SYW258 – Secrets of a Project Finisher

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Last year Robyn Montoya finished 14 scrapbook albums and mini books. In this episode I’m asking her all the questions about her process and productivity strategies, as well as how her personality plays into finishing. Robyn also shares how she approaches travel scrapbooking as well as popular projects like December Daily. Other topics include life in the midwest, tips for finishing Project Life, and projects Robyn is tackling this year.

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[00:01:19] Jennifer Wilson: 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 258. In this episode I’m chatting with Robyn Montoya about the secrets behind finishing 14 scrapbook albums and mini books in a year.

[00:01:43] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Robyn. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:45] Robyn Montoya: Hello. Thank you for having me. My name's Robyn. I was adopted from South Korea as a baby. I grew up in a small town in southern Illinois, and now I live in St. Louis, Missouri.

[00:01:58] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, where? Where at? In Southern Illinois.

[00:02:00] Robyn Montoya: Chester, C-H-E-S-T-E-R. It's on the Mississippi River and it's the home of Popeye. So some people, if you remember that cartoon from back in the day.

[00:02:12] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Okay. Okay. I live in the Champaign Urbana area.

[00:02:15] Robyn Montoya: Oh, okay. I had some friends that went to U of I. My cousin actually went there.

[00:02:21] Jennifer Wilson: Fun. Fun. Yeah. And we love to visit St. Louis, I would say of Indy, Chicago, St. Louis. St. Louis is definitely my favorite.

[00:02:28] Robyn Montoya: Awesome. I didn't know you were so close.

[00:02:30] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. We went to the Botanic Garden and we were there like the day before the corpse flower bloomed. And so it was really cool to see it. And then we watched like the livestream, the webcam, um, as it was blooming. So we didn't get to smell it, but we felt still like part of the magic of it.

[00:02:48] Robyn Montoya: Did you make it to the Chihuly exhibition?

[00:02:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that's why we went. 'cause we went in the evening. It was actually disgustingly hot, but it was still amazing.

[00:02:58] Robyn Montoya: So I went twice. I went in the day as soon as it first opened, and then I went in the evening as well.

[00:03:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that it was beautiful. I'd never been there before and I'm like, oh, this is, this is a really nice place. I can't wait to go back.

[00:03:11] Robyn Montoya: The Missouri Botanical Gardens is awesome. So I'd definitely go for the garden glow. If you're ever there during the holiday months.

[00:03:18] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, we'll have to do that. We'll have to schedule that for next December so I can put that in my December Daily.

[00:03:24] Robyn Montoya: You should definitely go.

[00:03:25] Jennifer Wilson: So Robyn, what is exciting you right now, um, inside of scrapbooking as well as in your everyday life?

[00:03:31] Robyn Montoya: So for non scrapbooking, my son is a freshman in college and he started his own photography business. So just watching him learn about cameras and photography and to learn photo editing, it's exciting watching him. He got that love of photography from me.

[00:03:49] Jennifer Wilson: That's really cool.

[00:03:50] Robyn Montoya: Yeah. And then as far as scrapbooking, January is always exciting for me. Kind of the new year, new me thing. So it's always exciting because it's a time to start fresh with new albums such as My New Project Life album. A new me album, planning, what projects that I wanna do, things like that.

[00:04:09] Jennifer Wilson: How is it like watching your son learn the photography techniques that you maybe learned long ago? I feel like things are, there's always like things that are the same, and then also things that are really, really different these days.

[00:04:22] Robyn Montoya: Well, he knows a lot more than I do. I I enjoy photography to remember the memories. Where he does it more for the technical aspect. He does a lot of photography for, you know, nowadays young people like to post on social media, so he does a lot for people his age, um, for their birthdays or events or things like that.

[00:04:43] Robyn Montoya: So it's a lot of photo editing that he's into. To get the right mood or, you know, things like that where, for me, my editing was just to lighten a photo for print.

[00:04:54] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. So I always like to ask our guests as well about their bucket list stories. So is there one story that you really wanted to tell but for some reason you haven't yet?

