Project Life: What I learned

Last year I started off the year very excited about my Project Life album and my plans to keep it up through the whole year.  I mean, everything that I read about the Project Life system sounded way too easy, so of course it shouldn’t be a problem… right?

Well, the problem with something so simple is that it often gets over thought.  Especially if I am involved.  I mean, sure the original system of one Core kit plus an album, some page protectors and a pen can be very simple.  It’s basic… they really don’t lie to you.  It CAN be that simple.  However, like many of us who see all the beautiful albums that people put together and share online, it can be very overwhelming.  It’s nearly impossible for me to decide on a single Core kit that I’ll be happy with all year.  There are just too many kits available, and now with the mini kits and all sorts of other compatible products from other companies that I get sucked in to buying a bunch of supplies that I may eventually use.

My main challenge last year was with my photos.  I took tons!  Besides trying to decide which to use, there was figuring out how to print them (not just where, but what size, orientation, etc.)  I had overwhelmed myself with getting way too many styles of the page protectors and so I never really knew what to print or how.

Here is a list of lessons that I have learned and need to remember when working on my album this year…

  1. Stick to one layout of page protectors.  This year I will use the Design A pages, with the exception being adding some Design C or L when I have lots of additional photos I wish to include (this keeps my printing to horizontal 4×6 photos – unless I have a reason to have a bunch of vertical ones)
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed with the kit.  Yes, it would be easiest to use a single Core kit.  I get bored though.  Also, I have a decent stash of cards and such in different styles that need to be used.  I’m not going to be super worried about the entire album having a cohesive style, colors, etc.  The photos are really the star of the show – the inserts are for fun, filler and to have a place to write my journaling.
  3. Don’t try to embellish everything.  Sure, I’d love to be able to sit down and be super creative and make every page a work of art.  The simple truth is that I do not have the time, space, energy, etc. to be able to do that.  At this point in my life it’s about getting the story documented.  Later on in life – when the kids are older and I have more space to spread out, I can put the effort into being an artist.  Sure, I’ll have additional embellishments in my album – but only when I somehow find the time to.

I have finally gotten my 2013 album semi- caught up.  I printed a bunch of photos from Persnickety Prints in 3×4 and just finished sticking them in the page protectors.  I simply downloaded all the photos from my phone and picked out the ones to get printed, uploaded them, then pressed order.  A big problem with doing it this way is that some are horizontal, some are vertical, they are now somewhat out of order because of this or I have photos that go different directions on the same page.  I figure that there is something creative I could do to remedy this – but again, I just don’t have time for that right now.  Maybe it can be fixed later.

I plan on getting out my original Core kit (Amber, I think) and filling in some of the blanks with my journaling cards then adding some notes here and there.  Then, I will call the 2013 album complete.  I’m hoping to have this all done before I go back to work in early February so that I can begin to focus on getting my 2014 album worked on regularly.  We’ll see how that works out.



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