REVIEW: Intriguing Development’s iRemember scrapbooking software for the Mac - Macenstein

REVIEW: Intriguing Development’s iRemember scrapbooking software for the Mac

Posted by The Bride of Macenstein

The concept of keeping a scrapbook is nothing new ⎯ people have been keeping family bibles and such with important documents and photos for generations ⎯ but recently the scrapbooking industry has taken off like a rocket, accounting for a staggering $2.6 billion in sales in 2005 alone. As a result of this growth, hundreds of companies have sprung up offering thousands of products to make your scrapbooks look more professional while (hopefully) saving you time and money in the process (well, at least TIME). These products range from specialty papers and shears, to stickers, binders, templates, die cuts, and laminating machines, to who knows what else.

However despite all this new technology, I was surprised there was not really any digital solution to my scrapbooking problem; namely, I have 12,000 photos in my computer, and not very much free time to print them out and spend the hours it takes to laboriously crank out each page of a scrapbook. Ironically, the people who are most interested in making scrapbooks (mothers) are often the ones with the least free time to make one. Just getting all my supplies and papers out and organized was a hassle, and had to be planned around my child’s nap. Just when I would get into the scrapbooking groove, he would wake up, and I would have to put all the scissors, glues, and die cuts away, lest he ruin my half finished masterpiece (or worse, hurt himself on some tool).

I stumbled across Intriguing Development’s iRemember scrapbooking software for the Mac just in time. This program is wonderful, and if you are a scrapbooker who finds themselves short on free time, this software can be a lifesaver.

Why Digital Scrapbooking?

In my mind, the number one benefit digital scrapbooking has over traditional scrapbooking is the lack of mess. If I find myself with 30 free minutes, I can open my iRemember file, jump to my last saved page, and get to work immediately. When I hear my 2-year-old stirring from his nap, I simply hit “SAVE�, and go get him. There is no long setup/cleanup process, no worry that I left a small “choking hazard-sized� piece of decoration out for him to find.

Coming in a close second in the “digital scrapbooking benefits list� is flexibility. iRemember lets you position and REposition your photos and text as often as necessary to get the look you want. You can come back to a page days later and decide you want to swap out a photo, or change a font (something that would likely necessitate starting over with a traditional scrapbook page).

The third biggest benefit to going digital is you are no longer tied down to using papers or templates you find in a store. You can pretty much produce any look you would like. You now have access to the hundreds of fonts you may have installed on your computer instead of relying on very expensive die cut alphabets that are limited in size.

The iRemember Interface

I would say those familiar with using any recent version of Print Shop will find iRemember’s interface and workflow instantly familiar. You first draw out masks using the provided shape tools. Next, you drop images or backgrounds into those masks. You can then rotate, resize, and add strokes and drop shadows to your creations. I am more used to Photoshop’s Layers palette, but I soon got the hang of selecting items and moving them forward and backward on the page.

iRemember ships with over 3000 pieces of clipart, over 100 backgrounds, and over 500 templates to get you off and running immediately. In addition you can save your own pages as templates to use later and speed up subsequent page creations. iRemember also provide a wealth of quotes on various subjects such as “friends� and “family� you can drop in as well. These assets are great for beginners, but those people who are really into scrapbooking will find themselves scanning in different papers and items to make their creations look more professional. Here I would recommend users pick up a copy of Photoshop Elements or a similar graphics editing package. iRemember supports alpha channels (hint: uncheck the “color� option in the Inspector palette) so you can create elements like pieces of string, photo corners, buttons etc., assuming you have a little skill in scanning and cutting out elements digitally.

Above: Creating this page only took 6 minutes minutes with iRemember. It would have taken about an hour through traditional “cut and paste” scrapbooking.

What’s Missing?

Well, while the benefits to an all digital workflow are many, there is still one drawback to working virtually. Digital scrapbooks just do not have the same “feel� to them that traditional scrapbooks do. Printing out a nice finished page on glossy photopaper looks great, but the smooth finish lacks the warmth of the textured paper a real scrapbook has. Scanned in 3-dimensional items LOOK real, but you don’t get that same layered feeling running your fingers along the pages. You can buy textured paper and print your pages on that, but then the photos don’t look quite as good as they should. At one point I actually found myself printing out a page made in iRemember and then using traditional scrapbooking techniques to paste photos on top of THAT page to get the look I wanted. I have since begun using iRemember as a layout and planning tool for my “real� scrapbooks in addition to a making my digital ones.


iRemember is a truly great product, and I envision it becoming even better in subsequent versions. The current version (1.5) ships as a Universal Binary, and adds many small improvements over version 1.0 of the software, such as stroke controls, text, photo and fill opacity, and many others. Small annoyances remain (like not being able to adjust a drop shadows opacity, incase the folks at Intriguing Development are reading this) but can be overcome if necessary by doubling up items or using 3rd party software like Photoshop.

Just as with traditional scrapbooks, the pages you create will look as good as the amount of effort you are willing to put into them. However, the time savings and flexibility of using iRemember’s digital workflow will shorten the amount of time you spend preserving your memories, and leave you with more time to create great new ones.


Price: $49.95
Pros: Flexible, fast, no mess
Cons: Printed output lacks “warmth”, some knowledge of 3rd party graphics editing programs is needed to get truly unique looks
Rating: 8.1 out of 10

2 Responses to “REVIEW: Intriguing Development’s iRemember scrapbooking software for the Mac”
  1. Mrskatie says:

    Thanks for this review. I was convinced to start digital scapbooking after using picaboo,com for a photo book, but was disappointed that it doesn’t support Mac users. I have been considering getting iRemember. I will first try the free 15 day trial and if it works as I hope, will purchase it and give all my paper scrapbooking “stuff” back to my mother-in-law CM consultant 😉

  2. Kat Augustson says:

    Good review for many who “scrap” as we do. I have just ordered this program and I’m waiting for it to arrive. I can hardly wait. I have the task of converting a scrapbook my grandmother put together for my sister and I of our family dating back to the early 1900’s. All of our family pictures on our father’s side of the family are in that old dusty book. It’s not a scrapbook as we know it to be these days but more of a photo album. It has no journaling in it whatsoever. So, I volunteered to take this project on and plan on having my first time digital scrapbook put together in a bound book that can be published at several of the Photo Sharing websites such as Snapfish and even at .Mac on my Mac computer.

    Since it was stated here that a 3rd party photo editor would be helpful kind of puts me in a bind since I don’t have one and even if I did I wouldn’t know how to use it. In any event, the critique of iRemember is great and I do so appreciate the words of instruction written by the “Scrapper”. Your knowledge of computers tells me that you may be a web developer or a serious “computer geek”!

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