Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Conquer Your Photos: catch up with the Two-in-One Plan (recorded class and free printable)

"Do something with my pictures" is on many to-do lists.  It's a common New Year's resolution, too.  The sheer volume of digital photos we take, however, can make preserving them a daunting task.  Sure, photo storage seems to be all the rage these days, but what about actually preserving a photo in print?  Printed photos allow you to preserve your photos with their stories--your memories.  The details or story behind a photo is a full HALF the value of a photo!

That's why I'm so passionate about sharing as many helps and solutions as I possibly can.  This blog is full of them, of course, but I also taught a 40-minute online class last week with some very specific tools, tips, and solutions, including my Two-in-One Plan for CATCHING UP preserving your photos and their stories in a meaningful way.  In this class, we look at both digital photos and photos that have already been printed.  I walk you through the steps you need to take before preserving your photos (such as making time* and organization) as well as offer real, do-able solutions for catching up preserving your photos. 

IF YOU MISSED THE CLASS, be sure you watch the recording here.  It will be the best 40 minutes you can spend on one of the most valuable things you have to gift yourself and the world with--your own memories, photos, and stories.

And, as promised, here's the free printable with tips and the Two-in-One Plan!   Click here to print:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1QYWr-9y8FkSLk6_nNNySBF0yVbG_Whn_

For specific time-management helps, you can find suggestions {here} and {here} and some out-of-the-box ideas {here}.
Now that you've been armed, go conquer!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Time flies, but you're the pilot."

One of the main things many people need to accomplish before they can be successful in preserving their photos and memories is making time for it.

As you may have read a few months ago here at LifeTalesBooks, {you don't find time.  You make it.} Time doesn't just appear on your doorstep on a random Tuesday.  You make time for things.  Marie Leslie put it perfectly in {"Time Doesn't Need Managing"} where she wrote, "Time Management should really be called Priority Management."  Glenn Santos even writes that {if you schedule your free time, you will have more of it}!  Isn't that an enlightening concept?  

I read something recently that really struck me.  It's not so different from the idea of making time for things.  Lanette Pottle calls it time creation.

Yes, time flies, but you're the pilot!

According to Pottle, time management is not the solution to finding more time--time creation is.  I love what she says at the introduction to her {Time Creation Course}:

"The problem isn’t that we need to find space to cram more appointments and tasks into our day, it’s that our decisions cause us to fill our days with monotonous obligations, unfulfilling activities, and other people’s priorities.  It starts innocently enough. We are ambitious and driven. There is a lot to accomplish to leave our mark on the world and we take pride in doing whatever it takes to make it happen.  Sacrifice becomes a badge of honor (especially for those among us that have people-pleasing tendencies). Deferring our own pleasure becomes common place. We buy into the belief that if we stay focused and committed, there will be time for that later.  The problem is that all too often later never comes… or if it does, it’s on the other side of burnout.  The REAL solution is to shift from managing our time to managing our decisions… and in the process, we become world-class time creators."  ~Lanette Pottle

{Productivity Manager Julie Davis} teaches the same thing to her clients.  I am an organized person, but I fall into the same traps many people do when it comes to feeling a little swamped.  One thing I've learned from Julie is that everything on your to-do list falls into one of these categories:
  • Do it.
  • Delegate it.
  • Dump it.
Sometimes you need to just DO things.  (You're the only person who can exercise for you.  You have things in your job that you need to do.)  Sometimes your time is better spent by DELEGATING something.  (Can your kids fold laundry, even if it's not perfect?  Is there a high schooler in the neighborhood you could hire to do that thing?)  Sometimes you need to DUMP things.  Julie says if you've moved something off your to-do list three times, consider if you need to just dump it.  (Evaluate if it's worth your time or if you can let it go.)

Davis also suggests that there's no such thing as multitasking.  I've always considered myself a good multitasker (and I bet a lot of moms do), but Julie says that productivity actually takes a nosedive when we try to multitask--even if we think we're good at it.  #foodforthought

One last tip from Julie Davis:  If something is on your to-do list for days and days and you keep putting it off, and you know you can't Delegate it or Dump it, do procrastinated projects in chunks of time.  Take 20 minutes, set a timer, and work on your procrastinated project for just 20 minutes.  You usually find out it's not so bad, and you can do it.

So many things take second (or third, or fourth, or fifth) place when we aren't in control of our time, aren't managing it, or aren't creating it.  Doing something with your precious photos is often one of them.

I bet you have a photo like this--a moment in time stopped, a great memory you've had the blessing of capturing.

This photo, like yours, shouldn't just sit somewhere as a JPEG file.  Files aren't usually looked at.  Photos are.

Here are several {tips for bringing your photos to life here}, including:
  • set aside (i.e. CREATE) time, maybe an hour or two a week
  • think about {making it a family tradition}, like every Sunday night
  • organize your photos so you know what you have and what you're dealing with  (You can find some pointers and actually watch me in my process of photo organization {in this video}.)
  • choose your favorites (If you have 1,000 pictures to deal with, you may make more progress if you narrow down the number you want to preserve by just choosing your favorites.)
  • keep your appointments with yourself!
Time does fly!  The older I get, the faster it seems to go.  But I'm the pilot on that flight.  I get to choose how I spend my time.  I hope you'll think about Marie Leslie's perspective of Priority Management--what you fill your days with and what you are (maybe inadvertently?) prioritizing.  I know that makes a big difference in my own time management and creation.

