Scrapbooking Saturday: Starting Project Life

I’ve been intrigued by Project Life for a couple of years now and actually got the system for Christmas in 2011. But, I made a deal with myself that I wouldn’t start it until I finished my almost-three-year-old’s first year book. Well, 2013 came around and I still hadn’t completely finished it, so I decided to start PL anyway. The advantage to starting the system after it’s been out for a while is that there are so many examples and advice out there!

Why Project Life?

I like PL for a lot of reasons including:

  • the really great designs and colors,
  • the ease and quickness,
  • the chance to use traditional scrapbook elements,
  • the way that all levels of scrapbookers (from beginners to pros) can enjoy the system,
  • the fact that they system gives me a way to chronicle our family’s every-day life (with room for special stuff too),
  • the way I can use the photos from my phone easily (because there are so many places for small photos that may not be great quality otherwise, and
  • the built-in journalling.

Sources

There are a lot of great resources for PL, but the ones I use the most are:

They all have great tips, tutorials and a lot of free design pieces. They are a must for beginners especially.

Timing

You really can do the PL system any way you choose; but, since I’m a chronological scrapbooker anyway, I’m doing my first book from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. I’ve decided to do weekly layouts, with highlights of our week. Some people do a photo-a-day system or a monthly system. For me, the best pictures of the week are what I’m choosing. I do Sunday to Saturday each week. A couple of things I’ve added to each layout so far are:

  • A journal card for my older son called, “N’s Week” and one for my younger son called, “T’s Week”. These are ways for me to include funny things they’ve said or big events for them in that week even if I don’t have a corresponding photo.
  • A week in review journal card.
  • Notes on photos. I’ve found that lost of the pictures I’ve been using are perfect for a little journal block right on the photo (either using a program like PhotoShop Elements, or a label on the photo).

Tools

There are a few tools that I use every week:

  • Paper trimmer (I print my 3×2 photos on 4×6 to save money, so I need to cut them in half after they are printed),
  • A corner rounder,
  • Solid paper and double-sided tape. I use these when I want to use a 4×6 pocket for a 3×2 photo and 3×2 journal or accent card. I found that if I just slid them in without them being attached to anything, they slid right out when I turned pages or laid the book on a table.
  • Book,
  • Core kit,
  • Page protectors (Design A is my favorite so far)

Time

I can’t overstate how much of a time saver PL can be. You can always make it more complicated, but if you follow the general outline of using the core-kit cards for decorating and journalling, it’s the quickest scrapbooking you’ll ever do. So far, I’m averaging 18 photos or so for each week, and from cutting photos and rounding corners to finishing the journalling, a week’s layout takes me 20 minutes or so.

As you can tell, I really like Project Life! I’m so glad I’m tracking my family’s world weekly this year, and I can’t wait to see how it looks at the end of the year. I also love that I’m catching up on family albums for past years using the system. I’m hoping that by the end of 2013, I’ll have the current year complete and at least 2009 and 2010 complete also. I wouldn’t even attempt that if I were trying to do it traditionally.

So, what do you want to know about Project Life?

Here is a finished spread from a few weeks ago, as an example of keeping it simple!

ProjectLifeLayout

 

Are you doing Project Life? What is your favorite resource?