How to Digital Scrapbook on iPad

Over the summer I finally talked Jordan into getting me an iPad. I had been wanting one for a while, but since we don't use Apple products it seemed like it might be a splurge on something that may not integrate very well with the rest of my devices. But now that I've had it for a little over half a year I thought I'd write up what I like about it and what I like doing on it.

And just to be clear, we are not a family of Apple enthusiasts. Just thought I'd state that up front so you know where I'm starting from when I review the iPad.

I have an 10.2-inch iPad Wi-Fi 32GB in gold. This is a quite small amount of memory, but I go into some details below in how I get around this. Basically I just transfer everything off the iPad once the project is done. I have to do this frequently because I do run out of space often. I also have the Apple Pencil, which seems like an extravagant add on, but I can't really imagine using the iPad without it. To finish off I have a Paperlike screen protector. If you are not a details person, or have a details person around, you'll likely really struggle to get this screen protector on. Jordan did it for me and it was a stressful time, but now that it's on it's great! It just adds a little texture to the screen so it's a bit more like paper. Honestly, I didn't use the screen much without it, so I can't compare what it was like before, but I do love drawing on the screen. I doubt I'll even use a notebook again.

using the iPad for digital scrapbooking

There are lots of apps you can use on the iPad to make your scrapbooking layouts, but I've been using the Photoshop app. There are definite pros and cons to using this app, but overall it's simple and works well with my layouts and templates which are already saved as PSDs. The biggest downside to the Photoshop app is that it has no support currently for layer styles, so you can't add shadows to anything. Aside from that though I find it very easy to use and it does what I want it to do. It's easy to browse and add an image/graphic and it's easy to clip a layer to the one below it. Since this is the majority of what I'm doing, I like that there's not a lot else going on. I do have to finish up my layout on my computer at some point, but that takes about a minute to select the layers that need shadows and add them in.

I pretty much always start with a layout template, which means that I'm basically dragging and dropping and moving things around on the iPad. It's so much nicer to do this on the iPad rather than on the computer. My laptop is enormous, so it's not actually something I can sit with on the couch. So I like the couch aspect of the iPad. It's definitely more tactile as well since you're actually using your fingers rather than a mouse to move stuff around. It's a nice compromise if you like something a little more hands on, but for whatever reason can't quite get into paper scrapbooking.

As I mentioned at the beginning I don't use any other Apple products and I don't use the Apple cloud, so getting things on and off the iPad (especially since mine has such small storage space) at the beginning was a bit of an issue. Right now my process is to download from Pixel Scrapper whatever kit/bundle I want to use. Once I'm done I have to delete it because I have no storage space. Luckily, if you have a subscription here, that's not an issue. For my layouts, it turns out that Adobe has it's own cloud thing going on, which I don't use regularly, but it does make getting my layout from the Photoshop on the iPad to the Photoshop on my computer quite easy. They just magically appear on the home screen of my Photoshop on my computer. I can download them and then save them to my computer.

Another app I really love on the iPad is Procreate. This is a great drawing and illustration app used by many digital artists. Again, it's very simple to use and once you watch a tutorial or two you'll be drawing yourself. I definitely prefer drawing digitally to drawing in a notebook. All the illustrations I've used in my designs for Pixel Scrapper since the summer were made in Procreate. I also just love to sit in the evening and doodle. There are some great mirroring features in Procreate, so it's easy to draw anything you want reflected. The only downside to Procreate is that it's not vector based, so when I want to import my drawings to Illustrator on my computer, it takes a bit of effort. I should probably just try out Illustrator on the iPad.

using Procreate on the iPad for digital scrapbooking

using Procreate on the iPad for digital scrapbooking

The last app I'll mention here as a favorite of mine is the GoodNotes app. This is a more recent find for me and I've been playing around with it as a planner. I have long loved the very pretty and decorated planner trend, but haven't exactly managed to get it to work for me. I'm hoping with a bit of trial and error I can make something work here. There are lots of benefits to using a digital planner, especially that you can bring in whatever page you want to use for your journal and add it to your notebook. For me, this means I can try out a bunch of stuff to see what I like and I don't have to commit for the whole year to one style. If I get bored, I can just switch it up. It doesn't even have to be the same size. I can do whatever I want, which is something I like to be able to do.

using GoodNotes on the iPad for digital scrapbooking

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the apps you can use for digital scrapbooking on the iPad. There are certainly others that are favorites for other people. Let me know down below if you have a favorite iPad app, or if I've convinced you you need one ;)

Digital Scrapbooking for iPad image

Video Transcript

Hi there, this is Marisa, and today I have a Watch Me Digi Scrap video for you.

In this one I will actually be scrapbooking on my iPad, so I will talk a little bit about using photoshop on the iPad, if you're interested in that.

And just here at the beginning, if you do like this video and would like to see more of them, it would be great if you would like this video and then subscribe to my channel down below. That just lets me know that I should keep making them, and it's a great help.

