I’m NOT an anti-chronologist. (part 1)

Back in 2001, I participated in my very first online chat with the Washington Post. It was moderated and very different from chats we participate in today, but I remember being extremely nervous, not knowing what to expect. I had just authored the book, Simple Scrapbooks and for the most part, questions were motivated by sincere interest. I did  have one commenter however that was quite adamant that my book and my approach was attempting to do tear-down a long-standing tradition (paradigm really) that shouldn’t be messed with. She was referring to chronology and she called me an anti-chronologist. I did what I could to defend my position and held it together long enough to finish the chat and then go cry on my husband’s shoulder. After listening, he said, “Are you an anti-chronologist?”

I said, “No.”
He said, “Then what are you?”
I thought for a minute, “I’m someone who is willing to say that there are other ways of organizing content in a scrapbook!”
He said, “There you go!”


Fast forward to today.

Scrapbooking has evolved in so many ways, but the question of HOW to organize the pictures and stories, remains. There is (of course) no right answer, BUT … I have been invited by Noel Hyman and the Paperclipping Roundtable to participate in a friendly debate about the merits and failings of non-chronology vs. chronology.

After we launched Simple Scrapbooks, the magazine, I wrote a book called The Big Picture which further revealed my penchant for mixing things up on purpose, but it is my online course, Library of Memories (now Finding Photo Freedom) has been my boldest move yet, because I’m now attempting to indoctrinate others, ha!

In fact, just this morning I witnessed the conversion process of yet another scrapbooker, with this comment on the message board …

I am too excited NOT to share my progress..I have purged, rated and key-worded over 5,500 photos (from 2005-2012). I printed, sorted chronologically and put 1325 photos in storage binders. I know I probably should not have spent so much time putting my photos in chronological order in my storage binders but I am having a hard time getting my head wrapped around NOT having my prints in order to easily find them. I have my category drawers set up with some awesome things brewing in them. I started some AWESOME story cards and words file. I also made my square punch drawers and I am SO excited to use all of these phenomenal tools. Stacy, I wish my brain worked like yours does and I wish I would have started this whole system years ago!!! Of course, I have spent countless hours doing all that and have not scrapped a page in a long time BUT, when I get that creative feeling I have endless materials ready and waiting for me. I thank you Stacy from the bottom of my heart for thinking out of the chronological box!!!!  Brenda (Bren at BPC)

Please note in Brenda’s comment, something that I encounter often. While she is finding excitement and potential solutions in a new approach, she is still subscribing to some degree of guilt for wanting to put photos in precise chronological order. Why the guilt? Where does this come from? Science has proven that we are by nature order-seeking. My point is that chronological order isn’t the only ORDER available to us. Why then is it so predominate? Why can it be such a divisive issue?

In preparation for this upcoming podcast, I thought it might be FUN to let my blog readers take sides and share their thoughts.
Are you on team Freedom or team Chronology and why?

And please, be as specific as possible. Which parts of your organizational approach, creative process or layout sharing belong in which camp?
What is the single biggest reason for being where you are?
And, don’t worry there is a team undecided too.
If you’re on this team, let me know what questions you’d like answered and I’ll see if I can bring this up on the PRT.

I’m also going to introduced this conversation on Twitter and Facebook, using #WhichTeamAreYOU so feel free to jump in there.

I’ll follow up with “I am NOT an anti-chronologists (part 2)” next week, and share my top TEN reasons for being so enthusiastic about non-chronological approaches to scrapbooking! Come back, because I will also have a special offer to share!


p.s. I’ll be sending Vanessa B and Kim C a copy of Seth Godin’s book, The Icarus Deception. Thank you ALL for your thoughtful comments!






  1. LOL Stacy – I’m on the Free Chronology Team! :>) As you know, I scrap non-chronologically and now store the majority of my layouts chronologically. However, I also have a category album (All About Us) and theme albums that are not chronological. I have chonological storage of photos in my Storage Binders and non-chronological storage in my Category Drawers. I’ll definitely be tuning in for the debate!

