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!





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