However, not everything that is free is worth your time - so before I get to the contest, let's first take a look at the program My Memories Suite 2.0 that I was provided with for a review.
First, a few basics. The My Memories Suite 2.0 is essentially a digital scrapbook maker. I'll admit, as someone who doesn't scrapbook, I wasn't particularly impressed with the idea of the product when I was first approached. However, I don't make snap judgments, so I withheld my skepticism long enough to take a look at their website and what exactly the program was capable of doing.
It turns out, My Memories Suite is probably exactly what I needed - I just never knew it! I've taken a variety of international trips over the last few years (most of which were for work technically but were still mostly fun), had I known about this program after any of those trips my albums would have been so much nicer to page through! Furthermore, I could have printed a second copy for my grandmother (and probably a third for my mom since, well, she's my mom and likes everything I do because that's how mothers are). Even better, my album pages would be neat and tidy, rather than the crooked picture, sloppy writing pages that my trip albums currently feature.
Of course, that was the first thought that popped into my head (and admittedly, it's not entirely creative)... A further look at the website revealed a bit more of why you should use the software. And, for the skeptics, why you should digital scrapbook to begin with. Finally, there is a nice information page on the site that highlights the main features of the program. Now, you may have noticed the price tag on that last link ($39.97). Keep reading, I have been provided with a discount code for all my readers who want to download the program (whether you win the contest or not)!
Anyhow, back to the program. After reading through the various pages, I decided that the product would at least be worth trying out. Now, since I wanted to see if I could directly use it on my blog, I decided to try my hand at making a more interesting "trade bait" page.
Here's a screen shot of the page in progress:
As you can (hopefully) tell from the above screenshot, the program is quite simple to use. In fact, I completed the above page in under five minutes - and not once did I need to reference the help file. The program operates a lot like Word or any other Window's program (which is great - it makes the learning curve short - at least for basic uses of the program).
After creating the page, I used the "share album" tab and turned my page into a .jpeg that was automatically sized for use on the web. Here's the .jpeg.
Now, obviously that appeared to be a bit blocky, so I went back to the program and tried again - this time I chose a much higher resolution setting...
Ah, much better! If that doesn't make the typical trade bait post much more interesting, I don't know what will! In fact, I have a feeling I'll be using the program to make the occasional trade bait page - and probably for some trade package posts as well! It's quick, (and fun), plus it makes your photos that much more interesting to look at (which is the point of the blog right)?
Alright, so the program has my approval. If I can use it, anyone can. After making the above page, I tried to think of some other ways that the program could be used - one such use is for a digital cookbook. That's definitely something that I hope to do in the near future for myself. I'm often finding recipes and bookmarking them (once in a while I print them) but there's no real organization of the recipes. A digital cookbook (that can be printed if desired) would fix that in a heart beat.
So, the bottom line:
I give My Memories Suite 2.0 a 95/100.
It's intuitive and easy to use. The only downside is the share-to-web option produces unacceptable quality (at least to me). However, as you saw above, that's easy to fix. There's also the potential problem of having to purchase additional "papers" and "embellishments." However, anyone who actually scrapbooks has those costs - and when you buy a digital embellishment, you have it for life. If you buy a package of stickers for "regular" scrapbooking, once you've used the sticker, it's used. With the digital scrapbook, once you've bought some embellishment, it's yours forever. To me, that's totally worth it (and a quick look at the prices makes it appear that nothing is overly expensive).
And now, the contest:
Would you like your own free version of the software? I thought so. Here's the deal.
To enter, you must do the following:
1. First, visit the website MyMemories.com. While there, find your favorite digital paper pack or layout and then leave a comment on this blog entry with a link to your favorite and a reason why you chose it. After all, since the company is nice enough to give away a $40.00 product to some lucky blog reader of mine, the least I can do is send a bit of traffic their way!
I'll randomize all the entrants (using random.org) and pick a winner that way. However, I'm guessing some of you want to earn more than one entry - in fact, there are a few members of the blog-o-sphere that I know would make great use of the software, so here's your chance.
2. To earn an extra entry, tell me what you would do with the software (or if you already use it, what you use it for). I'm specifically looking for uses other than "a photo album". I have a few other ideas besides that ones I've mentioned above but I'm more interested in hearing your thoughts!
3. To earn another extra entry, follow my blog. (JUST KIDDING - I hate when contests "require" someone to follow.) I will, however, give a third entry to anyone who completes steps 1 and 2 AND provides a little advertising on their blog (please provide the link to your post where you talk about the contest in a comment).
The contest will run until September 23 at 11:59 PM EST. I will draw the winner that weekend if all goes well and contact the winner with details of how to get the free product.
That's all you have to do! Oh yeah, one more thing...
Even if you don't win (or don't feel like entering), you can purchase the product for less than the list price by using the following code: . The coupon code will give a $10.00 discount off the My Memories Suite Scrapbook PLUS a $10 coupon for the MyMemories.com store. That's a $20.00 value - and it's just for you, my loyal (and maybe new) readers!