Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



in the spotlight – Casey von Stein

Our digital creative team has a special way of showing just how versatile our digital products can be. Team member Casey von Stein does a great job of keeping things beautifully simple as she documents her stories on her computer.

Casey, how long have you been using Project Life® to document? 

I’m in my fourth year of Project Life! I started in 2011, using the old Ziblio digital software to complete my album. Back then it was just me, my husband, & our puppy, Colby Jack (he dominated the album, for sure). In 2012, I continued with digital but made the switch to Photoshop when the Ziblio offering was discontinued. That year we welcomed our son, Colin, and I LOVED making his baby book using the Project Life Baby Edition. [full baby book can be seen here]

How do you use Project Life?

From the beginning I’ve done weekly spreads. Truthfully, I went this route because I knew my life wasn’t “interesting” enough to do a photo-a-day method, but I hoped to find at least one fun thing to document each week. Most weeks my pages feature only one “spotlight” event (a trip, birthday party, milestone), but during quieter weeks I fill the pages with small glimpses of the day-to-day. I view my albums as family yearbooks even though the voice and journaling are mine.

What’s your favorite thing about Project Life?

Truth be told, I was never a scrapbooker. I tried it once my freshman year of college, quickly got overwhelmed, and realized I didn’t enjoy it at all [Gasp! Did I just confess that on a scrapbooking blog? Please don’t hate me.] But the idea of Project Life didn’t strike me as “scrapbooking.” It seemed more like a logical solution for USING my photos that were sitting, unseen, on my hard drive. Like a yearbook or a journal.

That’s my absolute favorite thing about Project Life – my photos are being USED! [And BONUS – in a way that’s simple to do & beautifully designed!]

How often and where do you print your photos?

Since I do the digital version, I don’t print my photos. I upload them from my phone/camera once a month. When the year is complete, I print my finished book through blurb.com. [read about how I do that here]

How do you organize your photos and supplies? 

I use Adobe Bridge to organize my photos. I have a folder for each year, with subfolders by month and by week. When I upload from my phone/camera, I drag the photos into their appropriate folder. I then flag my favorites that will be included in my Project Life album.

What are some of your tried and true tips for Project Life success?  

I select ONE core kit per year. Limiting to ONE kit takes all of the design work out of the process. The journaling cards match perfectly and tie together into one cohesive book [and they are SO STINKIN’ CUTE!] All I need to do is add photos & journaling. So that’s all I do. Also, I recycle my digital pages, which saves TONS of time. [read more about that here]

My pages are always Project Life in the most basic form. No embellishments or fancy techniques. Why? Because I’m doing this to document my family’s memories. And when my son is paging through an album, reading our stories, and laughing at our photos, he has never once said, “I think this page would look much better with an embellishment.” [Well, mostly because he’s 2 years old. But you get my point.]

Inspiration from Casey


One of the beautiful things about digital scrapbooking is being able to work anywhere, anytime … no mess included!


Layout featuring the Cobalt Edition.


Layout featuring the Baby Edition for Him.


Layout featuring the Seafoam Edition.


Layout featuring the Seafoam Edition.


Layout featuring the Everyday Adventure Edition (by Stampin’ Up!).


5 Responses

  1. Michele says:

    I love this, thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Beautiful work!! Love your pages Casey!

  3. Karen says:

    Casey you reminded me about how limiting choice can free you up. Thank you

  4. Jenny B. says:

    I remember reading about Casey recycling her layouts a while back, and it was very intriguing to me. I really want to try it, but I just don’t know if I could stick with it. I seem to get bored with whatever my current plan is about halfway through the year, and then I either force myself to plug along and get it done, or I fizzle out completely. I have three half-finished albums on my shelf, so you can guess what usually happens. ;) We’re expecting a 3rd son next May, though, so I know I *have* to find a way to simplify my process. Casey is inspiring, for sure! :)

  5. Jessica M. says:

    I also read about “recycling” your layouts awhile ago and that has been a huge help! I love your simplicity and not getting too into it, as that is all I have time for. Thank you for your inspiration!!