A Layout a Day? Here’s How…

by Lain Ehmann on January 25, 2015

Blog Hop LOAD215 When I first came up with the concept of the LOAD (layout a day) challenge way way way back like five years ago, I wanted a challenge that would stretch scrapbookers. I’d seen the amazing results of other “extreme” challenges like the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). How could I apply those principles to scrapbooking? Doing a layout a day for a year was insane. Doing a layout a day for a week was no big deal. But a month? That was just insane enough.

And so the LOAD challenge was born.

Over the course of the past several years, I’ve seen thousands of scrapbookers take the LOAD challenge.  Wherever they are in their personal scrapbooking journeys, there are some commonalities amongst those who take on the challenge and find it to be a fulfilling, exciting, and FUN process. No, it’s not having a full-time catering and housecleaning staff (though that might help!). No, it’s not having thousands of dollars’ worth of product at your fingertips (that can actually hamper your ability to choose what to use on your pages!). Really, it’s an attitude.

Here’s that attitude broken down:

1. Know what YOU want to accomplish. Each person comes to LOAD with a different goal. Some are new scrapbookers hoping to find a great community and get their feet wet. Others are more experienced scrapbookers who want to see just how much they can get finished. Others want to use up their stash, stretch their creative wings, make new friends, finish a particular project.. the list goes on and on.

If you have a newborn baby and a full-time job and a broken arm, you may very well have trouble finishing a layout every day. But if your goal is really just to take 15 minutes for yourself and get inspiration from the message board and gallery, that’s completely do-able. DEFINE WHAT SUCCESS MEANS TO YOU. Don’t let the idea of “28 layouts” make you feel like you are not successful if you only finish 3 or 20.

2. Try to follow the prompts. The daily prompts are inspiration springboards. They are not intended to be “law.” You are not downgraded or penalized in any way if you do not follow them. At the same time, they are carefully selected and organized to create an overall LOAD experience. They build on each other and build up. They are not intended to be easy. They ARE intended to make you think. If you just do your own thing each and every day, that’s great – but it’s not really what I’m hoping for you.


I’m trying to teach you a process that you can then use in your own scrapbooking outside of LOAD, one where you push your storytelling and your creative process a little bit. That may take you outside your comfort zone – and that’s good! If we are not growing, we are dying. It’s as simple as that. I can’t tell you the number of emails I get after LOAD saying, “Oh my gosh, I created one of my favorite layouts EVER… and I never would have even remembered that story if it weren’t for your prompt.” This happens – if you allow for it!

3. Connect. One of the unique aspects of LOAD is the community. You can easily connect with other scrapbookers through the message board and the gallery. Leave comments. Answer questions. Ask questions… there are hundreds of amazing people there, who WANT to meet other scrapbookers. If you are new it may seem a bit intimidating, but trust me when I say that we WANT to meet you. The layouts you create are going to end up in albums… but the friendships you make will last long after the albums have been put on the shelf.

4. Ask for help. We’ve created a multi-tiered structure to help you when you’re having issues, whether it’s trouble uploading your image or trouble finding a topic for the daily prompt. You can post to the public message board, you can post to the “Questions for Admins” thread on the message board, you can reach out to any of the other participants… if you are stuck, ask for help! We’ve also got four featured scrapbookers and our “Scrapper on the Street” to help you with inspiration. Speak up!

new me

5. Have fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. Sometimes that might mean giving yourself a break and creating a simpler layout one day, or using a sketch. It might mean taking five minutes to post a funny thought (or respond to one) on the message board. It might mean just breathing deep and reminding yourself that even if you don’t like the layout you created today, tomorrow is another chance to tell a story, create, and make a new friend.

If you haven’t signed up for LOAD yet, you can do so right here. We start on Feb. 1!

Thank you so very much for allowing me to lead you through this process! If you want more tips, check out these posts from other experienced LOADsters:

Karen Siegel Fitting
Nicole Gray
Alice Boll
Lisa Hausmann
Wendy Elliott Aebi
Connie Ochoa Hanks
Kelli Panique
Christy Strickler
Lynnette Nagle
Danielle Leonetti
Danielle Hunter
Leslie Smith
Kristie Sloan
Heather Dubarry
Melissa Pearson
Valerie Smith
Marcia Fortunato

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  • Danielle Hunter

    Thanks so much for being our guided inspiration! Without you, I wouldn’t have redeveloped my scrapbooking style (more than once), accomplished goals or created hundreds of layouts! But what tops all of those is the wonderful and supportive community :)

  • Heather Dubarry

    Thanks so much for creating LOAD Lain! It has been a fun ride! And! The people I’ve met because of you are just plain awesome.

  • lynne moore

    My LOAD sanity depends on having a loose schedule. Find your flow and go with it. After checking the prompt, I gather the first things that come to mind. I let it sit. It may be 5 minutes or a few hours. I usually go like that over the day. If I have to get it down early (um, somehow my in-laws always visit during LOAD month – yep, they are coming for President’s Day Weekend again…) I do a quick and dirty layout. Done. If I have time, I mull here and mess with placement there. It’s a piecemeal process of a little here and there. And in the evening I put it together and post. Some days I love the page, some days I am happy I got done. But the in the end it’s all working towards the challenge. Flow, Baby, flow.

  • Karen Siegel Fitting

    I’m always asked how I’m able to keep current in my scrapbooks – LOAD is the answer. :)

  • LainEhmann

    I love that!

  • LainEhmann

    Good suggestions!! FLOW. :)

  • LainEhmann

    Thank YOU. It wouldn’t be the same without you, Heather.

  • LainEhmann

    I so agree. Thank you for being part of it, Danielle!

  • SusanB722

    This will be my 12th LOAD and my only regret is that I didn’t find out about it earlier. Some of my very favorite pages were made during LOAD and I’ve made many that I know I never would have thought of without your great prompts. Thanks Lain – looking forward to 2/1!!

  • http://kristiesloan.com/ Kristie Sloan

    Thank you so much for the inspiration each day of LOAD. It is fun to see what stories have been shared by the end of the month. I have used photos I never thought page worthy until participating in LOAD. However, along with the right story, a not perfect, or kooky photo can be just the thing!

  • http://clickychickcreates.com/ Connie Hanks

    Thanks for getting that wild hair to create LOAD! The friendships created (along with the pages) are priceless <3

  • Lisainre

    Best month of the year some years! Can’t wait to get going – again! This group of scrappers really are the best around. *sigh* :-)

  • amyptucson

    LOAD prompts aren’t always easy, but they are generous! :)

  • Betty & Jay Weaver

    LOAD – best time ever! Ready to start #10

  • maize88

    my fourth February LOAD! Fun and love the month end results!

  • Pamala Hunt

    This will be my first LOAD! Looking forward to the challenge :-)

  • Valerie Smith

    So excite to be a part. Love your post Lain and your heart for this passion of ours.

  • http://digitalscrapbookinghq.com/ Melissa Shanhun

    I can’t wait for LOAD :) Wohoo!

  • Deenie

    Love your sense of humor, Lain! (as well as your writing style).

  • Tina Campbell

    Wonderful thoughts about LOAD :)

  • LCSmithSAVED

    Here we go again! WHEEEEEEEEEEE!

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  • Emily

    Hi Lain, When will the next LOAD be, and how soon in advance to you plan them? I would like to join one soon if I have a semi-cleared calendar – always sounds so fun and challenging!! :)

  • sharon l-s

    I have signed up for the True event this sat my computer bookmarks get trashed and I can’t find the bookmark for this event I paid in Feb I am trying here as previous emails replys have bounced thanks

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