  2. I do both. I have a system of photo organization that uses both chronology and non chronology to file. I scrapbook whatever I feel like when I feel like it hence I use three ring binders. Each album is set up to tell a story. I have a life in review which is like a monthly project life. It is chronological easy and I love it. I have childhood albums I am working for my husband and I which are loosely chronological. I have other albums such as a travel album organized by state not chronology. I have a connections album kinda like a people we love and that is not chronological. I have genealogy albums that are loosely chronological. I have an album for fun things grouped by topic and that is as non chronological as you get. I also have a seasons which is non chronological. So for me I sort things how they make sense. Some are chronological and some are not. My purpose is that these are books telling the stories of my memories and my families memories. I tell them how they make sense to us.

  3. Jennifer from Simple Scrapper says:

    I mostly do non-chronological projects because I find connecting stories in that manner more compelling than simply documenting a linear series of events. My photos live in order on my computer and on Flickr; my scrapbooking is where I get to choose the very best stories to go deeper. (In other words, I’m a total freedom groupie.)

    I recently completed a mini album about our dog – grouping photos into specific stories for each spread. I wanted to share her personality, her favorite activities and her relationships with members of our family. While the album starts with her as a puppy and ends with her recently, everything in the middle is grouped so the stories are partly evident just by the photo combinations.

  4. Christine says:

    It is so ironic that you ask this question, I was just contemplating this issue. I was a chronological and theme album scrapper but loved your books and ideas and color drawers, so I signed up for LOM and started the four separate albums, category drawers and storage binders. I am off to a great start but I am still perplexed sometimes of where to put a layout and would rather just squash them all into a one album in the order that I scrap them. I find that the four albums may not be putting things into chronological order but they are still putting your layouts in an order of a different definition. I guess I have just not defined my order yet. But I still love the inspiration that comes on a totally different level with the category drawers. Thanks Stacy.

  5. My photos are organized in chronological order, but that’s more an accident than anything else. I scrapbook what I want, when I want to. When layouts are done, I put them in albums in rough chronological order. I try not to freak out about it too much, not easy as I’m an engineer and any kind of number order is right up my alley! Overall, I’m on Team Do What Works For You!

  6. Courtney M says:

    I am a mix. I like to store chronologically because I like to see the story of us played out like a book. However, I scrap whatever pictures I’m in the mood for, or whatever story I want to share. Lately, I find myself scrapping year by year, but not month by month. Meaning I have one years worth of photos printed and on my desk, and I grab what I feel like scrapping. I do not deny myself the opportunity to scrap something outside that year though.
    I do not feel a recent photo has to mean a recent story. For example, I scrapped a photo of my son lining things up and reflected that he has been doing that since he was one, and how his need for order concerned me at the time. But I’ll file that layout by the photo date, not the story date.
    I think for some it is a battlefield because the picture of chronological is someone wanting to scrapbook a photo they took yesterday, with the story, but feeling they have to scrapbook the photo from summer of 2005 because that’s next in the album.
    I will warn that my system is not for the faint of heart as trends from today may show up right next to trends from 2007! Haha.

  7. LOVE this discussion (and can’t wait for the podcast)! I think that I’m most like Melissa (above). I scrap whatever I want, whenever I want. I do store the LOs in chronological order. If there are multiple time periods or years I go with when I scrapped the page. I actually wrote about this recently on my blog! I think that in the end I like having a book that I can “read” that is about an era in our life. Somehow this system seemed to work better for me. Maybe because there are only two of us, so every layout is about us in some way or another :) I’m definitely in Team Do What Works for You (and HAVE FUN!).

    Stacy, what I want to say to you is THANK YOU for being positive, encouraging and receptive to new, different and sometimes opposing ideas. You are a remarkable person and I am glad to be able to “know” you online. You are a light in this industry (and LIFE).

