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Hello fellow scrappers!  2015 is fast approaching and it will be here before you know it!  Becca’s adorable Pocket Starts Collections have got me thinking about trying my hand at Project Life again this year.  I tried this year.  I really did!  But I didn’t have a plan.  I dove into it and tried my best, but about after two months, I realized I’d goofed.  I quit taking my notes, I’d fell behind in keeping up with my weekly spreads.  By the time I got to scrap the week, I’d long forgotten what had happened and what I would have liked to document.  So this year, determined to be successful, I’ve decided to make a plan!

I’m sharing my thought process on my plan with you today in hopes that it will help you be successful in creating AND executing your own plan for a project life album in 2015.

WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH YOUR ALBUM?

What is it that you really WANT out of a project life album?  When you’re looking back at this album years from now, what is it you want to see?  Do you want to remember quotes?  Or maybe you care more about the photos?  Family activities?  Road trips?  School successes?  Deciding what matters most to you will help you determine what you want to include in your album.  If you don’t know what you really want to include, you may feel overwhelmed when it comes time to start your spread.  You may have so much information for the week that you can’t even fit it all.  You need to decide what’s most important to you.  I mean, 10 years from now are you really going to care about the trip to jiffy lube for an oil change?  Unless you had your kids with you and they did something funny or simply adorable, chances are, you’re not going to care.  Again, think about what you want to accomplish here.  Looking back through some of your old scrapbooks may even help you out here.  Look at your favorite pages and ask yourself why you love them.  Was it a photo?  Journaling?  Carry those favorites over to your project life album.

WRITE IT DOWN!

Keep a daily planner or journal through this process.  Utilizing a planner for journaling things that happen during the day will streamline your process when it comes time to create your spread.  I plan on keeping track of things like:

  • Random quotes from the kids (these are some of the funniest and my kids will appreciate these when they are older)
  • Milestones from the kids (first step, first word, first bike ride, A on spelling test, Honor Roll, etc.)
  • Successful cooking attempts (I celebrate new recipes!)
  • Fun new purchases
  • Family visits/activities
  • Photos I love from the day
  • ANYTHING that made an impact on my day!

Looking at your answers to the first question will help you realize what you need to be keeping track of at the end of each day.

TAKE LOTS OF PHOTOS

Always have a camera close at hand.  A cell phone camera is so perfect for those moments you need to catch immediately.  We both know that the photo quality isn’t going to be the best.  Sometimes I have a really hard time using my phone camera because I know I won’t be able to make it a big part of my spread.  But would you rather have a slightly blurred photo in a 3×4 slot, or no photo at all?  Chances are, by the time you’ve gotten your good camera out, the moment is gone.  It’s okay to settle for cellular photos when it comes to getting a picture or missing out entirely.  Life isn’t perfect and your album doesn’t have to be either!

KEEP IT SIMPLE

Choose one project life template (or grid template, as some refer to it) and stick with it for the first few months.  Knowing that you need to fill the same format each week takes the guess work out of it for you.  No more sitting at the computer going back and forth between photos and taking twenty minutes to decide which template you want to start with.  You know as soon as you sit down to start, which template to open up in photoshop.

Place your photos first, and then worry about the cards.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  If you’re trying to decide between including a photo you love, or an adorable project life card, choose the photo and keep on going!  After you have placed all of your photos for the week, then you can use the left over spaces for journal and filler cards.

Get out that planner or journal, and type up what you documented for the week on your journal cards.  Remember, just the important stuff!  Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the information you can write down in a week!

If embellishing overwhelms you, or you need to minimize the amount of time spent on scrapping, then skip the ellies.  Sure they are cute and would add lots of flair to your pages!  But if taking the time to add them is going to keep you from completing your album, then skip ’em!

Once you get the hang of it, and it’s becoming a habit for you, then branch out a little bit if you want.  But keeping the same format will really make it easier for you to get started those first several weeks.

SCRAP AS CLOSE TO THE WEEK’S END AS POSSIBLE

Scrap each spread as close to the week’s end as possible.  Not because you will forget everything if you don’t.  You’re keeping a planner, remember!  It will hold all those memories for you until you are ready to scrap!  Scrap your week ASAP because seeing your memories come together in a spread is rewarding!  Completing layouts will encourage you to keep going.  Plus, if you fall weeks and weeks behind, you get discouraged and feel overloaded.  Your album becomes a to do list instead of a fun and rewarding hobby!

DON’T GET DISCOURAGED

Don’t get discouraged if Friday comes and you realize you haven’t written anything down in your planner or journal since Monday.  Write down what you can remember, and then revel in the fact that you’ll get to use some of those adorable filler/title cards that you usually don’t have space for!

Don’t get discouraged if you fall behind in your scrapping.  Maybe you fell a whole month behind.  It’s okay!  If it seems like you simply can’t catch up, then choose to do a single spread for the whole month.  I promise you, you will be okay if you’re missing individual spreads for weeks 12 and 13!

JOIN SOCIAL MEDIA SUPPORT GROUPS

There are so many awesome groups out there!  Whether via facebook or blogs, find groups that offer support during your project life journey.  Becoming active in such groups will strengthen your hobby and encourage you to keep going!  Don’t stop there either!  Find Pinterest boards with great tips and layouts, and even more sites to get you motivated and involved.

NOW MAKE YOUR OWN PLAN & STICK TO IT!

Taking these things into consideration will definitely help you develop and create your own plan for being successful at project life this coming year.  I’ve got my plan and I’m so excited to get started!

Do you have more amazing tips?  PLEASE comment below and share them with me!  I wish you well on your project life journey and hope that you found this helpful!

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