An infographic is a visually engaging way to display lots of data and Nicholas Felton is the king of turning his day to day life into gorgeous infographics and even developed a social network for tracking the day to day data of our lives.
I love his annual reports but I haven’t been meticulously recording the details of my life. So I used a combination of social media, creative displays and good old-fashioned guesswork to make my infographic inspired layout.
Here are the basic steps for making your own infographic inspired year in review layout.
FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO HIGHLIGHT
A good infographic tells a story. What are the highlights of your past year that you want to highlight in your layout?
For me, this would be the birth of our first baby, the trip we took to Alabama, my weird pregnancy habits and my growing obsession with digital scrapbooking.
COLLECT THE DATA
Once you know what you want to highlight, you’ll need to collect data that relates to those stories. I knew that I wanted to include the states we visited in 2012, so I started looking for some way to visually represent those states. I found this wonderful free font Stateface by ProPublica that includes the shape of every state in the US.
The data for the birth of my son was pretty easy to come by, since I could include the date, time, his length, and weight. You might want to think about more unusual data to include as well, like hours of labor or the number of hospital visitors. Think about the important events of your year and what details you could count or measure that are related to them.
My pregnancy with Isaac involved a lot of Taco Bell visits and I wanted to capture that in my layout. Thankfully, my husband is a meticulous tracker of our spending habits, so I could use our financial software to find the number of times we went to Taco Bell. If you’re not tracking your spending, you might be able to use an online app like Mint to go back and pull out similar data from your bank account.
Mostly because I wanted to use Peppermint’s awesome word art, I sought out a way to include how many tweets I tweeted last year, as well as how many emails I sent and received.
Layouts scrapped was easy enough for me, since I upload all of mine to a set on Flickr, so I just had to count how many were from last year. A trip through your favorite gallery or a quick look on your hard drive can settle this one for you.
WHEN IN DOUBT…ESTIMATE
When you have a new baby in the house, you deal with a lot of diapers and this was something I wanted to capture in my layout. Of course, I haven’t bothered to take the time to count every diaper as it’s gone in the washer, so I needed a different way to come up with this number. I wouldn’t recommend this if you want a super accurate infographic, but since this infographic is for entertainment purposes I say go for it!
To get my diaper number, I started with a number I was certain of. We have about 20 cloth diapers and we have to wash them every other day. We didn’t use our cloth diapers until July, so that’s 6 months of washing 20 cloth diapers every other day. There’s about 30 days in a month, so my math looked like this:
((6*30)/2)*20 = 1800
1800 diapers! Using a daily average you know is a great way to capture a daily routine that can’t be easily tracked otherwise.
An infographic is a great way to capture the daily routines that might otherwise not be documented in your scrapbooking. I certainly don’t want to scrap a photo of Isaac’s dirty diapers, but washing them has been a significant part of my daily routine over the past year. Documenting the number is a great way for me to include this portion of our life into the family album.
The In Review Elements include a few data-ready elements to start with for a year in review infographic. Here are some other possibilities to capture your year:
- trips taken
- new foods tried
- cups of coffee drank
- pairs of shoes bought
- miles run
- friends who visited/friends visited
- concerts attended
- stitches crocheted/knitted/sewn
- apps purchased
- thank you cards sent/not sent
- doodles drawn
- notebooks filled
- hugs/kisses given
- candles lit
- times cmd/ctrl+z pressed
Remember, you don’t have to have an exact number to document it in your infographic! Sometimes even a funny response (like “a gajillion times”) is exactly what’s needed to get your point across.
Have fun documenting your year in numbers. If you do decide to make an infographic inspired layout or if you’ve made one in the past, we would love to see it. Be sure to link us up to it in the comments!
Who’s doing Project Life? Raise your hand. Go on, I’ll wait! This is my second year doing Project Life and my approach is a little different than most.
When I first started, I was all about maintaining the conventional approach of documenting one week at a time – and I actually kept it up for about 5 months.
If you absolutely, anal-retentively (oh, is that a word?) cannot stand to have your pages with different weeks in them then this is the way to go – and I suggest you find stuff every week for every pocket.
For example, in this week I added television shows that we watch around here, a section of a program that my boys went to, books I’m reading. You know…. the stuff of everyday life. Looks good, doesn’t it?
Then life started gettin’ real! And now I will freely admit that I don’t always take a picture or write journaling for every day of the week. I didn’t intend to loosen my approach, but it happened over time and I didn’t even care. I would look through my pictures and ask myself:
- Do I have enough pictures to cover one specific event?
- Do I have enough pictures to do a layout about one week?
- Do I have enough pictures to review an entire month at one time?
- Do I have enough pictures to review several weeks at one time?
I let the photos decide.
A MORE ORGANIC APPROACH
Below you can see an example where I’ve documented almost an entire month’s worth of photographs. It makes it more flexible.
