Friday, December 4, 2015

How to find MONEY for Memory-Keeping

This is a continuation of the previous week's post which talked about finding TIME for memory-keeping.  This post was updated in 2022.


The results of my recent poll here on my blog (asking for the biggest obstacle to preserving photos & their memories) had MONEY coming in second.  38% of my poll-takers said money is their biggest obstacle to memory-keeping.


On Pinterest, a hashtag I often use is #icanhelp.  It's one of the things I love most about what I do!  I really LOVE helping people preserve their photos and memories because they are irreplaceable.   

First shoes = $20
First day of school clothes = $40
First bicycle = $100
Photos and memories of those events preserved so they can be easily accessed and loved = PRICELESS


So let's brainstorm some ways to take out the money obstacle so you can preserve those priceless photos and memories!  


Let's start with how many things cost $25.  Here's what my brainstorming comes up with:
  • 2 tickets to a movie without popcorn
  • a just-released hardbound book 
  • almost a pair of jeans
  • 3 or 4 12-packs of Diet Coke/Pepsi/pick-your-poison
  • 5-ish trips to Starbucks (mmmm... peppermint hot chocolate)
  • one of my favorite scented candles
  • a manicure
This is a list of things that are obviously great, right?!

You know what else costs $25?  


One month of Forever Club (which is free to join, and you can quit/re-join any time).  Here's what you get for your $25:
  • 5% off Forever products and services (so, technically, your $25 actually gets you more than $25 worth!)
  • $25 to spend on Forever products  (i.e. memory keeping!  If your desired book/item costs more than $25, just stay on Club another month because your Forever Club Dollars never expire.  This means you can save up over time to purchase larger items!)
  • highest-quality memory-keeping around!!  
  • guaranteed photo privacy (not the case with most online photo companies)
  • one more perk with photo storage--I'll explain that below.
Or use your $25 towards Forever services like the Forever Box (digitizing VHS tapes, etc.) or Forever Storage (for photo, video, audio, and PDF files, guaranteed for your lifetime + 100 years) or for Artisan (digital scrapbooking software).


If you do purchase permanent Forever Storage and you're a Club member for 3 consecutive months, you get additional storage free!  (I do this, and even though I'm taking more pictures, I don't think I'll ever have to buy more photo storage ever again!)  The $25 Club gives you 1/2 GB every 3 months, the $50 Club gives you 1 GB every 3 months (and on up), but you can also combine Clubs (like if $75/month is your sweet spot, join both $25 and $50, and the you'll get 1 1/2 GB of free storage every 3 months).



I hope this brainstorming is helpful.  I know money is always a consideration in life, but in my years of being a Photo & Story Treasures consultant, I've often been surprised to see what people who tell me they don't have enough money for memory-keeping end up spending their money on.  Sometimes just stopping to reconsider things can be helpful.

There are two other ways to save money on Forever products & services, too!  Deals (sales) and Referral Rewards:

I recommend those three savings methods to everyone!

One other option is to not *save* money for memory-keeping, but instead *make* money for memory-keeping.   

Trust me, you DO NOT have to be a salesman (hello, how do you think *I'm doing this?? ha) to be a memory-keeping consultant.  You just have to be passionate about memory-keeping (or willing to learn).  My consultant team (Team Wise at Forever) is a really low-pressure place to be.  I'm just here to help.  Learn more about making memory-keeping your business (side gig or full-time work) here.

*Here's my story of being an introvert in an extroverted direct-sales world.


The great thing about any money you spend on memory-keeping is that it is an investment.  


In 10 years, you won't remember the movie you spent $25 on, and in 3 months the scented candle will have lost its scent.  But memory-keeping is actually investing in your family, creating priceless connections, raising self-esteem, and even increasing happiness.  


Actual miracles can happen through memory-keeping.  Read more, including studies done on the subject, by clicking right here.

