If you haven't come across the term before a "swipe file" is what copywriter's use to get inspiration from other writer's ad, sales letters and advertising. They keep a file of all their favorites. If some advertising has resulted in you buying something and you were impressed positively by it- the idea is that you would keep all these in a file. They can then get ideas and inspiration for the next ad they sit down to write.
If so, you would adapt an ad that impressed you so that you aren't copying it but deriving ideas that you can put your own stamp on. This is a great idea to use for scrapbooking. It's particularly helpful if you feel you lack ideas or could do with some creative input. I bought an album with black pages and I use it as my swipe file.
I put a bit of double-sided tape to stick in any examples of scrapbook pages that I like the look of from magazines etc. If you don't want to tear the magazine or it belongs to someone else you can scan it and then stick it in your swipe file. I 'm not suggesting copying them but they are great for getting ideas and formulating your own likes and dislikes. What I really like about this is the way you have an opportunity to give time and attention to things you really like. You're making a collection of what makes you happy, inspired, refreshed and brings joy into your life.
You will enjoy spending time on this. Try to analyse what it is you like about each one and make notes for yourself. This will help to give you ideas for pages in the future. Another idea to get your scrapbooking under control is storyboarding. This is an idea borrowed from movie and film makers.
The idea is to start each scene by drawing it on paper. You can do the same for your scrapbooking. I could see this coming in handy for people who can only do scrapooking intermittently with gaps of time in between. You could have a notebook with photos and make notes for each of the pages that you will eventually do. This way names, dates, places etc are noted at the time and you have a blueprint for the pages when you are able to give it the time.
I have photos of occasions I remember with a lot of happiness but I can not remember some of the names, places or where the photos were taken. The important things to make a note of in your storyboard are the 5 W's. These will be what you want to remember: Who, What, When, Where and Why.
When you have that you can usually remember the rest but make notes of anything you want to include that you might otherwise not recollect. The most important thing with any hobby is to really love the time you spend on it. Whatever makes it easier for you is going to be important. If you get into a routine that makes it a good experience you'll get the most joy out of creating a treasure for your family.
Karen O'Donnell enjoys papercrafting including card making and scrapbooking. She has made her living from these hobbies for 4 years. To find out more than 25 different ways you could start card making or scrapbooking for a living. http://www.scrapbookandcardmakingforpleasureandprofit.com