[00:05:06] Robyn Montoya: Well, I rarely go back and scrapbook the past. But I was inspired by Linda Loves Creating, she put out a YouTube video, I think it was last week. Where she's making a high school album for her daughter. So my son graduated from high school in May. So I'm going back, I'm making a 12 by 12 album to document my son's high school years. Which were 2019 through 2023. And I had taken a scrapbooking break from late 2017 to around the pandemic in 2020. So there's plenty of stories to tell.

[00:05:39] Jennifer Wilson: What, like do you have an idea of the format that you want to use for this project?

[00:05:44] Robyn Montoya: Well, I'm using a 12 by 12 album. It'll be a lot of divided page protectors. He played football, so I have a lot of ephemera from his high school letter to different awards and things that he got. Um, with the, um, the roster things. So there'll be a lot of different size page protectors. I'm not sure if I'll do any layouts in the traditional sense or not. This is just gonna be a fun project that I'm not, I don't have any deadlines. It's just when I have extra time, I'm going to add to it. And he's on board. He's excited to see what I create.

[00:06:16] Jennifer Wilson: That's really cool. I have kind of wanted to do one of those for myself, maybe as an experiment before my daughter reaches high school. Uh, 'cause I have so much memorabilia stashed away in our house and my parents' house. And I'd like to just kind of get it into one place and let go of the rest.

[00:06:32] Robyn Montoya: You definitely should. I have, um, I don't know if you remember, but when those Smash Books we're in style. Um, I had one of those great big ones and I went back and added a lot of stuff from high school in there. So I still have it on my shelf.

[00:06:46] Jennifer Wilson: That's really fun. I can't wait to see how this works out for you.

[00:06:49] Robyn Montoya: Yeah, I'll definitely be sharing it.

[00:06:50] Jennifer Wilson: So you're a scrapbooker who gets things done. You even just said that you tend not to scrapbook the past. You are very much like, let's, let's do what we need to do. Um, and so I really wanna focus today on how our listeners can be, be finishers like you are. Um, can we start with some context just so our listeners have an idea of kind of who you are? Um. So they can find out is this really similar to their life or maybe a little bit different? What does your daily life look like?

[00:07:22] Robyn Montoya: So I'm a sales manager for, I'm in the banking industry. So right now I work from home. And fingers crossed, at least for now, I work four 10 hour days when I'm not traveling for work. So that makes it a little bit easier.

[00:07:37] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I mean that's about like, it's both intense, but then it also offers a lot of flexibility when you're not working.

[00:07:43] Robyn Montoya: It does.

[00:07:44] Jennifer Wilson: Do you like that schedule?

[00:07:46] Robyn Montoya: I do, because I have every Friday off. And you know, I only have one son. So he's in college, doesn't need me for anything. So I have all of Friday to myself. Where I can scrapbook or do whatever I want.

[00:07:59] Jennifer Wilson: So is that when you're typically scrapbooking, is on Fridays?

[00:08:02] Robyn Montoya: Well, my office is part office, so I have a office desk on one side and a scrapbooking desk on the other. So it makes it easy to scrap, say a little before work. I'll print some photos during lunch. Maybe do a little bit after work. Um, and then I do do a lot of the scrapbooking on Fridays. I rarely scrapbook on the weekends, or in the evenings when my boyfriend's home from work. I like to spend that time with family.

[00:08:27] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, yeah, no, that makes sense. So you're finding ways to, optimize your time so that you can accomplish all the things that you wanna do.

[00:08:35] Robyn Montoya: Definitely.

[00:08:36] Jennifer Wilson: So what motivates you to focus on finishing? Has this always been part of your personality?

[00:08:40] Robyn Montoya: Yes. That's just the kind of person I am in all things. And even though I definitely enjoy the process, I enjoy looking forward to the finished album more.

[00:08:51] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, can you talk more about that?

[00:08:55] Robyn Montoya: So.

[00:08:56] Jennifer Wilson: Kind of what you're always thinking about is the finished, do you share it with others?

[00:09:01] Robyn Montoya: I do.

[00:09:01] Jennifer Wilson: That Yeah.

