Project Life | Week One

I'm excited to be underway with Project Life again.

Here's a look at where I've got it placed in our house. For me, out and available is the key.

Last year Project Life lived in my office. It sat on the ledge of a chalkboard and that worked great.

This year, because I'm wanting to get my family more involved in the process - and make it even more visible - I've set up a place for it at the far end of our kitchen counter. I'm also hoping this will help me keep more up-t0-date than in 2010.

Here's the wide view of our kitchen. Project Life is in that back far corner near the door that goes to our laundry room.

And here's an up-close look:

This station consists of the album and page protectors (I'm just using a black We Are Memory Keepers album - the only reason for this is that I like plain albums), a vase that holds the journaling cards + pen + corner rounder + scissors, my Fujifilm Instax camera, and a new little 4x6 Canon Selphy printer.

I'm still in the testing out mode with the Selphy printer. I love the idea of it I'm just not sure that I love it. Giving myself a bit more time with it. I'm also used to printing upstairs so I'm working myself out of that habit and into this one (at least attempting it). I want the whole process to be simple and d0-able.

Here's what my first week looks like:

And the spread:

I've pre-stamped the date for each week onto the rounded corner cards so those are all in the album and ready to go.

Some of the things you may or may not notice:

  • I'm not journaling everyday.

  • I'm journaling when I encounter a story I want to tell or something specific comes to mind. Most of these are little moments type stories or conversations.

  • I'm using a pen to write directly onto the cards.

  • I'm definitely including lots of little bits of life: receipts, grocery lists, wrappers, packaging, things the kids draw, etc.

  • I'm not worrying about taking a photo a day.

Here's a look at the start of this week:

For things I want to include that are larger (like the program above) I'm just sewing and trimming the page protectors to fit. It's very easy. You can see a short video I did about sewing on page protectors here.

If you don't have the counter or table space available to leave it out, consider pulling out the page protectors for the week and putting them up on a bulletin board. You could use binder clips like I do with my calendar (shown above) to hold it up without punching holes through the page protectors.

If you're looking for more support, ideas and encouragement don't forget to sign up for the free Project Life community at Big Picture Classes.

NOTE : It looks like Project Life is currently sold out at Amazon. According to Becky they should be getting more in stock very soon!

89 thoughts

  1. Erin

    2011-01-13 07:49:16 -0500

    Hi, Ali!

    I love that you have your album out for everyone. We do that here too-makes it SOOOOO much easier to keep up with!

    I bought BOTH kits this year and decided to use the Turquois for the family project album, but just decided this morning that the Amber kit will be something different...

    ...I'm putting together a "Time Capsule" album filled with photos of where we live, pets, our places, current events and prices. It'll be so much fun to see what evolves and what becomes obsolete over the years. This started with a conversation with the children about what VCRs were :)

  2. Becky H

    2011-01-13 08:35:09 -0500

    Hi Ali,
    I am waiting for restock of PL, but I did it last year. Loved it. When I fell behind I just did a spread for the month. That way there was no stress that I wasn't able to capture a picture a day. I have a question about reciepts. I have found that the new reciepts on thermal paper fade over time. Have you had this problem or do you copy them and out the copy in. I feel if I am saving them I don't want to not be able to read them in years to come.

  3. Laura B

    2011-01-13 09:21:44 -0500

    Thanks for the peek into your album, Ali! Seeing others' work helps keep me motivated, so I'm also loving the PL commumity forums at Big Picture. I'd love to know your thoughts on the printer, so I'd enjoy seeing a review once you've played around enough with it.

    I also love your kitchen--white cabinets with butcher block counters are my favorite! I know this is random, but how's the upkeep on the counters and are they durable for a family?

  4. Catherine

    2011-01-13 11:10:51 -0500


    Thank you for your continued posts about project365. You actually inspired me to take the plunge and start my own. I love it and I believe my family feels the same way. I find that now it's difficult NOT to make notes or journal about my day. I also find myself more present in the day-to-day moments I experience. Have a great week!

  5. Kimberley Y

    2011-01-13 11:21:39 -0500

    I did it! As of 12:30am this morning my (2) project life kits are 100% up to date. I even woke up this morning and took one of today's photos as it is my daughter's 12th birthday today. I wanted to capture her first thing before I left for work. I am getting over the fact that I don't love my handwriting and embracing that this is how I write today, and that P.L is about today! Thanks for all the inspiration Ali. I found you in a scrapbook magazine just before Christmas (the one that featured your Dec. Daily book) and from that article I have embarked on a whole new scrapbooking journey (Dec. Daily, One Little Word, Week in a life..... ). I am loving it! Thanks.

  6. Birgit

    2011-01-13 12:43:33 -0500

    Love your use of "everyday" stuff - I collect it all the time, too. Question about the "date cards" and the little journaling cards: did you put them in in a certain order or randomly. I am concerned that the bolder stripe and circle patterns won't go with the photos that I will add later.Same with the journaling cards, do you just pick one that you like or are they in a certain order? I used index cards last year, cut them put a red date stamp on them and kept a handful with me all the time to be able to journal when the inspiration struck.

  7. Lacey

    2011-01-13 15:32:51 -0500

    HI Ali- I love seeing your PL- I hope to see it often. Everyone has so many ideas, and its so inspiring to see how you and they are doing their PL. I also wanted to comment on the Selphy- and I'm not sure if anyone has commented with the same...but I just read on another blog that they are using it...and you can do a split photo of 2 photos, and use 4 and 6 on one photo and print it out...just thought I would throw that in there in case you didn't know LOL I am seriously thinking about purchasing this printer. What brand of photo paper are you using for it?

