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Project Life Organization & Workflow

Last year fell apart for me, in terms of Project Life success. While a not-quite-right album structure was partially to blame, so was my insistence on avoiding design.

Through my own stubborn refusal to admit I care about how things look, I was ignoring a simple solution right in front of me. In this post I’m sharing how I’ve structured my Project Life workflow.

Project Life Organization & Workflow

While I’m a big fan of the Project Life core kits, I am a bit fickle and easily bored. I also like having something new to play with and even more so I like not having to coordinate products myself!

I’ve subscribed to the Studio Calico Project Life kits since last January, but it took me most of the year to realize how much I liked keeping them all together.

Using December’s kit, I began an experiment of seeing what I could create with the kit – and whether you could even make layouts primarily from this collection of supplies. You can:

Using a Studio Calico Project Life kit for a layout.

So each month I also pick up the coordinating 4×6 paper pad that I can use in pockets AND on layouts. When my box arrives, I stand everything up so that it’s easy to finger through.

I love touching everything and find it helps me remember what I have.

Project Life Organization & Workflow

And here’s the best part…

As I print photos I tuck them inside the box as well. Here you see bordered photos I’ve printed for layouts. (I don’t use borders on my pocket pages, so that’s how I tell the difference.) I love having little page kits ready and waiting for me!

Project Life Organization & Workflow

After I complete the monthly spread with each kit and do a couple of layouts, the supplies will get divided up into my stash.

Side note: Because I don’t differentiate Project Life supplies from layout supplies, my stash has everything together and is organized by item type. 

Organization of scrapbook supplies for Project Life and layouts.

So how do I approach creating the monthly spreads for Project Life?

I start with the photos. I love having a compact photo printer and go to great lengths to make sure it’s always plugged in!

I keep photos organized with Lightroom and automation, so as soon as I spot a great one I get it printed right away. If I’ve got a batch I’ll put them in the corresponding box. If it’s just one I’ll just pop it in the album.

Project Life Organization & Workflow

When it comes time to complete the spread, I sit down with my photos and my kit. I pick out my favorite journal cards and start moving things around on the page, just like I would with a layout. Once I commit to placement, I’ll add just a few embellishments and my journaling.

A simple, completed spread for Project Life.

While I will sometimes remember something I need to add to other months, I try hard to really focus on just these two pages. When you can concentrate and push off distractions, getting things done becomes easier.

Here’s what my workflow looks like as a list:

  1. Import photos from camera to Lightroom
  2. Drag into appropriate month folder
  3. Delete all unwanted images
  4. Light editing on keepers for exposure
  5. Print photos for PL and layouts
  6. Insert photos into monthly page
  7. Choose journaling/filler cards
  8. Add embellishments to page
  9. Add journaling to photos/cards

How do you organize your supplies for Project Life? Do you have a workflow you tend to follow?

project-life-week

Tomorrow we’ll conclude Project Life Week with a look at my action plan for the rest of this year.

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8 Responses to Project Life Organization & Workflow

  1. Velma Garcia May 22, 2014 at 3:40 am #

    Thank you, Jennifer. I am just getting started using pocket pages and just subscribed to Studio Calico’s Project Life kits. I was wondering how I would keep everything organized. This helps tremendously!

  2. Alissa W May 22, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Love this post – your idea of standing things up is simple yet brilliant. I keep the cards I am using for my project life album in a metal container and they are divided by color as well as journaling or filler so I can easily find what I need. My workflow is pretty similar.

  3. Christine N May 22, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    I’ve been enjoying your PL posts this week. I do monthly PL but usually have 6-8 pages (not a spread, just one page, I don’t do spreads) per month. It’s been working out very well so far this year. I’m always a month behind so it’s not a big deal. I enjoy looking through my photos for the month and picking out the ones that I want to include. I try not to get stressed out about it. I still do 12×12 layouts and put them into the same album.

    • Jennifer Wilson May 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks Christine! I think it’s awesome that you have found a PL rhythm that’s really working for you.

  4. Carmelle May 22, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Questions for you Jennifer and also to the other scrapbooking girls.

    I want to know if you are using all the originals photos or if you print all your

    photos before you put them in your project life album or others albums?

    I will start my first project life album this weekend so I need your help to know

    if I have to print my photos before using them? If you print them, what are you

    doing with all your photos after, do you put them back in boxes?

    Carmelle

  5. Jennifer Wilson May 22, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

    I only print photos that I’m going to scrapbook. All of my photos – scrapbooked and not – live on my computer as the “originals”. If I ever do have extras, I throw them away.

    If you have a collection of photo prints, want to use some for Project Life, and aren’t going to adhere anything to them (just put in pockets), then you can use the originals. In that case, yes I would put the additional photos back in boxes.

  6. Melissa Shanhun May 23, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    It’s fascinating reading your process. I just use PL as a home for my memorabilia, so I don’t really struggle with supplies. BUT I have dozens of different page protectors sitting around waiting to be filled.

    My process is:
    Pull out a sleeve of memorabilia (1-3months usually)
    Throw out 2/3 of it! (In hindsight I keep too much)
    Find a page protector to fit
    Write explanatory notes on PL cards that pick up the colours in the memorabilia
    I then file digi pages with the photos opposite the PL pages

    • Jennifer Wilson May 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks for sharing your approach. I’ve got so much memorabilia I’m keeping most of it in an entirely separate album, with pockets and full pages.

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