Today I thought I would share some helpful tips with you on how to catch up on your Project Life albums. The beauty of the Project Life system is that it can be super simple and super fast. Sometimes we make it more difficult than it needs to be, but Becky Higgins’ true intent with the Project Life system was to simplify the process of scrapbooking.
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So here are some of my tips on catching up!
1. Get organized!
In my opinion, this is the most important step in the process of catching up. It’s probably the longest step, too, so start strong, my friends!
The first thing I do when I get behind is to open my album and see what the last page I scrapped was. I take note of the date and then I open my phone, find that date, and start from there. Most of the photos I take are on my phone, but I do have some on my camera, and I will talk about how I handle that in a minute. I always start with my phone, because that’s where most of the action takes place.
For a real life example, right now, I am almost two months behind on my Project Life album. The last thing I scrapped was a page of my little girl and I reading books together on February 7th. (As I am writing this, it is March 23rd.) Now that I know what date I am starting with, I go into my camera roll on my phone, go back to February 8th, and start scrolling through the pictures until I find something I want to scrapbook about.
The date and time the photo was taken is displayed at the top of the screen.
Once I find something I want to scrap, I write down the date and a brief description of what the event is. Then I move on and keep scrolling through the photos. When I come to the next thing, I stop, write it down, and then keep going. I do this until I have a full list on my phone through the current date.
After that, I load my SD card from my camera onto my laptop (my Macbook has a SD card reader built into it), open my Pictures folder, and start creating folders for each date of photos I have on my SD card. It looks something like this:
I have done this for YEARS. It’s a great way to organize your photos, period, regardless of whether you are going to scrap them or not. I highly recommend this system.
I copy the photos from the SD card to the computer, then add the ones I want to scrap to my list (date & brief description.) I keep this list on my iPhone 6s+ in the Notes app, but you can do this step however you like. Use pen & paper, use your Bullet Journal, use Microsoft Word or Excel, or whatever program you have and like to use. Do whatever is THE EASIEST for you. Keep it simple!
This is how I organize my list and what it looks like in my notes.
Once I scrap the actual page, I move the event under “NEED TO PRINT” and then once I do print it, I move it up to “DONE.” I print at home on my Canon Pixma iP8720. You could also just delete the event or cross it off your list. I usually leave it on my list just for a little while so I can refer to it if need be.
Another thing I do once I have my full list, is go back and add page numbers – how many pages I think an event is going to take. I do this because I want my album to fit together, like a puzzle. Some events might take a full two-page spread, some just one page. Some events might even take up more, like you can see here for our Florida trip.
Because I scrap like this, sometimes I may have a two page spread next to a one page spread and things aren’t going to fit together, so I have to do a little finagling. I will either add some of my daughter’s artwork, or maybe take one photo I really love and make it a full 12×12 image to use as a standalone layout. It just kind of depends on what I have to work with – I play around and make it fit together.
If you have any questions on how to organize your photos to ready them for scrapping, please ask me. I would be happy to help or explain things further.
2. Use the Project Life app!
Now, I know some of you aren’t app scrappers. You like using physical product and that is absolutely fine! In fact, I miss it myself sometimes. But the simple fact is, it’s faster to scrap on your phone. It’s quick and easy and if the name of the game is to get caught up… then, I recommend using the app.
That doesn’t mean you have to switch and use the app all the time. It is your album, you can do whatever you want. And if you’re all caught up using physical product? Well then keep on keeping on, my friend! Why fix what isn’t broken? But if you’re like me and you don’t have a lot of free time and you want to just get the memories into the album so you can enjoy them in the future, then just do it. Use the app.
Are you worried that your book won’t look cohesive? That you can’t have physical pages mixed up with app pages? SURE YOU CAN! I have done it before. It’s easy… Just do it! The thing is… in twenty years, when you, or your grown children, go back and look at your album, do you think anyone is going to care about how cohesive your album is? Are they even going to look at the embellishments or scrapbooking cards? Probably not nearly as much as they will look at the photos and read the journaling. They aren’t going to be looking at these albums to look at a masterpiece – no! They are going to be looking at the memories.
So if you’re behind, and you just want to catch up, USE THE APP! I give you permission to mix and match your pages. Because I am clearly the authority on this subject matter. 😉
3. Stick to one kit per layout.
If you are one of those Project Lifers who only uses one kit per album, then move along, sister! You are already doing things the simplest way possible! Pat yourself on the back and skip this step.
If you’re like me, and you like using multiple kits throughout an album, then listen up. It will take you less time to make a layout if you stick to one kit at a time. Pick one kit and stick to it for that layout. Pick one font and stick to it. The kits are designed to match the other cards in the same kit, so just stick with one and you’ll spend less time looking for cards that match.
Less time searching = more pages made!
And if you want to go really crazy, just use one kit for the entire album. For example, Becky Higgins has designed the 2015 and 2016 Project 52 editions specifically for that purpose. It’s not my cup of tea to do things that way, I like the variety of multiple kits, but if you’re into that, GO FOR IT. Make your life simpler.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others!
This one is short and sweet. Stop comparing your scrapbooking pages to other people’s scrapbooking pages. Like I said before, what’s the most important part of scrapbooking? Getting it done! Your children and grandchildren will appreciate that the photos you took and memories you made are neatly displayed in an album instead of stashed away in a box somewhere, or worse… on an out-dated computer that you can’t even access anymore.
If you’re stuck or behind because you don’t think your pages are pretty enough or as good as so-and-so’s that you follow on Instagram, I urge you to stop that line of thinking right now and just scrapbook. I promise that in twenty years, you’ll be glad you did.
So! I hope you found these tips on catching up with Project Life to be useful. I promise you can catch up. It can be done – I would know, I’ve done it before!