Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts and Tips on Project Life

I LOVE Project Life.  I wasn't sure I would even like it, much less love it.  I had doubts about whether I could keep up and whether I would ditch the whole thing a couple of months into it.  But I love it and I HAVE kept up to date.  

Why do I love it?  Well, I'm a scrapbooker who has always told the little stories of daily life.  Sure, I scrapbook the birthdays, all the kids' firsts, Christmas etc, but it's the everyday stories that are more important to me- the details of our lives that would otherwise be forgotten. Scrapbooking is more about the stories and less about the pretty papers and embellishments for me. This is why I was always going to love Project Life- it's a perfect fit for me.

As I near the end of my first full year of Project Life, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on Project Life and a handful of tips that have kept me on track in my weekly documentation of our daily lives. You might be thinking about starting it in 2013, you might have started it and not continued with it in 2012 for whatever reason, or you might be a non-scrapbooker who still wants to document your stories but doesn't know how.

First of all, if you are a newbie, check out Becky Higgins' explanation on her official site.  

Then, get your supplies.  If you are in Australia and you want to use a kit, go to Craft House and get all your gear.  I use the "A Design" page protectors all the way through my PL album, but there are lots of different styles to choose from.  

I don't use a kit- I use a mixture of bits and pieces from my overflowing stash of supplies and digital elements that I download and print.  Check out the many many Pinterest Project Life boards for inspiration and links to journalling cards and other downloadable stuff.  You can add to your kit, change it or design elements yourself digitally or with stamps as you go. Then you will need an album (or two).  I use a plain black Printblocks D-ring album and for 2012 I filled two of them.

Set aside a time in your weekly schedule for Project Life and stick to it.  For example, I choose and edit my photos Sunday afternoon or evening and save them on a USB stick.  After I drop-off Master 6 at school on Monday morning, I go straight to Big W for printing.  Since I usually get there at around 8.30am, it takes about 10-15 minutes for them to be ready.  Then during Master 2's nap I complete my spread for the week. DONE!  This is part of our weekly routine as important as any of our other activities and because I treat it as a "standing appointment" it gets done.....every week....without fail.

I know many Project Lifer's who print at home, and that's good too.  I think if you add up the money spent on paper/ink etc vs cost of doing it at a lab/time out of your day, it works out about even.  I have a colour laser printer and it just doesn't print photos well at all.  I would love a dedicated photo printer but can't justify it when my system works fine for me.

You need to keep some kind of journal through the week.  It might be your day-planner or just a notebook. I use my Filofax diary to make little notes and check my own Facebook posts for the week for anything else of interest.  You can get apps for your phone that prompt you to make some notes- Dayone is a popular iPhone app and I'm sure there are similar apps available for Android.

If you get organised NOW and get started on January 1 2013, you can do this.  I have loved what I've done in 2012 and will be going again in 2013.......who's going to join me?


  1. Hi Louise, I've just popped over from PLA and I'm loving your PL pages. I am 4 weeks behind eek!!! and am hoping to catch up today. Luckly I have the photos printed and I keep a journal, it's just been a very busy time for us and I had a feeling I would get behind a little. I've put you on my favourites and look forward to seeing more of your work.

  2. Hi Sue, and thankyou for your kind words....good luck with your mission to get caught up- sounds like you're pretty organised with your pics and journalling ready to go :-)