Sometime in the second half of 2014 I was working on a layout in 8.5×11 and it hit me: I adore this size.

I began to wonder what my scrapbooking would look like if I created only in that size and smaller. Would that excite me? (Yes, I believe so.) Would I get bored? (Maybe, but there’s an easy solution.)

I didn’t exactly toss the idea around, listing pros and cons. I just ordered a new We R Memory Keepers album in 8.5×11 and said: I’ll figure this out as I go.

So far? I’m loving it.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

For starters, 8.5×11 is so much more manageable than 12×12. It’s lap-friendly and totally not awkward. This is key to having people (myself included) actually browse through the album.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

The very best thing, however, is the ease of combining pocket pages and layouts in this single album. The new 6-hole Handbook page protectors from Studio Calico fit perfectly in 3-ring binders (8.5×11 and 12×12), making it effortless to include smaller pages.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

Seriously. Awesome.

I am taking a more fluid approach this year, creating layouts and filling in pockets as the inspiration strikes. I am focusing on capturing stories with an emphasis on my words.

In a way I view this album as my art journal for the year, the kind of art journal a left-brained scrapbooker would make. Something about the size makes it feel more intimate, more mine, than 12×12.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

Part of that feeling perhaps stems from including the 2015 Start Fresh Workbook & Planner inside of my album. For ease of writing it’s living at the end, but having my plans combined with my memories feels absolutely perfect.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

2015 Start Fresh workbook and planner for scrapbookers

Will I still create 12×12 pages? Yes.

The excitement of this new project will be balanced by the flexibility of creating layouts of any size for other albums. But this new year, full of growth and possibility, it will be delightfully letter-sized.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12