  8. TracyBzz says:

    Team Freedom of course!! Freedom means you never feel behind and don’t know that you aren’t caught up. I scrapbook memories and stories not all my photos in order. I love making mixed date pages, so it would be impossible to store my layouts in any kind of chronological order when I have 2, 3, 4 different times on one layout. Before 2008 I couldn’t wrap my head around non-chronological scrapping, but I was a quickly a true LOM convert.

    But that doesn’t mean people can’t have chronology. The basis of LOM is chronological storage albums. And you don’t have to store your layouts in People, Places, Things, Us categories if you don’t want to, put them in chronological order. Or use the 4 categories and place things like birthdays, summer vacations and Christmas in chronological order when you do them.

  9. I love the feeling of scrapping non-chronologically, I feel free to scrap whatever I want whenever I feel the inspiration.
    Then, I put my LOs kind of chronologically in my albums, but no stress about that at all :)

  10. I am chronological and love it. I didn’t scrap anything for about 4 years during which I weant through a painful divorce after 26 years of marriage. I jumped on the Project Life bandwagon this year and have gone back and scrapped 2011, 2012 and am current for 2013. I don’t do weekly layouts, but just as pictures and stories come up. I have found joy in my scrapping again and love to see my 3 kids and our lives over the passing of the years. I feel like I still am able to tell all the stories I want to tell with this approach. I do have earlier years to scrap yet and may take a different approach, but really see myself going back and doing Project Life with those as well and telling my stories as I do. I started a journal, that will be for my kids eventually, that I call Random Memories from Mom that I use as a holding spot for those stories, and I envision myself using those stories as I scrap those earlier pictures, no doubt in chronological order. :)

  11. I am on team Chronology, because my mother was. Because I scrapbook almost daily, I am what they call “caught up”, though I think that term is inaccurate. (For example, I like to read, but I won’t run out of things to read.) The online scrapping community provides me with great ideas for projects and techniques, so I’m never at a loss for material for my hobby.
    I look at my scrapbooks as my journals. I store my layouts in the order I create them, mostly because I use CM albums. I do have multiple ongoing albums/projects.
    I think the biggest reason I do what I do is that I have always managed the flow of my photos. And if I didn’t finish a big event, like a vacation, I could organize it and put it away to pick up another time.
    My last remark is that I resent when those “in the industry” say, In the place “called ‘caught up’ there are only completed albums, nice ones mind you, but that’s it. It’s very quiet there, and from what I hear, insanely boring!” Believe me, I am not bored, or boring!

  12. pammie~k says:

    I am primarily Team Freedom. Once I broke away from pages (to sleeves) and embraced freedom I started getting more layouts completed and memories preserved. I scrap events and memories when they move me and do not get scrappers block (which I did a lot when working chronologically) I do need to get better organized so that I know WHAT I want to scrap/preserve – and to ensure that I don’t scrap the same event 3 times (been there done that) I should note that I am primarily a digi scraper but still love the touch and feel of paper.

  13. Maryellen says:

    First, I must say that Stacy, you are my role model. I only wish you could be my career mentor. I truly admire your accomplishments and integrity as a woman, mother and business professional. I’ve followed you for many years and hope that someday I get to meet you in person, perhaps take a class. In fact, i want parenting lessons from you too! I know that your life is not problem-free, but your outlook and achievements (personal and professional) are remarkable and inspiring.

    In theory I’m all about the the Freedom system, but I’m still getting all the pieces in place. Lack of space to sort and store is my biggest challenge so I’ve largely stopped printing out pics for the moment. I’m a newish MAC user and am still learning how to use iPhoto to rate, sort and store photos. When I took photo freedom at BPC using digital wasn’t as robust as it is today, so i’m slowly plugging along. I think the reason we may get stuck in the chronology mind set is that we tend to remember the people and events in the photos in a time continuum. It’s easy to place a date by looking at a location or person and then recall that rather than remember assorted, but similar events that have many different time points. It’s partly a neurobiological thing, further developed by years of practice. In addition, since most probably print close to the dates that the photos were taken, it’s easier to put those photo envelopes or pics in order. It takes far less time and thought to sort them. When I sort for the Freedom method it’s a more thoughtful process, which is a good thing but more time consuming.

