The Cricut electronic die-cut machine paired with the Cricut Design Studio software has opened up a whole new world of designing possibilities for scrapbookers and cardmakers alike. While many of us have an abundance of tools and materials, the one thing we seem to be lacking more than any other is time. It is important to use the time we are able to find to the fullest if we want to complete more projects. Here are three ways to maximize your time spent creating.
1. Maintain proper maintenance on your machine, blade, mat and tools.
If you spend the few extra moments it takes to keep your machine in good condition it will save you time and money in the end. The two biggest culprits seem to be the blade and the cutting mat. Replace your blade when necessary to keep from wasting paper after paper with torn or less-than-perfect cuts and the time it takes to re-cut your images. If you try to stretch out the use of your mat too long the papers will begin to move and slide as the machine cuts. It’s more than worth it to implement the age old advice of doing things right the first time.
2. Become familiar with the people who can help you.Getting to know the resources available to help you will save you time when you get stuck using the machine and software. The most important resource in my opinion is the Cricut message boards. There are some wonderful people on there more than willing to answer any question you have and help with ideas.
3. Don’t reinvent the wheel.Unless you just enjoy designing and playing with the software, there’s no reason to recreate a file someone else has already made. There are numerous blogs and sites where other Cricut users share the projects and the corresponding files they have designed.
There’s no reason to spend precious time designing cuttings from scratch when someone has kindly put it on the web for you to use. Even if you only use the base of the design as a starting point for adding your own additions, you will still save a good deal of time by not trying to figure out how to create the file from the very beginning. One thing to remember is to always give credit where credit is due, even if you do change the file in one way or another.
Spend a little extra time up front by keeping your tools in tip-top shape, getting to know where to find help, and using other people’s designs when you can. If you do, when you sit down to work on a project you may just find that you have more time to actually complete it than you thought.