Coordinate Photos with Ephemera and Stories – Paperclipping 196

paperclipping 196

Do you ever find ephemera for a scrapbook page you already completed?


And how good are you at getting around to scrapbooking those bigger stories that span long periods of time or require you use photos and ephemera from different time periods?

Are you on top of those or do you procrastinate them?

It’s easy if your album project is chronological, like with Project Life. You can stick your ephemera straight into the pockets for that week. For my daughter’s dance album I put her ephemera into page protectors in the album.

Easy peasy.

But many scrapbooks these days are not chronological. Most of mine are not. Coordinating the flow of photos, ephemera, and stories we jotted down on scraps of paper or notebooks is one of the most overwhelming and difficult thing about scrapbooking. Over the years I’ve learned systems for organizing printed photos in onw place, organizing my ephemera another place, and my jotted stories in another.

They may be very organized in their individual places, but that isn’t an easy way to get all those items together into actual scrapbook pages.

Is it easy for you?

Tiny Baby (closeup)

This year I revamped everything to bring it all together into one place. If that’s how we scrapbook, why not organize it that way?

Keep your story ideas, your printed photos for scrapbooking, your ephemera, and your jotted down kid-quotes and stories all in one place that is easily viewable — something you can flip through.

That way you can see what photos you still need to print for the stories and ephemera that are waiting, and when it’s time to sit and scrapbook you have a whole bunch of story options with all the pieces together ready to go!

Shine on,

P.S. Need some help with this? I just made a video tutorial that shows:

  • What I use to safely store these items together.
  • My process for getting all the pieces in their place.
  • How my own system makes it so easy to scrapbook the bigger stories.
  • A page I put together with seven different items of ephemera that my parents collected over my first year as a baby.

This video is located in the Paperclipping Membership. If you’re not yet a member, click here for info!


  • Love it! I started doing that a couple of months ago :) I had two empty binders that I filled with regular page protector for holding pictures & ephemera for some stories I’d like to scrapbook :) It’s working great so far :)

  • Fillip65
  • Moejgreer

    I want to look into this Memory Dock system  more but can not locate this exact product you are using. I can find planners and such but not the binder or pocketed pages you are using. Can you provide a link please?

  • Shesquire

    Great ideas! Why haven’t I been doing this?! I’m going to switch to this system ASAP. No more heartbreak over discovering treasured ephemera AFTER completing a page.

  • I had a Memory Dock planner a number of years ago. I loved it. They stopped making it or the refills. I was definitely bummed. I wasn’t sure they were even in business anymore. Looking at doing something similar with my Scrap Rack. Must do something to make the process smoother because right now I frequently give up as it is a major hassle to find everything in a reasonable amount of time. I have some extra pages from Project Life (I just had a shot for you Izzy) that would work, too.

    Bec, happy non-Schmooooooo

  • Veronica Tingvall

    wow this is totally awesome! I want to start sorting like like this right away. I just have a few questions: do you still use storage binders like Stacy does? Do you have category drawers as well?

    I’m using the library of memories system right now but it’s not working perfectly for me so I’m totally ready to try this but I can’t figure out if this should be my only sorting tool or if I should keep the category drawers and storage binders. I would love to hear what you do.

    I hope Hawaii was amazing!
    lots of love!

  • Jcuebas

    Thanks for this video! I loved the idea! I was looking for a way to simplify my startup process to make a sb page, to jot down stories and help me to scrapbook more.  This definitively tackles one of my weak areas, photos and stories ready for when you have sb time.  Thanks! I am planning to use regular 8.5 x 11 binder and protectors because I have it already, and seems a cost effective solution for me.  Thanks!

  • Jakee

    This is the perfect solution to getting my stuff all together.  However, I cannot find the dock refill pages which are so good for the different things. has the Creative Dock, but no refills.  Amazon doesn’t have them either.  Any suggestions?  Scraprack has some pages that might work, but the ones in the video are better.

  • They show the refill pages on their home website here:
    I just don’t know where you can find them being sold. They list one other online store as a retailer but I can’t find them available there either. I suggest you contact the company if you want extra pages.

  • I started this way with the 8.5×11 sheets too. The separated pockets, both smaller and the 12×12 make it work so much better, but I think what you’re doing is a good start while you don’t have the others and way better than keeping photos and ephemera etc. separate.

    I did do the Stacy Julian storage binders for a while and didn’t like that particular part of the system so I took my photos out and replaced them with old film photos from my childhood that I want to save as originals.
    Here’s why the storage binder idea wasn’t working for me:

    1. I didn’t like printing up SO many photos that I never get around to printing. I’d rather pick a handful from my computer that I’m excited to scrapbook over the next month or so, and just print those. Way less work and time and money and waste.
    2. I like to scrapbook other sizes in addition to 4×6.

    3. For whatever reason I don’t get excited to scrapbook my photos when I look through them in the storage binder. I do get excited about them when I see them in the Memory Dock planning pages. Setting yourself up to be inspired is key.
    4. The big one — it doesn’t make sense to separate the different parts: the photos, the ephemera, and the jotted down stories.
    Category Drawers:
    I have not undone my category drawers. I never got good at scrapbooking from them and instead I am accomplishing the same thing with my digital photo setup (tagging) and the system I shared in the video.
    Did you notice all the different stuff and stories I shared that crossed long spans or time or multiple events? When I notice a pattern or connection in my photos/ephemera, etc and think I want to scrapbook it all together instead of as separate events, I start corralling the items/photos into a planning page in my Memory Dock binder.