    I’m also a big fan of Finish Line Scrapbooking and cherish the 1/2 dozen pages I pulled from your magazine years ago. Now that’s a class I wish I could take because I labor over the design of the page/card far too long before I put it to paper.

    I love reading the blog and comments because I find it fun and motivational. I wish you and your loved ones the happiest of Easter and a wonderful Spring.

  14. Team Freedom.
    I scrapbook random photos that I like or stories I’m in the mood to tell. When I finish a page, I open an album and stick it in – no matter the album or placement, it makes actually looking at the albums more fun, because we are jumping all over the place. I find it to be a bit magical to jump decades and back again – little surprise, unpredictability in whats next. Reawakening lots of points through out our lives.
    Also to note, I have NEVER been an event scrapbooker, which helps me be on team Freedom. Obviously my boys know they were born, had birthdays, celebrated holidays, so why bore them (or their future wives) with birthday layouts every year. With that said, I do sometimes scrap a moment or detail of said event with the event more a side note than anything else. I want to capture the details and/or feelings of our lives.
    Three years ago, I started Project Life simple for ease with a busy life with three boys. Thus my pictures are on the computer in chronological order because that’s how the project works. And honestly I think doing project life (which I do love), has given me 100x more freedom to do the scrapbook pages that I really want to do, because I’m getting life right now with the project. So when I want to scrapbook it can truly be about anything at any point in my life. LOVE THAT!
    I have taken your class Photo Freedom and adapted many elements to my life, and do wish to continue to do more. Thanks for all your work, vision and inspiration – keep them coming.

  15. I am on your side in this. I scrap about the people more than about the dates. I pull photos of my sons from many years/places to write about how they were – what they liked – what they lived, not specifically about a certain date. Now – I do document birthdays and some holidays (not every.single.holiday). I find it fun to scrap now – thank you!

  16. I think both approaches have merit and I use both. I have scrapbooks that have pictures chronologically by year, but even in those I may slip something else in. Like recently I scrapped a picture of my 2 year old grandson sitting in a rocker that was mine as a child. With it I scrapped a picture of my daughter at 2 sitting in the chair, and one of me sitting in the chair as a child. All the other pictures in that book are chronological.
    I also love doing altered books with a theme. I did one for my grandson that talked about love, new life and the process by which we figure out who we are in the context of a loving family. That book has pictures of 4 generations throughout their lives to illustrate different points.
    I have never felt the need to use every photo in a book. I still have boxes of old photos and lots of digital photos.
    My wish would be that we would allow our creativity to guide us. I guess one of the benefits of getting older is I have less of a need to categorize and more freedom to just be. It is nice!

  17. Christine says:

    I do both. There are albums with layouts in chronological order, vacation/trips albums, a special mini album of one year at summer camp that needed more than the annual one page, mixed year pages……you name it. I like to do what moves me at the time. I’m taking your class and feeling like it is opening even more doors for me to capture my memories. As for guilt……I wish scrappers could just let that go for good. Stop worrying that you don’t scrap enough, or your pages aren’t as cool as Ali Edwards, or your photos aren’t as organized as Stacy’s, or, or, or…..do it with love, do it with joy, do it because you want to, do it however you want. (and it only took me about 10 years of guilt and feeling inadequate to get there!)

  18. I am on both teams as well–my scrapbooks are definitely Team Freedom, but I also am in the midst of my 5th year of Project Life. I love that PL takes care of my family historian/journaling tendencies so that I am free to make whatever layouts I’m interested in, whether it be about an event, a relationship or anything else that intrigues me. I have been a loyal LOMer from the very first class back in 2007, so my photos are organized in chrono order (it’s also the way my brain works–I can always remember when something happened) and also in category drawers. I much prefer the look of real layouts–not PL ones–but having PL satisfies my need for structure. So there you have it–best of both worlds! (now if I could just find some time to actually scrapbook . . . ). I’m loving FPF this year again–am still learning!

