Prepare for Success in Your Class

{aka: Grab Your Favorite Drink}

First up, I'd like to introduce you to some items that will help you prepare for success in our class together:

  • Accessing the Lesson Videos
  • The PDF Guides
  • Downloading & Unzipping Files
  • Downloading & Installing Fonts
  • Organizing Your Files
  • Questions & Feedback
  • Request a Mentor
  • Post Your Project!
  • How to Contact Me

Access to the Lesson Videos

Our class together is primarily video-based. If you have a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile device that can view web pages, I might suggest setting that device up beside you as you work on your main screen in Photoshop. That way you won't have to switch back and forth between the lesson and the project you're working on. You can pause, start, stop the videos, and go back to the techniques as many times as you need to - this class never expires.

Companion PDF Files

Each lesson comes with a delightful and well-designed PDF file summarizing the lesson material. You can view the PDF right in the lesson page (it's always right below the video), print it out, or save it to your computer for offline access. Many students prefer to print the PDFs and put them in a binder, and then come back to the videos only when needed. The choice is yours!

Downloading & Unzipping Files

Almost every lesson includes a package of course materials that will help you create the exact project you'll see in the videos. They're yours for personal use in any project you like! By the end of class, you'll have a great collection going! After you have finished downloading the course materials for each lesson (which are located under each lesson's image), you'll need to "unzip" it.

Downloading & Installing Fonts

Another delicious item you'll start a collection of: FONTS! In the classes you'll take with me, we download a lot of fonts. I love fonts. LOVE. And I think you'll enjoy building your own delicious collection, too! I always put my font files in a folder so I know where they are and I can move the whole folder when I move to a new computer. That way they're easy to re-install as needed.

Font files come in two formats: .ttf and .otf. For our purposes, they behave exactly the same and are installed and managed in the same way. After you download a font to your Fonts folder, just double-click to unzip it, and then double-click on the font file. Your computer will install it for you. Installed fonts are available in all the programs on your computer.

Organizing Files

Let's compare our computer to a closet. For a storage closet where you only go in once a year to pull out Christmas decorations, you really don't have to spend that much time sorting and organizing and labeling and making sure nothing random goes in there. But your bedroom closet? It makes sense to try to keep some order in the place, so you know where you can find a pair of pants or a sweater. And if that's as good as our closet gets, that's great! With that closet metaphor in mind, let's talk about how you might set up a part of your computer's file system to prepare for success in our class.

JS, Class & Lesson Folders

I recommend that you create a folder on your computer that will store everything you do here (closet). Let's say you call that JS or JessicaSprague or DigiClasses, anything that will help you identify it. Then within JSClasses, create a Class Folder (start a new Class Folder for every class you take).

Within your Class Folder, create a Lesson Folder for each lesson, so you can download and easily find the materials for that project. I also recommend placing the PDF files in the main class folder. Like this:

Digital Supplies Folder

You'll be collecting other goodies too, because that's the nature of digital scrapbooking (yay, pretty things!), and I recommend you put these in a separate folder. Mine is called DigitalSupplies, and everything goes in there. (As for what you do with those, I teach a whole class about organizing THAT folder.)

Photos Folder

This one is really important. Sometimes when you're working on something you might open a photo, make edits to it, and then accidentally save that photo back over your original. Then you will cry. Ask me how I know this. So we'll make a goal right now, shall we, that we never EVER save anything back into our original Photos folder. Only Original Photos go here. If you are editing photos and it isn't part of a class with me, make a PhotosWIP folder and put your edits there. Now Pinky Swear. OK? Okay.

Using Disqus for Questions & Feedback

Each lesson has a class-specific discussion board attached to it. Simply scroll to the bottom of the lesson and post your comments! There's no wading through pages of forums because you "know someone posted somewhere about this lesson."

Our discussion board is hosted by Disqus, so before you can jump into the action, you'll need to make an account at Disqus.com (or click on the "Sign up with Disqus" button). When you want to make a comment, log in with Disqus and start posting! (Detailed instructions can be found here.)

Request a Mentor

We have a group of hand-picked, volunteer mentors who regularly monitor the discussion boards. Sometimes, though, you may want one-on-one help or feel shy about asking questions in the forum. To request a mentor, click on the Help button at the top of the homepage and choose Request a Mentor. We'll assign you a mentor to personally help you along your digital journey. Best of all? It's free!

Post Your Project!

No need to hunt for a separate gallery! The Disqus discussion board (see Using Disqus for Questions & Feedback) is also used for sharing your layouts. Once you've logged in to Disqus, click on the picture icon below your comment's text area and follow the prompts to load your layout! We recommend 800 px X 800 px.

Contact Us!

I'd love to hear from you! To ask a site-related question or to share some of your thoughts with me, make a support request. You can do this three ways from the homepage:

1) Click on the Help button at the top of the page. This will send you to the Help Desk, where you can either navigate to the Knowledge Base (check here for FAQs and common topics), fill out a contact form, or request a mentor.

 

2) Click on the Howdy, Friend! button to open a submenu and choose Submit a Support Ticket.

 

 

 

3) Click on the green Help button.

 

Have more questions? Submit a request

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