I imagine that nearly everyone has tried to keep a scrapbook of some kind at some point in their life. Maybe it was to collect ticket stubs for concerts or sporting events. Maybe it was for vacations or family photos. When I first started writing, I kept a scrapbook of my rejection letters, and later, after I was published, I kept a scrapbook of my publications. But scrapbooks take up room on shelves. They can be damaged by the elements or by wear and tear. It seems to me that Evernote is as good a place as any to keep and maintain “virtual” scrapbooks. So this week, I’ll discuss four types of virtual scrapbooks you can keep in Evernote (there are, of course, countless types) and I’ll talk about some of the ways I manage my scrapbooks.
My Bibliography Scrapbook
One thing I’ve been doing for a while now is keeping a virtual scrapbook of all of my “tear sheets.” Basically, for each story or article that I publish, I grab the cover of the magazine or book in which it appeared, the table of contents, and the page on which my story appeared, and I stick each of these images into a note for that particular publication. The result is a neat little scrapbook of all of my publications.
I’ll use this scrapbook to collect reviews on my stories as they are called out to me by friends1. I’ll also jot down notes about the publication history of the stories in this scrapbook as well. The note create dates are set to the publication date of the story or article, so it makes a convenient reference and bibliography, as well.
My Kids’ Artwork Scrapbook
More and more, my kids bring home artwork from their respective schools. We make much of this on the day they bring them home, but then the art tended to find its way into a little basket atop the refrigerator and collect dust. It occurred to me a while a go that Evernote was the perfect solution for capturing the art for posterity, and so I began scanning for photographing the art and collecting it in an artwork scrapbook.
There are a couple of things I do here:
- If the art is flat and on normal-sized paper or smaller, I’ll scan it.
- If the art is on larger paper, or has a 3-dimensional aspect to it (macaroni pasted onto the page), I’ll take a photo.
- I give the art simple titles.
- I set the create date to the date the art was brought home.
- I tag the art with the artist’s name. This allows me to search for art by one or the other.
- Occasionally, I’ll add some notes about the work. Usually this comes from the Little Man, when he describes how the teacher helped him, or why they were making the art in the first place. (“It’s for Independence Day!”)
This allows for a nice little historic progression of their abilities, to say nothing of preserving their creations for future (and previous2) to admire.
Family Vacation Scrapbook
Back in December, we went on a big 3-week long family vacation. We drove from Virginia down to Florida, where we spend 3 days at Disney World with the kids before continuing down to their Grandparent’s house for an additional 10 days. After the vacation, I began3 putting together a scrapbook of our journey and I’m building it in Evernote.
There are all kinds of things you can collect in a vacation scrapbook beyond just the typical photos:
- Ticket stubs.
- Menus from places you ate4.
- Annotated maps.
For instance, included in my vacation scrapbook are the maps of each of the days of our journey from Virginia down to Florida:
One thing I do with a scrapbook like this: rather than move a note from its existing place, I’ll often simply copy the note to the scrapbook. True, I now have two copies, but this allows me to maintain my existing searches and filing system. The scrapbooks become ornamental. It also allows me to maintain a separate mini-timeline of the vacation. This can be useful when planning future vacations.
We were pretty bad at maintaining a traditional “baby book.” But one thing I’ve been doing, for both of my kids, is reconstructing “virtual” baby scrapbooks from the vast array of notes I have in Evernote. I’ve written before about how I put a lot of my kids’ milestones in my Timeline notebook. So I know not only their first words, but when they were spoken. I know when their first day of school was. Their first doctor appointment, play date, or baseball game.
So I’ve been taking all of these notes and creating virtual baby books for my kids. From ultrasound images before they were born, right down to the present day, I’ve been collecting notes. I’ve got baby footprints and photos. And I’ve got lots of milestones. These are easy to find: simply skim through any baby book and you’ll discover a wealth of milestones to capture.
Tips and Tools for Managing My Virtual Scrapbooks
In putting these scrapbooks together, I’ve discovered a few tips. Here are a few that I’ve found particularly useful:
- Use one notebook per scrapbook.
- Create a “Scrapbook” notebook stack and put all of your scrapbooks in this stack to avoid clutter.
- If you are looking for a more realistic scrapbook “layout” to your virtual pages, use Penultimate to layout your page and then send that page to Evernote and move the note into your scrapbook.
- I avoid tags in my scrapbook, unless they are for something like indicating who made the artwork.
- If moving a note into a scrapbook will mess up my organization system, I’ll copy the note instead of moving it. This ensures that my existing searches and organizational schema will still work.
- Have fun creating the scrapbooks! Let your imagination run wild.
- Because the scrapbooks are in their own notebook, you can share the entire scrapbook with friends and family by sharing the notebook.
If you have suggestions for a future Going Paperless post, let me hear it. Send me an email at feedback [at] jamietoddrubin dot com. As always, this post and all of my Going Paperless posts, is also available on Pinterest.