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11.07.2011

My Memories Suite


















{Reported by Paula Gilarde}






What it is: My Memories Suite is digital scrapbooking software. Most digital scrapbookers that I know use design/graphics software (e.g. Photoshop or Photoshop Elements) but My Memories contend that its software is specific to digital scrapbookers and doesn't contain features that are "useless" (their words!) to scrapbookers. The big selling point? It's a whole lot cheaper than Photoshop or Elements. I put it to the test. Another big selling feature is their user-friendly interface, it's a well known fact that there is quite a learning curve for Photoshop products. I decided to try using My Memories Suite (MMS) without reading the user manual first. I did in fact have to look up the manual though because the terminology was different to what I'm used to in Photoshop - in fact, I think my knowledge of Photoshop was more of a hindrance than anything else! 

When you start using the software you create an album, rather than a canvas (or layout). You choose from three options - Create Album from Designer Templates (pages are pre-designed but are customizable), Design Your Own (create your own pages from scratch using the tools in the program) and Browse More Content Online (links to the online store where you can purchase kits, templates and quickpages). Templates are customizable, quickpages are not - you just add photos and journaling.
I started with the Designer Templates because I figured that was the easiest way to get started. You create "albums" with a number of page templates in each album.  Once you select an album you go to Custom Page Arrangement where you can see all the templates that are available for that album. Here you can arrange the order and add (or rather copy) the page templates as many times as you like.The albums come complete with papers and embellishments.


What I liked:
-The Designer Templates that are provided with the software have lots of different options and would appeal to many different styles of scrapbookers.
-There are a number of tutorials available on the blog. They have made a very big effort to cover many different topics to help out their users - this is a big factor to consider when selecting new software.
-I like that you are not limited to use only their digital kits but you can use other products within the software. I wasn't able to use templates from other designers/stores however, only papers and embellishments.

What I disliked:
- I liked the ability to use quickpages and the availability of free ones but ran into issues after I downloaded one. There are limited instructions on what to do once you download - I figured it out, double click on the executable to install the quickpage into the software. After I did that I wasn't able to find it! I spent quite some time searching both the software and the website for the location of the quickpage and only found it when I had moved on to another project and was searching through embellishment (that doesn't seem like a logical location for a quickpage to me!). 
- Photos are supposed to "snap" into the photo-holders once you add them to your layouts. It didn't always work and I had to delete and re-add photos until I got it to work. 
- I missed the concept of layers that Photoshop uses. In My Memories Suite you need to move things out of the way to get at items lower down, it would be nice to have a list of what is on top of what and be able to move things up and down the stack without physically having to move them on the screen. Also, I found the text feature lacking.

What I made:


First I made a layout using their album templates. 


A page from the Funky Fall album template

Then I decided to try using one of the MMS QuickPages that I downloaded from the store. I liked the style and simplicity of this one called Sweet Life. It took me less than 10 minutes to complete this page once I found the quickpage! I just added photos and journaling.

Sweet Life Quickpage by Studio K
Finally I decided to try using digital supplies from my stash. I found using external kits was a bit klugey and not intuitive. After following a tutorial on the My Memories Suite site I came up with the following:

Picnic at Grand Lake by Lynn Grieveson, Girly Clusters No.1 by Studio DD, Banner Safety Tags by Katie Pertiet, all from Designerdigitals.com



Where and How Much:
Manufacturer:  Storyrock, Inc
MSRP: $39.97
Available Online: My Memories Suite, Amazon*

Bottom Line:  I've been using Photoshop (and Elements) for years and see no need to change. I can see how someone starting out in Digital Scrapbooking might want to try out this software though because of the lower price point and the large number of tutorials they have provided.

What do you think? Is this something you could see yourself working with?  Leave a comment by midnight EST Wednesday to be entered to win your own copy.   


If you don't want to wait here is a coupon code that provides a $10 discount off the purchase of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook software and a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store - $20 value!) 

Please go to this link for your Share the Memories code: http://www.mymemories.com/share_the_memories?stm_ref=2

2 comments:

ferrellgraph-x said...

Goodness I just bought PhotoShop CS5 Extended and I look forward to learing how to use it! I wish it was so simple that I could just drop a picture in and print! I like what you've made with the program. Thanks for sharing your honest thought on it! Any insight to learn how to use my new Photoshop prgram would be greatly appreciated too ;)
Kindest regards,
Jennifer

sharon g said...

I've never used anything like this before, but my daughter has. I'd like to learn... sharon dot gullikson at gmail dot com