Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



good life with leigh odynski

Becky Higgins Good Life

Part of cultivating a good life is recording the everyday moments.

In completing the past three years of Project Life®, I have seen how much it positively influences my outlook. Project Life has taught me to cherish the many blessings in my life that are so abundantly clear when I take the time to record them. One of my main goals for my family albums is to include more meaningful journaling. This is how I accomplish that in five minutes per day.

Project Life Journaling Planner Goals:

*document my kids’ lives
*easily add more meaningful journaling to my weekly PL layouts
*record more of our everyday lives with words and photos
*be more organized and purposeful with the photos I take

Make your own simple list of goals for however often you choose to document. The beauty of Project Life is that it can work for you, in any way you want it to: weekly, monthly, special occasion, or vacation memories. ANYTHING.

How it works:

I keep an 8.5×11 planner with lots of room for journaling (shown above), specifically for Project Life only. It is simply a place for me to record the photos I’ve taken and the journaling each day. In five minutes per day, it is easy to jot down thoughts and memories each night at bedtime. But if life happens to get busy, you can easily write down the whole week’s worth of journaling while you wait for your kids at a weekend practice. I go through my phone/camera to help jog my memory.

The key to this system is finding what works for you. For me, I note the photos taken at the top of each day as shown above. Mark the camera photos with a © and the phone photos with a “P”. This helps me when I go to print the photos so I know which device they are located on. If you happen to get months behind, the journaling is then no problem. Some weeks fly by and I end up with lots of photos on one day, like Saturday, when we get together as a family. Then I simply use the photos I have and still have the daily journaling to round out the story.

So you might be thinking, “My life is hard, mundane, a struggle, or [insert whatever adjective fits your life] right now.” It’s not all unicorns and rainbows. I had three littles, and surprisingly, I remember most of it! I completely understand! You see, I found Project Life in the darkest time of my life. My 20-year-old son, Jonathon, walked out the door that rushed school day morning in 2009 and never returned. He passed away in a car crash after dropping off my middle son at school. That tremendous pain has taught me that we are never promised a tomorrow, that each day with loved ones is a day to be cherished, even the seemingly mundane stay-at-home days because when you lose someone you love, you would do anything to have those days back. A day to be near each other, have a chat, give a hug, or share a meal together.

My Lord and Savior, Project Life, documenting and journaling about even just one good thing per day, and our photos have all been essential in the past six years. They have allowed me to focus on the everyday blessings, what I have instead of what I lost, hope instead of despair, joy that lies not in my circumstances, and peace that surpasses all understanding. We all have struggles, they just take different forms. They could be physical, emotional, financial, loss, trials, relational, and many more, but the act of acknowledging, journaling, and recording even just one positive thing each day can help.

Some ideas to ponder when you sit down to record your day:

*What moment did I cherish today?
*When my kids are grown, what would I want them to remember about today? (If you don’t have children, simply replace “When my kids are grown”, with “When I am old…”)
*What story does this photo tell? In other words, why is this photo important and what does it mean to me/my family?
*What can I be thankful for today?
*My three G’s [grace, goals, and gratitude]
*This was fun and I want to remember this!

Thank you for allowing me the honor of posting here, where so many eloquent and real life “Good Life” posts have been shared before. I hope I have given you at least one actionable item to help you tell your story and journal about your everyday moments. As Becky’s motto says, “Cultivate a good life and record it!”

Leigh Odynski is a member of our 2016 Creative Team using the physical products. She currently resides in Nevada with her husband, 2 children, 3 cats, and 2 dogs!

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15 Responses

  1. Angi Barrs says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips. I struggle with journaling sometimes. I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that you continue to have comfort and blessings. I really love your question prompt that asks “What moment did I cherish today?” I will definitely keep that question in mind when I work on pages.

  2. Robin says:

    Love this message Leigh! Thanks for sharing. I love how you write every day, I’ve been wanting to do this, and just haven’t started…until today. You inspired me to make a small journal, with supplies I already have on hand. It’s just for documenting the everyday stuff of our life, and it fits in my purse, so I won’t miss anything, or have to rely on my (not so reliable) memory 😀. This was just the push I needed to get 2016 off to a good start! Thanks! I look forward to seeing what you create through the year here!

  3. Renae says:

    What a useful and beautiful post. I’m so sorry to read of your loss. I took up project life as a way to try manage my anxiety and see the nice little things in each day. It’s made a huge difference. Over the last year though I’ve become not very good at writing down the things I want to remember so this post has prompted me to go start a journal and record those memories so I don’t forget when I inevitably fall behind. Thank you!

  4. Lora says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful tips. The planner makes so much sense. I take pictures thinking that I will remember my thoughts but when I get the pics printed, sometimes cannot remember what my thought wAs when I took it. I will definitely start doing this and also asking myself what moment did I cherish today.

  5. Lisa j says:

    Amazing post! I love the questions and ideas you provided. I can never remember the details of the photos I take, and even worse, have stopped taking the ones that remind my to enjoy the little things. This post makes Project Life make sense to me.

  6. Ginny says:

    Thank you for your inspiring post! I have done something similar for a number of years. Instead of using a notebook, I just type into a word document and keep it in my dropbox. I have one document for each year (this is my 5th year) and I record the date and type what I want to remember about that day. This really helps me since I am usually behind on my scrapbooking and would never remember the important details. Since it is in my dropbox, I can always access it.

  7. Rachel M says:

    I’d love to know which 8.5×11 planner is being used in the photo. Always looking for this but with lots of room to write. Thanks!

    • Artful Leigh says:

      Hi Rachel M ! It’s the Sugar Paper 8.5x11inch planner from Target, but any large planner like this (notebook size ) will have lots of journaling lines! Thanks for commenting:)

  8. Aphra says:

    Thank you for reminding me how important these albums are. I was starting to think that I don’t have time to continue creating them, but you have reminded me of all the reasons that I need to keep them up. I’m so sorry for your loss. May the Lord continue to give you peace and comfort. And I look forward to seeing more of your amazing PL pages this year!

  9. Kristie says:

    Love the perspective that looking for blessings everyday can help us see the big picture. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  10. Whitney says:

    Thank you for sharing, Leigh. Very insightful and inspirational. I am so sorry for your loss.

  11. Steph says:

    Thanks for sharing! I especially like your tip on tracking which device your photos are located. I waste so much time trying to find photos sometimes. Especially if it’s one that someone else sent to me and it’s buried in my text messages.

  12. Rhonda says:

    Leigh, This is a beautiful and heart wrenching post!
    The Day One journaling app for iphone has been life changing for me. I always have it with me and it’s always backed up in the cloud and you can attach a photo to a journal entry. And you can use Siri to dictate your entries instead of “texting” them in. (I’m sure Android has an equivalent and there are other apps as well.) I have nearly 3 years of entries in it now and I occasionally print the entire thing to PDF as yet another backup. When it’s time to put it all together in your PL physical album or PL app page, everything is there.