project 52 – it’s never too late!
Hi, friends! I’m sure you get the idea. Project 52 is documenting your life and your story – one week at a time. But it’s nearly the end of February. Isn’t this something that has to start on January 1st?
No — it really doesn’t. There are no rules in scrapbooking, which I hope is something we really feel and understand by now. Doing anything to preserve our memories is awesome. It all counts! It’s all worthwhile!
So here’s the deal.
I absolutely know there are many of you who really love the idea of Project 52 but because you didn’t kick things off on January 1st, you’ve likely thought, “Oh well; it didn’t happen this year.” Friends, I am personally so excited about this approach, and I’m thrilled to share with you some thoughts and ideas that I hope will get you inspired to give it a try. I totally get that some of you feel that this only makes sense if it starts at the beginning of the year, and the good news that I have to share with you is that it’s very much possible to get completely caught up in just an hour or two, if you want it to be a January 1 start! With a quick catch-up, you’re then set up to do just one quick layout each week and that’s it! Stick with me on this. Keep reading. : )
Today is a great day to get started!
Do you know why? First of all, it’s never too late to start recording your story. Second of all, I hope that with the tips and inspiration in today’s post, you’ll find that you really can dive in quite easily. Third, we have some physical Project 52 products on sale for 30% off right now! The 6×6 Paper Pad, Embossing Folders, Photo Overlays, and Specialty Cards are each 30% off right now (sale applies to actual inventory; not our digital or app).
Overview of options
Let’s do a quick review on the options that are available to you for Project 52 (and most of our Project Life® products for that matter):
Option #1 – Physical product. Actual, physical product. Photo Pocket Pages and pre-designed cards that you can hold in your hand. Everything, including your photos, slips into the pages and you handwrite your captions on the journaling cards.
Option #2 – Digital product. Create layouts in photo-editing software (like Photoshop) using the digital templates and digital cards / art. Then print the completed pages with your favorite printer and slip those pages into page protectors. Or have the pages printed into a printed and bound photo book (lots of online services that offer this capability).
Option #3 – Project Life App. Create layouts in the palm of your hand. Available only for Apple products at this time (Android is in the works; you can see our latest full update about that at the bottom of this post). Pull photos from your Camera Roll or even Dropbox. Templates and art are the same as what’s available in physical and digital options. See how it works with this intro video. Oh, hey — and the app is on sale for just 99 cents right now! Aaaaand… you can order prints of those completed pages directly from the app now, too!
Learn more about Project Life options in a new section we’ve just added to the website called What’s Your Best Fit?
What makes the most sense for you?
The bottom line is that I want you to have SUCCESS with memory keeping! There is no right or wrong way and we all know that. I’m so pleased that we can provide so many options and I hope that one of them works well for you. The key is figuring out what is the best fit for your personal style – and your lifestyle, too! I’ll share what’s working for me, what’s working for a few others, and hopefully something will strike you as a good idea that you want to implement yourself. : )
What works for me
Back when we introduced Project 52, I shared my game plan for how I would approach my family memory keeping in 2015. I’m pleased to share that I’m keeping up, and I. am. loving. it. Each Sunday it’s my happy little routine to jump into the app on my iPhone, create my two pages that summarize the week with photos & anecdotes, and I’m telling you, it comes together soooo quickly. I actually decided that I would go ahead and print along the way as well. Since our 8×8 albums are just around the corner from arriving in our shop (and hopefully your local retailer as well, should they choose to carry our 8×8 products)… I’m going to keep this ongoing family year book throughout the year, and then at the end of the year I will print a copy (photo book style) for each of the kids.
Here’s a look at a few early layouts from our 2015 family yearbook. I’m using the app to create my pages 100% and I’m ordering the prints directly from the app which is the easiest-breeziest way to get those prints in your hands. The quality is amazing. My journaling in the photos below is blurred simply for privacy reasons.
Note: Our 8×8 albums will be available in Black, Red, and Grey (shown).
Below is the title page, which of course you can completely make however you want. I just love the suggested title page cards the way Kimberly Church designed them.
Week 1 (below) is laid out with Design A, which is the template design I am finding I reach for the most, actually. I take most pictures in horizontal/landscape format, but there many page layout designs, so if you’re mostly vertical/portrait – or a healthy mix of both – we’ve got you covered. : )
Once in a while I find that I want a full layout on a particular theme or event or trip. For example, when we went to CHA, that really did warrant its own layout (below), so while I stick with the week-to-week documentation, I do love the “extra” layout thrown in between weeks once in a while.
