TIP #1 : STAY ORGANIZED : One of my favorite words, ha! Seriously though, the things that have helped me get my weekly layouts completed within a few days of the weeks end are :
MyBook Planner that was sent to me as a thank you from Big Picture Classes and I love the format. Each week is on one page with plenty of lines to jot down notes each day. I also like that it has the number of the week at the top.
2. Using a page planner for each weekly layout. I love both Marcy Penner's (she made them for every page protector design!) + Robyn Meierotto's. I write my notes in pencil + I don't have any rhyme or reason as to where certain pictures go. I just use these page planners to keep track of how many 4x6 and/or 3x4 slots I have left to fill. I don't figure out where they will go in the album until I'm putting it all together.big pack of Design A page protectors. In one I keep my ephemera :
100 Bits of Life page from The Mom Creative, Liz's template for printing on 3x4 journaling cards and printouts of some other downloads I've gotten online this month :
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4. I was beginning to acquire a lot of digital templates, journaling cards and other downloads that were Project Life related. Before they got too out of control, I started making some folders on my computer so I could find what I needed quickly (and hopefully not forget I had it in the first place!). I'll be sharing the contents below.
5. Something else I did after reading about it on the Studio Calico Project Life message board, was to put all of my page protectors (except the Design A ones that are already in my Project Life album) in one scrapbook/binder. Brilliant, right? I had been keeping mine upright in a basket between some thick chipboard to keep it from bending. This was not the best way to store it, or the easiest way to see what I had. Putting all of my page protectors in an empty scrapbook that I already had took all of 10 minutes and now I love that I can just open it up and quickly find the size or style protector I am looking for - which I expect to happen almost weekly if I am adding an additional page or insert. And clearly, I shouldn't need anymore for a while - except I do plan on getting the Design G page protectors when they are back in stock. :)
TIP #2 : DON'T WORRY :
One Little Word this year is 'less' and part of that meant less worrying about what other people are doing. I adore message boards + online galleries + blogs as much as the next scrapbooker but I quickly learned that when the amount of time I spend looking at other people's work exceeds the time I'm spending on working on my own stuff - that's not good. Now, I have a handful of blogs I read regularly and when I'm in the mood for more, I either search Pinterest (keywords : Project Life) or Twitter (#projectlife). Becky Higgins is great about sharing her finds on Facebook and Twitter and her creative team is a fantastic source of inspiration too.
2. I won't always have an equal number of photos and stories for Morgan + Parker each week. Some weeks are going to be bigger/more memorable for one of them or the other. What I am going to strive for is overall balance throughout the year/album and make sure I am telling the big stories, as well as those little everyday, I-probably-would-have-forgotten-that-moment-next week-if-I-didn't-write-it-down stories.
3. Work on my album when I can, even if it's just 15 minutes at a time. As these first few weeks have gone by, I find myself working in spurts, on the current week. My weeks are Monday-Sunday and so far, I've been loosely filling in the page planner on Friday evenings so I have a good idea of what to expect for the weekend. "Who is missing from this week?" is usually the big question. In one sitting I might note the file number of the photos I want to print, or journal on a few cards, or print photos and lay them out to dry, or rearrange the photos + cards on the page protector. A little work goes a long way and what I've learned is I usually don't want to stop once I get going! :) That shouldn't be a surprise. Then when it's finished, I love looking at it + reading all the notes. Then that turns in to looking back at the past weeks again. So fun!
4. I've decided not to take the 'photo-a-day' approach. Instead, I am choosing the best photos, stories + everyday moments that round out our week. On that note, I hope to include longer stories and/or inserts each week, but I'm not going to force it either. And I need to find ways of getting ME in the pictures too. That's never easy, but I'm working on it.
5. I'm working on not being overly concerned about matching colors / patterns / themes. I actually really like the hodge podge look of my album so far and I think that will lead to less stress about how it looks (or should look) in the end.
6. Be inspired by the stories people are telling, not necessarily the products or creative techniques they are using. On a similar note, I really loved this quote from Ali Edwards first Creative Lifts newsletter : "It's easy to spend your "practice" time researching, reading, looking at images online, getting lost in other people's work and inspiration, etc. While I think there's definitely some value in that process, for me the real value is in actually doing/making/writing/photographing/etc. Don't spend all your practice time watching other people's practice." If that isn't spot-on for me right now, I don't know what is. If you'd like to subscribe to her (free) weekly newsletter, sign up here. It's fantastic!
OTHER STUFF :
- Ali Edwards Small Journal Card Overlays - I actually already had these but moved them over to my Project Life folder on my computer so I would remember to use them. They are a little smaller than the 3x4 slot but I think the prompts she used are perfect for this project. I chose my favorite cards and added them to an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet in Photoshop so I could easily print them out as I need them. 6 cards fit well on one page.
- Cathy Zielske's Days of the Week printables (free and so cute!)
- Erica Hernandez Action 2012 Free Kit on Two Peas : I really love the calendar cards + the 3x4 journaling cards that you could easily use in the portrait or landscape direction. She also included a simple one-page printable that, when folded down, turns into a small book that fits perfectly in the 3x4 slot!
- Miss Tiina Live Free : Love Life printables (free!) : adorable prompts + colorful filler cards.
- The Lilypad Customizable Journaling Cards : I loved the list prompts. Had to have them!
- One Little Bird Check-It Journaling Cards on Oscraps : Already had these too. They are customizable too but I love kraft - it's a great neutral!
- Paislee Press Round About Now month stamps : I got these when Liz introduced them last year. So versatile! I'm using these for Project Life and my One Little Word mini.
- 8x8 Instagram Template from Persnickety Prints : fits 9 2"x2" Instagram (square) photos that you can print on an 8x8 page, at home or through Persnickety Prints. I love the little 2x2 size - perfect for adding a small photo to a 3x4 journaling card.
- Liz at Paislee Press made these (free) 4x6 photo collage templates so you can very easily print several photos on one 4x6.
- Ali Edwards One Little Week download is a .png to add to a photo or use the .studio file to cut it out on a Silhouette (I'm going to do this very soon!)
So newbies, how are YOU doing this first month? Anything you've learned about the process? Or yourself? Is Project Life better or worse than you expected? Veterans, feel free to chime in with your own tips! I would love to hear them!
If you are not familiar with Project Life, click here. All of my 2012 Project Life posts can be found here.