So don't let money be an obstacle to memory-keeping any longer!  Use the 3 (or 4) savings methods mentioned here, then get started at this link.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

How do you find TIME for memory-keeping?

I ran a poll here on the blog for about six weeks, asking what the biggest obstacle is to preserving photos and the memories that go with them.

61% of you said TIME
38% of you said MONEY
And, wouldn't you know, 0% said INTEREST.

A hashtag I often use is #icanhelp.  It's one of the things I love most about what I do!  So let's see how I can help you today!  

You have the interest in preserving your photos & their memories, so let's get you the time.  (We'll talk about money next time.)


First off, it's important to remember that nobody ever "finds" time for anything.  We don't often have 6 extra hours or 2 extra days with nothing to do.  We MAKE time for everything we do.  

I attended a women's conference back a thousand years ago when I was in college.  One of the things that was said was:

"If we didn't have too much to do, we wouldn't know 
what was important."  -Jeanne Innoyue

Don't read on too fast here.  Think about that statement.  We are meant to prioritize.  And it's hard, I know.  I am SO there.  But when we have to prioritize, we learn more about what is really important.  

So let your photos and their memories be important, because you already know they are.


Remember this graphic I posted a few months ago?


One of the things that stuck out to me the most when I did the research for this graphic is that we would have 5 more hours a week if we just stayed away from Facebook.  (approximately)  Or how many more hours if we didn't watch so much TV?  Now, I'm not saying that you should give up Facebook or TV, but what if you just cut your time in half?  Or what if you just took 2 days off from Facebook or TV or sports?   

And how about that 90 Minutes For Life idea?  What if you just spent 15 minutes a day with your photos and their memories?  I must say, too, that once you get in the habit, it's easy to keep doing.  

Enlist help if you need to!  Find a memory-keeping buddy who needs time to scrapbook (or storybook) just like you do and report to each other.  Find a family member who can work with you.  


I know a gal who is a business coach, and one of her fabulous tips that she repeats a lot is:

"If it takes more than 15 minutes, it should be on your calendar."  

I can't even tell you how quickly my calendar fills up.  I'm (mostly) a SAHM (a complete misnomer because I'm not home that much!), and usually when someone asks me if I can do something next week, it's already full.  So I can tell you that this tip is absolutely true.  

I LOVE memory-keeping, and it is SO EASY because I have a method that works so well for me, and I could happily spend hours and hours doing it.  But when my calendar gets full and I have a memory-keeping project I really need to get done, I put it on my calendar.  Thursday afternoon I am spending two hours on this book, period.  Then I just don't schedule things over it!  It's how I prioritize.  

I have too much to do, just like you, so this is how I make sure the important things get done:  calendar it!



How many of the ideas I've gone over so far sound good to you?  Which ones would especially work for you?

I have a lot more tips for simple steps to memory-keeping right here, too.  See which of them help you the most.  


One of the best things I do to make sure my memory-keeping gets done is I work with other people.  You can work with me and our little memory-keeping community if you like (it's so fun!)--just check that link to see what's coming up.

Whatever you do, when you work with someone else, it's easier to get things done because you've committed to another person that you'll be working at the time you've reserved on your calendar. 

Which of these ideas and tips will YOU use to MAKE time for memory-keeping?  

Be a Heritage MAKER, not a Photo Keeper.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Christmas cards & letters MADE EASY!


It's that time of year!  Such a fun time to send and receive greetings to and from loved ones. 


Let me help you ENJOY December!  Get in your Heritage Makers account now and get those cards or letters done in a snap so they're ready to go out before the busy-ness hits later on. 

UPDATE 2021:  You're invited to the Umpteenth Annual Online Enjoy December Card Party!  Click there for all the details, and join us!

2023 UPDATE:  Heritage Makers and Snap2Finish became YPhoto under Youngevity (which purchased Heritage Makers in 2013).  YPhoto uses only templates, so the creativity showcased here is no longer available there, and they also no longer have capability to print previously-created projects like these from the old system. YPhoto is not a photo storage site like Heritage Makers was. 