Keep in mind that Project 52 doesn’t have to mean a picture to represent every single day. Here in Week 3 (below), you might be able to tell that those pictures on the right page are all from the same day / event. The left page includes highlights from the earlier part of the week. The right page is all about our day skiing. This two-page layout still represents our week as a whole.
Let’s have a look at the way some other Project Lifers are using Project 52 to document their life in 2015. And by the way, can you do this concept with ANY of our products? Of course! So what’s different about Project 52? We give you all the specific cards that say Week 1, Week 2, etc. and the whole collection looks beautiful together, and from week to week. For me personally, I love sticking with one collection for my weekly layouts simply to make my decision-making that much faster. For my in-between pages, I sometimes tap into another collection.
Remember: No rules. Do whatever will float your boat. ; )
More with the app
If you search #ProjectLifeApp on Instagram (or any social media channel for that matter), you’ll see a whole lot of inspiration. In my recent browsing I was delighted to see this from a customer, @hvandyne. Holly VanDyne is a “middle grade author and lover of all things crafty,” according to her Instagram profile. She shared:
Played with the Project Life App last night from @BeckyHigginsLLC – finished AND printed all of my weeks from 2015 so far in under an hour! I’ve never felt so caught up.
It appears as though she’s creating one page (not two pages) per week, which is great too!
Here’s another quick layout that Julie Gagen whipped up with the app.
The idea of printing photos, writing on journaling cards, and slipping all of these elements – and memorabilia – into pockets is such a good fit for Rianne Alonte and so many others who love the tangible aspect of scrapbooking. Below is one of Rianne’s recent layouts. Keep in mind that our physical product has rounded corners which is a lovely finishing touch that many prefer. If you prefer the square corners (as shown below), you can always print the cards yourself (with the digital files).
Kimberly Lund is actually going back and catching up on her 2014 with Project 52 (Week 49 is below), which I am also doing … but with the app. And my approach is more of a “best of / highlights” approach instead of week-by-week, just to help me expedite that catching up process.
Kelly Sill‘s digital layout (below) is another great example of how she’s using the products to work for her. Great pictures that highlight what’s going on in their life, well-designed products, easy digital templates to use, and she loves adding the little arrows and tabs which are details you can do in the digital format.
Here is what I would recommend that you consider if you do want to jump on-board with Project 52 but you really, really want it to be from the first of the year:
1. Determine what your weeks will be: Sunday to Saturday? Monday to Sunday?
2. Determine what format works best for you: Physical, digital, or app?
3. Get started! Your first week could be that very last part of December that leads into January… or you can make your first week January 1 through the 10th or 11th. Whatever you want. Just make a layout that summarizes that week. The photos are likely sitting on your phone right now anyway, or you can easily put your finger on them, on your computer.
4. Knocking out that first week will be easy, but I’d be willing to bet that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and other subsequent weeks will be even faster because you’ll be a well-oiled machine now!
5. Do not over-think things. Catching up can be just as quick as you want it to be. If journaling takes you the longest, consider having mostly pictures and just one journaling card that summarizes the whole layout.
Everyone’s pace is different. For me, I usually spend about 5-10 minutes on a layout using the app. I use Siri for journaling, which really speeds things up. So in essence, I can catch up on the first 10 weeks of 2015 in about an hour! Amazing, right?
You can do this.
You will love it! Your family will love it. Once you have laid the ground work, you will have established your rhythm and then keeping up one week at a time (very little time each week)… is really so easy. Keep in mind that there are huge benefits to scrapbooking on a regular basis like this. We all know that we are preserving family history. Future generations will have an abundant appreciation for your efforts in keeping records, telling stories, and preserving your photos.
But this isn’t just for the future. It’s for NOW! Scrapbooking can be very therapeutic. Regular documentation like this helps us to realize just how blessed we are even when life is so very imperfect and sometimes downright messy. Taking the time to scrapbook makes us more aware of what we want more of in life. Whether you actually get “artistic” or not (Project Life is versatile for any approach)… scrapbooking is not only a fun, creative outlet but one that is so worthwhile of your time.
And you know how I feel about time… it doesn’t have to take very much time to scrapbook if you keep things simple. ; )