  19. In terms of chronology, I like both. For instance, I did a birthday spread for a dear boy (now man) in my life. I grouped photos together of 15 years of birthdays. On the spread they were in chrono order but the spread was about a topic – this boy’s yearly winter birthday.

    I understand the difficulty. I am a librarian now. And I also just moved into a new apt. I am organizing my books on the shelves in the entry way by COLO. The librarian in me is getting twitchy bc the topics are all mixed up, and books by the same author are on various shelves based on the color of the spine, not the author’s name. And it’s challenging bc of the variety of sizes as well.

    That being said – mixing my books up this way has made me see them in a new light. I see the topics and the authors and the content itself in a new way. So maybe that is the point of LOM as well. See it all in a NEW way.

  20. Nicole H says:

    I am a chronologist in how I remember events and organize pictures so I can find them, BUT since reading your blog and taking your classes, I no longer feel stressed to be precise about it. I can comfortably group pictures into years or even decades and I have been doing scrapbook pages by inspiration since I started a few years ago. I didn’t know that having pages out of order was a big deal because I was given a photo album by my mom after she went through boxes of loose pictures. I just love looking through it because the pictures are in no particular order, so I can see how things changed (my boyfriends) and how they didn’t (my hair!). So I have certain albums that are in chronological order, and others that are not. And thanks to you: I can be comfortable with both!!! As I’ve heard on the Paperclipping Roundtable, we don’t have to choose “sides”! Looking forward to the discussion

  21. Bec Kilgore says:

    I just scrap what inspires me. I have never been too worried about cchronological scrapbooking. I am an alumni of LOM and am participating in this class, also. I love you Stacy because you have always encouraged us no matter which way we wanted to scrapbook. You are the best and you have given us the freedom to do what works the best for each of us.

  22. I am on the creative chronology team (I have created a new team)! Chronology provides with a sense of order, however, I like to push that order and be creative. Hope that makes sense.

  23. There should be a Team BOTH! haha! Finding Photo Freedom is beautiful because its process allows for both chronology and non-chronology. I’m sure it’s been said repeatedly here, but that is why I love your system so much!! Before FPF, I was strictly chronology and very quickly fell “behind” in my scrapbooking. I couldn’t move forward because I hadn’t created a layout of my first-born baby’s very first Halloween. So that is where I stopped and gave up, because then came babies #2, 3 and 4. Since FPF, I continue to keep my photos on my computer in chronological order and my physical photos are stored in storage binders chronologically, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the FREEDOM of being able to scrapbook WHAT I want and WHEN I want. I’ve been able to create pages for all my children rather than still being stuck on Halloween of 2004, because I don’t really like to make Halloween layouts but felt that I “had” to do it that way. Now, I’ve just decided to let Halloween brew in my category drawers and focus on the things that are most important to me. I love that I can still go back in my binders and find pictures from so long ago and know when the photo was taken. So to whoever thinks that Stacy is anti-chronology they are truly mistaken, because the system and the philosophy are BOTH!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I have been scrapbooking chronologically for 15+ years. I’ve always viewed my scrapbooks like journals, so that is why I do things in order. BUT…I do see the value of your system and am looking to supplement my chronological pages with more “stories.” I want to be a better storyteller. Now that my oldest is gone (same age and school as your son) I see the importance of recognizing and recording more about relationships and meaningful stories. I am enjoying your LOM class.

  25. Alissa W says:

    I found you shortly after I started scrapbooking and took LOM in 2006. So i’ve been on Team Freedom since the beginning However since having children I am more drawn to chronology. Which is where Project Life fits for me. I love documenting my girls small milestones and interests in the moment. I love having a place for ephemera. I love saying here’s what we did the year you were two. And I love flipping to her all about you section to see the other stories told there. I also LOVE planting pictures in my category drawers to see what grows as our family continues to grow. So I belong in both camps I guess as I see the value and reasons for both.

