Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Project Life Series | How do you keep up? Part 2

Hello again! This is the second installment of my Project Life Series where I am sharing methods or tips on what helps to keep me up to speed with my Project Life album. Last week many of you shared your own ideas for how you plan Ali’s Week in the Life or December Daily, and Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas.  I shared my photo and note taking tips last week. You can find them here. Today I would like to discuss the layout spread.

If you are not purchasing one of Becky’s Project Life kits, then my biggest tip is to have your papers cut to the size you need for your album and any journaling cards printed/bought and ready. Having this done is the biggest time saver of all, especially if you are concerned about being efficient. There are LOTS of free printables on Pinterest. You can read more about how I created my own PL kit from here.

The Layout Spread
  • Last week I mentioned I don’t photo edit until I am ready to print my photos. My reasoning? This is when I plan what will go in the layout. I keep in mind which photos are horizontal and which are vertical. I use American Crafts page protectors and two page spreads alternating between two styles of protectors. A 12x12 protector with 6 horizontal 4x6 pockets and a 10x12 protector with 3 horizontal 4x6 pockets and 2 vertical 4x6 pockets.
  • There are many sizes of page protectors from a variety of companies. I find when I have several weeks to plan, it is useful to sketch the layout spread because it helps me to keep it consistent.
I found this app called Pic Frame and tested it out. You might find it visually useful too and the great thing about it is the amount of collage spreads you can access, all of which could easily be translated into the Project Life layout. Here is a screenshot from an example I used.

This is the closest to the style of the10x12 page protector I use. You can make little notes too which is helpful for planning. After I have organized my layout  based on this pic frame above, then I save it into my camera roll on my phone to refer back to. Once the spread is complete I delete it. If you are interested in using the collage feature to print out photos you can change the size of the format. So if you wanted to make a 4x6 photo collage, or even a 3x4 you can change the ratio. Very cool! It does cost $0.99 though (worth it I think).
  • I collect the printed photos for each week and open up my album.
  • I place them in the pockets working quickly from left to right.

  •  I always keep the top left pocket open for my weekly introduction. This includes the dates for the week.
  • I move on to the next week and place the photos in the pockets and so on.
  •  Once I have all the photos placed, then I pick up my stack of 4x6 patterned papers and choose one for the top left pocket. I look then to see which pockets are empty and this is when I go back and review what I would like to journal or document. 

  •  I find my 3x4 cards and pick whatever is appropriate. Some are for journaling and some are patterned paper. 

  • Once I have everything in its place I start to embellish. My embellishing decreases when I feel I am behind schedule.

That’s it. That is the process I use.

I am looking forward to American Crafts teaming up with Becky and Project Life! I already noticed they have more variety of page protector sizes, this is VERY exciting.

Thank you for all of your comments and interest in this form of scrapbooking. I know for myself it has truly changed how I document our life and to me that has made this so very worth it!


  1. This is a really great read Ginger - I loved all the detail. It's one of those posts that will stand the test of time :)

  2. Great post Ginger - you've definitely got a good system going that's working for you as your pages are always full of great photos & journaling & fun to look at!

  3. i enjoyed seeing your process too and as its a project i would like to do - yet feel i don't have the time to dedicate - you make it sound so simple! x

  4. This is a great post Ginger! It's fun (informative!) to see the "behind the scenes" process of different scrapbookers. And nice that you have a system that works for you...your pages are always so lovely, so I can really tell it is working for you!

  5. Really interesting to see how you make this work ...

  6. I'm finally making my way around to reading this post ~ thanks so much for your continued quest to share how to keep up with Project Life, Ginger. I hate to admit this, but the last thing I have in my book is from the week that my mom "went home" at the beginning of October. Sad occasion, happy times just being with family. At this point I think I have decided to do one big catch-up during my time off work between Christmas and New Years.

    I'm glad to know I'm doing one thing right as I did pre-cut some journaling tags so I'm good there. Thanks again for the great tips on Project Life!

  7. Some great ideas I can use in there Ginger. Thanks. Off to check out the collage app.