[00:09:03] Robyn Montoya: So I do. I have a YouTube channel where I do album flip throughs only, no process videos. But I do put them on the shelf. I have a short, um, bookshelf from Target that has all my travel albums downstairs in our more formal living room. And then I have the Kallax shelves from Ikea that a lot of scrappers have, in my office. Where I have most of my other ones. So I do actually look at them. Um, my son and I sometimes will go back and look at the albums from he was from when he was little. And then now I just had a death in my family, and so they were calling me to say, oh, Robyn, do you have any photos of Aunt Shirley and you or your sister? So it's, it's good that I have these things organized and, um, easy to find.

[00:09:52] Jennifer Wilson: Have there been seasons of life where you found it more difficult to, to keep up, to stay motivated, to spend as much time on, on your hobby? You mentioned you had a hiatus in there too.

[00:10:02] Robyn Montoya: I did, I, I took a break in late 2017 until around the time the pandemic started in 2020. That coincided with the divorce as well as when my son was in a lot of sports. So he was going to practice and workouts and he wasn't driving then. So I had to take him and sit around and watch. He was also on a traveling, um, seven on seven football team. So we did a lot of traveling with other football families. So I wasn't scrapbooking while I was on the road or things like that.

[00:10:34] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. That's the season of life I'm in right now and I'm trying to juggle all the things.

[00:10:38] Robyn Montoya: Mm-hmm.

[00:10:39] Jennifer Wilson: It's so challenging when you have an athlete.

[00:10:42] Robyn Montoya: Oh, definitely. I miss it. But it was definitely busy and scrapbooking went on the back burner. But like I said, now as I have time, I could go back and tell those kinds of stories as well. We'll see.

[00:10:54] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, for sure. So you finished 14 different albums and mini books last year in 2023. Was that a high or low or average number for you?

[00:11:04] Robyn Montoya: I think it's become my new normal due to traveling more. So I think about eight of those were travel albums.

[00:11:10] Jennifer Wilson: Wow, that's amazing. Um, I. How did you decide which projects you would take on last year? Like how do you kick off a year to say, okay, these are the ones that I'm gonna do?

[00:11:21] Robyn Montoya: Well, every year I say I'm going to downsize my collection. So I'll post on Instagram or maybe do a year end recap and say what I'm going to do on YouTube. And then I end up adding more projects. Basically, I do what I enjoy. And then once in a while I don't plan on participating in a project. Say Week In The Life. I say, oh, I have too many of those albums. You know, it's just overkill. I don't do a lot since I work from home. But then I see others prepping and I decide I don't wanna miss out. So I'll add that to the list. I did that last summer with my Summer Joys mini book as well.

[00:11:58] Jennifer Wilson: So, thinking about last year. Were there any projects that you really wanted to do, but that you actually were able to talk yourself out of because you knew you didn't have the time for it?

[00:12:08] Robyn Montoya: Not last year. Not really. So there is one album I had taken Ali Edwards Christmases past class in, I guess it was late fall of 2022. But I didn't have any time to do anything with it because I was doing December Daily and like to, of course, stay up to date on that. So I kept wanting to finish the album, but kept putting it off because like I said, scrapbooking in the past isn't as exciting to me as doing it in the moment. But then I got Covid in September of last year. So I used that time to finish it. And it, well, I got most of it done I got from my childhood until my son was born. I got those stories told and now I need to go back and add, add some memories from when he was little. Um, but I've documented those Christmases. So who knows when I'll get around to that. But that's the main project that I didn't really have time for that I've squeezed in.

[00:13:03] Jennifer Wilson: I am curious if you start a project, do you have to finish it?

[00:13:07] Robyn Montoya: I do. There's one exception every year I start One Little Word and every year I don't finish it. Or I end up trying to catch up with it. And I don't know why. And I wasn't going to do it this year, but that, that's another one that I saw everyone's words and saw all the posts on Instagram, and then I decided to participate anyway. So we'll see how it goes this year.

[00:13:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Good luck. I hope. I hope maybe you find a different like momentum behind it.

[00:13:36] Robyn Montoya: Thank you. I'm combining it with my Me album, so we'll have some some type of completed project out of it.

