Pre-planning digital pages and projects – part 2


Welcome to part 2 of Pre-Planning Digital Pages. I (Katie) posted part 1 last Friday so if you missed it, you might want to go back and read it over so you are ready for the next steps I’m going to share here today.

Putting some advance thought into this project has been very helpful. I have been browsing through the Ali’s pages for her December Daily album this year and I also went back through her archives to look at her 2008 album. I fully intended to do a December Daily album in 2008 but I only finished about 4 pages before I gave up. This year, I know it will be so much easier because I’m taking her advice and “building the bones” of my album ahead of time. The difference is that I’m doing it all DIGI style!

Let me emphasize that the steps I’m going through here can apply to ANY album (or pages) that might be put together ahead of time. (Vacation, baby, and other events are also great projects that can benefit from pre-planning!)

Here’s the album I’m going to use. Remember, that I am going to add on to this each year until it is full. I could just as easily do this as a stand-alone album like Ali does. My album looks pretty plain so I might try to embellish it up a bit. (that is a subject for another post!)

Now for the inside:

I want to have a least one layout per day to work on for the length of time the album will cover. I know that some topics might warrant a 2 page spread to tell the story I want to capture. I also want to go a day beyond Christmas (many scrappers choose to do December days 1-25 for this project) because I want to recap the season and do a sort of roundup at the end. I’m estimating that this album will be about 35 pages at the most.

Being the digi shopper that I am, I already have a lot of Christmas themed kits and plenty of reds and greens to build a seasonally themed album. I know I will want to use some of my basic supplies as well (kraft paper, fonts, etc.) The best way I can see to make this project manageable and cohesive is to limit what I plan to use. My first reaction to limiting my choices is probably the same as yours – what if I want to use something else? What if I miss out on putting the perfect Santa embellishment on a page? It really isn’t a big deal. I will give myself permission to add more if I need it, but I don’t want to waste time exploring my files, I want to pre-make 30 or so scrapbook layouts and that is my focus. It isn’t about the product, it is about being ready to capture and document memories.

Here are a few of the digital ingredients I’m going to use:

For a full list of supplies with links, check out this blog page.

Once I decided on the products to use, I copied all of my ingredients to a working file called December Daily. Each kit/template will still remain filed in its original location on my external hard drive, but I have a working copy of each one stored in a folder on my laptop for ease of use. This is like setting out all the ingredients on your counter that you will need to make cookies.

Here is a preliminary version of my December calendar. I also reviewed my blog archives for the past few Decembers to help me get an idea of what we usually do during the month and what I want to plan for. The planning that went into this calendar helped me shape my album and now I actually feel pretty organized for the upcoming month. This gave me an excuse to check in with family members and friends about party dates, and my children were thrilled to get some input for planning some outings. I’ve changed the dates around and left out personal details since I’m posting this online.

The calendar will most likely have changes made to it, and I know there will be additions. I also realize that there are December memories that don’t revolve around the calendar such as; special recipes, family fun time, holiday books, religious beliefs, special holiday programs, regular routines, and some happenings that I’m not anticipating. However, this schedule and these ideas have given me the framework I needed to put together pages that will easily fit the memories I hope to create in the month of December.

Now it’s time for the construction of the actual pages. Instead of digging out eyelets, punches, and adhesive, I am working with a mouse and a laptop!

These are the previews of all the pages I pre-made for this project. They are all still in layered psd format in my file so I can alter anything I need to. You could make them into flattened .png format quick pages if you wanted to. I saved a preview of each layout so I could share the images here. You might find it useful to save a working preview image (jpeg or TIFF format) so you can easily view the half-completed pages when browsing through your file.

The beauty of doing this project in digital format is that I can easily switch things around. If we don’t go to the Festival on the 10th, I can simply switch things around and put the page in its proper place. I can rearrange the embellishments or word art if I decide to go with a totally different event to document.

What about memorabilia or papers such as newsletters and cards? I will do some scanning of non-digital items and include them. I don’t plan to include cards and newsletters in this project though as this album will be more about my family’s December memories. I might include a list of gifts and cards we receive from friends to include on a digital layout for this book.

I won’t be printing these pages out in advance because I will wait until the photos and journaling are added. I am going to try and send layouts in to be printed (I use or my local Costco photo center) at least twice during the month of December so we can enjoy the album during the season. If you want to do a photo-book type of album (such as Shutterfly), then you will need to wait until the album is complete before printing it. That is really the only disadvantage I can think of in doing this as a digital project. However, you would have a beautiful and completed album to set out next year.

Ali addressed a lot of questions about her Daily December project on her blog and many of them apply to digital scrapbookers as well so you might want to read through them. If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comment section and I will do my best to answer them or I will have the team here at The Daily Digi help me out.

I will also plan to share some of my completed pages sometime during the month of December so you can see how it all comes together.