I found that by not worrying about whether I had enough pictures for the week – or even that I took a picture everyday – I took more meaningful pictures than I would normally take and I let go of the stuff that I really didn’t care about documenting. I didn’t want to struggle every day with what to take a picture of. I really wanted it to be organic.
I’ve made 2 page spreads covering a month of time, 6 weeks of time or even a specific event, like our vacation to California.
I allow my album to be very loose. I will definitely scrap regular layouts for our trip, but the pocket page format lets me easily add in memorabilia along with my pictures to show an overview of our vacation. This is where Project Life really excels: I would have struggled forever trying to add all this cool stuff to a layout.
For my son, Nolan’s, birthday I did a whole page just for him. And you know what? I love this page.
My in-laws took our son on a cross-country drive to California and were cool enough to journal about it. (Yeah, my mother-in-law really is the best.)
When all was said and done I added all of Nolan’s postcards and pictures from his disposable camera into the pockets and just tossed her journaling in an 8.5×11 page protector. No need to rewrite all the stuff! Easy, guys. Make this easy!
I found Project Life to be the best place to put all the “stuff” of life. I have my son’s report cards in there. I have his basketball medal in there. I have some of his artwork and even some of his school work in there. If you are not doing the whole tooth fairy thing, this could even be a good place to put those teeth if you’re the type to keep them.
I found myself hem-hawing about December Daily. I have done several mini books in the past and was really digging my free-form Project Life approach. I’ve always had issues with the design aspect of the December Daily, so I finally decided to incorporate it into my Project Life album.
Like the second half of my year I let it flow very organically. Some weeks I had the traditional 7 photos for the week, while another spread covers the span of 2 weeks. I used great little number badges to label the dates of the pictures, wrote some journaling and called it great. Easiest December Daily ever!
My advice for those that are working on Project Life this year is this: Try not to get caught up on the photo-a-day.
It really doesn’t have to be this way. I pinkie swear! Take pictures, put them in the pockets, write some words down and see what happens.
Don’t give up if you start out with a photo-a-day just to fizzle out to a handful a week. Throw those puppies in there and just write the dates that those photos cover on the “title card.” You will be amazed at the end of the year with what you have.
I love social media as much as the next girl, but sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to privacy.
A few weeks ago I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and curious monkey that I am, I decided to check out an acquaintance’s photo map. This person is very notable in the photography industry and is followed by thousands, so I was quite surprised to see that when I clicked their Instagram Photo Map I could see exactly where they lived. Down to the street level…
I LOVE what GPS has done for memory keeping. I imagine years from now that my grandchildren will have a great time viewing my photos in the context of WHERE they were taken. It adds a completely new dimension to things because places survive long after we are gone. What I wouldn’t give for a map of where all the family photos I have from the 50′s were taken.
However, we live in a time when the combination of social engineering and social media makes one quite the target for fraud if we aren’t careful. I’d like to believe we don’t have anything to worry about, but then I’m forwarded articles like this and I realize that for many, social engineering is a game. The sad part is that many of us don’t even realize we are all playing.
Which brings me back to Instagram. Who doesn’t love Instagram? For many it’s become an online scrapbook of choice. There’s just one problem – it’s also a great place to share information that gives social engineers just what they are looking for to steal your identity.
So how to find a happy medium? The goal here is to give you options to secure your information to the level you want – which will depend on the reasons you are using Instagram in the first place (i.e. business/personal).
(Note from Peppermint: These instructions and screenshots below are for the iOS version of Instagram, menus in the Android version will appear differently.)
1. A Name Few Will Remember
First things first. When you create your Instagram account, think twice about your username. If there’s a social engineer that wants a few pieces of your information puzzle, the first place they are going to search for your name is social media. Don’t make it easy for them! Create a username that’s a bit off the wall – make it something friends will recognize, but a social engineer will miss.
2. It Starts With The Photos You Take
IF you love GPS info for personal use, but don’t necessarily want to share your location with all your Instagram followers, I have a solution. From your profile click the settings wheel in the upper right corner.
Next under Save To Library > Original Photos, move the setting to ON.
Now the next time you take a photo at home and don’t want to share your location, just make sure that Add To Your Photo Map is set to OFF.
This does give you double the photos in your camera roll, but at the same time gives you the best of both worlds with GPS information AND location privacy. Side by side you can see the Instagram photo contains no location information…
While its original counterpart includes all the location information:
**One small Photo Flow sidenote here, once I import my Instagram images into Lightroom, I just copy and paste the GPS information from the original to the Instagram version and delete the unedited original.**
3. Instagram –> Facebook
One other thing – if you are sharing to Facebook and your default privacy settings are public, all the Instagram privacy settings in the world won’t help. So take a trip to Facebook and choose the settings wheel > Account Settings in the upper right corner of your Home page.
