Using Evernote

Bring Precious Memories Back to Life with Digital Scrapbooking

We’ve been telling you for years that Evernote can help you “remember everything.” And we really do mean everything—Evernote isn’t only for your work notes, checklists, and important documents. Hobbies need organization and productivity too. Exhibit A: Linda Rith, queen of digital scrapbooking with Evernote.

Scrapbooking has come a long way from the days of gluing photographs and ticket stubs into an empty book. As one of the most popular crafts in the world, scrapbooking supports a whole industry—acid-free ribbons, stickers, frames, tape, and more all go into creating themed memory pages. But scrapbookers like Linda have taken the concept even further with digital editions of these pages, complete with decoration, stored in Evernote. An Evernote scrapbook can go everywhere, hold everything, and is instantly searchable.

Building a hyper-collage

Linda, a technical writer at Evernote by day, has been scrapbooking for years. Getting started is easy: “Start with a simple photo editing program,” she advises. “I use Photoshop, but you can also use Photoshop Elements, which is less expensive, or you can use some free apps that are available online as a Photoshop alternative.” Linda cautions that working with Photoshop for scrapbooking requires a little bit of technical proficiency with the product, but there are a lot of YouTube tutorials out there for getting started.

“Everyone is familiar with putting photos into a collage to share to social media,” she says. “Digital scrapbooking takes the idea one step further. This is a hyper-collage.”

Digital scrapbooking includes the same elements as traditional scrapbooks: flowers, ribbons, stickers, decorative papers, and blurbs of text to describe photos and experiences. In the digital version, these elements come in the form of .png files available from kits. “My favorites are online stores like The Lilypad, Sweetshop Designs, and Brittish Designs, Linda says. “Start by setting your page to 3600 x 3600 pixels at 300 dpi, and then you can just open a kit and add the elements you like.”

Linda is a die-hard Disney fan, so many of her scrapbook pages take a Disney theme as she chronicles her trips to Disney parks. Here’s where digital scrapbooking takes on a whole new dimension: unlike a traditional scrapbook, a digital scrapbook can link to web pages or videos. “I love the Red Car Newsboys,” she says. “I took a video of the show, uploaded it to YouTube, then created a QR code for the scrapbook. I added a note that scanning the code will open the video of the performance.”

PRO TIP: Add a QR code to your Evernote Scrapbook page to lead readers to a linked video for a more immersive experience.

Move Your Creation to Evernote

Once a scrapbook page has been created, Evernote can work its magic. Save the finished page as a .png, .jpg, or even a PDF file, and drop it into Evernote. “Evernote makes your scrapbook searchable,” Linda says. “It allows you to have context for the scrapbook. When you look through it, you can see the date it was created, the names of the kits and fonts you used, and all the relevant links.”

Linda’s Evernote scrapbooking includes a lot more than just the scrapbook itself. The world of digital scrapbooking includes a community of like-minded creatives, eager to share their work online. Linda speaks enthusiastically of the community of scrapbookers who meet online, on Facebook, Instagram, and through Twitter hashtags to show off their pages, share tips and tricks, and offer video tutorials for both novices and experienced scrapbookers. “That’s why it’s so important to add artist and photography credits to your pages. Giving credit to the digital artists who created the stamps, stickers, frames and other ephemera not only helps support the artists who created them, but it helps other scrapbookers find elements they liked on your page.”

With hundreds of thousands of images and design elements available, building a digital scrapbook is not as simple as looking through a craft drawer for just the right paper or stamp. An organized scrapbooker has to have a system for finding all those elements quickly. Linda chooses Evernote for that task, too. “Buying a kit of scrapbooking elements on Etsy or from a designer’s site is easy, but you have to track them all. If you’ve been collecting for awhile, you start to forget what you have, and it’s easy to buy a kit you already own,” Linda adds. She keeps all her kits on an external hard drive, but she organizes those kits with Evernote.

“Let’s say I’m doing a Disney-themed page, and I want some images of Goofy,” she says. As someone who writes the Help pages for Evernote, she is very thorough in her approach to explanations. “Goofy has specific colors. I can search Evernote for Goofy elements, and they’ll come right up. If I just want elements that take on Goofy’s colors, I have to look deeper. But if I’ve tagged other kits with ‘Goofy’ just because the colors remind me of Goofy, those will come up too, and I can make the most of the kits I already have to build my page.” Linda also organizes kits with notebooks—sorted by  designer and kit name—and tags. “I don’t keep the kits themselves in Evernote, that’s not what it’s for,” she points out. “The kits stay on my hard drive, and I just keep links to the content in Evernote. When you buy a kit, you get a single image showing every element that’s in the kit. I’ll put that one image into Evernote along with the link to it, and all the tags I want to give it. So if I’m searching for red and white polka dot ribbon from a particular designer, I’ll put all those tags in. Evernote will return a photo and a link for every kit that meets the criteria I’ve entered. I can quickly check the cover image and then click through to the actual kit on my hard drive. It saves hundreds of hours.”

Linda’s just warming up. “Evernote is great for scrapbook pre-planning, too,” she says. “Sometimes you’re in a moment, and you know this is something you’re going to want to scrapbook later. You want to tell that story, but by the time you get home, or a few days pass, you’ve forgotten some of the details. With Evernote, you can just tell yourself the story, and when you’re scrapbooking, you can refer to that event based on the notes you took at the time.”

Too often, people abandon hobbies because they can’t find the time to do them. Evernote streamlines the time-stealing search and archiving part of scrapbooking, giving hobbyists like Linda more time for the fun part. Plus, a digital scrapbook page lasts forever. “Your pictures fade, your ink smudges, but not in Evernote,” Linda said. “These will never fade, you have access to it anywhere, and you can share your scrapbooks with friends anywhere without having to lug around your gigantic physical scrapbook.”

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