I know that I am the one that is usually behind the posts here at EJ, but I had to turn this one over to my better half. She has done some incredible things with our pictures turning them into priceless printed books using Shutterfly and has offered to share her experiences with you. Put your hands together for Tiffany and her first post! -Sam
You might feel sometimes like the only way to keep a journal is by creating entries in a journal book or digital app. Maybe you haven’t kept a journal in a while and feel like all of those memories are lost. I’ve found, however, that there are other methods of recording my families life that fit my schedule and my style better. Better yet, this way to journal allows you to collect the pictures and words you have been writing down and combine them into beautiful printed journals with years of memories.
The best website I have found to create these special picture books is Shutterfly.com. This service allows you to upload pictures and text and combine them in creative and attractive ways. When you are happy with your creation, you can order as many copies of it as you would like. You can create picture books, baby announcements, stationary, mugs, t-shirts and even a custom case for your iPhone.
I’ve used Shutterfly on two different big projects- a picture book and a calendar- and have been pleasantly surprised at the results both times. I’ve also used Shutterfly for smaller projects such as cards and picture printing and was happy with how all of these turned out as well, but this review is based on the picture book and calendar that I created for my son.
As Sam has often mentioned, we organize our digital files chronologically and by search whenever possible. Pictures are the perfect example of organizing files by date, and we do so by creating a folder for every year with 12 sub-folders for every month. This was especially handy when I was creating this picture book and later the calendar, because they were based on specific time frames (the picture book was of my son’s first year and the calendar was for his second calendar year).
I don’t write as many journal entries as Sam, but I do try and record important moments, precious stories, and funny quotes. I either write them in my digital journal (ldsjournal.com) or hand-written on a physical calendar on the date it happened. I have also found that you can look up memories from old emails if necessary. Because most of this is digital, I am able to simply copy and paste this text into my Shutterfly projects.
My favorite part of Shutterfly is the many templates available. Once you pick the template you like, you can start uploading the pictures and text and make adjustments as you go along. I also appreciated that it saves your progress so I never felt like I had to tackle this project in one sitting. It takes a while to get everything to look just the way you want it to, but Shutterfly does a great job of letting you preview exactly how it will look when printed. While printing out your creations won’t be as cheap as some of the journal apps Sam talks about, the prices are very competitive. Shutterfly is also always having promotions and giving out coupon codes.
This book and calendar are among my most prized possessions because of the memories they so beautifully display, and I also have peace knowing that if they were lost or destroyed I could print them out again by logging into my account on Shutterfly. Now that my daughter is almost one, I am excited to start putting together a picture book for her that we can enjoy for years to come.
Pictures of these projects:
If you have used Shutterfly please share you experience in the comments below!