Project Life Action Plan

by | May 23, 2014 | Projects & Processes | 8 comments

Just like life, scrapbooking is always in-progress. I’ve embraced enjoyment of the journey and the satisfaction of each little victory. In this post I’m sharing a review of my current Project Life album status and my top intentions for the rest of 2014.

How to Finish Project Life

Finished | It’s no surprise that the most discrete project is the one that’s 100% finished. The album that covers my first 31 years was my first experience applying this structure to the past – and it works!

In-Progress | My 2011/2012, 2013, and 2014 albums are still ongoing. I would love to finish all of them this year, but I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before! I’m fine with adding more layouts later, but I feel like they need to have some of the basics documented before I forget even more!

Looking back, I probably would have done the 2011/2012 baby album a little bit different. I don’t love how it’s a massive two volumes, but I do appreciate how many not-so-great photos I included. Time softens the need for perfection. My plan is to complete it in two layers. The first layer involves going through social media postings to jog my memory and fill in as much as I can. (Most of the journal cards have been inserted blank.) The second layer will add more reflection to fill in the gaps.

For the 2013 album, I need to accept where it is and simplify. I tried too hard to reject the playful aspect of Project Life, which left me uninspired and burnt out before I really even started. I’m considering combining what I do have into one section of pockets and officially letting go of the original vision. (What do you think?) This would also help address that the album is quite full due to the number of traditional layouts. I have so many great photos I still want to include though.

For 2014, I feel excited about the evolution of my approach. It feels easier and more comprehensive, without being crazy-bulky. At the beginning of the year I mentioned that I want to scrapbook less this year. This week I’ve tried to explain why. If time and space are limited, I need to be more deliberate in my choices. And it follows that the choices I do make should be the fun ones!

Wish List | I am eager to apply the Project Life + Library of Memories approach to an album for my husband. I want to help him find the most important highlights of his growing up story with this simplified thought process. Getting him on board to help is another story!

Action Plan for Finishing

Here’s my step-by-step listing of the next 10 tasks I need to complete. I try to do this whenever I have a lot to accomplish, just like I write my grocery list in the order of the store aisles. It helps me know where I’m at and what needs to be done next, without losing focus.

  1. Finish January-May 2014 monthly spreads.
  2. Review of journal notes from 2011/2012.
  3. Review of Facebook posts from 2011/2012.
  4. Review of Instagram posts from 2011/2012.
  5. Review of Twitter posts from 2011/2012.
  6. Add any needed journal cards to 2011/2012.
  7. Final journaling for 2011/2012 to fill in gaps.
  8. Write down a plan for 2013 album.
  9. Catch up on any 2014 monthly spreads.
  10. Tackle first task on 2013 album plan.

What’s the first step on your Project Life action plan?


Thank you for joining me for Project Life Week at Simple Scrapper!

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  1. Honore

    I re-read all the posts in one sitting – excellent observations, advice, information, full of insight and advice, exceptionally inspiring and challenging. Thank you very much for the thought and time you put into this…and especially for your candidness and asking the hard questions – the reflective ones – that make us, at least me, think.

    As I read -today 23 May- I made copious notes and began creating an *action* plan. I know where I am, want to be and most importantly, I am coming up with concrete, doable steps that will get me there with all deliberate speed *at the pace i want to go.*

    I have kept notes and photos for PL this year but I haven’t dedicated/scheduled any time to pulling together a single spread, even tho’ I’d decided to go monthly this year. Always on my to do list but ne’er done!

    My first *action plan* step is to set up my 2014 album combining PL + LOM categories and page protectors – I plan to have at least one layout for each category – and decorate the section dividers. I am doing that today! ;-)).

    Intuitively, I was where you were; I just had not taken the time to focus on my feelings and thoughts and to come up with a different mind-set. Thanks ever so much for giving me the *space* and the incentive to move out of my own self-imposed quagmire.

    I’ve said it before and will say again: You *rock* Jennifer. I really like the way you think!


    • Jennifer Wilson

      Aww, thanks so much for your kind words Honore! I think you’ll find that getting the album all set up makes it a lot easier to start building it, one piece at a time. Until you do that, it’s just conceptual and more difficult to mold and adjust to your needs.

  2. JensHappyPlace

    I am a list maker as well! Compulsive, you might say. Maybe it’s in the name???

    I say you should combine into pockets for 2013! 🙂

    I’m in the middle of the GINORMOUS task of pocket scrapbooking my daughters who are now 14 and 15. I previously only had their baby books complete- blah. I was a traditonal scrapbooker but then started to get overwelmed with the trends of the industry. And even more so, I had this need for my girls’ albums to be “perfect.” You are definitely right – time does soften the need for perfection! At this point, I just want the photos in albums so that they can be enjoyed! I am still finding it hard to narrow down photos I include, but I’m getting better with it.

    I am combining a Stacy Julian method with pocket scrapbooking, too, but I’m using Stacy’s “School of Life” concept. I’ve emailed BPC to see if they’d do a class on it (like your awesome childhood class!), and was told that they would definitely consider. You would be a great instructor for it! 🙂

    Thanks for the great posts all week! Happy crafting!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Your advice has been noted Jen – and thanks for suggesting a new class at BPC on School of Life. I think that would be great – and I could do albums for my stepsons!

  3. HelenH

    My advice? 2013 is done. Consolidate as you wish to make it look better, but DO NOT add (or plan to add) more content. You will find ways to use those great photos!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Helen!

  4. Heather Dreith

    Thank you for these Project Life posts. Very helpful. I don’t know if your question was rhetorical, but on the 2013 album, do whatever you want! 🙂 Let go of the original vision! I’m glad to see that you are using the PL format to scrap your past. That’s why I bought my original PL kit in the first place, to be a father-son retrospective for my husband. It has been a major disappointment to me that he only looked at it once and didn’t say a thing. I was worried when I made the album, because he has aggressive, metastasized prostate cancer and I wondered if looking at the past might be too depressing for him, and apparently, it was. Also, I didn’t know much about the PL system and the album has lots of empty pockets and just looks strange. I still have lots of supplies, so I want to try again, with my past. Thanks again for sharing your PL experiences and strategies.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks for sharing your experience Heather. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from scrapbooking is that you can’t control how others will react/perceive your projects… so you have to put the importance on you. I will keep your family in my thoughts as you cope with your husband’s cancer, and of course wish for a positive outcome. I hope you do try again and see how pocket pages best fit into your hobby.


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