Saturday, June 27, 2009

Organizing My Scrapbook To-Do List

Once upon a time, my scrapbooks were all caught up. Really. It was January of 2005 and I was working on December 2004 pictures. I don't think you can get much more caught up than that. However, I obviously rested on my laurels, because as of now, I am still working on 2005 pictures. A few things contributed to that.

- We began homeschooling in January of 2006 and my free time was no more. :)

- My Creative Memories consultant stopped doing monthly crops. I got most of my work done at those crops, so that really hurt.

- When I did start scrapbooking again, I was in a group with a Close to My Heart consultant. We did a kit with a specific theme each month. So, I would need to find something like Christmas pictures and would often choose the most recent Christmas, skipping many, many months in between. I was officially working out of order. (ack!)

As the pictures piled up (figuratively, as they were on my computer), I was getting more and more overwhelmed trying to figure out what I had and had not scrapped. When I get overwhelmed, I mentally shut down, so I knew I had to get a handle on this. I knew the only way I could was by a lot of (compulsive) organizing and list-making.

The following is what I came up with. It is working marvelously. I know exactly what needs to be done and am getting so much more accomplished.

First, I organized my photos in iPhoto. I had them sorted by year, but I took it a couple of steps further and organized them by month and event.

I did screen captures of this and printed it out. I needed to be able to sit down with my scrapbooks and mark off what had been done. I pulled out my scrapbooks (one for each kid and the family album) and started the somewhat laborious process of figuring out what I had done and what I was missing. The only thing that kept it from being extremely tedious what the trip down memory lane I took as I went through the finished pages.

Since I needed to know what pictures I still needed to print, I had to go through all my pictures. I put the photos in envelopes, sorted by date and category.

From there, I made the following spreadsheet. The categories (events) are the same ones that are in iPhoto.

Then, I started working on my chart. Items highlighted in blue are finished for each album they belong in. A box with an "X" means it is done for that album. Boxes highlighted with gray still need to be done. If it is highlighted in gray in the photos column, that means I need to have those pictures printed out. I also have a column for journalling that needs to be done (a lot still does!) and a place to put any ideas I might have for those layouts.

I've done this up through 2008. It was a lot of work and may seem like too much to some (most?) people. However, I no longer have that feeling of being overwhelmed by the confusion, and that makes it all worth it to me. And, hopefully somebody out there will think I'm not so crazy and this might actually help them. :)