Best-in-the-industry quality and permanent cloud photo storage with guaranteed privacy are required for anything recommended here by Photo & Story Treasures, so we highly recommend Forever for:  

·        creative digital scrapbooking applicable in a variety of photo products using Artisan software

·        easy photo-memory books using free AutoPrint and Design & Print software programs

·        private, permanent, secure, and guaranteed photo and video cloud storage (triple-backed-up and bank encrypted)

·        white glove digitizing services for old memories like VHS tapes, slides, old scrapbooks (scanning), 8mm film, audio tapes, and much more

Learn more here to  find similar products at top-quality with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

________________________________________________


Gotta run...  I have some super cool ideas for my own Christmas greetings this year!

Friday, October 23, 2015

How to Give Gifts That Won't Be Re-Gifted

This post was updated in 2023.

Raise of hands--who would like to give amazing gifts (that are sure to be loved and not re-gifted) without the hassle of going to the store???  How great would that be??  Well, you're in luck because I'm about to tell you how.


These gifts are meaningful, personal, and never-to-be-forgotten.  They are guaranteed to not be re-gifted!

From photos and memories of a special event preserved in professionally-designed pages (even if you're "not a scrapbooker") to

a personalized notebook (hardbound or spiral-bound) where you can choose lined, dotted, blank, graph, or bullet journal pages.


How about some more fun and fast ideas?  Printed at the highest quality in the industry?  Yes, please!  


You can find coaster sets, steel water bottles, mugs, ornaments, cards, calendars, and many more possibilities at the Design & Print-- a free software program by Forever.  Even memory books come together quickly using the beautiful (free) Design & Print templates.  Each template for any of these items has photo and text place holders that you just fill in!  It's so quick and easy.


And let's be real--who COULDN'T use a "10 reasons I love you" book?  (Find the neutral template here and the pastel template here.)

To be guided right through a few more fun and fast ideas, step by step, have a look at my previous Fast, Fun Friday! events right here. 

And here's a special one I just made (2023).  My daughter is one of the hardest workers I know, so when she graduated from college we took her on a trip of her choosing.  She chose Ireland--a place she'd dreamed of going, and a place that I never knew I wanted to go.  It will always be in my heart.  It's the most beautiful place!  So I made her a plush blanket with pictures from our trip.  I can't believe the vivid colors of this gorgeous blanket showcasing some true favorite moments and locations.


Note: There are many awesome blanket templates in Design & Print
Forever's free software, but I created this using Artisan, Forever's 
digital scrapbooking software
so I could use my own font for Ireland.
 

This is the preview of my blanket before printing.

Another one of my favorites for a fast but top-quality gift is the Tabletop Panel.  It is a lovely way to showcase photos, but it has another pretty great feature.


It has a glossy surface, so you can actually write on it with a dry-erase marker!  I absolutely love my meal planner Tabletop Panel!


Let's get this show on the road!  Here's all you need to do to make unforgettable, beautiful, high-quality, personalized gifts.  Get started with these three steps:
  1. Make a list of family members and friends you'd like to give gifts to.  Dream big!  Gift-giving with Photo & Story Treasures means you can give something really special.  Club means you don't have to pay for it all at once!
  2. Next, explore lots of ideas here and see the different possibilities for printing meaningful gifts here, from an "easy-button" publishing platform to a quick & simple template platform to a fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking platform.  It doesn't matter which one you choose because all the projects you print are heirloom-quality and include a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
  3. Don't miss additional savings, too!  You can see current Deals (sales) here.   (And this is another fabulous option for more savings.) 
Give yourself a couple of weeks for printing and shipping.  I love doing this at Christmastime because I get all my "shopping" is DONE in November, which means I can relax in December!!  

Now THAT'S a great idea!

Don't hesitate to contact me with questions!  I love helping people create and give such meaningful gifts.  Check out the Christmas in September plan for more ideas and savings.

