Workspace Wednesday : How I Batch Plan Layouts

Workspace Wednesday : Batch Planning Layouts | Nicole Reaves

I've set a mini goal to make six layouts this week and on Monday, I already found myself stalling with starting. I needed to choose layout topics, product to use and print the photos, plus schedule time to work on the layouts. Rather than do each of those steps for six projects, I decided start working in batches.

First, I went through the small pile of photos I already had printed for story triggers. Usually these are duplicates from other projects, in particular, the Portland Handbook I was working on last weekend. I flipped through for photos that didn't make it into my album, that had a meaningful story behind it, that I could turn into a layout. 

Next, I grabbed a couple of old Studio Calico kits (I'm working through killing my 2014 kits) and looked for colors or themes that coordinated with my photos. In the end, I picked out pieces of Hello Hello and Penny Arcade to build my layouts off of. While I dug through the product in those bags, I came up with a couple more layout ideas that I will need to print photos for once I come up with a design. At this point I started making small piles for each layout - including cardstock, patterned paper, stamps, stickers and other embellishments, and my photos (or a note on what to print later).

I still needed two more layout ideas, so I browsed through my Pinterest scrapbooking board and my Studio Calico Inspiration Book. The SC feature is particularly helpful because I've organized them by kit. When a new kit comes out each month, I start a new folder and name it after the kit, along with the month and year. First I add layouts I love from the Creative Team, and later I add my favorite kit projects from members who post in the gallery. This always helps me along when I'm stumped on how to use an embellishment or stamp that is a little outside my box. I found two layouts to scrap-lift in my Inspiration Book and added two more layout piles to my collection.

This week, as I find time in my day to make some progress on the layouts, I can quickly decide on a layout to work on and start putting it together. At the very most, I have to print out a photo to go with it, but otherwise, I'm at my desk making. I started with the "easy" ones first - the layouts I had a clear vision for, and getting those done has given me some momentum to keep going.

Sometimes my layouts start with the photo, or the story, or the product. I'm not terribly consistent about that. But because I have so many layouts to make in the next few months and a fair amount of product to use up - it works for me to do a little of each. What matters is I have a solid starting point for six new layouts to work towards my 50 layouts goal, instead of going back to the drawing board when I finish each page.

Have you ever tried to pre-plan several layouts at once before sitting down to create?