[00:13:45] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I think when you can, particularly for those types of projects that fit well in other albums, they that you can kind of combine the successes together and it feels more complete.

[00:13:57] Robyn Montoya: Exactly.

[00:13:58] Jennifer Wilson: So only one of your albums last year was a 12 by 12 and the rest were six by eight or smaller. How do you think about size when you're choosing stories or projects these days?

[00:14:08] Robyn Montoya: Well actually that was a nine by 12 album, not 12 by 12. I. My son's high school album that I'm working on now is the first 12 by 12. I've worked in since 2017. Um, so I chose nine by 12 because I was doing weekly Project Life, and then toward the end of May, as the album was getting full, I was over it. So I had started with that nine by 12 weekly Project Life.

[00:14:33] Robyn Montoya: And then I also had Story albums that were six by eight. A six by eight Me album, and an assortment of smaller ones. So I decided to finish the year with a six by eight Project Life slash Story album. So I finished with three of those. Um, so actually I like the smaller sizes. I think they're easier to store. Um, you can find more of those, and this sounds really weird, but I find that the corners of the pages bend in the 12 by twelves and sometimes even nine by twelves. And it annoys me. Maybe I'm a little OCD. But I don't like when the pages bend. And it doesn't do that in the six by eight and smaller sizes. And like I said, you don't have to have the big Kallax bookshelves to store the smaller albums. Yeah.

[00:15:24] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Now, one thing I noticed as you were talking about this is that even though you are like, um, I say this phrase, compulsive finisher in a very positive way. That, um, you are willing to make course corrections to maintain your enjoyment and, um, make sure that you can finish the project. You're not like forcing yourself into a box that's no longer comfortable.

[00:15:50] Robyn Montoya: That's correct.

[00:15:52] Jennifer Wilson: I love that.

[00:15:53] Robyn Montoya: Yeah, I feel scrapbooking is fun. I'm not trying to do it for a job or make, make money off of it or anything like that. So it has to be truly enjoy it. It, you know, it's a, a fun activity. So if I make myself do something I don't want to, then that would take away the fun and then I wouldn't scrapbooking anymore.

[00:16:10] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I think, I think there's a lot of people, which sometimes includes me, that we have angst over, like changing sizes or changing formats midway through. Um, but the, the opposite of that is that you can finish it. Um, and often that is a huge satisfaction compared to the angst.

[00:16:28] Robyn Montoya: Yes. Oh, I did wanna mention that for travel albums, I choose the size based on the length of the trip, what we're planning to do and you know, to see if will I have a lot of photos or not. So I did wanna mention that since travel is my favorite.

[00:16:47] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I'd like to dive more into details on, on scrapbooking travel. So if you had to like give a percentage, how much of your scrapbooking is travel related?

[00:16:55] Robyn Montoya: I'd say a little over half. And that depends on how much I travel. I travel both for work and personally. And sometimes when I go for work, I'm very good. So my team jokes about how much I can squeeze in. So if I am working six hours of the day, I'll squeeze in so many tourist activities and try new places to eat and everything all into that time.

[00:17:20] Jennifer Wilson: Nice.

[00:17:21] Robyn Montoya: Make an album, even if it's a business trip, maybe I'll make a one of those Simple Stories Flip Books or a three by album or something that just documents the fun things. 'Cause I take a lot of photos and I wanna remember those places that maybe I won't go for a personal vacation.

[00:17:35] Jennifer Wilson: So do you scrapbook every trip that you take for work?

[00:17:40] Robyn Montoya: No, not every trip. Um, for example, I just went to Houston for work yesterday. It was a day trip. I flew down there, had a couple meetings and flew home. So for if, for ones like that, I will document them in my Project Life. Maybe I'll either I'll screenshot, um, my boarding pass or take a photo. Like Houston had a cool, um, it was like a ball type thing that said Houston and graffiti art on their baggage claim. So I snapped a picture of it and I'll include that in Project Life. But I wouldn't make a whole album. I'll only make an album for work if I do something significant. Um, you know, like a, an aquarium or an art museum or a botanical gardens or something where I take a, a good amount of photos.

