well, I need to be better about putting my journaling in one place so that I can look it up later or, you know, figure out what's going on in this photo. And so one of the things that I did there was I started journaling on my computer in Evernote, and then I put like, the dates and everything. And so it's it's pretty organized now. And then every, at the end of every week, I tried to look at these, these files that I've created for the week, just to make sure that there's some information there in case I want to go back and document that week. The process a lot easier.

Jennifer Wilson 31:42

Yeah. Well, and just the more you use a system, the more it becomes one and it becomes this this home for whatever it is you're using it for. And I love the idea of having a lot of your journaling in one place. Do you use the Evernote app on your phone as well then, or just on the computer?

Jen Wong 32:01

When I'm typing, I don't like to type too much on my phone. It's just, I just prefer a keyboard. And so when I'm journaling, I usually do it up my computer, but I will use the app like just to do other stuff, or just some quick notes. I will do that.

Jennifer Wilson 32:16

Yeah, I was thinking it might be handy, like when you're traveling. But it depends on how rugged you're going. And maybe you are bringing a computer with you and sometimes not.

Jen Wong 32:24

So like this year, like, let's see, the last trip that we did was to Utah a couple of months ago, and there was no cell reception. And I didn't bring my computer because we were camping. So a lot of it was just done on the Notes app in my phone. Because I knew that that was reliable. And I didn't need any internet connection for that.

Jennifer Wilson 32:42

Oh, 100% I think that, I think the Notes app is a superstar for so many reasons.

Jen Wong 32:51

It's so basic, but it works.

Jennifer Wilson 32:54

No, for sure. And I've like heard people like I write blog posts there, for whatever there. And you know, just it's, it's there and you can access it easily. I use Google Keep just because it is synced to the cloud. And I can get to it in the browser too, if I need it. But it's basically just another note app.

Jen Wong 33:11


Jennifer Wilson 33:12

It's so handy. Yeah. Alright, maybe looking big picture here. What do you think is the biggest lesson learned from your scrapbooking experience?

Jen Wong 33:25

Hmm. Maybe that done is better than perfect. I don't know, maybe other people have said that too. But I really love going back to look and looking at the pages that I've completed, or the albums, like the travel albums that I've completed, I think it's really fun to go back and relive some of those memories. And just to see what was happening during those times. Sometimes I freak out when like, I'm doing a project for our design team, and they're like mistakes, but you know, in the end, it doesn't matter. Like I don't care that much like I just want to look at the pages later. And you know, look at this beautiful photos and read what I wrote. Maybe that's the biggest lesson.

Jennifer Wilson 34:04

No, you know, that is so true, because I sometimes will agonize over that as well, because I do a lot of hybrid journaling. But there's almost always a typo.

Jen Wong 34:14

Oh, yeah, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 34:14

I can't see it. Everyone else sees it. Like, right. Jennifer, do you realize there's a typo in your page? Like, no, I don't because I can't see them.

Jen Wong 34:22

Well, it's hard. You wrote it right. And you're probably looking at it, you know, more often than everybody else's. And so, yeah, the same thing happens to me, like I'll post on Instagram, and then I'll look at it later. And I'm like, Hey, I spelled this thing wrong. That is so embarrassing. And it bugs me, right?

Jennifer Wilson 34:36

Yeah, yeah. But well, but you're right, in 5 years and 10 years you don't care. You're just glad that you took the time to get that memory documented and that you stayed connected to your stories along the way.

Jen Wong 34:50


Jennifer Wilson 34:51

So Jen, thank you so much. I love your style, the clean minimalist look, it's just so much my jam and I appreciate the things that you create in the way that you create them. You are a featured artist for July. Our creative team has made some amazing pages inspired by your work for our upcoming issue of SPARK magazine. Which by the time this episode comes out, we'll be releasing on the 8th, that Wednesday, of that first week in July. So, super excited to see that and to celebrate you during that month at Simple Scrapper.

Jen Wong 35:30

I'm so honored. Thank you so much for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 35:33

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