There's so much to be gained, {so much that's GOOD FOR YOU}, when you make time to preserve your memories and your life's story.  Start now, because there's no time like the present!

Friday, January 5, 2018

It's #friyay!

Welcome to #friyay at LifeTales Books!  On the first Friday of every month, we will find out what people are saying about Heritage Makers (and me, in some cases).  We'll start our first #friyay with a message from the very first Heritage Makers consultant, Wendy, who is a dear friend.  We've known each other since elementary school and became good friends in high school.  Wendy was one of the first people to introduce me to Heritage Makers, way back in early 2005.  Here's what Wendy has to say on this #friyay:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

How to Conquer Your Photos: an actionable plan (online class)

Last January I introduced the Year in a Snap concept.  It's designed to help you actually CATCH UP on your photos.  Preserving photos is (obviously) great, but if you're still taking more pictures, how can you ever catch up?  Year in a Snap combined with my Two-In-One Plan gives you actionable steps toward actually catching up!

If your New Year's resolutions include catching up on your photos, don't miss this free, 40-minute online class, "Conquering Your Photos with the Two-in-One Plan."  It's NEXT WEEK, so save the date!  At the class, we will talk about
  • why preserving your photos and memories matters
  • how to get started if you don't know where to start
  • the best options for preserving digital photos as well as already printed ones
  • tips for success
  • the Two-in-One Plan designed to help you CATCH UP on your photos
This is a Zoom class, so all you need to do is click this link on Wednesday January 10, 2018 at 10:00am Mountain Time:  https://zoom.us/j/401772642 

If you find it hard to wait, here are some sneak peeks to tide you over until the class:
 (If you're seeing this post too late, don't worry--I'll post a recording of the class here next week so you can catch it then.)
Let's do this once and for all!  It's your year! 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

"I regret making that storybook," said no one ever.

We all get to choose what we do with our time.  Sometimes we're smart with our time, and sometimes we're dumb with it, but we all get to choose.  Right now my regrets include scrolling too long on Facebook or not exercising when I told myself I would.  Do you have similar regrets? 

One of the most impactful and meaningful uses of time is preserving our photos and stories.  I think it's one of the most {noble ways to use our time}.
When I talk about preserving photos, I don't necessarily mean scrapbooking.  So if you're not a scrapbooker, stay with me here because it doesn't matter.  Preserving your experiences through photos and memories can happen any number of ways.

One of my favorite ways is a Heritage Makers storybook.  A storybook is like a digital scrapbook of sorts, but you can keep it really basic (not such a scrapbook-y look) or use a template that's pre-designed but still fully editable so you can make it fit your pictures and your story.

And I'll tell you what!  Spending time to create a storybook has NO REGRETS!

I really love the family yearbooks--a whole year's worth of photos in one book.  There are lots of templates already designed, so it's really just a matter of putting photos where they already go!  See the additional months in the thumbnails below the January page I have highlighted?

(You can see the whole book page by page {right here} if you like.)

If you haven't already seen what makes Heritage Makers storybooks stand out from "photo books," be sure you check out the top ten reasons in the "What Makes Heritage Makers Different" tab at the top of this page.

Creating storybooks or scrap pages is one way to spend your time that really makes a difference!  {Studies have even shown} that memory-keeping increases happiness, raises self-esteem, lowers stress, engenders a sense of belonging and purpose, and even makes kids more resilient!  From family yearbooks to {adoption} {stories} and {love stories}, what you create can make a lasting difference.

Do yourself a favor and start enjoying all those memory-keeping benefits RIGHT NOW.  If you struggle to find time, visit the "need TIME?" tab at the top of this page, and always remember that you can actually {make memory-keeping into a family activity}, not just something on YOUR to-do list!

A Heritage Makers storybook is a beautiful, high-quality, meaningful way to preserve your life experiences through photos and stories, and it's a meaningful way to spend your time that you'll never regret.

The five steps to get started are laid out {here} for you!  #noregrets

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

how to support small business without spending a cent

Chances are you know a small business owner or network marketer.  Chances are you know several.  How do you, as their friend, support them?  Here are some ways you can be one of their strongest supporters and cheerleaders without spending a cent or even stepping out of your house!

And don't forget:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Heritage Makers Studio 201 - a video tutorial (beyond beginners)

Heritage Makers digital personal publishing is a powerful tool for memory-keeping, creating high-quality family yearbooks, digital scrapbooking, giving unforgettable gifts, and even creating your own business products!  The program you use is called Studio.  It's similar to other drag-n-drop programs like Photoshop, Canva, or Publisher, only with many more tools and included (free) digital art.

In September, I created a tutorial video called Heritage Makers Studio 101.  It's for anyone who has never used Heritage Makers before (or anyone who needs a little refresher).  It goes over logging in, uploading photos, how to place photos and text in your project, etc.  If you missed that video, you can find a link {here}.

Today, I'm sharing the follow-up tutorial video with you!  This one will show you several time-saving tricks, and some additional features (such as making a photo into a circle or oval) not covered in the more basic tutorial.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

family-themed gift ideas

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  I've got some great family-themed gift ideas for you this year!  I spent a lot of time searching high and low to find some fantastic gift ideas for you that will encourage family connections and foster engagement.  Many are interactive, but all are meant to strengthen relationships and family ties. 

You'll have quite a few different ideas to choose from at each of these links:
And Happy Christmas to all.