[00:18:22] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So when we're thinking about maybe a larger trip here, particularly those personal trips where you're doing a lot of the planning. What do you do before, during, and after a trip? Uh, with reference to how you're gonna scrapbook it?

[00:18:37] Robyn Montoya: So before the trip, I will choose the album. Again, based on what we're going to do, how many days, things like that. And then I'll get a basic idea of the products I'll use. So I'll go through my stash, both physical and digital, and sometimes order new products if I don't have enough. And then during the trip, I take photos on my iPhone these days I used to take a big camera, but I don't wanna mess with it nowadays. Especially if we're doing hiking or you know, even walking through a city or things like that. I don't wanna mess with a big camera. And then at the end of each day when we're in the hotel room, I'll go through and delete all the photos that are duplicates or things that I don't wanna document, I get rid of those. And then also during the trip, I'll jot down notes in the notes app on my phone. Or sometimes I'll write in a small field note size notebook that I just keep in my handbag. And then of course, I collect ephemera. I buy postcards and those stickers and things to use in my album. And then after the trip, I do a lot of batch work for travel albums. So first I'll go print the photos and I don't worry about, oh, I need X number of vertical or X number of horizontal. I print 'em however I want. Again, based on the size of the album. But I print what I want. And then I take them and I fit 'em into the pockets in chronological order. And then my second step is to add the journaling cards to the pockets. Or if I have a full page, um, I will pick out the, the, um, the paper that I wanna use or card stock or whatever. And then the third, I'll embellish. And then fourth I will journal. And to be honest, I don't like to journal. I have to make myself do it. I'm not a particular fan of my handwriting. And I find that when myself and family members look back, it's about the photos and not the journaling. And, you know, maybe 40 years from now when I don't remember things, I'll appreciate the journaling. But for now I really have to make myself do it. So that's, that's how I document a trip and I have one coming up next week to San Diego. So I will be following that procedure.

[00:20:44] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I love this idea of batching the work so that you're kind of, I always see it as like working in layers. Like, okay, what is this? And we're gonna do all the things related to this one part. And then add the next layer on top of that. And I find that it's, it makes it go so fast.

[00:20:59] Robyn Montoya: Mm-Hmm.

[00:21:00] Jennifer Wilson: Um. I'm curious like how, you know, if you're, let's say you're doing, you know, a five or seven day trip, how, how much time would it take you to follow that format?

[00:21:10] Robyn Montoya: Well, you know, honestly, I can usually get, I usually document a trip in say, a week or so. If I'm on my normal schedule and not traveling for work. I do a lot. You know, like I said, it helps having my craft room office as a combination room. Because I'll print photos while I work. That's easy to do. Or, you know, during lunch I'll do a little bit, um, things like that. So yeah, I'd say about a week, honestly. I mean, and most of my trips are shorter, so maybe anything from a day trip where I pack a lot into one day to maybe a week. We do have one big one coming up that's, I think gonna be eight, eight days or so, um, to Disney, to Universal to see the Harry Potter stuff and then to Tampa. My nephew lives over there. So we'll be going to the beach and things like that. So that will take longer to document, I'm sure.

[00:22:04] Jennifer Wilson: And so you mentioned before that how you choose the size and the overall format has to do with like the length of the trip and how much you're gonna do. So can you talk more about how you choose the products and the, and the albums for different travels?

[00:22:21] Robyn Montoya: Well. So, for example, I go to Seattle fairly often and I do a lot of outdoor things. So there's a lot of green, um, what I call hiking, which is actually going to the, going to the nature places and walking to the lookout point and walking around a little bit. I'm not a major hiker by any means. But for things like that, I choose based on the color.

[00:22:45] Robyn Montoya: So I know maybe I have a lot of green. Um, the outdoorsy kind of stickers and collections. I buy a lot of those. Because I do enjoy going to the national parks. Um, I have a goal of going to as many national parks as possible. So I use, um, a lot of collections based on that theme. Or um, I did a road trip in California a couple years ago. And I used brighter colors 'cause we went to those pretty houses in I think Capitola. I'm probably pronouncing that wrong. Um, but it just, it fit, it fit for the city or for the San Diego trip. I'm hoping that there'll be a lot of sunshine. So I chose a yellow Citrus Twist album for that. Or you know, in a city I might choose based on what we're going to be doing.

