The free Storybook Creator software uses pre-designed themes and color schemes, and all you do is drag and drop the photos onto the pages and add journaling here and there. It was a good way to get my feet wet, but at the same time, kind of dull compared to traditional scrapbooking.
Here is one of the pages from the book:
Here is another I created using a different theme, Traditional Holiday. (I mixed and matched themes in the book to jazz things up. Not sure now if that was a good idea!)
The Holiday template was certainly more interesting to look at, but probably too stuffy and stiff for the pics I chose. A more whimsical "kid-friendly" theme would have worked better. And the font doesn't match the page's theme either.
Flash forward three years, and I have been playing around with Creative Memories' more full-featured Storybook Creator Plus software for a year and a half now. I've had much more practice creating pages, with or without a template, that grab the eye and are visually interesting. I also have much more to choose from in the way of digital content (ie. papers, embellishments, stickers, etc.) and themes!
Here's a page I created last week, using a layout template that I customized with my own Girl Scout-themed content:
And here is a post-card sized page I did a couple of months ago to send as thank you cards to Thalia's friends who attended her cupcake-themed birthday party:
My level of digital scrapbooking confidence is definitely higher than it was when I first got started! Even with seven years of traditional scrapping experience, learning how to 'go digital' had a learning curve that at first didn't seem quite worth it because of the boring, bland pages I turned out. Learning what you can do with the software really is the key. You go from not realizing what your options are to having too many options available for any given page!
Digital layout credits forthcoming