Like so many who start with good intentions, each scrapbook photo album is tucked in a closet, mostly finished and never seen. I spent hours crafting each page, agonizing over which paper would go best with my theme or trying to find the perfect stickers. I took time away from my family, and what do I have to show for it?

I'm afraid to let my children look through them for more than a few minutes at a time. I can't bring them with me when I visit family and friends. This isn't what I intended when I began scrapbooking!

I love the craft involved in creating a scrapbook photo album. I enjoy selecting and grouping the pictures, thinking up themes and journaling about my memories. I hate not being able to share them. So I broke down and decided to try a digital alternative.

I wasn't at all sure I would like creating a digital book instead of traditional scrapbook but I was determined to give it a try. After all, what could I lose?

I looked at many different options. I had no idea when I began my search that I would have so many to choose from. I compared online tools for digital scrapbooks with some software programs. I found that I could generally create a layout faster with the online version but picking backgrounds and embellishments on the computer was not nearly as satisfying as the traditional craft.

Then I found Cherish Bound and my entire approach changed. Cherish Bound teaches people how to find, capture and share their stories. I learned that it is far more important to focus on the pictures and the stories behind them than to worry about the paper and embellishments. So I published my first book with only mild trepidation.

I picked my book style, font and background in minutes since you pick one background for the entire book. I uploaded my pictures – hundreds of them – and then picked the layout for my first page. Because it was a book for my oldest daughter, who is turning 5, I knew I wanted to use a single picture of her. The layout I selected centered the picture on the page with room for text below it.

Then I froze. What was I going to say? I had no idea. Then I read through the Reflections of a Parent story starter. The questions in that little book inspired so much that I wanted to say to my daughter that I was worried I wouldn't have room in the book!

After that I finished the book in a matter of weeks. Each scrapbook photo album I had created previously took months to complete. I couldn't believe the difference. When I placed my order I was shocked. I paid less than half of what I normally spent on a scrapbook!

When the book came in the mail, I was even more amazed. The hard cover was beautiful – I never imagined my daughter would show up on the cover of a book! The book is the perfect size to bring with me and I can leave it on the coffee table without worrying. If anything happens to it I can order another copy.

I was hooked. I created my next book right away. And then another. I am now completely caught up on the scrapbooks and I have time to make books to give as gifts! I still enjoy paper crafts but now I use my old scrapbooking supplies to make cards. I have the best of both worlds.