“Power Layouts” for Digital Scrapbookers

When I was exclusively a “Traditional” scrapbooker, I used the “Power Layout” method all the time. Especially when I had a big project I was working on.  It was a great way to take something that seemed overwhelming, daunting, even, and break it down into bite-sized chunks.  Now that I scrapbook both digitally and traditionally, I wondered how I could make the method work in the digital world. Here are the thoughts I had (and feel free to share your own ideas in the comments).

Note: I am using StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 and Memory Manager 3.0 (which are Creative Memories products)  I’m not a Photoshop scrapbooker. Never will be. Photoshop is too complicated for me!  However, these concepts should work regardless of the tool you use.

1. Decide which photos you want to use. The first step is to figure out what pictures you want to use. If you are using Memory Manager, you can do this ahead of time by using the sort boxes and organizing your photos by project. In an upcoming post, I’ll offer some suggestions for organizing your digital photos.  For right now, though, pick out the photos you want to use.  In Memory Manager (MM) you can drag the pictures to the Work Area.

From there, you can click on Share and choose StoryBook Creator (SBC).  This should offer you the option of creating a new StoryBook or dropping the files in an existing StoryBook. If this is a new project, go ahead and create the new StoryBook. If it is for an existing project, be sure you already have SBC open and the StoryBook already open.

Here’s a tip: Create a StoryBook, not a Page Print document. If you create a StoryBook, you will still have the option to print pages individually.  However, you’ll also have the option to view two pages at a time (and bounce between the two pages easily to edit them).  This is a great feature which allows you to easily line things up across two pages and ensure that your layouts have balance.

Note that when you create a StoryBook, you get a default number of pages in your StoryBook (I think it is 20 pages).  You can always add or remove pages as you go so don’t worry about how many pages you think you may need in the StoryBook.

3. Set your view to “Two Pages” in SBC+ so that you can easily work between both pages in a two page spread. You can do this by going to View and selecting Two Pages.  You should also consider setting your speed to High Speed rather than High Quality.  It will speed up your work considerably and does not affect anything other than the way your pages are displayed onscreen.closeup

4. Drag and drop your pictures on the page. Don’t worry about putting things in any order or arranging them on the pages.  Just drag and drop the pictures you want grouped together on the page.  Then, move on to the next page (use the Previous/Next buttons on the top right for faster navigating between pages).  Don’t get hung up on deciding what should go where on a page. Just figure 4-6 pictures per page and move on to the next.

Here’s another tip: Set your picture view to Show: Photos Not Used. That way you don’t accidentally use a picture twice. I’ve done that before and didn’t notice it… even after I got the printed pages back! My kids noticed. I didn’t.

Tomorrow… the next steps.

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