Once again a big huge THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by my Goals post a few weeks ago and shared their digital scrapbooking struggles. After taking some time to digest all your comments (which I LOVED reading by the way), I am back to share my thoughts on your responses to this question:
What do you struggle with when it comes to digital scrapbooking?
As I’ve mentioned before I am a bit of a numbers nerd, haha, so in an effort to make sense of all the awesome responses I received from all of you, I decided I would get back to my economics-lovin’ roots and put together a lovely little chart representing the top responses.
Here were the top five struggles of digital scrapbookers based on your responses:
As you can see, Time Management comes in at the number one spot followed very closely by Design in spot number two. Rounding out the top five are Inspiration, Titles and Organization.
Let’s chat a bit more about each of these, starting with number one…
#1 Time Management
Does it really surprise anyone to see Time Management sitting in the number one spot?
I’m not surprised one bit considering I too would put this as my number one struggle not only in digital scrapbooking, but in life in general. To be honest, I think you’d be hard-pressed to any digital scrapbooker let alone any person who never struggles with time. (And if there’s a digital scrapbooker out there who falls into that category, please come teach us your ways, Obi-Wan Scrapobi!)
The simple fact is time is a finite resource. We each get the exact same 24 hours in a day and that’s it. I know, some days this makes me want to cry too.
But the one thing we do have control over when it comes to time is our CHOICES. And this is where I believe the struggle for digital scrapbookers begins.
One of the amazing things about this hobby of ours (and really our world in general) is thanks to the magic of the internet, we have access to an infinite number of possibilities available to us anywhere, at any time of the day.
Need a new kit to go with those photos you just took? Easy-peasy.
Want to ask fellow scrapbookers for advice on your most recent layout? Post in the forums.
Looking for some design inspiration? Hundreds of thousands of scrapbooking layouts are out there for your viewing pleasure.
Unlike traditional paper scrapbookers we don’t have to drive to the store when we need a new sheet of cardstock or stop by a weekend crop to hang out with friends. This is one of the many awesome advantages of digital scrapbooking.
But when you start thinking about everything we have to juggle as part of this hobby – Creative Teams, forums, galleries, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, oh yeah, and scrapbooking somewhere in there too, it’s easy to see why so many of you struggling with getting and staying focused.
The answer you often hear from time management gurus is to just turn the internet off. Turn it off. Focus on the task at hand.
But when the digital scrapbooking world exists online how do you manage this? And more importantly how do you filter out the never ending stream of new information and inspiration that is coming in?
That’s the question we as digital scrapbookers need to be .
Now obviously I am not a time management guru by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m not about to pretend I have all the answers because I most certainly don’t. Not even close.
But I do have ideas on how we as scrapbookers can manage are time better and I’m hoping we can work together to figure out a solution that works not only for our industry but for our individual lives as well. Because I don’t know about you but I think the digiscrap world would be a pretty sad place if everyone managed their time simply by turning off the internet.
Coming in at the number two spot was Design which I think we can all agree is a big struggle for many digital scrapbookers.
Design encompasses so much of what we do as scrapbookers: composition, photo placement, kit choice, color scheme, patterned papers, clustering and element placement, dropshadowing, typography & title design. It’s easy to see why design is so overwhelming for so many scrapbookers.
Many of you commented that this is why you love scrapbooking with templates because it takes the guess-work out of scrapbooking. As a template designer, I say GREAT! I can save you a ton of time and energy by thinking up complicated, layered paper-lovin’ designs for you. And I love doing that.
But as strictly a scrapbooker, I have mixed feelings about this. Because sometimes I worry that we’ve lost a little bit of that unique design spark that existed back in the early days of digital scrapbooking out of fear. Fear we don’t have enough design talent. Fear our pages will never be as good without the safety net of a template.
In digi-land there’s often this assumption that good design is an innate ability. That all talented scrapbookers were born with this magical ability to craft amazing page after amazing page.
I have news for you. They weren’t. And if you don’t believe me, go back to page one of any one of the galleries from those scrapbookers you admire. I guarantee their pages will tell you a different story. I have done this since I was a newbie scrapbooker and I have yet to find a scrapbooker for whom this wasn’t true.
The simple fact is all good design is built on a foundation of solid design principles. When someone says they have an innate sense of good design, all they’re really saying is they don’t actively think about these design principles as they’re designing.
But if you actually look for these elements of design – like symmetry, balance, unity, repetition – I guarantee you will find them in their layouts. I know they exist in mine.
And that’s great news for you.
Because these design principles can absolutely 100% be learned.