  26. Margaret (Meggie) says:

    Team Freedom for me. My storage binders are chronological but that’s it. I love the freedom after taking LOM. Like the others I can do what I want when I want and am not tied to the structure of chronological memory keeping. I do understand it may work better for others though.
    Stacy thank you for being such a shining example for so many of us.

  27. I used to be an event and chronological scrapbooker when I first started but found I got “stuck” and didn’t want to scrapbookFrom taking LOM my chronological scrapbooking is a detailed time line with digital and paper photos stored chronologically.

    Day trips, holidays and events I want to scrapbook as a whole I use a 12×12 page which is split into 6×4 pockets.

    On the whole though I scrapbook stories,thoughts, which I want to tell. Often sparked by looking at photos. My layouts are separated into topics (asas per LOM). But my layouts are not filed chronologically. The latest layout just being put in the album after the last layout – this may chronological but if it is its just coincidence. This has expanded what I scrapbook and I love that.

  28. Jennifer Cox says:

    I am very chronological in my photo sorting. Just recently, I sorted through several back years’ worth of PRINTED photos, creating piles for each of my 4 kids. I kept only the ones I really wanted to & it was very liberating to discard many (using some of your past advice for sorting/purging photos – I don’t really NEED 10 photos of my son playing soccer every srping & fall…). With that being said, most of my albums are theme-oriented (‘People We Love,’ ‘Holidays & Tradition,’ ‘Things We Do’).

  29. Narelle Jurss says:

    Hey Stacy, Team Freedom – absolutely – after 7 years of LOM/FPF with you. I don’t scrapbook chronologically, I jump all over the place. I do have photos stored in storage binders in chronological’ish order (I do date some photos of my children for age comparisons when they are little – but am finding I am less and less worried about dates as they get older – just months and years). I do store my digital photos by month and year – in smart albums – so I can find things. My pages go into albums – my kids volumes end up sort of in order because I can do this as they are only little and I like to see progression – however I don’t shift pages around or anything – just add where it feels right. Our family albums, places and people – not chronological at all – just straight in behind the right divider page or section page. I really love the freedom this gives me – I can find photos chronologically but I am not tied to any kind of unrealistic expectations about scrapping every photo in order. Can not imagine doing this any other way – and those category drawers – incredible! I started Project Life this year – first time – and I am really enjoying the everyday photos – but not sure I will do this every year – every few years or so would be great. One of my favourite albums in “30 days Hath September” from your Have more Fun class – love to see how things have changed and stayed the same, so a snapshot approach to chronological is really probably more interesting to me – a month or a week or a day here and there – alot like Ali Edwards. ( Actually I have fixed page chronological albums for several years pre LOM, where the page is fixed in and decorated on both sides and so if I cut the pages out and put them in my LOM albums I will lose one side – so contemplating photographing and then choosing to add some as original pages and some as digital 12 x12 prints into my LOM Albums to get all my pages into the LOM system, I want to see them all together in one place. )

  30. I’m for freedom. I took LOM quite a few years ago and my favorite thing to come out of Stacy’s method of photo organization is making connections between photos that are of different people in different time periods. If I hadn’t taken the time to organize the boxes of photos I wouldn’t know that my granddaughter grabs my husband’s ear the same way her father did 35 years ago. I can compare my two grandsons laying in front of the television with the one of my two sons doing the same thing – same pose, different boys and really different looking televisions. For me, these are the things that make for the best stories.

  31. I am a combination scrapper. I definitely don’t scrap my photos in chrono order and I use your categories for my albums (although the pages are loosely in chrono order in the albums). I love combining photos from different times to tell a story (like how my daughter has always loved reading using pics of her reading in odd places and at different ages). However, I think chronology has a place in scrapping as well for certain types of pages. Obviously, things like birthdays, Halloween and school/class layouts are great in chrono order as you can see the differences over time. I like that I can use aspects of both chronology and Freedom to tell my stories more completely.

