If you decide one of these programs is for you please see the bottom of post to save $10 off Memory Mixer or use coupon code STMMMS0718 to save $10 off My Memories Suite.
Here are some features both programs offer and how they differ.
1) You can move layers back and forward with a click of the button. I love this feature. If I want to move an embellishment in front of a photo all I need to do is click on the embellishment and press move forward (or backward) depending where I want it. It's quick and easy to see how things look in different positions, tucked behind or out in front (shortcut is CTRL up arrow or CTRL down arrow on PC). The one downfall to this is if you have a ton of layers. It can take some time. What I usually do then is move my item to the front or back and work from there.
*My Memories Suite now offers a layers list panel where you can move layers around more easily. You no longer need to click the up and down arrows.
2) Premade Pages: I LOVE templates/pre-made pages and use them often for my pages.
- Templates and Quickmixes - At at My Memories Suite you can get pre-made pages called Templates, at Memory Mixer they are called Quickmixes. The cool thing is that they are kind of like quickpages except that the file isn't flattened so you can either leave the page as is and add your photo or you can change it as needed. You can change the paper, photo sizes, and you can add or delete elements. I love it because it is so quick and if my photo doesn't fit into a premade page I can quickly fix it so it does.
- Page Builders - I have also created a product I call Page Builders (aka Barb's Builders) in both stores. They are pages that have shapes and photo boxes set up for you, all you need to do is add paper. These help to speed up your creative process and they can be used over and over with a variety of different kits. I have tutorials explaining how to do it for Memory Mixer here and My Memories Suite here.
3) You can save your albums and print them to ANY Photo Book Company. This is a big plus in my books. I can search around for the best deals and I am not stuck printing with the company who made the software. Of course make sure you check out the software company prices too because sometimes they are the best out there!
4) In both programs you can use outside content (meaning content not purchased from the stores). Now I do have to say it is convenient to purchase from the stores because they are set up to load right into your program and they are organized for you, plus both stores have a great selection of designs. But, if you choose to use outside content you can. Each program works differently for bringing in outside content.
My Memories Suite:
- Embellishments: Open your embellishment window and click add embellishment and a window will pop up. You will see a button on the bottom that says "Browse other". Just click it and you can get your kit from your hard drive, external drive, disk, wherever you have it. It's wonderful!! Or use embellishments within the software by clicking on the theme you want.
- Shapes: If you have version 4 or up you can now add paper from outside content much easier than with previous versions. Click your shape button and add the shape you want. At the bottom you will see buttons that say “Paper” or “Photo”. If you are using outside content click “Photo”. Find your file with the paper you want to use and add it this way. If you have a previous version you need to add a paper from your software first, then click on the paper and a window will pop up. At the bottom you will see a button that says replace. Click it. Now you can browse your hard drive for the paper you want. This is a long process. It works but it takes a lot of time. My suggestion is to upgrade to version 4 if you plan on doing this a lot You may wonder what shapes are for. Basically you would use shapes when adding a rectangular border to your page, or a circle mat behind your photo, etc. The program comes with shapes that you can add paper to. You can also add shapes via the photo button and add paper like a photo, just find it on your hard drive.
- Backgrounds: There is a button you can press to use outside content. This is very easy.
- Embellishments - Same as My Memories Suite - Open your embellishment window and click add embellishment and a window will pop up. You will see a button on the bottom that says "Browse other". Just click it and you can get your kit from your hard drive, external drive, disk, wherever you have it. It's wonderful!!
- Shapes: You cannot add paper via the shapes button in My Memories but you can still add shapes. You just need to do it through the photo button. Add the photo, change the shape and then find the paper you want to add on your hard drive. I know there is a way to do this with paper in the program too but I am not positive how to do it. I believe there is a tutorial on their blog. I just always open my paper file on the side bar of my page and drag and drop it in. It is so fast and I love it!
- Background Papers: In the backgrounds window choose “custom” and find the file you want on your computer. Super easy!
5) Both programs have videos to help you learn how to use the software. Check out their blogs, you tube and home pages to find them.
6) Getting Help - Both programs have Facebook pages. The My Memories Suite Facebook page is very active and they run speed scraps on Sunday. Memory Mixer has a speed scrap every Thursday and often has a video tutorial to help you along. If you can’t figure out how to do something just post on Facebook and someone will come along and do their best to help you out. You usually get help the same day on MMS and within a day or two on MM. They also both have a tech support department who will help you out, just call or email.
7) You can use the software programs while offline. You do not have to be connected to the internet.
8) Text Boxes – In My Memories Suite you add a text box, choose your size and type on your page. In Memory Mixer a box comes up and you type in the box. I like Memory Mixer better for this feature because I can always see what I am typing and fix errors right away. Both programs allow you to use any font loaded onto your computer.
9) Both programs let you add your own shadows in whatever size and color you want. I like to change the color of my shadows to match my paper so they are more realistic but if you prefer to do a quick shadow all you have to do is click the shadow button. The cool thing is you can add a shadow to the individual item or you can click "whole page" and it shadows EVERY embellishment on the page, HUGE time saver! I love this!! You can even press whole album and do it all in one step! The same goes for photo shadows.
10) Both programs run on PC or Mac! When you purchase the software from the company’s website the download will always be in your account. If you switch from a PC to a Mac you can reload the software. Also if your computer crashes (I hope that doesn't happen to you) then it is always there for you to download again. Same goes for the kits sold in the store. This is a huge plus, most other digital scrapbook stores don't allow you to re-download kits after a certain time. If your computer crashes you are out of luck, unless you have backed up all your kits.
11) Photo Tiling: In My Memories Suite you can tile a photo by grouping your photo boxes and dragging a photo over it. It fills the boxes you have set up so there are many options. In Memory Mixer this is possible by purchasing a special font they have made for the program. Currently there are four options (the photo tiling font has 10 options in it) you can see them here.
