Disclaimer: This is not a post about a shortcut. THIS WILL NOT SAVE YOU ANY TIME AT ALL. In fact, it is an additional step to my already OCD hybrid system. However, if you are a visual person who finds yourself tragically separated from your albums & supplies for months at a time, this may interest you.
There has been much talk/excitement/speculation lately about the upcoming Project Life App. For my own needs, I thought it might be useful for organizing my pages when I haven’t ordered prints for a while. (A while. Ha! I haven’t ordered prints in four months. 2 huge trips later, I have nearly 1000 photos in my cart. Ouch!) The more I thought about the app, the more qualities I envisioned it having. Particularly, I wanted to be able to flip through the “album” but still have the ability to change out photos/journal cards at anytime. I am a very visual person and it would be great to see it—in progress— all laid out. There are millions of options for digital PL using photoshop, but with all the layers and flattening, etc, it never quite fit the image I had in my mind. The new app could be exactly what I needed…or it could be absolutely nothing like that. I have no idea. It is not available yet.
But then I thought….PowerPoint. Normally, I would never think of using PowerPoint for scrapbooking. But since I wanted something purely visual, with no intention of printing, it seemed like a possibility. The fact that I had no idea how to do it certainly didn’t dissuade me. That is what Google is for.
In the end, it was ridiculously easy. To make it easier still, I am going to outline the process below. Part One (today) will walk you through how to set up page templates for super simple use. Part Two will then explain how and why I use them to layout Project Life pages.
1. Open PowerPoint, start a new file. Name it something witty, like “2014 Album”.
2. From the top tabs, select “View”. Then click on Slide Master.
3. Under Slide Master, mine was pre-loaded with several standard templates. I deleted them all. So far, it seems to have only effected this particular album. But the choice is totally up to you. I just like that now when I open it, only PL templates appear.
4. Whether you kept or deleted the other templates, now you need a new one. Click on Insert Layout.
5. It comes full of gunk already! Why?!?! Delete all the stupid little boxes. (Ctrl+A, delete)
6. Now you have a shiny new template. Lets fill it up! Click on Insert Placeholder, then choose Picture.
7. Figuring out what dimensions for these
stupid bloody boxes took by far the longest amount of time. They need to be proportional 4×6/3×4 but actually smaller or they will not fit on the PowerPoint page. For you, it will be much easier. I am just going to tell you. In the end, 4x6cm and 3x4cm—that is centimeters, not inches!—somehow worked out perfectly. Totally didn’t think of doing it on purpose. Just got there through trial and error. Figures.
8. Once you have the sizes you need, you can copy and paste until you have enough for a layout. I use primarily Design A, so that is where I started.
9. I also made a few more of my frequently used layouts. To save some time, I copied and pasted the original Design A template and moved around the pieces. Also, since this is a full layout view (rather than a page at a time), I made a second template in reverse, so the Design F is shown on the left and Design A on the right. That way it is simple to get the right layout when I “turn the page”.
10. Now, when you close master view (big red button on the top) and return to your album document, you can insert the layout of your choice. The nice thing about Power Point is that you can move the slides/pages, easily adjusting for inserts, additions, and going back in time.
Whew! That took much, much longer to type than it took to actually do. Hopefully this made sense and do not hesitate to ask any questions in the comments. I will be back soon to discuss the how and why I am using Power Point in my Project Life process.
Want more information on Project Life? Check it out here.