Today I am starting a new Momof6 “How To” series on how to use PicMonkey as a tool for free digital scrapbooking! I have been using PicMonkey since literally the first day that it launched- and I am thrilled with how easy it is to use, how simple it is to crop pictures, brighten them, add borders and overlays as well as text to my images. And as a long-time scrapbooker who loves to create albums for my kids, but has little to no time to devote to this hobby lately- PicMonkey provides an easy way to create lasting memories with all of the thousands of digital photos I have hanging around!
But you might be thinking…why use PicMonkey? Why not just upload your photos to a site such as Shutterfly and arrange them into albums there and add your text and be done with it? Well, as I started to get further and further behind in my scrapbooking- I looked into doing that very thing… but I came across a few reasons why that approach didn't work for me. To recap….. here are:
3 Reasons to use PicMonkey for Digital Scrapbooking:
1. Ability to Easily Create Pages Throughout the Year
When I scrapbook, I prefer to approach it one event at a time. I like to create the pages for that event, and then save them in a folder on my computer. It is too overwhelming for me to sit down at the end of the year and try to sift through an entire year's worth of photos and try to create an album out of them. There are just too many photos to look through! I find it much simpler to use PicMonkey to create the page that I want work on now…. and then keep a file of them on my computer until I am ready to upload an entire year's worth of pages.
2. Ability to Easily Create Multiple Versions of the Same Page
When I am scrapping an event- such as “Enjoying Snow in January”- I will begin my creating a page for the one of my kids specifically, using more pictures that he/she was in. And when I “journal” (or write the story )about that event- I will include details that were important to that child. But then I want to be able to take that page, duplicate it and make changes for the next child- maybe swapping out some of the photos for new ones that feature the 2nd child. And change the “journaling” to reflect that child's experience of the event. This sounds kinds of involved- but it's just small changes that personalizes each person's page just for them. And it is important to me to do it this way- rather than create 6 copies of the same page.
3. Ability to have both a digital and printed copies of the scrapbook
When I first started scrapbooking 12 years ago, I did everything on paper, as did most scrapbookers at the time. But then I also scanned in each scrapbook page so that I would have a “saved copy” on a disc, in case (God forbid) the house ever burned down and I lost all of my books. Later on, after my family started to own iPhones and iPads and iMac devices, I took out all of those saved images from those discs and brought them into iPhoto so that I can look at my scrapbooks on my devices anytime I want. And now we download each individual child's scrapbooks to their i-Device and I have to tell you… my kids now look at their scrapbooks all of the time! (Which further adds to the guilt that I feel because I am so far behind in my scrapbooking!)
And at the end of the year, you can easily upload each child's scrapbook pages to a photo site such as Shutterfly and order a printed book of the pages that you created. (But wait for Shutterfly to have a sale on photobooks first- you can find them for up to 50% off of their regular prices!)
You Can Scrapbook With PicMonkey for Free!
And of course the best news of all, is that you can do all of this (except for printing the books) for FREE! That's right- PicMonkey is a totally free service that allows you to edit images, and create beautiful digital scrapbook pages online, that you can then save to your own computer.
Now after you become proficient in PicMonkey- you might decide that you want to splurge and shell out the $33 for all of the premium (called Royal) features on their site- and that's fine (and truthfully I did!)…. but I will tell you that you can create awesome digital scrapbook pages without even doing that!
How to Get Started on Digital Scrapbooking (Your Homework Assignment!)
So you might be feeling buried in family photos and don't even know where to begin. Trust me, I know the feeling! If you want to get started, don't reach way back in time and start thinking about your child's baby pictures (when they are already 9 years old!)…. I say draw a line in the sand and start with this year- 2013. What events have happened in your family's life this year? Go through the photos for these events and select 2-12 photos for each event, and then consider deleting the rest- what are you saving them for anyway if they aren't your best photos, right? Once you define this year's events, and narrow down the photos you would like to put in your scrapbook- you will be ready to begin digital scrapbooking for free using PicMonkey! The next posts in this “How To” series will be:
- How to Use PicMonkey to Improve Your Images
- How to Find and Use Free Digital Scrapbook Papers for Your PicMonkey Pages
- How to Assemble Scrapbook Pages
- Adding Text and Embellishments to Your Digital Scrapbook Pages
- Printing and Enjoying Your Digital Scrapbook
And you can find them here on Wednesdays on Momof6!
So are you ready to give digital scrapbooking a try? If so, please leave a comment below!