So many of you have been waiting for this post and I’m worried you’re going to be very underwhelmed haha. No elaborate or unique and wonderful Project Life ideas here – just back to basics easy, simple and straightforward.

Today I’m going to share with you how I approach Project Life. I have taken a much more relaxed approach to it this year as I found I was over-stressing about it all and although I loved the result of a finished Project Life – I didn’t love the whole process as I was always stressy about it. This was heightened because 2011’s Project Life is still not finished. I did the digital version last year and half way through the year decided I didn’t like it, and gave it up and said I’d do it all with a kit this year. Crazy? Yes! I’ve since grown a brain and decided to just finish the digital version since there is already so much there.

So for this year, I am focusing more on photos than on journalling. The journalling is what got me behind most last year and the year before. And I found I was writing a lot of fluff to fill up the journaling card because sometimes there’s just not that much to say. Sometimes a simple sentence is all that is needed for a photo. I am also doing an overview of the week per spread and not a strict photo for each day.
On Sunday night I copy all photos from my camera and iPhone to my computer. 
Then I work out which photos from the week will feature in the album. I try to do a decent mix of the kids and home / family stuff, keeping in mind that the kids each have their own album as well that focuses more on them.
I do find though that I need to plan my spreads a bit more than when I was just choosing a 4×6 photo per day to add to the album. Now I’m also adding in a lot of 3×4 photos as well in place of journalling cards and when going to print the smaller photos I often forget which ones I had wanted. So I plan my spreads using my project life planner where I write down the photos I choose and then I know what I need to print in what size.
Although I choose photos for the album weekly, I am only printing every 2 weeks so the printable also serves as a reminder of where the photos go. There is space to jot down a little note to add to the journalling too. This helps me not forget something funny that was said or anything else I might not remember when it comes to sitting down and doing up the last 2 weeks. Nice and easy.
I am finding that even though I am doing more planning before I print the photos, the putting together and finishing a spread does not take as long as it used to. Including rounding all the corners, which I haven’t done prior to this year as I always felt behind and didn’t have time to.

You can download a copy of my Project Life planner here – it is nothing special, but it has been helping me big time. Also, I am not printing a heap of extra photos I don’t end up using or printing the wrong size. The planner prints 2 per A4 page.
Overall, this year has been the most enjoyable yet for Project Life. I have found what ‘works for me’ and have loved putting together my pages. I often have a helper or two along side me which I love so much. I feel that they are learning about how important it is to document our memories in a way that is meaningful to us :o}
Here are just a couple photos of what my spreads end up looking like. They are really nothing overly fancy or complicated. But I need project life to be simple and straightforward for me. I am not a scrapbooker by nature. I don’t do the elaborate and beautifully decorated pages. I just need simplicity in documenting the big and little things in our everyday and this is what is working and I LOVE IT. 
So you can see my pages are pretty simple. I don’t do a lot of intricate stuff here. I don’t think it has to be like that if you’re not that way inclined. Don’t get me wrong, there are some absolutely fantastic ideas out there where people are really thinking outside the box and it looks amazing. But it’s not for me when I am being realistic about what I can manage. I also do a few other things for memory keeping and also keep an album per child, so it gets pretty busy enough here with that on top of everyday life.
I will do up special pages like collages of crafts we did  for a certain celebration like Christmas or Easter or A4 pages of the kids’ birthdays etc and print those to add but they are also fairly simple {just done with photoshop} and then added to the album in an A4 sleeve.

I also think it’s important to remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed by having to do huge intricate albums for your kids – that is just not so. I have ONE album from my childhood. ONE. Probably about 30 pages from when I newborn to when I was about 6 or so. I cherish it and it means the world to me that I have that at all. Our kids will appreciate any effort what so ever that we put into documenting their childhood. In whatever form that may be.  :o}

Our project life album is pretty family based – and of course kids artwork and some of our activities make it in here too. Above is the wrapping paper Noah coloured for my birthday present earlier in the month. I like keeping things like that.
But the majority of the kids art and activities make it into the kids own albums so I don’t anticipate needing more than one album for Project Life 2012 – which suits me perfectly since I don’t have a lot of storage room for 100’s of albums :o} My 2010 Project Life is also one album, and my 2011 Project Life will be completed sometime soon and as it is the old digital version it will be a bound book.

So Project Life for me is fairly basic and makes documenting our life very easy. I need to keep it simple so that I stay on top of it as my goal is to get to the end of the year with a completed album.

Soon I will share a tutorial on how to do those collages I love so much.
Tomorrow is more Easter fun…. Super simple :o}
x
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