Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



project 12 vs. project 52

With the start of a new year and the introduction of a new digital and app exclusive collection – Project 12 – we’ve seen a lot of questions about the difference between Project 12 and Project 52, so we decided a detailed blog post sharing with you some thoughts, ideas, and inspiration for both of these documenting “projects” might help clear up the difference between the concepts as well as the similarities.

In the most simple terms, Project 12 is the idea of documenting your year on a MONTHLY basis (12 months) while Project 52 is designed to help you document your year on a WEEKLY basis (52 weeks). While the final outcome may look different for different people, the overall idea is easy to sum up – monthly vs. weekly documenting.

Now that the “easy” description is out of the way, let’s look a little more closely at how the products have been developed, how your own pages might come together, and what your completed album might look like. But before we dive in, I want to remind you of one thing … do what works for you. Both of these projects or ideas for documenting are simply a framework to help guide you in telling your stories throughout the year.

Project 52

I’m starting with Project 52 because we developed it years before Project 12. In fact, 2018 brings the 4th Project 52 collection that we’ve produced – Project 52 Rad! A bit of history for you: the “original” Project 52 was introduced back in December 2014 (for documenting 2015) and Becky shared all about this new Project Life® edition on the blog. The first kit was produced just for our online shop and we sold out of nearly everything by the end of the year. It became clear that the concept of Project 52 was a hit, but the cost of production wasn’t cheap so for 2016 we released a new Project 52 collection – Project 52 2016 – exclusively at Digital Project Life and in the Project Life App. Many customers were thrilled to have another Project 52 option, but we also heard from a lot of customers who were really disappointed that a physical kit was not an option. Based on that feedback, as we worked with American Crafts on our product offerings for 2017, we knew that Project 52 would be a part of those plans. Late in 2016 we released Project 52 – Fresh … adding a more descriptive name to the Project 52 title knowing that Project 52 would continue on as one of our “staple” products from year to year.

The physical versions of Project 52 have all included a Core Kit, Album and then a few additional products that have changed each year. The Core Kits include 616 cards which provides more than enough cards to document the year and fill an album. As part of the Core Kit, numbered title cards are included with weeks 1-52 … one card per week for “marking” each week in the year.

The beginning thoughts for Project 52 were to create a 2-page spread for each week of the year – a numbered title card to include which week you are documenting, a handful of your favorite photos from the week, a few 3×4 journaling cards to write down the stories and details of the week and then darling filler cards to add design work into any pockets that might be left empty – easy peasy.

The above sample pages show what those more “traditional” Project 52 pages look like created with our physical products – photos + cards + stories that share the highlights, mishaps, and everyday moments of any given week.

All of the Project 52 cards (from all 4 editions) are also available at Digital Project Life for use on your computer (using Photoshop) and in the Project Life App for documenting with the ease of your mobile device. Both of these options allow for simple documenting (app) and also great flexibility (digital) depending on how you choose to use them. You can see below a variety of sample pages created by our digital creative team members. What’s fun about these is that even though all of them used the same kit (Project 52 Rad), each of their results is completely unique – some used overlays, others colored backgrounds. Some documented one week in 2 pages while others captured their entire week in one page. Most used a numbered title card in a 4×6 pocket while one chose to use the week number in a 3×4 pocket. Regardless of how the pages came together, all of these layouts represent the idea of documenting a week at a time … Project 52.

Project 12

As we’ve listened to customer feedback over the years, it became clear that Project 52 was not the “perfect” solution for everyone – some take fewer photos, others feel like they can’t “keep up” with a weekly project (even though it doesn’t have to be done or kept up with weekly), and some don’t want 100+ pages per year in an album … they prefer a smaller “highlight reel” of their yearly adventures. With that in mind, we set out to create Project 12 with the idea of simplifying the yearly documenting “project” even more – gathering your memories together on a monthly basis rather than breaking things down every week. We decided to create a new kit each month that would be exclusive to Digital Project Life and the Project Life App filled with simple journaling cards, a cohesive (but not “matching”) color palette, great artwork, and a few general + “fun” holiday cards sprinkled in, too. Project 12 January and Project 12 February are currently available with more to come throughout 2018.

You can see that several of these examples are a great “recap” of a full month of memories, while others are using the Project 12 cards to document a single week. The third example shows one of the “fun” holidays – Pizza Day – to feature one of their favorite pizza restaurants.

But what about those of you who want to use Project 12 in your physical albums? We do not have plans to produce these Project 12 kits in a physical format, but we do provide you with a simple way to print the cards if you choose to. When you purchase any of our digital products at Digital Project Life, the download comes with a PDF of all the cards formatted on an 8 1/2 x 11 document that you can print at home or send off to an office supply store for printing. We even share a few printing tips at the bottom of every product page in our digital shop to help you out. A quick trim of those printed card pages and you’ll have Project 12 cards that are ready to slip into Photo Pocket Pages and whatever size album you choose!

The End Result

The goal of any documenting we do is to record the memories and stories that fill our hearts, our homes, and our lives so that we can look back and remember all of the blessings we have, the things we learned from the challenges we faced, and the people and places we’ve seen and been. Flipping through albums or photo books is such a JOY!! Both Project 52 and Project 12 give a general structure to a yearly project, but they aren’t defined by any “rules” … it really is about doing what works for you! One, two, or 8 pages per week or month – it’s up to you! Slipping photos and cards into a physical album (of any size) or laying in bed every Sunday night to create pages on your phone – your choice. Using the “current” Project 52 collection or choosing to use your favorite “non-Project 52” Core Kit totally works. Printing individual page prints of your digital or app pages and sliding this into an album and page protectors or printing all of your completed pages into a single photo book will both provide beautiful results and documented memories to enjoy. What if you didn’t start your pages on January 1st? No biggie … tackle 2 weeks at a time or gather all of your photos from any months you may have missed and set aside an hour to complete those pages. See? It’s all good. *wink*

A few other posts that we’ve shared over the years that may help you decide the best way to approach your documenting are:

How to get Started with Scrapbooking

How to Make a Family Yearbook

Memory Keeping Resolutions

Scrapbooking Success

Photo Books vs. Prints


2 Responses

  1. Abbey M Button says:

    Any suggestions on what to use as the first and last pages?

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Abbey! I’m just a PL user (not an expert) but I really deliberated over this. Lol! I make my pages in the app. I decided to mostly use the project 12 kits this year because I like a more fluid month at a time look. Even though I have scrapped the last 3 years with project 52, I never titled my pages with the weekly numbers. I always designated each month and let the number of pages flow based on what was going on that month. Anyway, all that to say… I did want a 2018 title and closing pages. Since I’m fine with mixing different collections of cards, I also bought the Project 52 Rad collection in the app. I already used that for my title and closing pages and I might use it when I want some diversity in my pages and want to use some of the Rad cards for a different look. I hope that helps!