What does a digital scrapbooker need to get started? There’s only a few tools you’ll need to make amazing layouts:
- A computer, tablet or smartphone
- A software program or app that will let you modify graphics and edit photos
- Digital scrapbooking supplies
- Your favorite photos
We want to teach you how to get started, so let’s dive into each of these in more detail:
Computer, Tablet or Smartphone? Digital scrapbooking can be done using nearly any computer, including tablets and smartphones. Some prefer a desktop or laptop computer because of the larger screen or because the mouse gives them more control. There is also a growing number of scrappers who enjoy making layouts on tablets and smartphones because of the convenience. In addition most digital photos are taken and stored on mobile devices today making them easy to access for scrapping on a phone of tablet.
Hardware. If you choose to use a desktop or laptop for your scrapbooking you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of memory. With today’s computers this is rarely a problem but if you have an older-model computer that is slim on memory, you might want to consider an upgrade.
Software. Next you will need a digital graphics software program that will let you edit your photos and manipulate all the digital goodies you’ll be playing with. The most popular software programs are Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements (PSE). Photoshop is what professional artists generally use and it offers more features, but most digital scrappers find that Photoshop Elements meets all their needs and is more economical. You can download a free trial of Photoshop Elements at Adobe (link). If you are a self starter you might also consider GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Photoshop.
Storage and Backing up. Digital scrapbook products and finished pages are large files. To make sure you don’t lose anything if your computer crashes you might consider some external storage. Most people use either an External Hard Drive or paid online (cloud) storage.
Going Mobile One of the great things about scrapping on your smartphone or tablet is that you can do it from anywhere, but first you need to set yourself up for success. You’ll need file storage somewhere on the cloud, where you can keep your digital scrapbooking supplies and finished layouts. Dropbox is a good file sharing app you can download to your device.
You will also need to install a robust photo-editing app that allows you to upload files into it. This is key because you will want to be able to move your supplies from the cloud to the app where you can play with them and your digital photos together. Our favorite apps for this are:
- Photoshop Touch
- And for Journaling Card fans: Becky Higgins Project Life
The great news is that these apps cost less then computer based hardware like Photoshop so you can try out a few until you find one you like.
The Goodies. Once you’re all set up the fun really begins! You get to start shopping for all the gorgeous backgrounds, embellishments, fonts and more that you will get to use with your photos to make your layouts. We have thousands of great digital products in our shop (link). You can learn more about the products we sell and what they do here (link to kits tutorial). Starting with a coordinated kit (or collection) is a great idea because you’ll get everything you will need, including backgrounds, word art, and embellishments all created to work together.