[00:23:35] Robyn Montoya: 'Cause I do like to plan trips as well. So that's all planned out too. I put together a schedule for a trip. But that doesn't mean it doesn't change. I'm also, in contrast, a spur of the moment person. So I like to make a lot of plans, but that doesn't mean I won't change them. So again, you know, if my, my album can change too. Well for, for the Disney trip I talked about coming up in November, I knew I'd have a lot to document, but I do love six by eight. So I purchased the Ali Edwards the star, the white star album from the December Daily collection. And I'm going to use those. Um, for that Disney trip. 'Cause I don't want, because I'm older and just my boyfriend and I going, I didn't wanna use some of the really cutesy lines. But I, I wanted to have the Disney theme but not be.

[00:24:23] Jennifer Wilson: Overly. Yeah.

[00:24:24] Robyn Montoya: Yeah. If you.

[00:24:26] Jennifer Wilson: I get it.

[00:24:26] Robyn Montoya: Yeah.

[00:24:27] Jennifer Wilson: Now one thing you mentioned about the National Parks. So do you have a, the National Parks passport? The stamp little book?

[00:24:33] Robyn Montoya: I don't. And because I didn't have it when I first started going. I did buy, I can't remember the company, but they make a little, little notebook about the size of a Field Notes notebook. Where you can document each national park in. So I did buy one of those and went back and found photos from all the national parks that I'd been to. I think I've been to 12 or 13. Um, but as far as the passport, then I thought, well, I'll have to go to all of them again. Because my OCD I wouldn't want to, you know, not have a stamp. So that's why I haven't gone.

[00:25:05] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I mean, I get it. And oftentimes I don't have the book, so I have the stamp on random pieces of paper, often receipts that are in somebody's wallet. Um, and so I have them like all collected. Some of them are pasted in. It's, yeah. Um, it's both like fun and a little like anxiety inducing.

[00:25:23] Robyn Montoya: Exactly. So yeah, that's why I haven't done that.

[00:25:26] Jennifer Wilson: I remember one time when I was in, I was, I used to live in DC but I, I wasn't really doing any of that then. And I went back. And I found that at that time, at the base of the Washington Monument, they had all the stamps for all the DC area National parks. And I'm like, oh my gosh, good. I can just go and I can stamp all the ones that I have been to in the past. Um. And I'm going to today rather than trying to go back to all the places.

[00:25:52] Robyn Montoya: That's a good idea. I was wondering, you know how you can go back and get things? I'm going to DC in May, so I'll have to check that out.

[00:25:59] Jennifer Wilson: Oh yeah. Fun. I don't know if it's, I don't know if it's still there. I feel like they change stuff so often now and things are always under construction. But yeah, it was, um, I think it like the underground gift shop. Trying to remember. Yeah. Um, I wanted to wrap up by seeing if you would offer some helpful finishing tips for other projects that we haven't talked about yet. So maybe starting with December Daily.

[00:26:26] Robyn Montoya: So one of the things that have helped me for things like December Daily or October Daily or anything like that is, that I've found telling, say 25 stories for December Daily. Or 13 stories or 31 stories for October Daily, works well because there's no date order. And for me that means I can, you know, I might get excited about October Daily in September. And I've done, you know, I get excited and decorate the house earlier. I have my pumpkin spice latte in late August or things like that. So I can go ahead and plan ahead and document five stories before the month even starts. So I've done that with both October Daily and December Daily. 'Cause by the end, I'm kind of over it and ready for the next season. So I have to create when I'm inspired. So that's my number one tip for projects like that. Um, for ones like Week In The Life, I work a day at a time, in real time. I keep things simple. I also prep pages ahead of time, what I call simple prep pages. So I don't wanna do too much or make it really themed or you know, something like that to where I, it wouldn't fit. And then I do work in advance sometimes to create filler stories. So even a project like Day in the Life, maybe I'll take a picture of the Keurig or the dishwasher or something like that. And then I can fill it in if I forget to take photos or. I, nothing really happens that day. So a little bit of planning ahead, but not taking it so seriously that you can't ebb and flow out of your plans. And then another thing is just do you. On all these projects, don't get sidetracked by trying to keep up with everyone else.

