Library of Memories 2: Digital Storage Binders

Apr 14, 2008 9:17 AM

The first step in Stacy Julian's workflow is to print her pictures by Season. She organizes her digital photos on her computer then send the faves (the ones she *might* scrapbook) out for printing. Once these come back she then organizes them into storage binders which are chronological.

As a mostly digital scrapbooker, I don't want to actually print any photos. When I download my photos they automatically get put into folders with the date. However, this doesn't mean that I can't organize them by season too.

In Photoshop Elements Organizer, I have created Smart Albums for each quarter, Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec. In addition, each smart album is filtered to show only photos that are rated 2 or higher (my rating system is 0=no good, 1=ok, 2=good, 3=fabulous portfolio worthy).
This enables me to quickly look through what I have and see anything that is scrapworthy that I know that I haven't scrapped yet. I would like to implement a way to record what has been scrapped (or printed for traditional layouts) but haven't worked on this yet but have a couple of ideas I'll discuss in a later post.

I figure a couple of years worth of photos in these "storage binder" smart albums gives me plenty of fodder for scrapbooking.

Stacy clears out her storage binders after four years. I will just delete the smart albums instead.

How to create a digital storage binder in Photoshop Elements 6

  1. First make sure you have no filters or search in progress and that you are starting a new search.
  2. In the top right of the photo area select the number of stars you want to filter on. If you don't use a rating system them you won't need this step.
  3. On the timeline put the left and right sliders to select your date range. Each column represents one month.
  4. In the Albums pane, click on the plus "+" sign and select "Save Search Criteria As Smart Album". You will be prompted to name your album which will now show in the Album pane.
  5. To use your smart album, click on the name in the Album pane.

If you need to make changes to your album criteria:

  1. Select the album from the Album pane.
  2. Make changes to the search criteria as desired.
  3. Right click on the album name and select Save Changes to Album name.

The advantage to using a smart album is that what is shown is dynamically generated. So if you change the ratings of your photos or upload more photos for those dates, they will automatically appear/disappear from the album.

A similar system can be made in Lightroom and Bridge. Instead of Smart Albums you can use Collections to save your filter criteria.

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