    And I absolutely LOVE my category drawers and word file. I cannot tell you how many times my kids have come home from school with an assignment needing photos and it was the category drawers to the rescue! In fact, I have moved my metal file boxes to our family room so that they are accessible for everyone to look through. I often find my kids looking through different categories laughing with memories – so AWESOME! We also often read through the word files. Thanks Stacy for coming up with such an insightful and forward thinking system.

  32. It is Team Freedom all the way with just a tad of chonology thrown in. Since the beginning of my scrapbooking days , it has never been about chronology I had 35 years of pictures all over the place in boxes, drawers, and albums. If I had tried to scrap from the beginning to current or current back to the beginning I would have given up this hobby a long long time ago. I have always just scrapped what felt good or what I wanted to share with others. The tad of chronology involved birthdays, holidays, and grandkids schools day (and not all birthdays, holidays, school days and not every year). Now that being said, when I took your Photo Freedom class you gave me the tools to take my scrapbooking to the next level. I loved the concept of your Library Albums, the category drawers, the family tree drawers, and especially the family words file and notebooks and the square punch picture drawers. Your class also gave me the freedom of not having to scrap every picture I took. I used to feel that if I took 20 pictures at a party and I happened to scrap that party I had to scrap all 20 pictures. You gave me the freedom of just scrapping the ones that really told the story and leaving the others behind for another day and maybe another story. I love the freedom of scrapping a story from yesterday and then working on a story that took place 20 years ago or using current and past pictures on the same layout. I now have a file full of stories that I have told on paper just waiting to be pulled out and paired with a picture(s). I love having the freedom of picking and choosing the story and the pictures and having all the tools to find what I need when I need it. My albums are now organized into four catagories and my kids and grandkids now know where to go find the album they want to look at and we don’t have to scan through each album trying to find specific pages or specific people or places. It is Freedom all the way for me.

  33. Hmm, I totally team freedom in my digital library of layouts & photos (I’m a digi scrapper), but when I print them out I file them in chronological order. I wonder as I create more layouts over the years if that will change. I print photobooks, but I’m happy to reprint them in the future if I want to add a page.

  34. I just listened to the chronology debate on PRT, and I loved the discussion. I am a photo freedom scrapper, and the discussion made me think about one of the many things I absolutely love about scrapping non-chronologically. When I go back and choose from old pictures to scrap, I have much more perspective now then I did when I took the photos. For example, when my son was 2, he was obsessed with hockey, and he used to chase a plastic puck around the backyard a lot. It made for some cute pictures, but I never was inspired to scrap them. My son is now 8, and he is still obsessed with hockey. Last summer, I ran into those old photos in my Photo Freedom albums. I instantly had a rich story to tell about how he has loved hockey his whole life and how much it has taught him about grit, teamwork, and competition. That is perspective I never would have had if I had simply scrapped those pictures in chronological order. And those are the kinds of stories that I most enjoy revisiting in my scrapbook albums after I have scrapped them.

    • I love this Robyn! I have a three year old so I’m kind of in the take the photos for the sake of cuteness phase! lol Excited to see how these photos can help me make those connections in the future.

  35. Carol in the Land of Oz says:

    I am with Bonnie and Briel–Team Do Whatever Works for You–HAVE FUN along the way!!!! I tired Project Life and that was the only thing that didn’t work for me. I have lots of albums and when I look back through them I like some better than others but I love them all! My kids books are mostly the Story of So n So. They are more choronological. My family books are the Story of Us–and we are all over the place! My Christmas albums are mostly for all the photos sent to me at that time (a friend once had a fire and I was able to send her kids school photos back to her!) I should take the project life pages that I completed and work them into the family books like Noelle does. I make mini books for college years–mostly because they don’t share many pictures (or appropriate ones!) and mini books for different things along the way. I love the hobby/craft and I really love all the supply goodies! I struggle with keeping it all organized. I am taking LOM and Organization FUNdamentals to help. I mostly get in my little world and have fun! I loved the show and comparing and contrasting. Use what works for you and let all the rest roll off!

