I had the privilege of test driving the newest version of Fundy Designer and – wow – I’m totally blown away.

I’ve tried a few different album design methods and I’ve purchased two other album designers in the past that I was pretty happy with, so I wasn’t expecting Fundy to be a life-changing kind of thing.

But I’ve gotta say, there is no way I’m going back to my old album making software after this!

Here are my 5 favorite things about Fundy Designer version 7:

Bottom line, Fundy takes something that is cumbersome and time consuming and actually makes it fun, easy and FAST! At this rate I'm going to be

1. Grouping images + Auto Design = Perfection!

If you’ve used any album design software before, you’re probably familiar with some sort of autofill option. I have never in my life been satisfied with an autofill design. The software doesn’t understand which images work together to best tell a story. It’s basically a shot in the dark that almost never works out. I pretty much write off autofill any time I see that it’s an option. Well, let me just tell you, I might be sticking with Fundy’s version of autofill for the rest of my album making life!

The ability to group certain images together as well as tag images as favorites means Fundy’s auto option isn’t just guessing, it’s creating the perfect album layout based on the info you’re providing. I tried it and on the very first autofill I was thrilled with the results! But no worries if you want to do minor tweaking; making changes to the auto design is so easy. But chances are, you won’t even need to!

Fundy Design photo album review by Jessica Thomason

2. Lightroom star ratings and keywords transfer over!

This is huge! I live in Lightroom and I have a long-standing system for flagging, tagging and starring my images. Once you’ve imported your images into Fundy, you can immediately sort by star rating or keywords you’ve applied previously. Anything that saves me from doing double work is a winner in my book. Love this feature.

Fundy Design photo album review by Jessica Thomason v

3. Drop Zones (automatic resizing) make last minute changes insanely easy!

I’m loving this feature for making my family album but this is something you’ll really love for clients. Ever have a client tell you at the last minute that they really want you to add just one more picture to a spread? And then you spend 30 minutes trying to size it so that it works and pull your hair out and think “Why is something as simple as adding in ONE image SO time-consuming?!” Well, apparently the people at Fundy thought the same thing and they’ve made something called “Drop Zones.”

These nifty little boxes that contain your images adjust automatically when you add or remove images from each layout. This means you and your clients can change your minds a hundred times without losing your sanity!

Fundy Design photo album review by Jessica Thomason

4. Quick Design Picker is my new BFF.

This is a simple but wonderful feature! Once you drag the images you want onto your spread, you will see an automatic layout. Instead of scrolling or arrowing through all the options for layouts, simply click the Quick Design Picker icon and you immediately see all your options visually. This doesn’t seem like a big deal but trust me – I’ve spent a good 5 minutes flipping through layout options and second guessing myself. That may not seem like a lot but it’s the difference between spending all night making an album and being able to do it during my daughter’s 30-minute nap. Which also means it’s the difference between getting my album ordered or not.

Fundy Design photo album review by Jessica Thomason

5. Direct ordering has changed my life – and that’s no exaggeration!

Okay, so is it just me or is even the thought of opening ROES cumbersome? It’s not particularly user-friendly or fast and it’s probably just a mental thing but I hate using it. But I have no choice right? Wrong! Fundy direct ordering means you design your album within the program and checkout through the lab of your choice, all in the same program! That’s correct – you do not, I repeat, YOU DO NOT have to open ROES. For me, this is such a weight off my shoulders. It’s as simple as clicking a couple buttons and checking out. This is a big deal, people!

Fundy supports several popular labs (and my personal lab of choice, Miller’s), but if you want to order at another lab, it’s easy to just export your design and upload to the lab of your choice through ROES or any other program.

Fundy Design photo album review by Jessica Thomason

Bottom line, Fundy takes something that is cumbersome and time-consuming and actually makes it fun, easy and FAST! At this rate I’m going to be caught up with personal albums in no time. When it comes to clients, I want them to have beautiful heirloom albums but I also know that by the time I cover the cost of the actual album and then consider the time it takes me to make one (longer than I care to admit), it’s not really worth it for me financially to promote them. But as easy as Fundy has made it, I am going to encourage every single client to treat themselves to a beautiful custom album.

I can’t say enough good things about Fundy. Really! I’m grateful for having had the chance to take it for a test drive and share my thoughts.