Share this post with someone who would love fantastic and unique gift ideas
using the share buttons at the left, then Pin this image to Pinterest to save it!


Friday, October 2, 2015

I'm not a salesperson


"I'm just not a salesperson."

I've said it.  It's such a habit I still say it.  So what makes me think I can work in a direct-sales business for the last 10+ years?

Because I AM a salesperson.  We all are.
  • You ate at a great restaurant and posted about it on Facebook, telling your friends they HAD TO go try it.  Sold!
  • You read a great book and recommended it to a neighbor who ordered it from amazon.com right away.  Sold!
  • You saw a new movie and called your sister to tell her she and her family would love it.  They see it the same weekend.  Sold!
  • You found a great service in your local community that you know moms would love so you tell your friends and they all start using it.  Sold!
  • You find an heirloom-quality, time-saving way to put your pictures in beautiful photo-storybooks.  You tell your friends about it and why you love it.  They're hooked.  Sold!
  • You finally find a digital photo storage company that is private, doesn't reserve rights to your photos, doesn't charge a monthly upkeep fee, lets you store photo, video, and audio files, and includes automatic file migration should any of your files become outdated--with a guarantee for your lifetime +100 years.  You tell your friends about it and they're thrilled to find this unique company.  Sold!
  • You start a social digital scrapbooking group to help you and those friends make time to work on your photo projects.  Your friends invite friends.  Sold!

What's the only problem with all these sales?  Your friends are all happy.  These are fantastic products and services.  So what's the problem?  

You're not the one making money.  The restaurant is, the bookstore is, the movie theater is...

As a "non-salesperson" myself, I know from experience that all you have to do to have a successful, fun, enjoyable business is love what you're doing.  

In truth, a salesperson is simply "one whose job involves promoting or selling commercial products." (dictionary.com)   We naturally promote products and things that we enjoy and love.   
 

So think about this:  You need a photo solution, and so does everyone you know.

How does no minimum sales requirement sound?  How about setting your own hours and your own goals?  Your business, your way.  Something that everyone needs, something that can benefit people for generations!  These are huge reasons I love having a memory-keeping business, despite not being a salesperson.

I love sharing photo and memory-keeping solutions because there are SO MANY emotional and social benefits for people who do it.  One of my favorite research statistics about memory-keeping and photos is that it increases happiness by 11% and increases relaxation by 22%.  

If anyone needs that half as much as I do, I'm in business!  (Read more about that study here, and you'll see why this is true:)


I've put all the details of what I do as a memory-keeping consultant, why it's so needed, and why you might love it, too. 

Being a memory-keeping consultant never needs to feel like a sales position because it's really just sharing what you love.  Just like telling someone about your favorite restaurant or grocery service.  Have fun with it and see where it takes you!  

Plus, I'm here with over a decade of experience and ideas to help with whatever you like.  It can become such a meaningful way to make a paycheck that even introverts like me love it!  (Read about my introvert business thoughts at that link.)

Pin to save and share!

This blog post was updated in 2022.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

everything you should know about photos & scrapbooks


I'm so excited!!  I was invited to write a guest post on a website called "Advice Sisters" in their lifestyle column, and my article went up today!  Please read and share!  EVERYONE needs to be inspired to do something meaningful with their photos!


http://www.advicesisters.com/lifestyle/how-to-save-your-photos

(P.S.  I knew it would be edited, but I didn't see the final copy before editing, and there are several mistakes in the editing, so please overlook those.  Hopefully you're not as Type A about those as I am.)  :) 

UPDATE 2023:  You'll see references to a wonderful company called Heritage Makers in this article, but it was purchased in 2013 and had some technical issues and new management which resulted in some changes.  It is now YPhoto, a template-only platform that does not offer photo cloud storage. 

