I'm always looking for ways to do things in a way that minimizes my time staring at computer screens. While I love creating photo books, I don't particularly enjoy doing the layouts because that tends to be a lot of time on the computer. For some time now, I've been mulling over better ways to do book layouts. Then one afternoon I was walking around an IKEA store and stumbled upon some large metal panels designed to be magnetic bulletin boards. They had a very affordable price of $12 each and I ended up walking out with 4 of them. I stopped by a Home Depot on the way back home and got some cheap ceramic button sized magnets to complete my new photo layout set.
The IKEA panels are lightweight and I had no trouble quickly hanging them with the help of a yardstick level. I usually print 4x6 proofs of images before preparing a book layout to get a good idea of how well the images will look on paper and that size works perfectly with these panels. Being able to physically arrange my images made me a happy camper! It's nice to be able to take a few steps back and see the flow of images all at once without squinting at tiny thumbnails. Over the brief Thanksgiving break I was able to use my new photo layout setup to prepare 3 books and take advantage of a Black Friday sale that Magcloud was running. If I'm satisfied with the printed books after I receive them (hopefully next week), look for them on my book page. I'm hoping to expand my printed book offerings and free ebooks over the Christmas holidays.