So the video has just been kind of going on here in the background, and I'll be doing more or less the same thing for the whole video. So I will hopefully be able to explain to you kind of what's going on here. So I always create— I start with a template in Photoshop on my computer, and I add in the photos. And then I will save that, and then open it up in the Photoshop here on my iPad, which looks different than the Photoshop on my computer. It's much simpler, and it's a lot of fun to use on the iPad.

The only thing missing here is shadows, there are no layer styles. So when I'm done here on the iPad I will save it, and then open it back up on my computer and add in those shadows. Which really only takes about a minute, so it's not a big deal and I do really love just being able to sit and drag things around with my fingers.

So I find it a very relaxing thing to do in the evening, so I've just been opening up here— on the menu over there on the left side they have the toolbar. And there you can see I've just clicked on that image icon, and then that lets me browse for the files that are on my iPad.

And you can see here, I have this kit that I downloaded from Pixel Scrapper, and I'm just choosing the elements as I go here. And so it's just, I just keep going back to that "add graphic," and then find it on my iPad and I'm pulling it in here. And then the arrow there at the top of the menu on the left there is what will let you move things around. And then on the right side I have my layers panel, and I'm just adjusting things there so that the sequins are behind.

So this video will go on for a little while longer. I will keep adding in elements here, as you've seen me do. I will actually switch over to the second page of this spread and add elements to that side as well.

So you can hopefully get a feel here for what it's like to digital scrapbook on the iPad in the Photoshop app. If you have any questions, please let me know down below. I'd be happy to answer them, and again, thanks so much for watching this video.

If you enjoyed it, please give me a thumbs up and if you'd like to see more please subscribe to my channel. Have a great day!

Recent Comments

Rachel Lotherington
Rachel Lotherington Sat, 02/06/2021 - 02:05

Yay! You’ll absolutely love it Marisa! I’ll check out that Good Notes app, thanks ☺️

I don’t subscribe to Creative Cloud, so I don’t have the Ps or Ai app, so I can’t really compare. I love Affinity Designer and make nearly all my designs in there or in combination with Procreate. There’s a few things I need Affinity Photo for, or my very old version of Ps on my PC, but for the most part I can do everything, vector and raster, in Affinity Designer on my iPad 🥰

Alianne Cecile
Alianne Cecile Thu, 02/04/2021 - 18:06

I toyed around with digital planning a while back. While it was super minimalist and nice to have everything just on a slim, portable device, having to unlock the screen every time I want to write something down was actually the biggest turn off. By the time I unlocked the thing and opened GoodNotes, I'd forget what I was going to write down! lol. But what I did like was what you mentioned, the tactile experience of working with the screen with your hands.

Martin Swartzer
Martin Swartzer Thu, 02/04/2021 - 12:08

Congratulation on your new IPad. My 14-year-old daughter loves it. She does amazing designs with New Software from AFFINITY Designer, AFFINITY Photo, and AFFINITY Publisher. I like to highly recommended for Apple IPad. Right now they have all 3 software packages for a lifetime one-time fee on sale Was $49.99 but now $24.99 I been using past 3 years. My goal is to get Wacom Cintiq Pro 24 Creatvtive Display Graphic Drawing Tablet 4K.

Tina Shaw
Tina Shaw Thu, 02/04/2021 - 10:55

OK, so when I had the iPad (I have since passed it on to my daughter because I got a new laptop that seems to work as well as the iPad now), I used Affinity Photo for digital scrapbooking and design. Also, I found Dropbox to be one of the only reliable cloud storage options that actually WORKED and could transfer items that way as well. I also used a SanDisk connect wireless flash drive like a portable external drive, but my need to use this was because where I was at had no wifi access. The flash drive you can connect to it and the wifi at the same time, so it's also a nice little workaround! I do agree though, that using your hands (or a stylus/Pencil) is fun too!

Brooke Gazarek
Brooke Gazarek Thu, 02/04/2021 - 07:40

Oh my goodness! I just tried using Adobe Photoshop on my iPad to create a scrapbook layout! I was just playing around and it wasn't a "serious" layout - but you are SO right - it was easy and fun to use my hands interacting with the screen. Then to have it magically appear on my desktop Photoshop recents... wow! That was the first time I had actually used the iPad version of Photoshop. I had it but had never opened it.

Brianna Neuls
Brianna Neuls Thu, 02/04/2021 - 04:24

Wonderful article Marisa! I've had an iPad for years and only use it to read Kindle books when I forget to charge my actual Kindle lol. My daughter was telling me about ProCreate a couple of months ago, but until I read this article I didn't understand much about it. Thank you so much for this!

Catherine Wagner
Catherine Wagner Wed, 02/03/2021 - 22:11

I'm going to have to take a closer look at this in the morning. I've been wondering about this for a while, even though it could be dangerous information for me. haha!