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How I Approach Project Life

Welcome to Project Life Week at Simple Scrapper! Over the next six days I’m sharing what’s working (and not working) for me, peeks into my process, and a ton of tips to help you.

Project Life Week at Simple Scrapper

To kick off this week of posts, I wanted to review how I approach Project Life and pocket page scrapbooking. What I do is a little bit different than what you see elsewhere – within the industry and among everyday scrapbookers.

Broadly speaking, what I do is combine Project Life with Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories system. I’ve already written quite a bit on this, but I was asked recently to share a step-by-step guide to getting started with this approach.

Project Life meets Library of Memories

Step 1. Designate an album for a specific time period and a specific subject. The time period could be a year or multiple years and the subject could be your whole family, just you, just a child etc.

Step 1. Designate a time period and topic for your album.

Step 2. Inside of that album, use four dividers to create sections for Things We Do, Places We Go, People We Love, All About Us.

Step 2. Use dividers to create Library of Memories category sections.

Step 3. Decide which sections will have pocket pages and which ones will have layouts (or both). This is up to you. Consider these factors:

  • How many photos you take
  • The stories you like to scrap
  • The amount of time you have

Step 3. Decide which sections will have pocket pages, layouts, or both.

This week I will share more details on how my albums are configured and how that has changed over time. I do want to emphasize that the best structure for your albums may look a little or a lot different from mine.

How do you approach Project Life? Has your method of pocket page scrapbooking changed from year to year?

Need a creative boost?

You’ll feel more inspired and productive when you try this unconventional approach to scrapbook albums. Learn how in our exclusive PDF guide.

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13 Responses to How I Approach Project Life

  1. Libby Wiers May 18, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    I do not do PL as it is designed, but have begun using pocket pages for those events that generate too many photos for regular scrapbbok pages. I am so chronologically minded that even though I scrap out of order, I file pages in order. For BYS, which I still have to finish, I had the most trouble separating out those categories… I think I did manage with the lists, eventually, but still have to find photos for some of the stories I want to tell.

  2. terri May 18, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Thank you for sharing that you are chronically minded. It is nice to know I’m not alone!

  3. Tina Campell May 18, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    I fit the category of Chronological scrappers too. I approached PL like most do with doing it weekly in chronological order, even though I scrap out of order my albums reflect in that order.

  4. Kim McKelvey-Smith May 18, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    As you know, I’m not one to ‘follow the rules’, so I’ve never scrapped chronologically. When I found PL, I liked the concept, but I immediately adapted it to my style of scrapping: whatever photos I wanted to scrap, when I want to scrap them.

    Like Libby, I have yet to finish my BYS album. However I have learned a lot in the class. Even though I’ve always been a writer, I rarely shared my journaling on my layouts online as it is too personal. I am still reluctant to share too much, but since taking the BYS class, I have learned to tell the stories that my photos document in new ways and I am very happy with the results.

    I am looking forward to exploring your approach to PL, Jennifer, and hopefully will be able to incorporate some of your ideas into the ‘organized chaos’ that is my scrapping style. 🙂

  5. Sue Triggs-Rhuda May 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

    I used to memory keep chronologically then I stopped in about 2006 because I couldn’t keep up and it was driving me nuts… I took a little break and then started scrapping randomly which was too scattered. Then I found PL in 2011 and LOVED it because it kind of scratched my itch for chrono-scrapping without making huge layouts for everything. Definitely kick started my scrapping again, now I make traditional and digi layouts, PL and am planning some special albums. My layouts have no special “home” just tossed into albums so I’m interested in learning more about how you organize your layouts!

  6. Beth May 19, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    I don’t use PL in the traditional way. I cannot wrap my head around scrapping everyday life. Way to overwhelming. I use it to scrap what I take pics of, usually events. I just started PL and use it as a quick way to scrap “traditional” events, holidays etc.

  7. Christy Strickler May 19, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    I use PL as a monthly recap of events big and small. I mix in 12×12 Lo’s with the pocket pages.

  8. Laurie May 20, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    I’ve been watching PL ideas for a couple years. Now with Stampin’Up! partnering with Becky Higgins, I’m excited to finally start. I think I’ll be like you, Christy, though, and use it more as a monthly recap and to capture some day to day things. I think I’ll mix in 12 x 12’s too

  9. Gab May 20, 2014 at 6:32 am #

    I’m actually using PL products to scrap big trips, mixed in with traditional pages as well

  10. Kelli May 21, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    So excited for this series! I started PL after the birth of my youngest last year. Remembering the hundreds (thousands) of photos we tend to take of our babies, I thought it would be a good way to capture her first year. However, I find myself struggling with the stories. I returned to creating traditional layouts in conjunction with the PL pages and am now feeling so far behind I’m toying with giving up until my daughter is a lot older. Hoping your tips on simple scrapping will breathe new life into my scrapbooking!

    • Jennifer Wilson May 21, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      Don’t give up Kelli! Consider what you want the end result to look like and create an action plan to get there. Review your plan and see where it can be made even simpler!

  11. Yvonne May 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    My project began when my husband decided to give me a photo every week for each year we have been married (which wii be 50 years next week). They began with slides when we were first married. That was easy for him because they were dated but as it changed to just printed photos it became to hard to identify the years so it then became my project. I had hoped to scrap the 50 years by now but I’m am behind in that goal but will continue as it will be a good account of our married life. Of course I haven’t kept to one photo per year so has become bigger than Ben Hur

    • Jennifer Wilson May 26, 2014 at 9:23 am #

      That’s so cool that he helped you get this project started!

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