Photos taken with iPhone 5 and Camera+ app and edited in Pic.Tap.Go, KitCam, and Over.
Let’s admit it. We’re busy people and while I know you’re reading this blog because you love digital scrapbooking or are thinking about trying it for the first time, it can be hard to find time to sit down and scrap a page. It may even seem that the more you have going on in your life you want to document, the less time you may have to record those memories.
I’ve been busier than ever lately, so I’ve found more and more of my memory keeping and story telling has to be done in quick little bites. This is where my phone comes in handy. I almost always have it with me and it can do some powerful things for you.
Obviously, the best memory keeping and story telling device on your phone is your camera, but I find that the stock (tech speak for the ones that come with your phone) camera apps usually leave something to be desired. Finding another camera app will usually come with more useful features be that editing, filters, or sharing capabilitites.
(Sorry Android users, but other than Instagram, most of these apps are iPhone only. You might as well stop reading and just go admire your larger screens and possibly better cameras! And beg Peppermint to write up her Android faves!)
For the iPhone, if you were only going to buy one camera app, I would go with Camera+. It doesn’t have a ton of filters, but it has a great lightbox feature that lets you take a lot of photos quickly and then choose which ones you’d like to save to your camera roll. Additionally, it has lots of great editing tools built in and will tell you a little bit more detail about what your iPhones auto settings which can help you get a better photograph. If you have an iPhone and iPad, you can automatically sync photos between the two to edit on the iPads bigger screen. And it even has a simple caption function for quick journaling on your photos.
So now that you’ve got the camera app bug, you’re probably going to have hard time choosing between the next two, so why not just get them both.
Kit Cam (iPhone) $0.99 + in-app purchases
This is actually my go to photo app these days. Kit Cam allows you to basically edit your photos before you shoot them. That is you choose a lens, a filter, an aspect ratio, and a frame and you can basically see what your final product is going to be. It also allows you to keep track of some things that I don’t even know what to do with, like histograms. (Though I hear that those are useful if you’re a better photographer than me.) You can also import photos from other apps and edit them. If you’re kind of a sucker for filters like I am, this is a great app to have.
Pic.Tap.Go. (iPhone) $1.99
The only reason I can’t tell you that this is the only iPhone app you need is that outside of the freaking amazing filter system, there’s no real editing available. (Though they are supposed to be adding a crop tool in the next update and then this may be one of the only photo apps you’ll need.) It’s made by a little company called Totally Rad, maybe you’ve heard of them? It really is as simple as Pic. Tap. Go. Take a picture. Tap to add filters and adjust the intensity and then repeat for awesomeness. It also includes some great sharing functionality. If you need to be convinced of its awesomeness look at their gallery.
So, now we’ve got an awesome photo right on our phone. There’s not yet a version of Photoshop that will let you scrap on your phone, but you can add some quick and stylish journaling with my next pick.
Over (iPhone and iPad) $1.99
If you’re a type nerd like I am, Over is hard to resist. While it’s marketed as more of a make catchy instagrams/pinnable sayings, it can also be used for quick on the fly story telling. The default fonts are great and you can buy even more as an in-app purchase.
What is story telling without sharing?
Instagram (iPhone and Android) Free
Most of the apps I’ve featured give you plenty of options to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr, but there’s still something I love about Instagram. I love opening it and getting just pictures from friends and family. Facbook and Twitter are great, but there’s something more personal about Instagram. I have friends who as photographers post their professional work to Flickr, but only shre their everyday shots on Instagram. And despite the fact that Facebook now owns it, Instagram’s privacy controls remain way less confusing than Facebook’s.
There are a ton more ways you can use your phone as a story telling and sharing device, but these apps should get you well on your way! You can make a series of captioned photos to quickly share and you would already have a great start for a digital scrapbook layout.
What’s your favorite camera app? There are so many great ones! Be sure to share your favorite way to take photos on your phone in the comments.
Making sure your computer is backed up is a funny thing. It’s like storing extra drinking water in a closet at your house. It’s one of those things you hope you’ll never need but keep, just in case.
Since backup is something so many of us procrastinate, I thought it would be good to share a refresher on what makes a good backup plan. I’m hoping that you will take time to review your current plan and/or add just one more thing to protect your files.
Reality is that it isn’t a matter of if you will need computer backup, but when. Getting a backup plan in place now ensures that when you need your files, they will be there.
Automatic Local Backup
The first step to backup is creating an automated local backup plan. This is usually accomplished with an external hard drive (EHD) attached directly to your computer. An important piece of this backup is automation which you can do with software.
Automated local backup happens regularly without you having to do anything besides set it up. Below are a few software options and helps you can use to set this up:
Syncback Pro (Windows)
Syncback tips (links to Syncback Pro tutorials & ebooks)
Syncback Screenshots (links to Syncback Pro screenshots)
Time Machine (Mac)
Time Machine Helps (links to Apple tutorials)
Automatic Off-Site Backup
This is the type of backup you really hope you’ll never need. It is the type of backup you will use when you can’t get access to your computer or local hard drive. This usually only happens in cases of fire, flood, theft or another type of disaster.
