I've had several weekends like that since. My friends shake their heads and ask how it's even possible. My answer? "Organization is the key." All it takes is commitment to a set process. Here are the steps I follow.
My scrapbook process includes eight basic steps. They're simple, but they'll save you valuable time.
1 I pick up my prints. You should see me open the package—I'm like a hungry kid on Halloween who just got a bag of candy! I visually devour every picture. By the way, I'd recommend quickly reviewing your prints before you pay for them. On occasion they'll be too dark or contain spots from lint on the negatives. The cashier may act amused at your interest, but it's always worth checking so you can save a potential trip later.
After I slide each negative strip into its slot (one negative sheet protector can generally hold 24 frames), I label my contents at the top of the sheet. I attach any index prints to a separate sheet of paper and place it in the binder, right next to the corresponding negatives.
First, I take a pile of photos with a particular theme and determine which will go together. I decide the order they'll likely appear on my scrapbook pages. Then I place the photos in sheet protectors until they can be scrapbooked. To keep the pictures separate and easily visible, I place an extra sheet of cardstock behind my pictures in the sheet protector. This is a good use for cardstock in colors that I'm not likely to use.
While my photos sit in sheet protectors, I generally come up with layout or journaling ideas for them. I simply jot my notes and sketches on Post-It Notes, then stick them on the outside of the corresponding sheet protector. (The adhesive on Post-It Notes is acidic.) If I come across page accents that would work well with that group of photos, I put the accents in the sheet protector as well.
Whether I'm scrapbooking with friends or just on my own, I always play music to get me "pumped" and in the mood. I decide which layout to create, remove its contents from the sheet protector I've stored them in, then choose the page accents and tools needed to complete the layout. I spread all the page elements out so I can see the "big picture" before I begin.
Organizing Extra Photos
I don't scrapbook every picture, so those "extras" are filed away in photo bins. I simply put the picture in its proper category. For example, I have sections for each member of the family, a section for childhood friends, a section for my scenic pictures, and so on. This system really comes in handy when I need pictures for a card or a theme album.
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