Last week, we chatted a bit about the pros and cons, how to get started and success tips for our first simple method for getting out of photo overwhelm: Printing your photos and storing them in boxes. It might not be the ideal solution, but it works — and your photos will be preserved for generations.
This week, we take a step closer to not only printing your photos, but actually enjoying them! We’re digging into method number 2: Printing your photos and slipping them into pocket pages.
But before we dive in, if you’re eager to hear more about all four methods and don’t want to have to wait until the end of our series, hop on over to the free on-demand master class, “Four Simple Ways to Escape Photo Frustration by Doing Something With Your Photos—Starting Today!” available now for you to watch at your convenience.
Now, without further ado….
Method #2: Printing your photos and slipping them into pocket pages
If you’re not keen on just stashing your photos in boxes — which you might never pull out of the closet or off the shelf — like we did with method 1, this method might sound a bit more appealing to you.
With this method, after you print your photos, you simply slide them into page protectors with pre-defined slots. It’s a little bit like old-school photo albums, but with a twist.
I personally use this method as a stepping stone to creating digital scrapbook pages. I simply want to have my photos printed and ready to pull off a shelf and enjoy at a moment’s notice, but I don’t want to spend a ton of time designing extra flair on each layout; that’s what my digital scrapbooking pages are for. So in the example at the top of the page, you can see that my pocket pages include simple notes, plus photos.
The beauty is, it can be a perfect method for people like me, who want to keep things simple — and for those who want to add a little more creative flair to their pages.
Many people take this method and run wild, adding mini pieces of artwork or fun, preprinted cards to photo slots.
Here’s an example, which I found on Pinterest, designed by Lynnette Wilkins and posted by SahlinStudio.com. You can see that Lynnette took some time to add meaningful notes, as well as fun embellishments, to her layout. The result is part scrapbook page, part photo album — and all fun.
If you do a Pinterest search for “Project Life scrapbooking,” you’ll find more sample layouts like these. (Project Life gets its name from one of the early adopters of this kind of scrapbooking, Becky Higgins. She developed a line of products designed for this style, which she calls Project Life.)
Like with method number 1, the main pros for this method are that your photos are printed, and you can avoid losing them to a technological failure, such as the loss or death of your phone.
In addition, this method offers an easy way to document the details that make your photos memorable. You don’t have to write on the back of every individual photo. Instead, you can simply jot down the details (dates, people, activities, explanations, etc.) on a simple card and slip them into the page protectors next to their relevant photos.
It also offers an opportunity to be creative with your layouts. So, if you’re one who loves to play with products, like stickers, tags, cards, embellishments, stamps and more, this method offers that opportunity, while allowing you to keep the time involved to a minimum, if you’d like.
The method has pitfalls, too, just as each method we will cover in this series.
The biggest con is the fact that you will need to stay on top of the multiple steps in the process, if you don’t want to feel “behind” or lose the momentum to keep the project going. Each month — or however often you choose to do it — you need to be able to print your photos, slip them into albums, jot down memories and, if you choose, decorate the elements that accompany the photos.
It’s a simple process that doesn’t take much time, if you stay on top of it. But if you fall behind, the project becomes bigger, and you might be more likely to ignore the project altogether.
Neglecting the project even for one month can lead to a cascading problem of always feeling “behind.” And when your photos become a chore, you’re likely to go back to ignoring them.
It’s also a process that enforces a need to work chronologically. Typically, you’ll want to print and organize your photos in the order in which you took them. It makes the most sense for this method. But that might not always be the best method for storing your photos and documenting your memories.
For example, if you’re wanting to document your baby’s first year, a chronological album might make total sense. But if you’re wanting to create a photo album of your child’s life, from birth to age 18, creating an album in chronological order can seem like a massive, overwhelming undertaking. In such a case, you might want to create an album that has photos lumped together by topic, instead. For example, you might want all of the Halloween costumes your child wore throughout the years to appear next to one another in the album.
For a project like that, a scrapbook might make more sense than a pocket-pages album.
To get started
- First, as we discussed in method number 1, you’ll want to choose your printer wisely. Check out that blog post for my recommendation for a quality printer, as well as my recommendation for an app that makes printing photos for this method a snap.
- You’ll need to purchase a 12×12 album and a variety of pocket pages. The page protectors come in an array of photo-size combinations (ex: six, 4×6 photos; four, 4×6 and four, 2×3 photos; two, 6×6 photos; etc.). Visit your local Hobby Lobby (the website doesn’t include any options, but brick-and-mortar stores typically do) or go to scrapbook.com and pick up some protectors that include various sizes.
- Purchase scrapbooking supplies if you wish to decorate your pages. Even if you don’t, though, it would be a good idea to pick up an archival-safe (acid-free) writing pen to use when jotting down your memories. This will ensure that your journaling will last forever!
Tips for success
- Develop a routine. Avoid getting behind. I recommend printing your photos monthly and slipping them into page protectors right away. Take a few minutes to write down your notes as soon as you get your photos. Don’t put it off. You’ll be sure to get behind.
If you’re short on time, and don’t have the energy or ability to create the fun design elements right away, at least jot down the memories before you forget them. You can always go back and design the fun elements later.
- Use a variety of sizes/styles of pocket pages. I will tell you that. I always use the 4×4 pockets, because that’s the size Persnickety Box sends. However, the pages get boring over time. It doesn’t bother me too much, because this is not my primary method for memory-keeping. Digital scrapbooking is. This method is just meant to ensure that I’m printing the photos I don’t get around to scrapbooking. But if you’re doing this method as a primary memory-keeping method, I recommend you mix up your print sizes, and mix up the page protector styles you use, as well. It will add a bit of visual interest to your layouts.
- Recommendation: Work a month at a time, and include a simple card for the month title and a simple card for journaling. The simpler you keep the process, the more likely you will be to keep up with it. See my sample in the photo at the top of this page. Photos. Journaling block. Title block. That’s it!
That’s all for method number 2, printing your photos and slipping them into page protectors. Next week, we’ll chat about method number 3, creating photo books.
And again, if you can’t wait to hear all about each of the methods, you can watch the on-demand master class, “Four Simple Ways to Escape Photo Frustration by Doing Something With Your Photos—Starting Today!” Learn more and register here.