For heirloom-quality books and permanent digital photo storage that is secure and guaranteed private, we recommend Forever.  For preserving photos and memories in print, Forever offers three different software platforms: an "easy button" option to beautiful & fast done-for-you templates to fully creative and flexible digital scrapbooking.  Learn more here and see what is the best fit for you!  Plus, Forever offers permanent digital photo/video/audio storage, digitizing services (like old VHS tapes or slides) and more.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

digital scrapbooking: or, how to scrapbook faster

This post was updated in 2022.

 
You have photos.  You have a lot of photos.

You know keeping them on your SD card or computer isn't the way to enjoy them because you never look at them there, and your children never look at them there, and you know that all it takes is one computer crash or one newfangled technological advancement to make your digital files harder to access.  (Hi.  Remember floppy drives?  Or are you too young?!)  

You know it's wise to have your photos in two digital places as back-up and (and at least) one printed place.  (That link has the best digital photo storage around!)


Maybe you even know from my previous posts that printed photos can last up to 200 years, and the effect of actually interacting with printed photos and the memories associated with them has been shown to increase happiness, confidence, and self-esteem

Just knowing this much is a step in the right direction!  But now you need a direction.  And you don't have all the time in the world.  Come on.  

What you need to know is how to scrapbook faster.  

All righty, then!  Let's do this.  Let's get a handle on the photos, let's get them published, and let's not spend an arm and a leg, shall we?

So, where do we start?  Here are 3 keys to scrapbooking faster.

TIME

Like most things, you don't usually "find time" to sort photos or scrapbook--you MAKE TIME.  (That link has some helpful suggestions from experts on how to do that.)  I suggest calendaring it!  Set aside 15 minutes every day or a couple of hours once a week.  Put it on your calendar and keep that appointment with yourself like you would keep a dentist appointment or a piano lesson.  Even small spurts of time contribute to the big end goal.


TIP:  Team Up!  Work with a parent, child, or sibling.  Or find a friend in the same "I've got lots of photos and I need to do something with them" predicament and work together!  It makes it more fun, and it helps you keep your appointments. 



PHOTO ORGANIZATION

The best way to start is to organize.  Know what you're dealing with.  I have an excellent 3-part series on Photo Organization and Preservation that you can take a lot of tips from--just click that link to watch the series.  Part 2 is the main organization one, but parts 1 and 3 really round out the series.


I personally suggest organizing chronologically (as shown in the video above).  

It makes it easy to know what to do with a photo.  I personally have photo files on my computer by year and month.  So I have a folder called 2012, then inside that folder I have folders called "January 2012," "February 2012," and so on.  Then when you come across photos from Halloween 2012, you know right where they go.  More importantly, you'll be able to find them faster when you're putting them in your scrapbook later.

Even if you are working with older photos that need to be scanned, chronological organization is still good way to organize them.  You'll need to go through the additional step of scanning first, of course, (unless you click that link to find a white-glove scanning service) but once they're scanned, organize them this way and they will be much easier to find and publish.  

If you have a preferred way of organization that works for you, do that.  Doing what comes naturally to you will help you be more successful.

(photo credit:  www.tjinternational.ltd.uk)

It's also very important to not feel like you have to use every photo you take
.  Digital is great because we can take lots of photos, but it can make scrapbooking feel very daunting because we end up with So. Many. Photos.  Choose your favorites.  Narrow down.  Don't feel bad about not using every photo.  There's no rule that says that just because you took it you have to save it or print it!  

TIP:  Don't get overwhelmed.  Just do one thing at a time and focus on that one thing while you're doing it.  Enjoy yourself.  Don't worry about what else you still have to do.  What they say about eating an elephant is true:  one bite at a time!  Here are some additional tips to help with Photo Overwhelm.



THREE IDEAS FOR DIGITALLY PUBLISHING YOUR PHOTOS

Once your photos are all organized, you are ready to publish them so they can be enjoyed!  Digital scrapbooking removes the steps of printing the photos, buying paper, buying adhesive, buying stickers, buying pens, buying binders & sheet protectors, etc.  Digital scrapbooking is hand-in-glove with digital photos. 

