Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Project Life 2013

Way back in January of 2012 (when I was still a good little blogger who kept up with such things as crafting and posting to her blog), I did a Project Life intro and first impressions post.  2012 was going to be the first year I had undertaken a full year project like Project Life, and I was both excited, and had reservations.  I am not so good at commitment to these kinds of things, but I was SO EXCITED about the idea of documenting a full year of our lives in such a fun way, that I thought I really might stick to things this time round.  And I was so right.

YES, I did get behind a few times (like the few weeks leading up to, and several weeks following the birth of our first child)

YES, I did spend a few (several) grinder nights trying to 'catch up', or be more crafty with things, or whaterver.

NO, I am not completely finished my 2012 album, as I had hoped to be before 2012 actually finished.

BUT - I am not far behind!  I have a few weeks of pictures all printed out and ready to slip into my page protectors, a few bits of journalling to finish, and the last week of my Daily December (which I included as part of my Project Life album) to finish up when I return home from visiting family for the holidays.

I absolutely LOVE the product that I am left with.  I have a full (and quite exciting) year documented, and I am so proud of myself.

Recently (during one of those grinder nights trying to 'catch up', my husband asked me if I was 'seriously considering doing this again for 2013' in a touch of a sarcastic tone...like 'you can't be serious'...  I told him to go take a peak at the album sitting on our kitchen table, and tell me if he thought I should or not.  His reaction spoke volumes.  He had seen the album before.  I often shared completed weeks, or sought out his side of things/point of view for various events that were more from his point of view, (OK, so I forced him to journal a bit...hehe).  At first he flipped through pages of the first few weeks...but soon he started finding pictures of my exploding baby belly, of our new son, of visits with friends and family that he had forgotten details of.  And he fully agrees...this is a project to continue with!  I heard a lot of 'look at this guy in this picture!, so tiny!', or 'I don't even remember this!', and 'Look at how hilarious (I know he meant cute) you look sleeping on the couch with the dog using your baby belly as a pillow.'  These are the memories we need to preserve.  These are the things we are going to forget as time goes by and life demands our attention.  This is why I will continue to do Project Life in 2013.  I love it.  Thank you so much Becky for creating such an amazing product that is so versatile and accessible to so many people.

As I Move Forward
There are many things I learned from doing Project Life in 2012.

I get bored easily.  OK, I didn't just learn this, and I should have known better.  But one core kit is just not enough for me.  I need variety to keep me motivated.  I can't use the same cards for a full year and be excited about it.  I just can't.  I need NEW.  So this year I have buddied up with a PL friend and we are going to each buy a kit, and then split it.  LOVE this idea.  This way I have two kits to work with, plus leftovers from my old kit.

I love to keep it simple. Throwing in 3x4 and 4x6 grid cards has become a 'go to' for me each week.  This is one thing I do NOT get bored with.  I love the clean lines and blank slate it provides me for journalling, for a photo backdrop, for anything.  These two items are a MUST HAVE for me with my PL album...I never seem to have enough of them.

Some of my post-it organizers      .
I need to stay organized. Again, not a new thing for me.  I am not able to look at a week of photos, click off a few, and know exactly where I am going to put them in my album.  If I approach PL this way, I will end up printing way too many pictures and have a full year in about 4 binders.  I need to PLAN.  And this does NOT have to take up a lot of time.  When I was in a good stride with PL (before baby A arrived) I would spend about 30-45 minutes on Sunday sorting through photos, and jotting notes on a post-it note with a diagram of my usual Design A page protectors, noting where I would put each photo, etc.  Monday night I would then take about 20 minutes to slide my freshly printed (via Walmart) photos into their pockets, journal where necessary, and be done for the week.  Beautiful.  Neat and tidy.  No fuss, no muss.  With the addition of so many fun page protector designs, I got a bit tired of drawing boxes to organized my thoughts and pictures.  So I created a printable to use each week instead.  I have printed these two ways.  First single sided, so I can fold it in half and include any memorabilia I want to remember for that week.  Second, I have printed them double sided and just used one side per week.  Whatever works for you.  I wanted to share this as it has been a HUGE time saver for me, keeping me organized and ready to go.  It is not often that I am able to organize what I want to do for the week, order the pictures, AND put the pages together on the same day (or even in the same few days) now that Baby A is here, so this template keeps me focused, and reminds me of what I was thinking when I actually sit down to put the pages together.  Love it.  You can find the links to download the single page organizer, or optional two page organizer below the picture.  I hope you find this as useful as I do!

Single Page Organizer - https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6LWtxBTUUeVdHJlQldlRUlCVFU

Two Page Organizer - https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B6LWtxBTUUeVeTlaTWFNMlk5Y1k

Whether you are new to Project Life, or an old pro just looking for new ideas, I would love to hear your best tips for keeping your Project Life album organized and up to date!  Leave me a comment below to share your ideas!

Thanks for stopping by!



Sherrie M. said...

I am starting PL this year (really this time!) after a couple of failed attempts. I have been looking into making something similar with just design A boxes when I found your planning sheet. Can you explain how the sheet works? What goes intomthe big space in the middle? do you note which photos go where in the design a box on the bottom? Sorry for the stupid questions but I am hoping to gain from your experiences at doing this without having to recreate the wheel for myself.

Thanks so mucn and thanks for sharing!

Maya Oren-Dahan said...

I am a PL newbie. I am not sure yet if I will need a page planner, but I pinned yours in case I will need it! TFS!

Lisa said...

Hi Sherri! Thanks so much for the comment! I have added a second post showing how I use the organizer, that I hope answers some of your questions!

Susan said...

This is my first year doing this and I want to thank you for the help!!!

Rebecca at How I Burb said...

I just drafted a post today about catching up on PL, so this was a great post to read today! Glad you were able to get Mostly caught up!

Tracey Crafts said...

Its my first time of PL and Ive designed a similar planning sheet and i do agree it keeps you on track. Thanks for sharing yours x

libbywilko said...

Very cool ! Thanks.

Amelia said...

Here's what I do - I use a documenting planner




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