• Getting Creative with "Documenting Life Templates" Part 1

    Katie Pertiet's new "Documenting Life Notebook Daily Stories" template series is a wonderfully creative way to record your memories with or without photos. The diary-style templates are layered with delightful details that are fully customizable. These templates give you the look of a trendy “junk journal” which is so popular right now. From the convenience of your own computer, you can capture your thoughts and adapt the design to fit your mood or aesthetic. In this tip series, we will explore a variety of ways to get creative with these fun new templates.

    What's it all about? Junk journals are handmade mixed media books that are filled with words, ephemera, images, scraps and other art. They can be used for whatever purpose suits you. The Daily Stories templates take the whole trend digital, allowing you the freedom to personalize the project to create anything from a scrapbook page to a daily planner. Each of the templates features an open notebook with digital clips “securing” the pages. Here are a few ways you may like to use the templates:

    • A "Project Life" scrapbook where you record snippets of your daily life. Write down random thoughts, life events, funny moments or whatever you'd like to remember about your everyday life. Don’t be afraid to tuck photos into the design to keep a visual record, too.
    • Personal journals – keep a template in progress on your computer desktop and pour your heart into it periodically or daily. There are mental, emotional and creative benefits to keeping such a journal.
    • Gratitude or Happiness journal – Focus on the positive by using a template to write down the blessings in your life. Reading through your entries can give you a lift on a difficult day.
    • Making lists – this format is perfect for making lists of everything from your own accomplishments to home-improvement plans. If you are a list-maker, using a Daily Story template helps you record your lists in a visual way that will be fun to revisit in the future.
    • Progress journals – remember the journey and what it took to get you there whether you are getting in shape, losing weight, learning a new skill or returning to school.
    • Poetry – yours or your favorites
    • "About Me" projects can be simplified using a template to write the things you want your children, grandchildren or others to know about who you are. Since memories are often snippets, the templates’ text boxes provide the perfect space for jotting down the information without getting overwhelmed.
    • Quotable quotes that inspire or entertain you
    • Vacation diary – if you take your laptop on the trip, you can write down your daily destinations, thoughts, reactions and feelings as you go. Or wait until you return home to make a record of the experience.
    • Garden journal – keep a record of your planting and preparation, successes and failures, weather and dates or favorite varieties to refer to year after year

    One or More: Since there are a number of coordinating templates in this series, you can create an entire themed album or simply use one page to add variety to your existing scrapbook project.

    Change the title: It's simple to change the title of each template to match your project theme. The Daily Stories brushes and stamps coordinate perfectly with the template set, but you can use any title that works with the theme of your project.

    • Just open the template and a PNG title in Photoshop or Elements. To see both documents at once in the editing window, choose Window > Arrange > Float all in Windows. In PSE, choose Window > Images > Float all in Windows.
    • Get the Move tool.
    • On the template document, locate the layers panel and find the title layer you want to remove.
    • Click the layer visibility icon on the left side of the title layer. This hides the title.
    • Switch to the PNG title document and drag it directly from the layers panel onto your template.
    • Drag the new title into place and resize if necessary. Use the corner handle to make the title larger or smaller.
    • Tick the checkmark to confirm the size change.

    Other template bits and parts can be hidden or replaced using the same method.