A scrapbook is one of those things that most of us picture as handmade. You imagine yourself taking scraps of memories -- a newspaper clipping here, a piano recital program there -- and piecing them together into a creative narrative of your family's notable moments over the years. You cut, you paste, you arrange and you start all over again. How could something so hands-on ever be digital?
If you're thinking that taking memory preservation from your craft desk to your desktop will eliminate creativity and personalization, you might want to take another look. The primary difference between the two is that with digital scrapbooking, the work is done on a computer. So instead of getting in your car and driving down to the local hobby store to peruse half a dozen aisles of scrapbooking supplies (and possibly racking up quite a credit card bill in the process), you can do it all by simply turning on your computer.
The beauty of digital scrapbooking (sometimes known as electronic or computer scrapbooking) is that it eliminates a lot of the cost and clutter associated with the hobby. There can be some costs, of course, depending on whether you purchase software and other new technology (for example, updated cameras, printers and scanners) for it. And it does require a bit of organization to keep all of your computer files straight. However, you will no longer have to sort through stacks of construction paper just to find those stickers you misplaced; it's all at your fingertips. And as a bonus, you'll have a digital backup to share your creation once you print it out.
Despite the benefits, you might find that creating a scrapbook on a computer just doesn't feel the same. Perhaps you like the sound of scissors cutting through paper or the process of physically arranging items on a page. Maybe you're eager to try this new method but are intimidated by using the software. If you're one of the former, our digital scrapbooking ideas on the next page might inspire you to branch out with your creativity. And if you're a computer newbie, we've got software tips coming up.