[00:28:10] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-Hmm.

[00:28:11] Robyn Montoya: I love some of the beautiful, elaborate, um, you know, like. All the die cutting machines and things like that with the layers. And, but that's just not my style. So if I got sidetracked and tried to recreate what everyone else does, then I wouldn't get anything finished and maybe I wouldn't like scrapping as much. And so, now, don't get me wrong, I do try new things sometimes, especially with December Daily, that allows me probably to be the most creative. But I stick to what I like and, like I said, don't get sidetracked by what everyone else is doing, the fear of missing out. And then of course, printing at home is definitely, I would, if I didn't have a home printer, I'd probably never get anything done.

[00:28:57] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I mean, it's there. There's certainly pros and cons, but like you, I have a home printer as well, and I like the spontaneity of, I want this in this size, and I wanna do that now. I don't, but if I waited for it to arrive in the mail, I might not be interested in making that page anymore.

[00:29:12] Robyn Montoya: Definitely, and as much as I'm a planner in life as well as scrapbooking. I, I don't want to have to plan that much. I kind of con contrast with myself, so I like to plan things out, but I don't want to have to know, oh, I definitely need that photo in a three by four. Or, you know, I just, I plan things out, but then also go with the flow.

[00:29:37] Jennifer Wilson: What about for something like Project Life, which is quite a marathon?

[00:29:41] Robyn Montoya: Well, I do it in real time, weekly. Or sometimes, you know, for now if I get enough photos to print, I use, um, let me look real quick. I use this print to size app on my phone. So I'll fill up my photos on six by eight layout, and then when that gets full, I'll go ahead and print 'em. And then once in a while, if I don't use one, who cares, I'll throw it in the trash or save it for another project. But that way they're printed and ready to go. So if I have a little bit of time, like I said, I take a lunch or a break or before work, I'm up early. And, um, don't need to log on yet. I can get things done. So that's really, that's really helpful also.

[00:30:25] Jennifer Wilson: Nice. Any other tips that you haven't shared yet?

[00:30:29] Robyn Montoya: Um, I think that pretty well covers it. Again, just do what you enjoy, you know, make it fun. Don't make it a job.

[00:30:36] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I, I love you mentioned you're kind of contradicting yourself and of course we all have lots of contradictions in ourselves as well. But I love how you're kind of aware of that and you're leveraging, um, those to, to really meet your needs and to really enjoy your scrapbooking. That's of course, what's most important.

[00:30:55] Robyn Montoya: Definitely.

[00:30:56] Jennifer Wilson: Robyn, can you share where we can find you online? Anything you might be working on later in 2024?

[00:31:02] Robyn Montoya: So you can find me on Instagram and YouTube. My username on both are life_documented7. Um, like I mentioned before, I only do completed album flips on YouTube, I do not do process videos at this time. Again, that seems, while I enjoy watching other people's, that seems like too much work for me. And then again, I wouldn't get things done. Um, but on Instagram, I share layouts or sneak peeks of the flip throughs, or, you know, if it's a project like October Daily or December Daily, I'll share those mostly daily. Project Life I'll share a week at a time. And then sometimes I will use a reel to do a quick flip of some like that month in Project Life or things like that.

[00:31:49] Robyn Montoya: Real quick, I am on my first design team this year for Syncopation Designs. So I'm really excited about that. Um, and then like I mentioned, I have some several trips coming up this year that I will be documenting. So you'll see those if you follow me on Instagram, and then I'll have a completed flip through on YouTube so you can find me there.

[00:32:09] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, sounds great. We'll definitely include all those links in the show notes for this episode.

[00:32:14] Robyn Montoya: Thank you and thank you for having me.

[00:32:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, thanks for spending time with me. This is a fun conversation.

[00:32:20] Robyn Montoya: Thank you.

[00:32:21] Jennifer Wilson: And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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