Sunday, January 4, 2015

Project Life | How to Catch Up Fast

I love Project Life. But I get behind. I don't really allow myself the luxury of working on it every single week. Life is busy and it isn't my top priority, so often it slides, weeks at a time. This last Fall it slid, for three and a half months!

But I adore having all my photos for the year in a beautiful scrapbook to look through. The kids love to look through the pages. I am unwilling to give that up. So I didn't consider myself defeated. I decided I could and I would do three months of photos in three days. Keep in mind your three days don't need to be sequential. I didn't have three days in a row that I could dedicate a big chunk of time to it. But I did have three days over the course of a week.

And here's how I did it! And you can too!

Day One: Sort. Upload. Print. Pick up. Label.

That's all for day one. And honestly, for me that was enough. My photos get uploaded into iPhoto. iPhoto automatically sorts them into events, which works well enough for sorting my photos by weeks. I am really lousy at working all along when I upload my photos to weed out and delete or organize by weeks. I just upload. So, the time picking photos was a lengthy process, about two hours. I dumped them all into an album.

Time Saving Tip #1: Use only one style of pocket pages (Design A). That limits you to  4x6 horizontals and makes all your vertical photos 3x4's.

I exported and uploaded all my horizontal pictures right away. While those photos were uploading (it takes a while to upload three months of horizontal photos!), I started to set up my vertical photos side by side, so that I could print two on a 4x6 print. (I used Illustrator, because that's my program of choice. Use what you have.) This took another hour. I had about 80 vertical photos.

Time Saving Tip #2: Upload to a one hour photo lab. I love Costco. I happened to have a couple of coupons for free prints, which also saved me money. If I have to wait for them to come back in the mail I may just loose my momentum.

Once you've picked up your photos you need to sort them by week. I make stacks and use post-it notes designating the week. If it helps you, put the actual dates on your sticky note.

You're done with day one. Put your feet up. Relax in front of your favorite show. Don't try to push through tonight. There will be plenty to do tomorrow.

Day Two: Prep your weekly date cards. One week at a time, dry fit the photos.

That's all you need to do on your second day. That will take a little time.

Time Saving Tip #3: Choose to be comfortable with whatever number of pages it takes to do a week. You might find that some weeks you took very few pictures and one page is all it takes. Being comfortable with that will save you time, money, frustration, and further delay. Likewise, if you had a week that had lots of big events, use whatever pages it takes to tell the stories easily.

I found that the first four weeks I was behind I wasn't taking a lot of photos. So I used one page for each. Then I hit a week when I attempted to do Week In The Life and needed a LOT more pages for that week. I'd only gotten so far as to take more pictures than usual, documenting strictly with photos.

When you get this done, feel free to walk away. You want to still feel motivated to finish up on Day Three! If you go too long on either Day One or Day Two, you may loose your determination.

Day Three: Write your stories, add filler cards, and embellish.

This is my favorite day. It's good that it comes last. It's the messiest, but also the most rewarding. You get to make visual progress!

Time Saving Tip #4: I pick one color for each week. Often there is a dominate color in the photos. If there is, I choose what works with that color. If you choose one color it pulls the page(s) together and narrows down your pocket card selection.

Time Saving Tip #5: Save any creative embellishing until after you get the journaling and filler cards inserted. If you love to embellish, if you embellish as you go it's easy to spend too much time adding this or that to make the page perfect. If you save your embellishing until the very end it does two things. First, it doesn't allow you to spend too much time on one or two weeks. Second, it keeps you moving forward, to get to your favorite part of the process.

Time Saving Tip #6: Don't overthink it. It's okay to let photos tell most of the story. If all you have is one journal card on a page, that's okay! I even had one week that was strictly photos, with the exception of the weekly date card. Not every week has to have a cute story, milestone, or memorable quote.

That's it! You're done!

Take some time to enjoy your work. Make your hubby look at it with you now that you're all caught up. Don't try to photograph your pages right away. Chances are your natural lighting won't be very good. Save that for tomorrow.

Now go back to the fantastic life you love so much being apart of that you got behind in the first place. Make dinner. Clean the kitchen. Check school backpacks. Listen to your kids read to you. Play a board game. Snuggle on the couch with your husband. Fully present.


"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to The Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61:2

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this!