  8. Jackie Bremer

    2011-01-13 17:12:49 -0500

    I am not doing Project Life. I am doing Project Catch Up plus Yesterday and Today! However, I love my Selphy. I got it two years ago so it is not a newer version but I just reconnected with it and got the softwardx added to my computer. Now I can easily do two-up or more, the color is fantastic. My graphic design son-in-law says that is because it lays the color down with a sheet of film. My grandkids also think it is loads of fun!

  9. Chrystie DeSmet

    2011-01-13 18:51:05 -0500

    I'm SO excited, I just got mine in the mail a few days ago & already have my 1st page done! I think I'm going to like this, at least I'm trying it out this year. I love that you post yours it helps me get ideas, since this is a brand new concept to me! I got the idea from you, so thanks! :) I think it was your friend who took a family picture each month, I LOVE that idea & I'm excited to work that into this project! :)

  10. Barbie

    2011-01-13 20:46:07 -0500

    Is there a source for the divided page protectors? Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration!

  11. Joy Anderson

    2011-01-13 21:59:38 -0500

    Thanks for the idea of a project life station to help involve the whole family in the process. We set up a basket with journal cards, pencils and a digi camera on our hutch by the front door.My 12 yr old son was the first one to fill out a card! Great idea!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Joy in GA

  12. Alison

    2011-01-13 22:45:25 -0500

    Love it, Ali! Your book last year inspired me to do a Project Life for my daughter's first year. She's 11 months old today and it's such a great book. I did it in much of the same way as yours, though I did a photo a day and then filled all of the other pockets with memorabilia and journaling. It's stuff that would never have made it into her albums otherwise. So thanks for the inspiration!

    P.S. - loving the Y&T class :)

  13. Alexandra

    2011-01-13 23:14:42 -0500

    Working on PL tonight and realizing that it's sooooo much easier when my photos are horizontal!! I have way too many shots with the camera turned - not so great for PL. Lots of playing around in photoshop elements tonight and that is not what I want for this project - want it to be fast and gratifying.

    Note to self... take horizontal photos unless you want to use them in a 2.75 x 3.75 slot!!

  14. Tina

    2011-01-14 00:57:59 -0500

    Is it ok if I start this week and just wing it from the weeks before? I think this is an awesome idea. I was gonna try a photo a day and make it a personal life journal for me but can't seem to get the time. Think I might try this though.

  15. Tracey

    2011-01-14 05:15:19 -0500

    Hi Ali - how do I add the words on photos like you do? Like Monday, Tuesday etc? I really like the effect on printed photos, looks really good.
    Sorry for such a basic question :-(
    Appreciate your help :-)

  16. Ingrid from the Netherlands

    2011-01-14 14:46:38 -0500

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah............... my kit finally arrived today! And although I'm suffering with flue I already prepared the album for filling: I'm ready to begin!!!!

  17. Stacie

    2011-01-14 21:53:46 -0500

    Love your idea of leaving it out...we have an old steamer trunk in our family room that it will fit nicely on. I am using Willette's idea of keeping a basket with the extras in it so I can stay on top of it. I didn't think of adding the paper bits of life until the last month of last year and I LOVE it! It also takes the pressure off to journal every day. This is one of my most favorite scrappy projects yet! I am also getting the kids...and trying for the get involved too so it is a family story and not just my perspective!
    thanks for sharing Ali! I know you can keep up with it every week! I'll try too!
    P.S. Sounds like the Selphy is not the fab choice...have you heard of any others that don't have the dark print problem?

  18. Project Life | Week Two | Ali Edwards

    2011-01-18 06:01:08 -0500

    [...] Last week I showed you a sneak peek at the program insert I included. [...]

  19. Erika

    2011-01-22 17:07:07 -0500

    Thank you for your inspiration! I am excited to start my baby's first year album using the Project 365 layouts/pages. I'm prepping everything in advance before she arrives, so hopefully I will have a finished album by the time she is 1 :) I love the reminders from you to NOT ADD PRESSURE to these projects! There is no need to be obsessive and journal/print a pic every day! THANK YOU!

  20. Candice McLean

    2011-02-03 19:54:27 -0500

    Hi Ali,

    Love this project. I'm looking at purchasing a mini printer for myself thinking it will help me print more often. You posted that you are learning to love your selphy. Are you? I'm looking at a silmilar printer by epson. Thanks for any feedback.

  21. Paula in Australia

    2011-03-11 07:05:27 -0500

    Hi Ali just a quick question... was your first spread for PL started on Monday January 3rd - Sunday January 9th? Then your second spread was from Monday 10th etc? If so what did you do about the 1st and the 2nd - did you just not worry about them? Just curious as I got my kit and have been collecting stuff and will go back and do the weeks in my album now and just curious. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  22. Linda Farrow

    2011-03-18 13:15:27 -0400

    Hi Ali... I'm finally ready to buy a photo printer... I remembered this Canon and wondered how you are liking it? At the time of this post you didn't "love" it and I'm hoping that now you do :) Thanks for any comments, Linda

  23. Mallory

    2011-12-15 10:13:05 -0500

    I had to look at this again because I am so excited to start! Can't wait to get my kit and look through it. So I should definitely put the 4x6 cards in the album ahead of time to make it easier and save time?

  24. Project Life – My Work Space | My Digital Art Studio | Mari Koegelenberg Creations

    2012-01-07 18:53:00 -0500

    [...] reading Ali Edward’s post about Project Life and organization and Marcy Penner’s awesome series on Project Life I knew I wanted a dedicated space. I wish [...]

  25. Product Review | Epson PictureMate Show | Ali Edwards

    2012-03-13 06:01:19 -0400

    [...] of you might remember when I started Project Life again in 2011 I also purchased a Canon Selphy printer. I ended up giving it to a friend because the size of the [...]

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