Over the years, I've discovered that the most important thing in preserving photos and memories in pages where they can live and be shared is to find something that fits your preferences and needs.

If you want to just get photos and memories in pages quickly, you might not want something with a million creative possibilities and options.

If you love creative time and full flexibility in your pages with digital scrapbooking software, you might not want to be limited to pre-designed templates, beautiful as they are.

That's why I love these three options.  Have a look and see which one is the best fit for you (or maybe you'll like more than one)!  


You can't lose with any of these options because they are all printed on heirloom-quality products (pages and bindings), not the bargain bin options so common these days.  

My recommendation for how to scrapbook the fastest is the Yearbook with Design & Print:


TIP:  Focus on the photo and the memory associated with it.  Papers, backgrounds, and embellishments can make the finished product very beautiful and appealing, but they are always secondary to photos and their memories.  If you enjoy creating, go for it.  But if you don't, stick with simplicity.  

A good scrapbook is valuable to you and your family not because it's full of cute, but because it's full of YOUR photos and memories.

TWO FINAL HELPS

1- So this is all well and good, but we weren't going to spend an arm and a leg, right?  Is there a way to get top-quality memory books without spending an arm and a leg?  

Well, yes.  There are two.  One is to take advantage of Deals (sales), and the other is the (free) Club program.   (There's actually a great third way listed at that Club link.)

2- Many people find that working with others has great benefits.  We have fun and get things done!  Hold a Memory-Keeping Girls' Night or a similar activity--just bring your laptops or tablets and snag some wifi.  


OR join one of my upcoming online activities for our memory-keeping community!  Most of them are free, and they're always helpful and fun.   Click that link to see what's coming up next.


These steps, suggestions, and tips make scrapbooking so much easier!!  I hope you will enjoy implementing them, and that you'll share these ideas, too.  

Everyone who takes photos needs to do something meaningful with them!  Digital scrapbooking can be your best friend.  

If you don't preserve your memories, who else can?

Everybody could use great tips on how to scrapbook faster!
Pin to Pinterest to save and share.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

CRAFTING: Holiday Greetings & Perpetual Calendar Blocks

Back before Heritage Makers was born, I made some holiday/calendar blocks with some friends.  They were this cool design where four sides of a block had letters and you could spell out different greetings.  I've had them on a display shelf for about 15+ years!  

I really like them, but I didn't do a fabulous job painting with stencils.  I realized about a year ago that I could probably just make the block "faces" with a Heritage Makers scrap page, cut them out, cover my bad paint job, and come out with a much cuter end product! 

That's when these blocks were born:


This is the full set.  I think they're so cute!!!  

They are 1 3/4" blocks painted an off-white.  I used to be able to find blocks like this at my local craft store, but I can't really find them any more, so I order them from http://caseyswood.com/, although there are other places, I'm sure.  Order with a friend and split the shipping!  :)  You will need 23 wooden 1 3/4" blocks for this set.

2023 UPDATE:  Heritage Makers became YPhoto under Youngevity (which purchased Heritage Makers in 2013).  YPhoto uses only templates, so the creativity showcased here is no longer available thereBest-in-the-industry quality and permanent cloud photo storage with guaranteed privacy are required for anything recommended here by Photo & Story Treasures, so we highly recommend Forever.  

Using Forever's Artisan program for digital scrapbooking, you can make items similar to those shown here.  This video tutorial shows you how to craft with high-quality scrapbook pages, and this one shows you how to use Artisan to create something unique and then print at home (for instances in which you need thinner paper, sticker paper, etc.)  You can see just a few examples of crafting I've done using Artisan here.

You'll just cut out the little squares and stick them on the corresponding blocks, and you're done!  I actually use permanent double-sided tape for this, but you could use spray adhesive or a Xyron or whatever you like best.

And then you get cuteness like this, all year long:



...And wouldn't this set make a darling gift??


(Only 113 days left until Christmas!)   :)