There are a few providers of off-site backup – I’ve used all of them at one time or another and my favorite is Backblaze for speed, ease of use and reliability. Keep in mind that you will want to choose the plan that works best with your configuration, internet speed, etc. You can test many of these services. I recommend doing so before committing to a long term plan.
Manual Off-Site Backup (for slower internet connections or data limits)
There are situations where internet service agreements limit the amount of data transfer. There are also situations where internet connections are slower and full backup online isn’t possible. In these cases I recommend using a second regular local EHD backup and storing it off-site (office, friend or relative’s home).
If this is the option you choose, you will need to set reminders and alarms in your calendar to remind you to switch the drives to provide the best possible backup. Reality is you don’t want to go to your off site backup and realize the last time you backup up your photos was 6 months ago…
Lastly, if you don’t have an off-site location you trust you could also store it in a fire-proof safe. However, keep in mind that off-site backup is usually needed when you can’t access your home – so plan accordingly if possible.
A Few Thoughts on Backup
I wasn’t going to focus on backup for this month’s post until it became very personal for me. I’m writing this post from a hotel room I have shared with my family for the past seven days. Long story short is that our builder came into our home to repair some issues and chemically contaminated our house, making everyone sick. We barely had enough time to pack what we would need to wear – never mind trying to gather files or hard drives – we had to get out of the house.
Timing is everything and as soon as we couldn’t return I remembered all the files I needed on my hard drive – emails, tax documents that needed to be filed, etc. We honestly still don’t know if we would be out of our home for a couple days or weeks…
Then I remembered I could access the files via Backblaze. I logged into the site, selected the mail files I needed and within 20 minutes I had an email with a download link where I could restore them to the laptop computer I had with me. I can’t tell you how much assurance that brought me in a very uncertain time.
I’ve had my fair share of file mishaps over the years – mostly accidentally deleting files and restoring them from my Time Machine hard drive without missing a beat. However, I honestly never thought I would really need my off-site backup.
However, that is the point of backup – you don’t really need it until you do and then… Just do yourself a favor – get something in place today and protect your most precious files and photos.
I sincerely hope you’ll never need it, but when you do, you’ll be so glad you were prepared.
Hello, friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend – whether you celebrate Easter or not. We spent 4 days down in Indianapolis visiting Tom’s family for Easter. It’s been two years since we’ve managed to make it back down there (and over six years since we lived there, ourselves) and we spent a lot of time pointing out our car windows saying “That wasn’t there when we lived here, right?” Like most metro areas it changes a lot between visits.
I’ve added two new products to the shop today. This digital scrapbooking collection is an homage to the little crystals my grandmother used to hang in her kitchen window. I remember mornings at the breakfast table spent mesmerized by the little specks of colors dancing around her kitchen. It’s the first thing that came to mind when I sat down to work because April’s BYOC color palette is ever-so-delightfully “spring” – it feels as though it’s infused with sunshine.
Like any product that takes shape from on a happy childhood memory, this one holds a special place in my heart.
Save 20% On These New Releases
All of the products in the April BYOC line are on sale, with additional Buy More, Save More discounts of up to an additional 30% off. Sale ends 04/7/2013.
|| LAYOUTS BY THE FLOCK & THE POLLYS ||
Hello everyone. It’s Christy here today with a video tutorial for you. I’d like to show you how you can create a dotted line on your digital scrapbooking layouts.
The first time I tried to do this, I created a small circle and then duplicated it and moved the new one over so many times my fingers nearly fell off. But I’m happy to say that I’ve since learned about the spacing option on the brush tool as well as a few tricks with the shift key that make dotted lines a cinch!
In this video I’ll show you the tricks! I’m using Photoshop Elements, so if you have a different software program you may have to tweak the process to fit your program.
Here is the finished layout I was making in the video in case you want to see the dotted line in action.
Hope you have fun with this technique!
I can’t come up with a single acceptable excuse for why it has taken me so long to create products for documenting our television viewing habits. I am a certified television addict. My TiVo practically collapses in exhaustion at the end of every week. Most of them on Bravo.
Oh how I love my Bravo TV.
There is nothing like curling up on your couch with your TV remote in hand and a big bowl of snacks – it’s one of my favorite ways to unwind. And my latest release Stay Tuned will help you record all of your TV-related information for the family album – whether it’s your own, personal guilty pleasures or your kids’ favorite shows.
Also new in the store are the coordinating Stay Tuned Journal Cards to use on your digital pages as elements and journaling prompts or for use in your Project Life albums. Both products are 20% off, but you can get the cards for free with the purchase of the kit. (Which is, like, 48% off ? It’s a screaming deal.)