Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Best Methods for Organizing and Storing Digital Photos

Are you in {my Heritage Makers Facebook group}?  It's a great place for information and inspiration, but I love it when people use it to share projects they've created and to ask questions.

A few months ago, Angela posted a great question.  Here's her post:
"Looking for some advice on best methods of organizing and storing photos.  Please share your methods!  Go!  Thanks!"
This is a great question!  This is such a common question and common need that I want to share the answer with you, too.  Here's what I told Angela that I hope will be helpful to you also.

There's so much talk today on photo organization and storage that it can feel overwhelming and even impossible.  Some people even pay to have their photos stored.  But the purpose of a photo isn't to store it.  It's to see it.

So here's how I make sure my photos are taken care of, all the way around:  I store them digitally and in print, which are the two suggested ways for storing them.  (Experts say not to put all your eggs in one basket and that the safest way to store photos is in print.)  Storing photos in multiple ways might seem overwhelming, but the way I do it is actually really convenient--I only use one website for multiple methods!  Here's what I do:

  1. I store my photos in print (which, if you Google, is one of the safest ways to store them).  By "store in print," I mean that I publish my photos and memories using Heritage Makers books and/or individual scrap pages.  I choose {Heritage Makers for many reasons, most of which I have listed out here.}
  2. Because I use Heritage Makers, my completed projects (not just my photos) are saved in my Heritage Makers account in case of disaster, from a house fire to a kiddo spilling milk on it.  So I not only have my photos saved in printed books and scrap pages like the ones shown below, but this second method of saving my photos is that I have a digital backup of those books and scrap pages, too!

  1. I'm already uploading all my photos to my Heritage Makers account to make books and individual scrap pages.  They stay there in my account forever (as long as my account is active by being used every 18 months, which I always do).  Here's another super cool thing about Heritage Makers:   You can store all the photos that you've used in a project (like the ones shown above) FOR FREE.  That means that since I started using Heritage Makers in 2005, I now have 14 years' worth of digital photo storage... for free!  And storing my photos in my Heritage Makers account isn't just free--it's private.  (If you haven't heard yet that other photo companies sell your photos, be sure to {read this article ASAP}!)
  2. I save my photos on my computer before I upload them to my Heritage Makers account.  Computers {aren't the safest places to store photos}, but since I also back up my computer to an external hard drive once a month, my Photo Eggs aren't all in my Computer Basket.
  3. Once a year I order {a Millenniata CD from Heritage Makers} with all the pictures from that year on it.  Technically, if my computer crashes or something, I could just download all my photos back from my Heritage Makers account since they are stored there indefinitely (with my active account), but I like having another non-online source to have my digital pictures saved.
Experts say to store your photos one way in print and two ways digitally, so this is probably overkill by a tad, but I know my photos are SAFE and secure, plus I get to actually LOOK AT THEM in printed pages any time!  Print is where photos actually get loved.  

And I've saved my photos a total of FIVE ways in TWO methods (print and digital files) with not a lot of effort and minimal cost.

I personally organize my photos this way.  This video is 19 minutes of you essentially looking over my shoulder while I organize photos and explain my system.

I think the video is the best way to see what I'm talking about, but here are some pointers in written form for both physical (already printed) and digital photos.  Just click here to read:

My niece was here visiting for my daughter's graduation in May.  We were really busy most of the week (especially me), but it was fun to see that during downtime, my niece would pull out the scrapbooks and photo books I've made.  She and my son are the same age (22), and they enjoyed looking at pictures of themselves when they were babies "meeting" for the first time and toddlers playing together.  

That just wouldn't have happened if I'd had a CD or a flash drive sitting on the shelf.  The printed version, complete with details and memories written out, is what means something.

It's what pictures are for.

Get started preserving them with Heritage Makers {by following these steps}.  Because it's the BEST!  Really.

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

Yearbook Boot Camp - preserving a year's worth of pictures in 8 weeks!

Have you preserved your photos and memories from last year yet?  What about 2016?  Or 2012, for that matter.  If it's been a while, or if you feel a little lost about the best way to go about preserving the myriad pictures you've got on your phone, camera, cloud, computer, etc., do yourself a favor and come to Yearbook Boot Camp.   It's all online!  And it makes {a fantastic gift that is meaningful for decades to come}.  

UPDATE:  Yearbook Boot Camp runs in the following 8-week sessions, so you can RSVP/register for upcoming YBCs at any time.  (Minimum 4 attendees in order to hold the session.)
Session 1:  September 16 - November 4, 2019
Session 2:  January 27 - March 16, 2020 REGISTRATION DUE JANUARY 24, 2020
Session 3:  fall 2020, dates TBA

Here's a little 1-minute teaser about Yearbook Boot Camp, then you can keep reading to find out details.  

In 8 weeks you will preserve one year's worth of photos and memories in a high-quality, well-organized hardbound book that you can gift your family for the holidays if you like.

