Both of my picks today have to do with organizing the thousands of ideas we all pull from clever blogs and crafty websites. I spend a lot of (waaaay too much) time surfing the web, looking for inspiration. I'm constantly saving JPGs of cards I love, layouts I want to duplicate and party ideas. I love clipping the ideas, but I never go back and look at them because they just get tossed into a file on my desktop or laptop or server -- never to be seen again!
Here are two fantastic ways to organize the photos and articles that inspire you:
Evernote. Stacy Julian (my go-to source for out of the box creative thinking) turned me on to Evernote a year ago. This web-based service allows you to save notes, clip web-pages, save pictures and store ideas -- all in one place! You can create your own files and access them from your desktop, laptop, iTouch, iPad or mobile phone. I've created Evernote notebooks for all sorts of ideas:
- Card Ideas
- Layout Ideas
- Rubber Stamping
- Altered Train Cases
- Things I Want To Buy
- Home Decor
- Kid Ideas
- Sewing Projects
- and a ton of others
The photo above is a screen capture of my own Evernote files -- I can quickly flip through my Card Ideas notebook and find a quick card to duplicate.
Let me take you step by step through how I use Evernote.
- As I surf the web (generally on my iPad) or read blog feeds through Google Reader, I come across a photo or story that I want to keep.
- If it is just a photo, I typically just save the photo to my iPad and then go into my photos and e-mail it to my Evernote e-mail account (they give you an e-mail account that you can e-mail stuff to and it will DIRECTLY DROP INTO YOUR EVERNOTE NOTEBOOKS! - How cool is that????).
- If it is a full article, I copy the article, open Evernote (on my iPad or laptop) and save it as a new note in Evernote.
- When I'm in Evernote, I will drag & drop the incoming pics/stories (things I have e-mailed to myself) into their appropriate notebooks.
Here's what's really cool.... you can add tags to each of your notes and go searching for them later. For example...
This picture here is saved under my "G's Birthday Party" notebook. Baby G. wants a pool & popsicle birthday party. However, the photo is tagged with "Summer" and "Play Dates" so that I can pull up the idea anytime I am looking for something fun to do during the summer or on a play date. Cool, no?
Give Evernote a try. It is FREE. If you are a desktop/laptop user, load it up. If you are a mobile phone/iTouch/iPad user, get the free Evernote application. What have you got to lose? I think you'll love it.
2. Pinterest. My friend Carrie suggested that I give Pinterest a try. I am loving it as a source of inspiration, but I find myself saving the ideas in Evernote, rather than Pinterest. Pinterest is a virtual inspiration board. You can see beautiful photos and "pin" the ones that inspire you to your own on-line board. The photo above is a clip from my Pinterest board.
What I love about Pinterest is the wide variety of things that I wouldn't normally stumble across in my small papercrafting world. A girl can only see so many cupcakes and pennant banners, right? Pinterest has followers from all over the world that are interest in all sorts of elements of design, color and art.
After you stumble around Pinterest for a while you will find certain people with styles you like and you can specifically "follow" them. Once you "follow" them, you will be able to see everything they pin to their boards. If you like it, pin it to yours!
I hope I've inspired you to get control of all of those crafty ideas out there. Find them a home on either your Pinterest "pin board" or your Evernote "notebooks". Be sure to regularly go back and review your inspiring ideas -- you clipped them for a reason!!