Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



in the spotlight – Jess Forster

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

I started using Project Life in January 2012 after the birth of my daughter; in 2013 it became my primary go-to memory-keeping system of choice.

How do you use Project Life?

For the past three years, I have completed weekly / monthly layouts capturing both personal and family life. In 2014, I have continued to complete our family album as well as started a Project Life travel-themed album highlighting the trips my husband and I took as a couple before becoming parents.

How often and where do you print your photos?

A few years ago I made the decision to invest in a wide format photo printer and that has made all the difference. Seriously, it is the best money I have ever spent! I print all my photos out at home every couple of weeks in big batches.

How do you organize your photos and supplies? 

I love me some organizing!

My photos are saved in a few different places: in monthly folders in iPhoto, on an external hard drive, and through Dropbox–a secure online backup cloud system. Also, did I mention that my husband is a survivalist? We also have all of our digital memories saved on memory sticks in bug-out bags at home and work, just in case the zombie apocalypse should happen tomorrow. We update those every three months. What can I say – I really love my photos!

As for my supplies, I am lucky enough to have a small workspace in my basement. I keep all my Project Life cards organized in a vintage wooden box I purchased at an antique shop close to my home. Currently, the box holds my favorite editions and Midnight edition Project Life cards. I also have blank 3×4 and 4×6 Project Life journaling cards in an old Birks box on my desk. My completed and in-progress albums sit on top of my Expedit shelf from Ikea and my pocket page protectors, envelopes, and page dividers are stored in Kassinett boxes, also from Ikea, on my shelf.

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

1. Remember why you started. To me, Project Life has always been synonymous with being creative, having fun, and building a family legacy. I truly love capturing family photos and putting them into an album. It brings me great joy and lights me up in ways that I am just beginning to understand. I try not to compare myself to others (which is so hard!) and just put my head down and create.

2. Scrapbook the pictures that you love. Ok this seems like a no brainer, but you didn’t have to include every photo you take. For me, I know that I get easily overwhelmed by lots of pictures. So, I simplified my approach and decided to include only pictures that pulled at my heart. And if there was only one photo that I loved during the week? I enlarged it, embellished it, and called it done. Yes, I love both 12 x 12 and 6 x 12 enlarged photos. This trend is firmly established in my repertoire. Give it a try! You can “finish” so many weeks by just placing an enlarged photo in your album.

3. Recognize that life happens. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss/skip a week or two or three month’s worth of memories. Something is better than nothing. Having completed almost three years of Project Life, I recognize that there are times of ebb and flow. I almost certainly DO NOT want to scrapbook during the summer months or during the holiday season. To me, I would rather be in the moment with my family making memories and enjoying the moments. I know that I can go back to scrapbook these times later….which I can because Project Life is so easy and simple to use!

Inspiration from Jess 


Layout featuring the Midnight Edition.


Layout featuring the Strawberry Edition. Left page is Design U (part of Small Variety Pack 5) and right page is a 12×12 Page Protector.


Layout featuring the Jade Edition. Right side is a 6×12 Page Protector.


Layout featuring the Jade Edition.


Layout featuring the Midnight Edition. Left pages is Design F (cut in half) and right page is a 12×12 Page Protector.


8 Responses

  1. Brittany Hall says:

    I LOVE her style! It’s perfect! Exactly what I’d love my books to look like

  2. Amy says:

    I love this! Which wide format photo printer do you have?

    • Jess says:

      Amy – I have an epson stylus 1400. I bought it during a Boxing Day Sale (I’m Canadian) and got it for half price. They don’t make this model anymore but I would highly Epson.

  3. Lynn L. says:

    Great pages !! :)

  4. Debra says:

    LOVE your pages and your philosophy Jess! And your sense of humor is just awesome too :))

  5. Jennifer says:

    The scrap only the picutres you love, is brilliant. I love the idea of just blowing one pic up, if it’s the only one I like for the week. So simple, so effective. This will definately help me with the few spreads i’ve been working one. I’ve technically have done this once before, but putting it in that wording helped me out a ton!

  6. Mary says:

    Wow- you do have a beautiful, clean style! Would love to see photos of your storage systems for PL.

  7. Laura M says:

    Beautiful style and balanced approach to PL!