Paperclipping 150 – Task Batch Minibooking

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What a relief to actually be able to finish mini-books more easily! In this week’s episode, the Paperclipping Members will find out what my new Task Batch method is, and they’ll see it in action for two different mini-books: a traditional one, and a mostly digital one.

If you’re not yet a member, please enjoy the trailer video by pressing play or downloading it here. If you decide you’re ready to watch the entire tutorial, plus get access to our 150 other episodes, please visit the Membership Information Page.

Below are photos of most of the pages in the two mini-books from today’s episode. . .

Queen Of Organized

5×7 mini pages
Supplies: Tim Holtz Metal Clock Faces with Adirondack Juniper Paint Dabber rubbed on, then partially rubbed off.

The orange patterned paper is from Basic Grey’s Ambrosia Collection. You can get the collection as a 12×12 pack or a 6×6 pad.

The pink polka dot paper is from Basic Grey’s June Bug Collection. The orange flower is one of six in the Prima Peach Harmony Collection.


This is another orange flower from the Prima Peach Harmony collection. The metal piece on the page below is a Tim Holtz Muse Token.

To see more pictures of this book, see my set on Flickr and click on the individual thumbnails to see them all.

Everyday Summer

6×6 mini pages
The metal piece is a Tim Holtz Philosophy Tag. While the yellow Today papers were from an Ali Edwards kit that is no longer available, the journal/photo overlay for my journaling is for sale at Designer Digitals.
This overlay is from a different Ali Edwards pack. Ali also designed the Alpha Tab on the left page below.
I used these Tim Holtz Muse Tokens quite a bit in these two mini-books, adding my own colored brads.
These Metal Numbers are really great, too.
Ali Edwards Word Frames were perfect for this photo.
More great Word Art from Ali Edwards grounds the flowers in the photo above.

There are a few more pictures to this mini-album. You can see them all here.

Ready to learn about a Paperclipping Membership so you can see the video tutorials, too? Click here!

  • Wow! Great episode!

    It's going to be perfect for a few mini projects I have waiting for me…


  • Sue

    Awesome episode! Makes me want to start on a few mini books!

    Question: Before you start the assembly line process, do you pretty much know what you plan to do for each step, or do you take each step and then see where it leads you for the next step and kind of let the project evolve as you go along? I imagine both ways would work, just curious what your process tends to be. Thanks!

  • You can do it either way, Sue. My only recommendation of planning is that
    you know you'll be able to fit your journaling in somewhere. The nice thing
    about mini's is you can usually just insert new pages or journaling
    in-between the pages if you needed to. I knew I wanted to put my journaling
    on tags for the paper mini, so I did plan ahead to leave the top of the
    photo mattes un-glued so I could slide those tags in there. Other than that,
    I didn't plan what my tags would look like or anything.

    Other than having a general idea for the journaling, you really do not need
    to plan the other stuff at all. Just trust yourself to be able to do it when
    the step comes. You'll work through your process more quickly that way. If
    ideas pop up naturally as you're going, then let them flow, but the planning
    is totally not necessary and can slow you down. :)

  • Hi Noell!
    I'm new at Paperclipping and I'm learning a lot from your episodes. This particular one is very hepful for me. I normaly do not make minis becouse it takes a looooot of time. I will try your tips and see if I can make them faster.

  • Thank you! And thank you for your new membership! :)

    Let me know how it goes with your attempts at mini's using this method,

  • j.leija

    This is a awesome tutorial Noell!! I've watched the video twice and am just now going to sit down and start a mini album of a trip to Bali that I took a few years back (just in time for the premiere of Eat, Pray, Love!). I'm making 2 copies of this, one for me and one for the friend who went with me. This is a fabulous concept and the perfect tutorial for what I had already set out to accomplish this week!!

  • j.leija

    Progress report: It's been 2 hours and I now have 12 pages ready to be decorated! Totally loving this process!

  • Laura P.

    Absolutely fantastic tutorial Noelll! I love the fact that you identified your process as task batching…is that your coined phrase? Just wanted you to know that you are not the only one who “organizes” your process this way! I always have grabbed photos & memorobilia and picked colored pp to match then put together, journal, and then embellish! Again, love the “label”

  • Peg

    Great stuff! I like the way you outlined the process. As you were going along I realized I had just recently followed this sort of strategy on a mini-book I did for a trip to Hawaii several years ago. It really did work for me and I hadn't actually realized why until you put it together for me. I did the steps just like this because I really wanted to keep it pretty simple and I didn't have a ton of ideas about what I was going to do. It works and I just love both your albums. So beautiful! Now I want to try either this process or maybe Stacy J's speed photo album scrapbook for my other trip to Hawaii. I have a LOT more pics for that one so I'm going to have to figure out something.


