It’s a near-universal truth that sometimes projects don’t get finished. No one sets out not to finish; it just happens due to a combination of circumstances and choices. So far we’ve explored letting go of guilt, why projects aren’t completed, and what makes a project more finishable.
In this post I want to share an approach for planning your next project so that you feel more confident and in control of getting it done. My recommended steps don’t take a lot of time, but they do require a pause to think and write about your intended project before it becomes another unfinished object in your pile.
Before we get started, however, I want to caveat this exercise. I don’t believe that any project can be perfect and I also don’t believe that planning can stand in for good old-fashioned effort.
Planning is a tool to save you time and heartache, making creativity easier and more fun. Following the plan, however, is the clincher.
Scrapbook Project Planning Step-by-Step
The first part of project planning is (metaphorically) painting a picture. Documenting the project’s vision can prevent you from veering off track and forgetting what this activity is supposed to be about.
1. Meaning – Describe the purpose of this project in a nutshell. Include why it is important to you and the core story you want to tell.
2. Scope – Elaborate on the time range of photos and what aspects of the story will be included or excluded in this project.
3. Format – Use as many details as you can to describe how you want this project to come together and what the end result looks like.
4. Supplies – Itemize the photos and products you will use for this project, making sure to include both what you have and what you need to buy.
5. Steps – List out the major steps in the project so that you can mark off your progress (and celebrate each victory) along the way. The second part of project planning is optional, but helpful. I will often use plain or graph paper to storyboard the project, from start to finish. I will draw rectangles to represent each printed page, page protector, or pocket page. Then I will map out the main subject matter for each page.
In the downloads below, I’ve included a free project planning worksheet as well as images representing the most common sizes of page projectors and pocket pages. You can use these images to create your own project storyboard by hand or in presentation software like PowerPoint or Pages.