Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2014 Project Life | Thoughts on Process


I’ve finished Project Life for half a year now.  My first album is full.  


I’ve got 48 pages in there, plus a big envelope for keepsakes, and a few inserts for memorabilia, menus, etc.


I thought this is a good time to talk about my process so far this year, what has worked, what I love, etc.

What Has Worked:

  • Doing Project Life on a monthly basis.  I can’t tell you how much I love this way more than when I was doing pages every week.  I don’t feel the guilt of “being behind”, because I really am always at least one month behind!  I know I’ll catch up one month at a time.  I love doing things once a month, even though the whole process does take a few days spread out here and there.  You can see details of my monthly process in my blog post here
  • Printing photos at home.  I love that I have total control over colors, margin, and size.  I love the instant gratification.  I use a Canon Pixma printer and I love it.  My blog post about printing at home and photo paper comparison is here

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  • Doing a few pages at the same time.  I put several pages onto white foam boards and place my photos and journaling cards.  This makes it much faster for me than working on one page at a time.

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  • Incorporating digital journaling or graphics on photos.  I love doing this because when the journaling is already on my photos, I can use the other pockets for pretty cards & embellishments.



  • Collages, collages, collages!  I love to create photo collages in Lightroom or Photoshop.  It means I can pick out more photos for my album without having to do some many pages.




  • Typing out journaling on digital journal cards and then printing them out.  So versatile and awesome!  I have digital versions of my most favorite Becky Higgins Project Life kits, plus I have a ton of digital journal cards from One Little Bird, Digital Design Essentials, etc.  I love using them and they print out BEAUTIFULLY at home using my Canon Pixma MG5320 and Canon 4x6 Matte Paper.

I turn these digital journal cards…


Into this in my album.


  • Work with a color scheme, a kit, or a collection for each page.  When I have the photos into the pockets, I look at each page for photo content and colors so that I can determine a color scheme or what products to use.  I usually try to stick with one kit or collection for each page, because then I know that the colors and embellishments all work together, and it takes the guessing game out for me!  Not only that, but narrowing products down like this makes scrapbooking much faster.


What Has Not Worked:

  • Too much planning.  I don’t plan out my pages any more.  I just pick as many photos as I like each month, make collages, print, and cut out photos.  Then I just stick them into pockets and it takes as many pages as it does for the month.  I don’t have # of pages in mind, it just happens.  It takes a lot of planning time out of the equation and I actually get to the scrapping part faster!  This is why I find doing PL monthly much easier.  I don’t have to fit things into a 2-page spread for the week.
  • Agonizing over each page.  There are times I don’t love each page that I’ve created.  But I find that when I go back and look at it in the context of the whole album, I love it much more.  Project Life is not the type of project where you scrutinize over each page and make it “perfect”.  The beauty of the project is the cumulative stories in the album all together.  When I don’t exactly love a particular page, I just move on to the next page.  Because there’s always another page to do!  Spending too much time on each page is counter-productive.
  • Not keeping notes.  The reason I can do Project Life on a monthly basis and still remember the details is because I blog and journal.  I write things down in a physical journal almost every night.  My blog has tons of photos + stories that I can draw from.  If you don’t write things down, you will probably forget them.


I hope you find this post helpful in your Project Life journey.  Bottom line is to just have fun with it.  This is a long-term project, so if you’re not having fun, you will probably not stick with it.  What process have you found to be helpful to you? 


  1. You are a Yoda inside my head Christine!! This post is awesome!! I just discovered to power if collages- and think i may start printing at home as opposed to bulk printing whenever a sale online comes up. It always seems like a bargain- but when i sit down to scrap- not many of my bargain photos fit the story i want to tell. I wish i could edit them, add some brushes- ect... thanks as always for the inspiration ;)

    1. I'm honored to be anyone's Yoda, ha ha! Thanks for the nice comment, Renne!

  2. Thank you for this amazing post! I love the insight into your process. The lightbulb moment for me was knowing that you do project life on a monthly basis. That will help immensely. Thank you!

    1. You're so welcome! I have less anxiety with Project Life since I've been doing it monthly!

  3. Christine, I just want to thank you for your inspiration and also for your product recommendations --especially how it relates to process flow. On your paper comparison post, I started thinking about printers.... I was always sending files to be printed but realized that it keeps me from being productive in my scrapping or cardmaking. I bit the bullet and ordered a PIXMA. It came today, I had it set up and can now print from anywhere in the house and even from my phone! I am over the moon. Thank you so much--Robin

    1. Hi Robin - I'm so excited for you about your new printer! I love printing at home!

  4. Hi, i completely agree with you that pl should be funny and relaxing... I do it on a monthly basis, and i wrote this post in my blog about my process: http://mikadaviproject.blogspot.it/2014/07/project-life.html?m=1. The post is in italian and in english..

    1. Thank you for sharing! I enjoyed looking and learning your process. I'm so glad you enjoy it and it's not stressful. That's how it should be!

  5. Sorry, it's on a weekly basis, not monthly!

  6. I'm with you on less anxiety doing my pages monthly. Makes it so much more fun for me. Thanks for sharing your pages. You are so inspiring!

  7. Love it. I've started with a similar approach after much thought of how I work and other commitments I have.


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