12) Photo Editing: Both programs allow you to do some photo editing in the program. You can crop photos, turn them to sepia or black and white, brighten, darken or correct gamma. You can also correct red eye in both programs.
13) Making Cards: I often get asked if you can make cards in the software. The answer is yes. In My Memories Suite you can create a custom sized document so you get to decide what size card you want to make. In Memory Mixer they have a preset size of 4x6. You can also follow this tutorial to make cards in either program, you just have to set your printer to print as close to the edges as possible.
14) Recolor Embellishments – you can recolor your embellishments with the push of a button. Memory Mixer - Just choose the new color you want and the program changes it for you. This works best on white or light colored embellishments in Memory Mixer and grey/beige in My Memories Suite, doesn’t work on black so it has limits but is very convenient if you need to change something to match your page exactly. Because I am a designer I don’t use this feature but I know one of my Creative Team members uses it all the time and loves it.
15) Use all fonts on your computer - both programs allow you to use any font you have loaded onto your computer for titles and to journal.
So you are probably asking what the differences in the programs are. Here is what I have found:
My Memories Suite:
- Custom Shapes: You can add to your shape category through the back end of the program. I have a tutorial on my blog on how to do this. You can also manipulate shapes within the program but I don’t recommend doing this until you are familiar with the program. If you love using various shapes on your pages (beyond the basic star, triangle, rectangle, square, circle) you may love this feature. You cannot add custom shapes in Memory Mixer, but you can add fonts in both programs and some fonts have shapes. If adding more shapes is important to you this may be the program for you.
- Paper Tearing: - You can add a ripped edge to your paper and photos. It makes a jagged edge like a rip on the edge you choose. Personally I don’t use this feature but if you like the ripped look it may be worth it to get this. You cannot do this in Memory Mixer.
- Crashing – I find that sometimes my program will freeze up on me and I have to close the program to get it working again. This doesn’t happen often but it does happen. I have read of others also having this problem too. If you save often it’s not too much of an issue. If you forget to save your page you can lose all your work. This is not fun! This rarely happens in Memory Mixer, but there have been reports with MemMix too, mostly with Macs I believe.
- Kit Purchase – You can download the kit into your program or onto your hard drive for external storage. Also when you go to purchase a kit the store will tell you that you already have the kit. Kit remain in your account so you can always download again if needed.
- Export Options: PNG, JPEG, SVG & PDF.
- Double Page Layout View: You can now view your layout as a double page spread which makes it much easier to line stuff up if you are a two page scrapper! It's a bit quirky because to view as a two page spread you have to view and work on it in "album view" which shows your pages in album form so it leaves a space for a cover and the first page, so I always add two blank pages for these to get all my other pages to line up (pg 2 & 3, 4 & 5, etc). Not a big deal, only takes 30 seconds to set it up with the two blank pages but it can be frustrating for a beginner if they don't know what they are doing. If you create a lot of 2 page spreads this option may be important to you. It's easy to copy and paste items between the pages.
- *NEW Version 5 & up Layers Window - you can now open a layers window and move elements, photos and shapes around quickly by moving the above or below other layers. Just grab item listed and slide it where you want it. Very quick!
- *NEW* Version 6 is only 64 bit compatible. If you have an older computer that runs 32 bit you will not be able to install the software. This allows for less crashing. Good news is that you can still buy version 5 (runs on 32 bit) if you don't have a 64 bit computer. Just click this link - Version 5.
- * NEW *- Group photo sizing - you can make click on photo boxes on a page and make them the same size all at once - photo boxes must be empty for this feature to work, it does not work with photos in it.
- *NEW*Round photo corners at once - you can round all the corners or just one corner all at once for photo boxes on your page.
- *NEW* Add text to a line - you can add text to a line allowing you to journal in a wave, circle, square and other shapes.
- Text Box – shows up large on your screen when you want to type on your page. You can always read what you are typing. In My Memories your text shows on your page so you can’t always read what you are writing. I love that it comes up large in Memory Mixer as it is much easier to edit.This is a huge plus for me because I do a lot of journal writing on my pages. If you journal a lot on your pages this may be important to you.
- Kit Purchase – you can only download the kit into your account but they are exploring the option of offering a general download, not sure if they will pursue it or not. Kit remain in your account so you can always download again if needed.
- Exporting: JPEG & PDF & Videos.
- Double Page Layout View: You can view pages side by side by opening them in window view, you will have to resize each page to the same size and then place them beside each other to look at them. It's much harder to line things up and you can only work on one page at a time but I have used this option many times when doing 2 page spreads and it works. It's just more labour intensive than My Memories Suite.
- Burning DVD Videos - You can make a video with your pages and burn it onto a DVD. (Note - My Memories Suite discontinued this option in version 5 so if this is an important feature for you make sure you get Memory Mixer.)
- Runs on 64 or 32 bit.
Please note both software packages do more than what is listed here, these are just some of features I use regularly. For full features please see each software product page.
Memory Mixer Product Features
My Memories Suite Product Features
If you are interested in getting into digital scrapbooking this software is definitely worth checking out.
Read the reviews and figure out which one is best for you! Ask yourself what features you will use most, what is important to you. Happy Scrapbooking!
Save $10 off My Memories Suite: At checkout use coupon code STMMMS0718 (Click here to use coupon). Reg. price $39.97, with coupon $29.97
Check your confirmation email for coupon for 20% off printing and a free month in the design club. You will also get a $10 store credit in your account that you are able to purchase some kits from the store with.
Save $10 off Memory Mixer: Click here for special price. Reg. price $39.95, through this link $29.95.