We’re continuing our series on the top four myths of digital scrapbooking, and we’re busting myth #3 this week! If you missed it last week, be sure to go back to see how we busted myth #1 and myth #2.

Myth #3: You need loads of free time to enjoy digital scrapbooking

Reality: I promise, you don’t!

“I don’t have time for scrapbooking!”

That’s the most common immediate response I get when I start a conversation with someone about this amazing hobby.

And I get it. But each time I hear it, I find myself wishing we could just skip ahead to the part of the conversation where I convince her that yes…yes, she does have time for scrapbooking.

Because the truth is, the days of needing hours of free time in a single sitting to create a scrapbook page are long gone. Thankfully!

(Don’t get me wrong, though: Having hours in a row to scrapbook is a beautiful thing! It’s just not necessary.)

Digital scrapbooking changed all of that.

When the “modern scrapbooking” craze got its start back in the 1990s and early 2000s, everyone was paper scrapbooking. We would drive to a photo lab to develop our film, then drive back a few days later to pick up our photos. We would drive to a brick-and-mortar scrapbook store to shop for supplies. We would spend gobs of time thumbing through the physical scrapbooking products we had purchased, trying to decide which supplies we wanted to use on our next layouts. We would then pack our extremely large tote bags full of products and tools, throw several of those bags into the trunks of our cars, cart them to a friend’s house or a crop event, unpack the supplies on six-foot tables, get our supplies organized, scrapbook for a few hours, then pack everything back into our large totes, pack our trunks and head home.

It was a bit of a process.

And then we started to discover digital scrapbooking. Hallelujah!

Suddenly, we didn’t need to develop our film and pick up photos. We didn’t need to drive to a store to do a little shopping for supplies. We didn’t even need to sort through our supplies before heading to a scrapbooking get-together. We didn’t need giant tote bags full of supplies. We didn’t need a large table and floor space to hold our supplies while we scrapped.

We only needed our laptops and a device that held our photos. We could pop open our computers and get working right away.

Already, we’re talking about a much simpler, faster way to scrapbook.

But that’s not even the best part.

We figured out how to make digital scrapbooking even faster.

Letting go of the need to sort through, pack up, transport and work with all of the physical product necessary for paper scrapbooking cut down the time required for scrapbooking in general in a huge way.

But the biggest time-saver is still a hidden gem to most people — even digital scrapbookers who have been doing this for a long time now.

The hidden gem? Templates.

Templates are layered Photoshop documents that are working blueprints of scrapbook layouts. They are basically the shell of a layout, with space outlined for all of the photos, photo mattes, journaling, titles and embellishments one needs in order to create a digital scrapbook layout. Each piece is on its own layer, which allows the scrapbooker to move it around, change its size, add or remove drop shadows and other styling, and more.

The layouts are completely customizable, so a scrapbooker can use the template as a ready-to-personalize scrapbook layout as-is, or use it as a starting place to customize and change to fit to her liking.

Either way, templates are a game-changer.

The hardest, most time-consuming part of designing a layout is already done for you.

If you choose to use templates to design layouts, the work of determining how many photos should be on a layout, where the journaling should go, how big the title should be, what font should be used to design the title, how many embellishments are necessary, and — this is the big one — how everything should be aligned and placed in order to make the layout work visually is already done for you.

This is the most time-consuming part of creating a layout. In fact, I will typically spend no less than an hour (and often, two to three) designing a layout before I’m satisfied with where everything has landed and how the page works together as a whole.

When I turn those layouts into templates and then hand them over to our Story Squad members, I am giving our members a head start on completing their layouts. This head start is no less than an hour (the time it took me to design each template), meaning that the people who will use the templates will be saving themselves at least an hour of time to complete that layout.

Many times, that means that a layout can be completed in less than 30 minutes.

So, can you find 20 to 30 minutes on occasion?

Do you need a ton of time to enjoy digital scrapbooking? Absolutely not. If you use the tools available to you — namely, layered Photoshop templates — you can create and enjoy a layout in 20 to 30 minutes.

And because you’re designing in Photoshop, and not in online photo book software, you can print that single layout and enjoy it without the pressure of having to complete an entire album in a short amount of time. You can scrapbook once a week, once a month or even once a year, and you’ll still be able to produce layouts you can hold in your hand and enjoy.

And trust me: It’s worth devoting a small amount of time to designing a layout here and there. Holding finished pages in your hands is good for the soul. There is simply no other hobby like digital scrapbooking. I hope you’ll make the time to enjoy it.

Still wondering if you might be able to squeeze digital scrapbooking into your life?

Here’s another blog post you might enjoy. Scrapbooking for busy people: How to make it a hobby you can love AND maintain.

Be sure to download the free resource: Scrapbooking Habit Tracker and the 20-Minute Plan for Producing 50+ Layouts a Year!

Myth #4 is coming next week! Stay tuned!

Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? What do you think?

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