Every Monday morning of Boot Camp, we'll "meet" at a 10-20 minute video call where you'll receive your assignment for the week and plenty of resources to help you complete it.  (And each video call will be recorded and emailed to you to watch later in the day if you can't make the call live.)  Then you'll set aside approximately 1-3 hours per week to complete your assignments.

Look at what you could have in just 8 weeks!  And I'm not talking about bargain bin "photo books," either--these are heirloom quality, fully editable books!!

photo credit: Brooke Mehr

photo credit: Brooke Mehr

photo credit: Brooke Mehr

photo credit: Brooke Mehr
"Jennifer is so professional and knowledgeable.  It was an excellent experience start to finish and the best part is you actually finish a family yearbook!  It's something my family will always treasure."  -Candace, Washington

There are 3 Yearbook sizes and many styles to choose from.  Using a template makes it go quickly, and EDITABLE templates by Heritage Makers give you lots of freedom and flexibility to make the pages exactly what you want.  There are 2 pages dedicated to each month of the year, but you have the option to add more pages if you like.

photo credit: Heritage Makers Template Gallery
"Thank you for the workshop.  I have been scrapbooking for years but appreciate the format in which you broke it down in small chunks.  Never thought of that!  I'm happy to work with you." -Brenda

REGISTERING FOR YEARBOOK BOOT CAMP IS SO EASY!  Just email ASAP.  You'll receive an email with Venmo payment information.  Yearbook Boot Camp is only $20!  Once you're registered and paid, you'll receive an email with a link to our first video call (via Zoom).  

"This was a great boot camp!  I committed 3 hours a week (sometimes less) and I have a whole year of memories done for my kids.  This is super doable for anyone.  Jennifer was always super fast at responding and helping when I needed it."  -Elnora, New York

During Yearbook Boot Camp, I'll walk you right through all the steps of getting your pictures into something you can hold (and love!  and gift!).  The calls will only be about 10-20 minutes, depending on what we're talking about, and the assignments and helps (including step-by-step video tutorials) can be done whenever it's most convenient for you during the week.

photo credit: Heritage Makers Template Gallery

a screenshot of the page-by-page peek into the book shown above

Nothing better than that.

"Thank you Jennifer for doing the Yearbook Boot Camp.  As you know, I've done several calendars and storybooks with you, but you taught even this old dog some great new tricks that I will be able to use for years to come."  -Radeen, Colorado

Although this is (or can be) a physical gift you can give your family, it's also a personal gift that will keep on giving right back to you because you'll have the skills and knowledge you need to keep creating and preserving your precious photos and memories!

There's absolutely no time like the present, so don't delay!  (To register, all you have to do is email and tell me you're in.)  

See you soon at Yearbook Boot Camp!  

Just about everybody could use some help getting a handle on preserving their photos and memories,
so share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your favorite social media platform!

"I love the way you have broken everything down.  I have ADHD and it's hard for me to keep up with things sometimes, but not this.  Your explanations are very clear.  I really appreciate it."  -anonymous

Thursday, August 1, 2019

How to Transition from Paper to Digital Scrapbooking

Memories fade, and photos in digital form are always at the mercy of technology.  Maybe even more important to remember, though, is the fact that photos and memories {have been shown} to increase our happiness, gratitude, and sense of belonging while also lowering stress and anxiety.

At this blog you've seen lots of examples of digital books, from {life storybooks} to {time-saving yearbooks}, but {paper/traditional scrapbooking} remains a favorite method for some people.  As I always say, it's important to find something you love so that you'll do it.  Looking forward to something you enjoy makes it easy.

But what if you're a {burned-out scrapbooker}?

Or what if you LOVE the hands-on method of cutting pictures and using fancy scissors and adorable stickers but you just don't have the time (or table space) any more?

Well, you're in luck.  I can help.

If you're a scrapbooker but find it hard to make time for handcrafted pages--or if you've never been a scrapbooker but just need a fun but high-quality way to preserve your photos and memories--come to my online class.  It's free and only about 30 minutes but will be jam-packed with information!

You'll learn how digital scrapbooking can help you work faster (while it's easier on the wallet) without giving up the hands-on aspects you love.

You've probably guessed, but it's VERY true that not all digital scrapbooking (or storybooking) is created equal.  At the class, I'll teach you what I've found is the BEST out there--not just how to scrapbook digitally, but where.

No paper scrapbooking required!  This class is for everyone who knows that pictures are important and that they matter to kids, families, and hearts.

Here's what Sherry, a paper-scrapbooking lover, said about her first experience with digital scrapbooking using Heritage Makers:

Come dip your toes in the world of digital scrapbooking and see what it can do for you.

UPDATE:  Here's the recording of this great class.

Do your friends a favor and share this with them!  Everyone needs a little more happiness in their lives, and pictures are one of the best ways to get it!  So let's make memory-keeping fun and easy.

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