Then choose Apps from the left column
Scroll through the list of apps until you see Instagram and choose Edit. Then set your privacy to whatever level you want. This will be the default for who sees all your photos from Instagram.
4. Lock It Down
One way to really protect your information is to go completely private with your Instagram profile. To do this, click the settings wheel in the upper right corner of your profile and then set Photos Are Private to ON under Account.
This not only removes your public profile from Instagram, it also does a number of things to protect the photos you post on Instagram. However, if you already have a bunch of people you don’t know following you, you need to delete people you don’t know from your followers.
From your profile, Click on followers to see your followers. Look for a follower you don’t know and click on their username.
Click on the arrow in the upper right corner and then click Block User.
Once you remove followers you don’t know, your photos will only be shared with approved followers. If a someone new wants to follow you, you will receive a request to approve before they can see your files.
5. Privacy & #Hashtags
I love hashtags as much as the next person. They add so much flavor and fun to a post. They are also a nifty little tool when it comes to viewing photos in the context of your feed as well as the context of all users on Instagram using the same hashtag. Which begs the question – what happens when you have your photos set to private and you use hashtags?
If a user isn’t an approved follower, they will not see your photos in hashtag feeds..
If a user is an approved follower, they will be able to see your photos in hashtag feeds…
6. The Nuclear Option
So there you have it – lots of info on Instagram. I’m really curious to know what you all think and what level of security you choose and why – please share away in the comments.
Nothing offers reassurance the way a day planner can. It lets you know what lies ahead in the day and keeps you on track. And nothing beats the sense of accomplishment you get when you look back at the end of the day and see how many things you have ticked off, achieved, and completed.
I waffle back and forth between electronic and paper planners. I’ve been predominantly electronic for the past couple of years, but this year I opted for a beautiful little paper number by Laurel Denise that I leave laying out on my desk. I just felt like writing this year, and this planner is so classic and elegant that I find myself smiling every time I write in it.
On that note, I’m excited to announce the arrival of my latest collab with Paislee Press. Dayplanner and the coordinating Dayplanner Journal Cards are perfect for documenting big milestones or the everyday wins in your life. To say that I am totally in love with it is an understatement. I love working with Liz, and I always love the results. ♥
Early Bird Savings
|| LAYOUTS BY THE FLOCK & THE POLLYS ||
Hi everyone. I’m beyond thrilled to be here with my first post for the One Little Bird blog. Today I wanted to share with you a tutorial for how to create non-destructive cut out shapes on a background paper using clipping masks and the Inner Shadow layer style. Make sure to read on down to the end for a special treat from Peppermint!
Let me share with you an example of what I’m talking about. Here is a beautiful layout by Susanne. Notice on the right side of the layout how you can see three long rectangles cut out from background paper and to show a zigzag striped paper underneath? I’m going to teach you an easy way to create this look without having to do anything as permanent as cutting away pieces of the background paper – so you can alter and move the cut out through your design process as necessary.
Materials: Generations by One Little Bird & Paislee Press; Round about now vol. 2 by Paislee Press; Mix Max Vol. 3 by Jimbo Jambo Designs; picture by Marika Burder.
Are you ready to try this out for yourself? In this video I will walk you through the process. I’m using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, but you can use this trick with any program that allows for inner shadows.
TIPS & TRICKS
1. Make sure all your shadows on your page are going in the same direction. If your shadows are all going down and to the left of your elements (like on my page), then your inner shadows should be in the top right corner of the shape, making it look like a shadow on the background paper is down and to the left.
2. I like to keep the paper layer that is clipped to the shape layer separate from the shape layer instead of merging them. If you do this, keep the inner shadow style on the shape layer. And if you want to move the shape, make sure you move just the shape layer and leave the paper layer still. As you move the shape you will then reveal different parts of the paper layer as you would if you cut a shape out of a different part of the background.
3. You could use this same technique for cutting shapes out of other papers, elements, or even pictures. Create a shape. Copy the layer that you want to show through and bring it over the shape and clip it to the shape. Then add an inner shadow to the shape. You could even use letters instead of shapes to make a cool cut out title on a layout.
4. Because your cut outs are actually on new layers and not part of the background layer, make sure you don’t let papers or elements slip “under” them. Let me show you what I mean. In the image below follow the red arrow and you will see that I let my journaling card go “under” the cut out star making it look unrealistic like the star is being cut out of both the journal card and the background.
Instead, the card should be in the layer above the star shape like this:
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and can have fun “cutting things out” on your digital pages. Here is a peek at my finished layout:
Materials: Big Ideas by One Little Bird. Font is Apple Symbols.
To help you get this look on your own pages, Peppermint is offering her Cut Out Like Me shadows for free. Click the button below to download them.
PSE 7-10 Users: See the PSE Installation Guide for instructions on how to install these layer styles in your software. (PSE 11 users, it’s just a simple drag and drop!)