I've been planning a series of post for digital scrapbooking beginners but the scope is so large I just thought I'd dive in with a video about using digital templates, which is an awesome way to learn.
A QUICK NOTE ON SOFTWARE:
I use Photoshop Elements (PSE) for all of my scrapbooking (even though I also have Photoshop as part of my Adobe subscription). PSE is a more simplified version of Photoshop with less features but I have always found PSE to do everything I need. It is perfect for beginners and even long-time digital scrapbookers.
In terms of cost, PSE is available as a standalone piece of software that you buy outright - in Australia it is $145.19 at the Adobe online store. I believe you can also buy it at big box stores in the USA and there are often deals and discount codes. PSE is updated every year but you can keep using your current version through a few updates so it's not a yearly cost. I am using PSE 15 right now, which is not the latest.
Photoshop CC (or what people refer to as the full version of Photoshop) is more expensive with more features and is not available as a one-off purchase. It is part of Adobe's Creative Cloud so it comes as part of a monthly subscription. I pay $14.29 Australian per month for the Photography Plan which gives me Photoshop CC and Lightroom (which I love).
I will probably move to Photoshop CC for scrapbooking one day because I'm already paying for it, but there is a big learning curve there in the switch and I would rather spend my time scrapbooking than futzing around and being frustrated for now.
A PSE page works with layers, just like a traditional paper scrapbook page. You have your base layer then working from there up, your journaling, title, embellishments.
Keeping things in separate layers gives you a lot of control over your page, you can:
switch layers on and off to see your layout with our without that item
move the order around to put your embellishment on top of your journaling etc
duplicate layers if you want to repeat an item
duplicate layers if you want to play around with resizing or colouring but want to keep the original there in case you change your mind
The Layers Palette is where you can see all of your layers and add/delete/switch off/re-order. I keep mine always visible to the side.
VIDEO: WORKING WITH LAYERED TEMPLATES & PHOTO CLIPPING