  • j.leija

    So I just took half an hour to type out all my journaling. It's 1000+ words in MS Word. Ack!! Now to figure out how to squeeze it all in. Any tips on that?! ;)

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  • Jamie, this is so awesome, getting to see your progress on this big project!
    A couple ideas:

    – I'm a heavy journaler and when my journaling is too long, I go back a
    couple of times to make sure my writing is concise. I often find two or
    three phrases that are essentially saying the same thing. Or I find long
    wordy sentences that can be 1/3rd as long.

    – Bullet points, like what I'm using now, can make a lot of journaling
    more readable. :)

    – Can you segment the journaling and separate it between photos?

    – There's nothing wrong with entire minibook pages that are all
    journaling with one small decorative element.

    Those are just a few thoughts. I hope it helps!

  • j.leija

    And just like that, I'm done! :) I didn't get the 2nd one completely finished as it was stifling my creativity to replicate the layout over again, when all i really wanted to do was play. But I did manage to complete 1 mini book in a little over 24 hours!

    Thanks Noell!! Not only did the tutorial help but the journaling tips did as well! I found that as I was transferring my journaling from Word (either digitally or by hand) onto my pages, I was taking the time to revise and get them as tight and concise as possible. I'm so happy with my sweet little mini!! Look for it on my blog in the morning :)

  • kybarb

    I just joined today because I'm working on a mini-book and needed some help! I found your video to be very helpful and I'm sure I will refer back to it more than once as the only scrapbooking I do is mini-books! Thanks! I can't wait to learn more from you. I've been very impressed with both you and your husband –I've been listening to the roundtables and the digi shows recently. I feel that I can learn a lot from both of you and wanted to support you by joining. Thanks for all you do! I'm listening to the foolish adventure too and passed it on to several family members and friends I thought would be interested.

  • Thank you for your membership! I have a lot of other mini-book tutorials in
    the archives, so I think you'll find your membership worth it! :)

  • Congratulations, Jamie! That is awesome! I've done multiple mini's where
    the paper and journaling are all the same but the embellishments are
    different. I find they're more fun that way, plus, you can dig more into
    leftovers that way!

    Can't wait to see your finished book!

  • j.leija
  • Tonysfrenchgirl

    I love this tutorial! I started an anniversary mini-book and did Year 1 the “page-at-a-time” way, but now I am cruising through the other years using the “task batching” method. Thanks Noell!

  • rosann

    Really really great show. I do my minibooking very similarly and I think that your method, combined with Stacy Julian's Finish Line Scrapbooking method are going to go really well for me. But I had not thought of the assembly line methody for digital mini's. I will definintely finish faster now.

    1. Do you print your 6×6's on 8.5×11 and then cut them to size yourself? Or do you send them out to a professional company?
    2. Could you share how long each of these books took to complete (the paper one vs digi one) using the task batching method? And the sped up version at the end doesn't count. LOL


  • Ha!

    1. I put 4 6×6's onto a 12×12 canvas and printed it at Costco. If I had had
    a few extra days I would have done them as 6×6's through,

    2. The paper mini – maybe 4 hours? The digi book is harder to guess. Most
    of my time was spent choosing, editing photos and I did the whole thing in
    little chunks. Maybe 5 hours? That is a TOTAL GUESS. :)

    I don't know how Stacy's Finish Line Scrapbooking method works. I'm curious
    about that now.

  • Emily

    I just joined as well & my first thought on watching was how similar it is to Stacy's Finish line album process, she has a podcast on her blog which talks you through making a mini album.

  • I didn't know that, but it doesn't surprise me: there's nothing new or
    original about the assembly line process! :)

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  • Just wanted to say this idea of batching tasks really helped me on so many projects and I wanted to share the December Daily album foundation I created using the idea too It’s my first time participating and sort of the first time I created an album without photos to start with. I know that we usually scrapbook after the fact… so we have the story or photos to start with…but then with minibooks and holidays we often create before the event has happened to inform our design, etc. I noticed how lots of folks create minibooks as gifts that are entirely blank with photomats as well. I thought maybe it would be a good topic for an episode or podcast to talk about creating foundation books for a project or minibooks as gifts, when you don’t have the photos or story to start with… Thanks!

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