  36. Left a long comment over at PRT. Loved the episode! You did a great job as always, Stacy! I’m in the middle right now–I have LOM albums that are three ring binders so things are stored loosely chronological in them, but I don’t have to scrap in order. Then enter Project Life: it is taking the place of my” Things We Do” album right now. I can always add that back in the future if I need to. But here’s the fun part for me: I’ve added in space in my PL album for the story-based/LOM approach type layouts. It’s so much fun!! Love the mix of “weekly” spreads (not all mine are a true week) and a monthly overview; and more theme based/story based full page or two page layouts or inserts.

    I want to go back and do prior years and am considering doing Jennifer Wilson’s idea to add in the LOM sections in the PL album. So, I could do a monthly overview along with themed sections. Have a feeling that could be very fun. OR I could add those theme based PL spreads in my LOM albums. Haven’t decided yet.

    Guess I’m just team “memory keeper!”

  37. Just listened to this PRT whilst grocery shopping (great way to make grocery shopping more fun and tune out others’ conversations, lol) and really enjoyed the conversation. As always, everyone was very gracious and respectful in the discussion even when holding opposing views.

    I am a tried and true chronological scrapbooker. And listening to the PRT prompted me to really think about why. After putting away the eggs and ice cream, I actually sat down with a pen and scrap paper and wrote it all down. Let me share with you all:
    1. I scrapbook for me mostly, and others in the pictures, and what I choose to remember for the rest of my life are the big moments and events that I experience. I mix in a little everyday life, but most of what I scrap are the bigger things on the calendar, including milestones in relationships.
    2. Just like an experience shapes how you will view future experiences in life, I feel this way about scrapbooking. I feel like my scrapbook needs to “experience” 2006 before I can introspectively journal on New Year’s Eve into 2007.

    So that’s how I think. Do I ever get stuck on the “next” photos? A little bit. But once I get going, I get lost in the story and it flows from there.

    One thing to note that helps my approach – I try to keep written journals, especially about the bigger events, knowing that it may be a few years before I actually scrap it and I want to remember the details. And what’s nice is then when I do finally scrap something, I have both the “current” perspective from my journal and also the perspective of time passed and looking back on it. That helps pick out which details are really significant and which ones are just noise.

    Lastly, I am inspired by the LOM system still. I intend to sort my “extra” photos into category drawers to have handy later when I’m “all caught up”. I would eventually love to have storage binders, when I can afford to catch up on my developing. And I’m currently working on some purely relationship/story layouts to sprinkle into my album of dating my husband.

    Hope this helped support the other “Chrono’s” out there and provide understanding for “Team Freedom”.

  38. I just took your class Finding Photo Freedom. And although I have to finish the class due to getting massively sick in the middle of it, I loved it. Even the couple weeks worth of materials that I managed to get through (prior to getting sick) has helped me tremendously. I still believe myself to be a mix of chronology and non-chronology. When I move my finished layouts to their final resting place (in albums to share with everyone), they are in chronological order based on the story being told. However, the class has really helped me organize my photos in a way that I can find and scrap any story that I feel like scrapping at the time. As far as guilt is concerned, the only guilt I have is not finding the time that I want to be spending on this hobby. My own fault too. I just haven’t taken the time to rearrange my schedule. I have no guilt, though, when it comes to how I scrap. Even if people scrap freely or chronologically, they should let go of the guilt. That in itself is freeing! Thanks for your inspiration! Jennifer

  39. Hi! I am interested to hear part 2 of your blog on this topic. Is it available yet as I can’t seem to find it. Thanks!!

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