Getting organized with Project Life

When it comes to Project Life, I’ve quickly realized that a  little bit of planning can go a long way. I am currently working on an album to document the time we lived on the island from 2010 – 2011 and it was feeling a little overwhelming at first. A year and a half worth of photos and memories is a lot to tackle all at once. Let me show you how I got started…
 I first began with the photos. I had them all filed by date – I knew where they were on my computer, but that was about the extent of their organization. To more easily gather certain photos for specific themed pages, I went through my images and labelled them with keywords. I did this using Adobe Bridge, but I know their are lots of other photo programs that allow you to organize your photos in a similar way. After labelling all my images I’m now able to do a quick search to bring up any photos for a specific page with the click of a mouse – no more searching through all my photo folders to find the photo I’m looking for. I highly recommend doing this each time you upload photos or setting aside a time each month to organize and backup your photos.
After my photos were organized I started loosely planning some page layouts so I could order photos in the sizes I needed. Using these wonderful FREE planning pages from Marcy Penner was so helpful! I basically just decided on the pocket page design I’d be using, where my photos would go and how many I needed – I’ll worry about journaling, etc. later.
From there I was able to order prints from Costco. I can print at home, but prefer to print at a developer when I’m doing a large quantity of photos like this. When I got my photos back I wanted to keep them organized. Photos that were printed for a specific page I trimmed, rounded corners and placed in their page protectors in my Project Life Binder. The rest of the images I am storing in this box, divided by month. I’ll continue to use the little month dividers as I begin working on other projects.
I may be doing PL 2013 a little differently than some, I’m not going to focus on a week at a time – I just don’t want to get overwhelmed with the process and am not putting any expectations on myself as far as number of photos to record each week or number of layouts to complete in a year. I just plan on documenting what I can, when I can and just having fun with it. The way I see it, whatever memories I’m able to record are better than not recording any at all. :)
Because I’m taking some time to go back and document previous years, I may not get going on my 2013 album right away. To make things easy to record when I’m ready, I’ve started this little notebook. I’m using it to record journaling tidbits, photo dates + details, photos to take and layout ideas. I am tucking my planning pages inside and have also done some quick sketches of layouts, title treatments and other page elements. I love having all my Project Life ideas all in one place and the notebook is thin and easy to tuck inside my planner or purse so it’s always handy. I’ve also been collecting Project Life inspiration on pinterest and have referred to my Project Life pinboard often for ideas, there are so many great ones out there!

So that’s where I’m at so far. After a little bit of leg work in the beginning I know that my album is going to come together quickly. I can’t wait to get started with the new Olive Edition Core kit – its absolutely gorgeous and I look forward to sharing some pages with you soon! You can take a peek at my first Project Life post of 2013 here in case you missed it. :)

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to get and stay organized with project life this year? Tell me in the comments section and if you have any questions feel free to ask away!

I hope you’re all enjoying a fabulous week! If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to swing by and enter the giveaway for an incredible 2013 Life Planner from Crystal Wilkerson! I absolutely love my life planner and I have a feeling you will too!

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Rebecca Cooper is a 38-year-old wife and mother of four from Alberta, Canada. As a photographer, crafter, author, and blogger, she finds joy and fulfillment in celebrating everyday moments. She loves to read and eat chocolate, and is a firm believer in afternoon naps. Rebecca shares her family’s adventures, photo tips, simple craft projects + more right here at Simple as That.

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  1. s a n s k u :) says

    Can’t wait to see your pages! Such a fun way to scrapbook. I don’t do a weekly project either. To me that’s so confining. I like to use the pages however I want. :)
    Hey, I have some free Project Life journaling card printables at my blog if you are interested.
    Also, I sell journaling card sets at my Etsy shop ( If you see any there that you like, I can send them to you for free. I’d just ask you to mention my shop if you end up using them.
    You don’t need to publish this comment. I just wanted to let you know about my creations in case you’d like to use any of them. :)

  2. Amy Papale says

    I totally love your way of thinking. I have a seven year old daughter and have not scrapped one bit of her life yet and I feel sooo behind. I purchased the Clementine Edition and was hoping to start from birth to now in one book. This was before the Childhood Edition came out, it figures. Anyway, with our busy life I thought it would be too much pressure to do a weekly scrap layout so I thought the same as you. Anything scrapped is better than nothing at all! I will be sure to follow your lovely blog to see how you incorporate Project Life into your life and make it work for you. Now I feel the pressure is off and I can use PL to document our life without feeling like I am not doing it correctly or how it was intended. I also thought I would not embellish as much in the “Catch Up” book since the point is to get pictures into the book. Once I feel somewhat caught up, I am going to use more embellishments and spend a little more time on the layouts. Thank you for your inspiration…I love your blog!!

  3. Anonymous says

    I am trying to keep it fairly simple for me as well. I have 8 albums in the works (3 kiddos and trying to catch them up) + the past 3 years using PL, and of course this year. I hit a great planner from Target that has a grid sheet for each month. I sketched my layouts there. All of my landscape oriented photos are 4×6 and my portrait oriented photos are 3×4 printed as 2 images on 4×6 photo. This is just for me to save time and sanity. I also use this planner as a journal, notebook, and for AlivEdwards’ one little word. I plan on keeping these planners just as I would a daily journal.

  4. says

    I like how you’re going back and finishing past years! I honestly never thought about doing that and I have tons of photos that could easily be done this way.

    Here’s my question though, what do you do when you’re not sure what happened during the week, but you have pictures? I was good for a lot of my weeks and wrote on my calendar what was going on, but there are quite a few that I didn’t. I’ll probably just not put journaling on them and date them only, just wondered if you have run into that situation. Thanks!

  5. rebecca says

    @jediannie I won’t be documenting our time on the island week by week – in fact I don’t think I’ll document any of our upcoming years that way.

    I’ll be grouping similarly themed photos together, recording specific events and memories….but I’m not worried about keeping it chronological or even a play by play of our time there. I hope to come away with an album full of photos + memories but they won’t be week by week necessarily. I hope that makes sense…I’m just going to cover all the major highlights and call it good. I don’t want to put any extra pressure on myself with a photo a day or a page per week – I just know that’s not realistic for me to keep up with. :) Thanks for your question!

  6. says

    I’m really excited to see your results :)! Always love your work- it’s so inspiring!

    I have a question about your layout, how did you use the font in your post title? I would also love to use it, because it’s super cute but don’t know how to do it.

    Laureen ♥

  7. Sandra says

    I’m so looking forward to seeing how you continue your organisation – I’m obsessed by project life on Pinterest … Just loving it. Thank you for all the great links

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