We’re only a few days away from one of the biggest holidays in all of scrapbooking – (inter)National Scrapbook Day (iNSD)! Creative Memories started National Scrapbook Day in 1995, on the first Saturday in May, and this awesome holiday has been picking up steam with crafters around the world since then. Today it is a full-blown international celebration for both paper and digital scrapbookers, full of crops, events, games, giveaways, freebies, and more. I’ve picked up a few strategies for navigating iNSD over the years that I’d like to share with you. Being well-prepared will make the day/weekend much more enjoyable and help you get the most out of this fun, crazy time!
1. Accept that you can’t do everything. Most stores schedule events Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday, so start by blocking out the chunks of time you have available. Then make a list of the chats, games, etc. you want to participate in and start filling in time slots. If there’s a conflict, decide how you’ll choose: Favorite store? Best chance for prizes? Freebie offered? I have actually tried to participate in two (or more…) chats at the same time in the past, and believe me, it doesn’t work. You’ll spend more time clicking back and forth and trying to catch up with what you missed than actually enjoying the activity.
2. Build and prune your wishlists ahead of time. Store wishlists are great if you only shop at one or two places, but if you like to spread the love around, I suggest creating a dedicated iNSD list on Pinterest, Kaboodle, or similar platform. That way you can save your favorites from all over the digi world in one place. If you note prices, you can also compare similar products and make sure you get the best deal. Having everything in one place also helps prevent duplicate purchases – many designers are at multiple shops!
3. Keep track! Set up a simple text file or use a real notebook, but keep track of your purchases, coupons you win (and their expiration dates), whether or not you’ve downloaded something yet, blog hops, freebie scores, chat times … get the picture? Luckily for us, this holiday has ballooned over the years into a smorgasbord of fun activities, awesome sales, and generous giveaways. Live with your list this week – it’s impossible to keep up with everything in your head! To avoid missing out on an event or forgetting to download a purchase within the store’s time limit, create a master “dumping ground” for all things iNSD-related.
4. Budget. If you don’t set a limit on spending, the flash coupons, dollar deals, limited-time offers, and other crazy sales will suck you in and drain your PayPal faster than you can say “The first five fastest shoppers get fifty percent off!” Decide how much you are able/willing to spend and transfer that amount into PayPal. Of course, the success of this tip depends on your ability to stick to your budget! Be strong! And give yourself a little wiggle room for those way-too-good-to-pass-up surprise sales.
5. Keep Facebook and Twitter open. Many stores and designers throw out quick “flash” coupons at random times throughout the weekend, and you have to click fast. Make sure you have your wishlists and carts ready at your favorite stores to catch these deals – you won’t have time to leisurely browse the store to pick out what you want.
6. Don’t download something just because it’s free. You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Ask yourself two questions: Do I love it? Will I really use it (does it fit with my current style)? If the answer to both is yes, download away! Sticking with your favorite, trusted stores and designers is often the best bet for finding great freebies you will actually use.
7. Have fun! If these suggestions don’t resonate with you, throw them out! The whole point of (inter)National Scrapbook Day, in my opinion, is to celebrate and enjoy our hobby together with fellow scrapbookers. If you love the craziness of running wildly around the web cramming in every single chat and snatching up every awesome deal that comes your way, then by all means, go for it! I encourage you to do what makes your heart sing this weekend, have fun, create memories, and scrapbook!
For more great suggestions and iNSD strategy discussion from your fellow scrapbookers, check out this forum thread on DigiShopTalk. We also have an all-things-iNSD forum here. Come share your experiences, find info about sales, chats and games, and have fun chatting as the excitement builds!