Set Simple Scrapbook Goals in 2012

Happy New Year Everyone!

It seems that each year more of you mention to me how overwhelmed or behind you are in getting your precious photos and memories into books. Perhaps this is due to the fact that digital cameras and camera phones make snapping pictures far easier and less expensive than old-fashioned film used to be. It is just TOO EASY to take pictures! But who will care for these precious moments that you have captured?

As we begin a New Year, I would like to encourage you to get going! Let's turn our scrapbooking dreams into a reality - - by setting REALISTIC, SIMPLE GOALS for 2012.

See I love pictures, too. And I have gone digital - meaning that I take between 150 and 500 photos each month - not including the ones on my phone. But as this increase has come, I have found myself more caught up on my scrapbooks than before, not less! I absolutely LOVE scrapbooking in real time - when the events happen - instead of years later. It is wonderfully freeing and fun! How do I do it?

Well, first of all, I have simplified my goals the last few years. We are in an age where scrapbooking every photo taken would literally be impossible. I realized a few years ago that even if I could accomplish this, my scrapbooks would be so numerous they would FILL my home! I think we should have a place to sit, eat, talk and play at home, don't you? So I have pared down my goals.

Each month, near the end, get your photos OFF of your camera and preserved.

Whether it is Jan. 30 or Feb. 2, at the end of each month I make time to sit down, import all my pictures from my camera into my computer, and upload them to a free, online storage site. On my home computer, I use a marvelous, FREE, and safe program called Picasa. This is the most wonderful tool. It keeps all your files in order simply. It finds ALL images already in your computer and categorizes them by date without you doing a thing! Then each time you add photos - you simply upload them to a new year-month file and it keeps them in place. For example - this month I uploaded everything to files I named, "2012-12 December" and "2012-11 November" and voila! Up they appear. Picasa is wonderful. Did I mention that already? I have used it for years. The photo editing options are fantastic for freeware. If you have seen my DSLR photography, you have seen photos beautifully edited by Picasa. I don't use anything else. In fact, the family and wedding photos that I have done for friends are often mistaken for professionally copyrighted photos - so that my friends need to sign a copyright release statement in order to get them printed!!! It's that good! Besides storage and editing, you can easily create photo CDs for backup or gifts, or share albums online with Picasa Web. It is also user-friendly, simple and quick to use!!

After everything is in my computer and organized with Picasa, I then upload all my photos to Snapfish. I have heard good things about similar services such as Shutterfly, but I have used Snapfish since the mail-in film developing days. I can only speak firsthand about Snapfish. I use this site to order prints and gifts at times, but mainly I use it as a back-up for all of my photos. I know that if I were to lose my hard-drive or photos in a natural disaster, I would have all the "negatives" safely stored online. It gives me great comfort to have them all there.

Now, because I am a photo nut, I use two additional back-up plans as well, but I don't recommend this unless you are as nutty over your pictures as me. We purchased an external drive for my computer, where I simply copy and paste each monthly folder and then turn it off. A copy is stored there, and I know I have the full-quality pictures in case anything happens to my computer's main drive. I do not use that drive for anything else - so it is not as vulnerable to viruses or heavy usage errors over time. Lastly, I make DVDs of all the photos for a few months at a time. I would love it if a whole year of photos would fit on one DVD - but I have not tried this yet. I think I might need to try this for 2011. DVDs work just like CDs but hold SO much more.

Now that you have all the details - I encourage you to join me in Simple Scrapbook Goal #1! If you don't already have a GREAT and easy digital storage system - you have 2 weeks to download Picasa! Then decide on how you will back-up your photos - either with an online site or on CDs over DVDs each month. Once you have these in place - you will be able to stay current!

Near this month's end, I will send out a reminder. Make sure you are on my Facebook Scrap & Stamp group, or that I have your e-mail so we can easily stay connected! And let me know via a comment here or e-mail reply if you are joining up for this goal! See you Jan. 31:)


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