setting up a project life album
A brand-new calendar year is just around the corner! I know many of us are reflecting on the past year and also thinking ahead to some new goals for 2014. Many of us are resolving to document life – whether it be digging into boxes of old photos, catching up on the past couple of years, or focusing entirely on what we’re doing with our pictures that we take from now on.
I totally know and appreciate that many of you are Project Lifers and you already have your system in place. I also know and appreciate that many of you are brand new to Project Life. Maybe you’ve just received it as a gift … or perhaps you’ve been keen about the idea for quite some time but you just haven’t started yet.
I’m going to show you in just a few quick & easy steps how you can set up an entire 12×12 album and have it completely prepped and ready to go, so all you have to do is slip your photos in and write some journaling notes on the cards. These steps apply to ANY kind of documenting you’re going to do. Some of you might want to go back to photos from past years that you want to get into an album and you could totally get several years into one book, which is great! Some of you might be focused on a chronological story of your life in 2014 – like one week per layout. That’s great too!
You need 3 core components to set up an album.
An album + a Project Life® Core Kit + a Big Pack of (60) Photo Pocket Pages
Just about everything we have can be found on Amazon, and you can also find select items in physical retail stores – large and small. Some of you also know that we’ve been working on building our own shopping cart right here on BeckyHiggins.com as well. We are taking the time to be sure that all of our ducks are in a row with that project, so we appreciate your patience until this actually launches. I’d love to give you an ETA but as soon as I say when I think it’ll happen, it for sure won’t … so I’m going to have to stick with “soon”. I promise the very day that shop goes live, you’ll know about it if you follow me on social media or read my blog.
The following pictures show the brand-new Coral Edition. It’s gorgeous – and you can see all the cards in the Coral Reference Sheet. This particular edition can not be found in large retailers. It’s for independent retailers, so check with your favorite local shop. They should already have it and if they don’t, encourage them to email email@example.com to place their order. We will also carry this in our shop, but that’s not likely going to be ready in the next couple of weeks, so if you’re anxious to set something up immediately … we have loads of other editions to choose from.
No matter what pictures you plan to add or what edition of Project Life you choose … here’s what you can do to set up the album ahead of time.
Step 1: Load pages
The Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages has 60 pages, which is an excellent fit in our 12×12 albums (and any other standard 12×12 album). Whether you choose all Design A, or one of our variety packs, the first step in setting up an album is to take that whole stack of pages and place them into your 3-ring album.
Step 2: Open up your Core Kit
The sample pages shown inside the lid demonstrate how the first page, sample 2-page layout, and last page of your album can look if you want to follow that as a guide. This is a good time to thumb through all the fun cards that comes in your core kit. It’s perfectly normal to feel giddy at this point. We understand.
Step 3: First Page and Last Page cards
There are designated cards that are different from all the others – and these are specifically for the First Page + Last Page. This is not a rule, of course. Only a suggestion. The way you can tell which cards are First/Last Page Cards is because they are the only cards that do NOT have a design on the back of the card. Instead they have a little diagram with a suggested placement for where the cards go. Place these cards in the pockets accordingly if you’d like. The First Page has (4) 4×6 cards + (4) 3×4 cards. The Last Page also has (4) 4×6 cards + (4) 3×4 cards.
Step 4: Insert all Title Cards
All Title Cards are 4×6, and all of them have a designated place to write a short title, which would “announce” whatever each layout is about (should you choose to use them that way). I like to lay them out in little piles, since there are a handful of each design. Then I slip the title card in the top left pocket of every single layout. There’s no rhyme or reason to the order. I just like to stick them in so all 60 pages have a title card in place.
Keep in mind that as you add photos, and considering that you might have some vertical photos and a need to mix in other page designs (besides Design A), that’s no problem! Every single Title Card has the flexibility of being either horizontal or vertical (front/back of the card). Versatility is our friend.
Step 5: Insert all 3×4 cards
Once I have all the title cards in, I follow a similar (random) method of inserting all of the 3×4 cards. For most of these cards, I have the journaling side showing, but since the left page of each layout has a title card, leaving (3) more pockets for 4×6 photos … I flip one of the 3×4 cards over to the filler design since I would only need (3) journaling cards. (Make sense?) All Journaling Cards have a filler design on the other side so that you have a choice with each card. Either you have something to write … or you don’t. Again – versatility is our friend.
This is what a “prepped” layout looks like – all ready for 4×6 photos and your journaling notes.
That’s how simple it can be done! Adding photos & journaling is literally ALL that is left to do. Remember: No embellishing necessary. You can if you want, but if you don’t add a single thing beyond your photos, words, and these cards … the album is DONE and it’s a beautiful and complete scrapbook! Gone are the days that we feel obligated to spend hours on elaborate layouts.
This idea of setting up an album ahead of time works really well for someone who doesn’t want to think about which cards to use each time they add their photos. Decisions are made ahead of time and quick tweaks can easily happen along the way if you want.
Are you feeling the resolve to get (or stay) motivated in your memory-keeping ambitions? If you have thoughts or ideas to share on what has helped YOU to make the process easier, faster, simpler … please do share!