Digital Scrapbooks

A digital scrapbook is created using digital tools like scrapbook software and digital photos, images and design elements. The results can be printed on you local printer, sent to a print service, published as a book or presented online. Online scrapbooks can include additional media like music, narration and audio clips and video.

Scrapbooking Software

  • Memory Mixer [Win – $30] is a delightful platform for scrapbooking. Kits are well-organized and easy to browse, the work area is quite intuitive and the sharing options are impressive. You can use design elements from outside kits, but it will take a bit of effort. Make sure you subscribe to their blog or newsletter to keep up with both some great tips and sales on kits or services.
  • Craft Artist 2 [Win – $40] intrigues me. It looks to be in that sweet spot between the simplicity of a scrapbook program and the flexibility of something like Photoshop. Unfortunately for me, it’s Windows only.
  • iScrapbook [Mac – $50] is a very nice app, but they hide the contents of their kits so you can only find them from inside the app and make it difficult to use design elements from outside sources.
  • Keynote (Mac) and PowerPoint (Windows) are not designed for scrapbookers, but do make a very good platform to create scrapbook-style pages. Both make it possible to export your “pages” as a PDF document for easy distribution.

Scrapbook Elements

There are a number of online stores for purchasing digital scrapbook kits and design elements. The terms of use for these sites often limit use online or embedded in PDF documents. The sources listed below have terms of use that support digital family history projects. Note that individual artists may have their own terms of service for their work. Make sure you read and understand the terms associated with any product before you purchase it.

  • pixelbooking.com offers lots of kits and elements packages. They appear to be expensive until you realize that many kits have two or three times the elements found in most kits. (See license page for details.)
  • Memory Mixer kits and packages are designed to work with the Memory Mixer software but can be used in projects created using other applications. They automatically install inside the app system, but it’s quite easy to find the graphic files for use in other projects. (See TOU.)
  • Scrapper’s Guide provides tutorials, templates and design kits for building scrapbook pages using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. (See TOU in FAQ page.)
  • There are a number of scrapbook design shops at Etsy offering interesting design elements and kits – often with quite favorable terms of use.
  • Font Squirrel offers free fonts that are licensed for commercial use. Many font designers do not allow embedding their fonts in PDF documents which limits there usability in most family history projects. Each font has a text page included in the download stating the terms of use for that font.

Media Resources

When working on multimedia projects, background music and sound effects are always a plus. However, to stay out of legal trouble, you’ll need to stay away from a lot of popular music. Don’t worry, you’ve got options:

  • There’s a growing market for affordable royalty-free music.
  • As more and more artists decide to bypass the big recording companies and do it themselves, you’ll find they are offering more flexible licensing of their music. Check out Creative Commons. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Great news for RootsMagic users!

Today, RootsMagic launches a free update to RootsMagic 7 with TreeShare™ for Ancestry. From within RootsMagic 7, as an existing Ancestry subscriber, you have access to your Ancestry Hints and the ability to share and synchronize data with your Ancestry online trees.

As a courtesy to Ancestry’s subscribers, RootsMagic is offering the full version of their software with a free eBook for only $20 (regularly $44.90). This offer is available to Ancestry subscribers through July 31, 2017.

Get the details at Ancestry.com. 

MacFamilyTree – Awesome Updates

MacFamilyTree – Awesome Updates

If you’re like me, you probably have family trees in Ancestry, FamilySearch and other platforms (MyHeritage for me). Each have been helpful in finding useful records, but it can be a challenge to organize all this genealogy goodness in one central location. That changed when I moved to MacFamilyTree. The FamilySearch connection makes it easy to synchronize ancestors between my database and my…

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MacFamilyTree

MacFamilyTree – Awesome Updates

If you’re like me, you probably have family trees in Ancestry, FamilySearch and other platforms (MyHeritage for me). Each have been helpful in finding useful records, but it can be a challenge to organize all this genealogy goodness in one central location. That changed when I moved to MacFamilyTree. The FamilySearch connection makes it easy to synchronize ancestors between my database and my FamilySearch tree. I can also search other archives where I have accounts from inside the app. Very nice!

MacFamilyTree Search
Searching in MyHeritage from inside MacFamilyTree

Here you see a MyHeritage search from inside MacFamilyTree. Just above the MyHeritage display you can see the search parameters and search site choice I used in this search. After clicking Find, this MyHeritage screen appeared, allowing me to scroll through the results and even open the record related to my grandfather. I do have to manually add the information I discover into my grandfather’s datasheet and I could not download the record images from here, but the “copy to clipboard” button in the source panel on the MyHeritage page did work. Very nice!

MobileFamilyTree screen
MobileFamilyTree interactive tree showing FamilySearch connections.

This example is a view of the same database viewed in MobileFamilyTree on my iPad. Notice the FamilySearch icons spread around the tree. The black icon identifies people who are “connected” to my FamilySearch tree. I’m still a bit confused about the small red icons. Do they mean more information about this person? The blue and pink FamilySearch icons in my tree means there are possible new matches on FamilySearch. The problem is that I may already have that person in my database, but with some different information. Often it is just that some of my information doesn’t match exactly – like I have entered USA instead of United States. Still, it’s a lot better than constantly moving back and forth from one app to another.

Their new CloudTree cloud sync service is very nice. I like that I can automatically sync with my other devices yet still have all my data accessible locally when I’m offline. I don’t know that I’ll put the collaborative elements to use unless my research cousins decide to move to Macs.

MacFamilyTree gives me plenty of screen space and makes it easy to grab information across multiple sources. With MobileFamilyTree (the iOS version) and Evernote, I can pretty much take all my research with me wherever I go. Now that’s what I call genealogy goodness!