Now I know what some of you are thinking. You are the exception to the rule. Design is HARD. You’ll never get it. Templates are SO much easier.
If you’re the kind of scrapbooker who LOVES scrapbooking with templates, that’s AWESOME. Templates are a fantastic tool for making amazing pages. And I will definitely be working hard at providing you with awesome templates here at NettioDesigns.
But if you’re the kind of scrapbooker who would love to learn more about design,
I will definitely be chatting more about design here at NettioDesigns as well as sharing more about my personal design process when I scrapbook. It’s going to be fun.
Inspiration is a funny thing. We tend to look at inspiration as this mystical power that bestows itself upon us.
“Oh great gods of mojo, send me some scrapbooking inspiration so I may complete this layout of awesomeness.”
Far and away the number one comment I received with regards to inspiration was a variation on this:
“I feel like I’m making the same page over and over again.”
Time and time again it is drilled into us as scrapbookers that we need to find our style.
But as a scrapbooker who very much has a defined style, there are days when I too start feeling like maybe my all pages are starting to look the same.
It’s a fine line to walk.
The key is getting to place where we are confident with our style but not so comfortable with our style that we become afraid to push outside those boundaries and mix it up from time to time.
Try an unexpected color scheme. Mix up pages sizes. Do a mini album. Scrapbook with a kit outside our normal style.
We will definitely be talking more about inspiration around here: how to get it, how to keep it and most importantly how to find your style while still keeping things fresh and exciting.
So I’ll admit, the number of people who listed titles as one of their major struggles took me by surprise. Journaling and storytelling I expected but titles specifically, not as much.
But this is exactly why I wanted to hear directly from YOU because I knew there would be some things you struggle with that I don’t necessarily think about and that’s actually a good thing. Because it means I can help.
I’ve been thinking a lot about why titles are a struggle for so many of you and I have a few questions for you:
What kind of stories are you telling?
Are you telling deep and meaningful stories? Are you telling stories from a wide range of perspectives?
Or are do often find yourself telling the same story over and over again?
Obviously only you can answer these questions for you because your definition of deep and meaningful is going to be different than mine.
But I ask this because for me personally, titles, journaling and storytelling are all very interrelated.
The richer the story I’m telling, the more opportunity I have to create a rich, meaningful title. Where as in comparison, the pages I’ve done with a cute photo and a quote don’t exactly leave me a lot of options when it comes to creating an interesting title. Those tend to be the pages that get slapped with a “love” or “sisters” title, which I think we can all agree is a bit boring for sure.
Now it’s possible this isn’t your problem at all and if that’s the case, please feel free to let me know in the comments! I will definitely be sharing more about how I specifically come up with my titles but any details you want to provide about why titles are a struggle for you are always welcome too.
We have made it to number five. At first I was a bit surprised to see Organization all the way down in the number five slot given the number of forum threads around digi-land devoted to it. But the more I think about it, the more I think it’s probably a good thing because it means we haven’t lost sight on what’s important when it comes to scrapbooking.
In a lot of ways it’s fitting that organization comes in at the number five spot because organization provides us the foundation on which to build all of the things mentioned above in numbers 1-4.
When your fonts and alphas are organized, you can be more creative with your titles.
When your photos are organized you can be inspired to document all those meaningful stories without fear you won’t be able to find the “right” photo.
When your supplies are organized in a way that works for how you scrap, you will have more freedom in your design choices.
When your photos and supplies are organized, you’ll stop wasting time trying to find exactly what you need. It’ll just be right there.
Perhaps even more importantly, as I found out during The Great Computer Spring Clean-a-thon, when you’re supplies and photos are out of control, it can seriously kill your mojo.
Often as digital scrapbookers we tend to get too wrapped up in the technology of organizing (myself included).
ACDSee vs Finder/Windows Explorer?
Lightroom vs Aperture?
To tag or not to tag?
But the key to organizing is finding a system that works for you and the way you scrap.
The question we need to be asking ourselves is not which tool is right for me but how do I want to be able to find my supplies and photos? When I go hunting for a photo or scrapbooking supply, what am I usually looking for?
Obviously I don’t have all the organizing answers just yet. But as I mentioned in my Goals post, organization is a big priority for me because I know it’s holding me back from being a fully organized and inspired scrapbooker. So you can be sure there will be more posts on this topic in the future.
Now It’s Your Turn
And with that, we have completed our journey through the top five digital struggles as told by you. What do you think? Any struggles you thought would rank higher? Any struggles you were surprised to see? Share your thoughts in the comments!