Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



Q&A with digital expert Laurie Pecotte

I recently received an e-mail from a customer (Hi, Susan!) with a question about some digital aspects of Project Life®. I thought her question might be one many of you have, so I’m having our resident digital guru, Laurie, answer her questions here so you all can benefit.

Take it away, Laurie!


Like many of you, Susan had questions about organizing all the digital pieces of Project Life and how to make the process more manageable. She also wanted to have the option to use the physical products, as well.

Susan wrote:

“I tried Project Life one year and dropped the ball. I loved it but wasn’t taking the time to take the pictures, etc. Then I got into digital. I have so many digital Project Life sets and other random pieces that others have designed that go along with the concept. But I cannot decide how to work it. Do I want to do it digitally and have albums printed? Or do I print pieces and pictures and put them in the protectors? I miss the hands on, but I’m struggling to figure out how to plan my pages digitally and then have the pieces printed. I don’t want to work the pages and then rework it hands on. Are you aware of any tutorials others have done to help me find a way to make it work?”


Below are my suggestions to Susan and to all of you who might have the same dilemma!


Select a Format }

The first thing you need to decide is what format you are doing. Do you want to wait until you have your whole album done and print it as a bound book or do you want to be able to print as you go? I personally like to print as I go. I like having more of the instant gratification of seeing the layouts in my hands and in my albums. The other plus about doing the printing as you go is that you can add embellishments here and there after you print if you are having an itch to work with your hands. Of course there is no need to add more stuff to your layouts if you don’t want to. That is the beauty of Project Life! It is simple and doable.

{ Organize Your Photos }

As far as organizing, this is my own method. I don’t have time to scrapbook as much as I would like to, so I end up doing it in spurts. I have a Project Life album in the works for our family for every year and then I have others for special things like the baby’s first year. The first thing I do is organize my photos. I make a folder on my computer for my current Project Life album. So let’s say it is Project Life 2013. I then make subfolders for every month in 2013. When I have 15 minutes or so, I will go through all of the photos I have uploaded to my computer and make a copy of all of the pictures I want to include in my album and move the copies into my Project Life folder. Then the next time I actually have time to work on my album, I don’t have to sift through all of my pictures. I just go straight to my folder for that Project Life album, find the month I am working on and pick out my pictures. It saves me a lot of time. I feel like I am more productive just having my pictures ready to go.

Here is a sample of how I organize my photos into folders on my computer.

Here is a sample of how I organize my photos into folders on my computer. This screenshot is all the subfolders in my Project Life 2011 album–one folder for each month.

{ Organize Journaling and Memories as They Happen }

The other thing you can think about in terms of organizing is journaling. I like to have a packet of Project Life cards or a little notebook in my purse so I can write down funny or memorable things while I am out and about. That way I can remember them and just pull them out when it is time to put my album together.

Smart Phone Apps }

If you are a smart phone user, there are a few apps out there that will help you organize your pictures and your journaling. I have played around with a couple. One is called “Collect.” This app allows you to pull photos from your phone and place them on a calendar. When you open the app, you can see all of your photos you have added in a calendar view. You can also add a little journaling to each photo. This makes it awesome for finding your photos and journaling in one spot.

The Collect app pulls photos from your phone and places them on a calendar. You can also add journaling to remember special details.

The Collect app pulls photos from your phone and places them on a calendar. You can also add journaling to remember special details.

The other one I have used a little is called “Memento.” This app is neat because it will pull all of your social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and will show them all in one feed. I find that social media is a good place to capture your journaling throughout the year. Memento makes it easy for you to go back and find what you have posted. You can also add your own photos and journaling to the calendar.

The Memento app pulls all your social media feeds into one feed.

The Memento app pulls all your social media feeds into one feed.

I have really found that getting my own system for organizing my photos and journaling makes creating my own albums that much simpler. My time is used more productively and I don’t feel like I am forgetting important memories.

{ Digital Project Life with Photoshop }

You also might want to check into the Digital Project Life with Photoshop class taught by Jessica Sprague. She is a great teacher and there might be some things in there to help you speed up your workflow.


Thanks for your question, Susan! I hope I’ve helped you and any other Project Lifers who were wondering the same thing!



8 Responses

  1. Barbara says:

    Thanks for all the great ideas Laurie!

    I’ve got one additional idea. I create my PL pages completely digitally so I won’t get my book back until January. (It’s hard to wait.) I, like you, like the instant gratification of having the pages in-hand right away. Here’s what I do so that I (and my family) can enjoy the pages right away…

    I print my 12×12 scrapbook pages at Costco. The cost of a 12×12 and a 12×18 is exactly the same. I take my completed two 12×12 weekly PL pages (12×24) and shrink them down to 6×12 and print them at the bottom of another scrapbook page. They’re obviously a lot smaller, but I can still read the writing and my family can enjoy the weekly PL pages right away.

    No need to learn patience, right?! I love immediate gratification!

  2. Lori B says:

    I have a Smartphone, and cannot find this Collect app. I’ve looked through all variations and descriptions that I can think of. Help! I’d love this!!!

  3. Katrina says:

    I did the DPL class by Jessica about 2 months ago and found it very helpful. I’ve done Christmas last year up to April this year so far and plan to print books for my brothers who live out of state. I think its a great way to share our year and I don’t have to actually make 2 books :)

  4. Nicole says:

    I can’t find it either. Is it available for droids, or just for iPhones?

    Also, tips and tricks for using Project Life on Shutterfly would be appreciated :) Thanks!

  5. website says:

    Keep up the wonderful works guys I�ve added you guys on my personal blogroll.|