Putting It In Order – Part I

Does album organization exist?

I have a dream.

In this dream I live in a neat, organized home.

In this home are book cases full of labelled, colour coded, scrapbooks.

Scrapbooks that tell my story, the story of my girls as they grow up, the stories of our holidays, and the story of my scrapbook evolution.

And then I wake up to this.

Alison Day Designs - layouts in boxes

Told you it was a dream!

But I am on a mission to change this! And I invite you to come along for the ride.

Layouts to Memory Books

So how to do it? Where does one start? Well, I know enough to know that I don’t know enough! And when I don’t know enough, I turn to people I trust who have been there, done that. One of those people is Shimelle Lain. Years ago I signed up for her online course called Cover to Cover. It’s a very in depth class in which she teaches her philosophy on album organization as well as gives design advice and story telling tips. If you are at all going to attempt a complete overhaul of your layouts and albums I highly recommend checking this course out.

I went through it when I first bought it and made a few changes to my albums but … and here’s the kicker … I didn’t keep things up! I was creating layout after layout without really knowing which album they were for or whether or not I’d already told that story before. And you saw those boxes of layouts, right? That is 2.5 years of layouts that were never put into albums.

Two and a half years! This is completely unacceptable!

Where does this leave me now? At the beginning. Again.

To start, I grabbed every single album and layout I’ve ever made (including the ones in the box) and laid them all out on my dining room table.


I have roughly stacked them in story categories. Each girl had a pile – you can see a recent layout in the foreground that I made for my eldest when she turned 11.


Other (embarrassingly smaller piles) were for what I hope to be albums about my husband and my love story. That large pile in the background? That’s our family stories pile. Things like Thanksgivings and Halloween’s and trips to the beach. These will eventually become chronological albums that will tell the story of the Day Family.


These albums here are also a part of that. In 2010 – 2012 I kept up with Project 12 which was to make a monthly double page spread. All those layouts are in these albums here as well as many others. Having those Project 12 layouts means I have a great source for when I’m ready to expand on these albums. To add stories that fill in the details.


I’d also started two different albums for my girls. A post bound album that is about their first year of life. This one contains typical monthly updates – vital statistics, not stories about what we did in their first year. The other album(s) contain those stories. Clearly I have more layouts than albums at the moment.


And this pile? This is my story. Some of these layouts tell stories from my childhood. Some are more reflective layouts about aspects of my life now. I have a box of slides and photos from my early childhood that one day I hope to turn into many more albums about me!


Oh, and then there’s this pile. The ‘waiting to be filled’ albums! At least I’ve got some ready to go!

Well, that’s where we stand at the moment. I’ve made a start but wow, there’s so much still to do!

In Part II I will take you through my Disneyland album. It’s in a half finished state and while I am under no delusion that I will get it all finished this week, I am excited to see how applying some of the ideas and methods Shimelle taught us will make future efforts easier.

Wish me luck!

Have a great weekend everyone!


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2 Responses to Putting It In Order – Part I

  1. Roxy says:

    Ugh, this speaks to me! I started off all chronological in my Creative Memories days, but that was also in the time of film cameras! It seemed so easy to keep photos in order because they came off the role that way, and then I would write the date on the back of them as soon as I got them home from the store…I miss those days!!! Now we’ve got the one bigger camera and the two phone cameras, and I always get mixed up over what I’ve printed or haven’t. I went back to finish a Project 12 album from 2012, and I couldn’t find a single photo of Nolan from July- I looked everywhere! Ended up printing one I’d posted to Facebook, but yeah, what a hassle finding it. I also hate how expensive the good quality albums can be. If I’m going to a store to treat myself, I would rather get some pretty paper or a stencil and spray then spend four times as much for a boring album! Sad but true! Anyway, good luck with your efforts- looks like you’re off to a great start!

    • daydesigns says:

      Oh I hear you Roxy! Photo organization is a whole other kettle of fish that I am NOT planning to tackle … at the moment. I went looking for photos of each girl for my father in law’s birthday and it took way too long! Maybe next year? One giant project at a time, eh?

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