  • You can get the Memory Dock binders with the pages at Here’s a link to the warm sand colored ones:
    I just haven’t found anyone selling the planning pages on their own. The great thing about them is they’re a thicker material than what you’d use for scrapbook pages (like Project Life) and the pockets are loser so you have more room to slide bulky stuff in and out and they’ll last longer with all that abuse.

  • Here’s where I got mine:
    The planning pages are included in the binder. You can’t get them separately. Also, once you’re there you can look for other colors. I have black but would’t recommend it because the black gets a little smudgy.

  • Veronica Tingvall

    thanks so much for explaining I really feel like this system is going to work for me better to. I’m off to sorting my photos, stories and ephemera! thanks again! 

  • Great! Let me know how it goes!

  • KatieK.

    When I started my PL last year I started using old page protectors to hold ephemera that I thought I might want to add to my PL weekly pages. However what started happening was me putting “like with like” together as well as stuff that related to stories and topics instead of this week and last week.

    As the weeks went by I kept adding notes and stuff to this binder more and more by topic and not using it at all as a temporary spot for PL weekly stuff.

    Meanwhile, I struggled with all the places the components of my stories & memories were being kept – like many of us here in the comments.

    I had undone layouts and ones in my head ‘cuz they were waiting for pieces (photos, family quotes, etc. )that I knew I had but not at that moment just like you.

    Your solution is another V-8 moment for me & the rest of us. Again, sharing solutions is why I love my
    Paperclipping membership.

  • Lisaorr

    Hi Noell, your timing on this episode was perfect as I had already started pulling apart my entire scrapbook room to re-organize it.  I ordered the Creative Dock from, but it turns out the Creative Dock is just an empty binder that fits 5.5 by 8.5 inch pages.  I think what you used was the Creative Page Planner Work Binder: instead.  I’ll keep looking for it though, because it looks like a great solution for me.

  • Moejgreer

     Thank you for reporting this, I did not think that it looked the same as what Noelle used. I did call the We are Memory Keepers (via the contact link on the Memory Dock site) and I’m waiting for a call back. The receptionist did not think this product was something that was theirs but would pass my info off to the customer service staff for a call back.

    I’m a bit bummed that this product appears to be discontinued. I wonder if we all call and ask for it and tell them that Noelle has recommended it to solve a problem we all seem to have if they would consider bringing it back…..

    I’ll let you know if and when I here back for Customer service.

  • Moejgreer has discontinued the work binders, what a bummer.

  • Oh, shoot! So sorry to have linked to the wrong one!! Will they switch it for you?

  • Uggh — If they stop selling this I will be so bummed. I was actually thinking I’d like to design my own and make improvements based on how I used it. But even if I did ever do this, we need something now.

  • What awful timing. I’m so bummed and I’m so sorry!!!

  • Lisaorr

    No problem. I actually ordered the wrong thing all on my own before I saw you had linked to the same thing. Great minds must think alike? Yes, please design your own. I think you’d have some customers!

  •  Please ignore the link below of the product I shared — turns out that’s the wrong one and has discontinued it. Sadly we’re not sure if these are available any longer!!! :(

  •  Okay, ignore the link below — looks like that is the wrong one and that you’re right — they seem to no longer be making these. :(

  • No kidding! I’m glad it wasn’t my fault, but I’m so bummed that from what I’m hearing they may no longer be available. I guess I’ll have to get more serious about that idea of designing some.

  • Moejgreer

     I got a call back this afternoon and customer service told me that this product, as well all the Memory Dock products, have been discontinued. Any items that are still being sold at retailers would be only what the store has in stock and will not be available for reorder.
    When I told her they might be getting a lot of request for this product because of a Paper Clipping video, she knew of you, Noelle, (not surprised) and was curious as to where you were getting your stash of Memory Dock products. I told her that you had had them for a awhile and was just sharing with us how they solved a problem and it has created a surge in the need for this product to be available again. But she basically said it was a day late and a dollar short.

    I think we all need you to bring your product ideas to light and start selling them!:)

  • Thanks for getting back to me on this and for suggesting they bring it out again! I’ll have to get on the planning of this and contact a few people then. I would really like to see this happen! These sturdy, loose pocketed pages are so much better than any alternatives.

  • LauraZM

    Oh wow, this totally makes sense for all the reasons you mentioned. I am using Stacy Julian’s LOM system too, but found the storage binders a cumbersome step. Couldn’t put my finger on it until I read your post below — very enlightening. Likewise the timing of this couldn’t be more perfect.

    Just last week, I finished going through many boxes/totes of things that I had saved from earlier parts of my life and disposed of a fair amount of stuff. I made hanging file folders for different items (e.g., museums/theater stubs, playbills, wedding, notes people had sent me, etc.) While I am relieved to have things pared down, sorted and organized (15 totes down to 3), I still have everything stored in the basement. Uh, my scrap space is on the second floor of my house. So I was dreading having to trek up and down three flights of stairs every time I wanted to pull something for a page — good exercise but not very productive for scrapping :).

    The system you are suggesting will work perfectly, and in fact, help me further pare down what I want to just save/keep and what I want to create scrapbook pages about. Perfect, perfect, perfect!

    That’s a bummer that the Memory Dock protectors are no longer available. What I plan to use… I had accidentally ordered a large quantity of the We R Memory Keepers divided page protectors in various sizes. They don’t have the nice large single pocket on the back and may not be as thick or deep for bulky stuff. BUT they are in the house so to speak, so I plan to give them a try. Here is a link to what I have:

    Thanks again for a spot on video!

    Best, Laura

  • Awesome! Glad that timing was just right for you, and congrats on doing all that work of paring things down. The stuff can get SO overwhelming!
    Yes, I think that as long as we don’t have those Memory Docks available for sale, these types of pocketed pages might be the next best option, mixed in with some 8×11 and 12×12’s.