2018 Project Recap

As I was laying awake the other night (that seems to be becoming a thing), I thought it would be cool to put together a post that highlighted the memory keeping projects I worked on/completed in 2018. 

As you read this I don't want you to start playing any comparison games. These projects are things that I love to work on and are definitely simply a part of the way I live my life, but they are also how I earn a living and I think that's important for you to keep in mind. You don't have to do all these projects to be a "successful" memory keeper. "Success" is going to be defined for each of us differently (always like to recommend checking out my post about establishing your own enough in memory keeping) and in different years and times in our lives certain projects will make more sense or simply fit better into your overall life. Maybe just one of these projects fits into your life and if that's the case - awesome. 

My hope in sharing this look back at the last year of projects is to (1) help you think about what you might want to participate in during 2019, (2) celebrate storytelling, and (3) take a little time to recognize what I did do instead of focusing on anything that didn't get done. 

I want you to celebrate the stories you did tell vs. focusing on what you might not have finished too. 

I'm not including Project Life® progress in this post but you can see the spreads I shared publicly here (I do share additional Project Life® spreads in the Story Kit™ classroom each month). You can read about my 2019 Project Life® plans here

WEEK IN THE LIFE™

This year I completed my 13th Week In The Life™ album. This is a project I do once per year and I started embarking on this one back in 2005 as a workshop focus for an in-person event. It's one of my favorite projects that I return to again and again because I love seeing this kind of in-depth time capsule of our life each year. Who are we? Who am I? What goes into our days at this particular point in time? 

The big differece between Week In The Life™ and Project Life® is the depth of storytelling. I include significantly more details and photos in this project than I do in any weekly spread for Project Life®. 

Highlighted blog posts: 

I'll be doing this project again in 2019 most likely in late spring. 

DAY IN THE LIFE™

This year I did two different Day In The Life™ documenting days and put those completed stories into my Project Life® album

Day In The Life™ is a one-day documentation project that encourages us to slow down enough to capture the stories from one single day. Over the years I've approached it in a variety of different ways from no structure to hourly (stop each hour + take a photo + write down what I'm doing) to using different themes as the lens through which I look for stories over the course of the day.  

Here are a couple blog posts from this project in 2018: 

We've got a plan in place to mix things up a bit for 2019 and will share that in the new year.

ONE LITTLE WORD®

This is a project I don't post much about here on my blog but it's something I work on each month and share in the One Little Word® workshop (registration is now open at a reduced rate of $26 through December 31 - after that it increases to $31). This is more of a marathon project vs. a sprint, with the goal of helping to make our chosen words visible over the course of the year. 

Each month during the year I return to my album to review past months and to respond to a creative prompt from the workshop. That little bit of documentation each month keeps me connected to my word and gives me the gift of being able to look back at the end of the year and actually see growth (sometimes it's really small and sometimes it's much bigger). 

I use a 6x8 album for this project along with products we offer in the shop and downloads from the workshop. 

I've been doing this project every single month since 2011 (and I've been choosing a word since 2006). I absolutely love looking back at these very personal albums that really show my own personal ups and downs over the years and the ways I've used my words to help guide me through it all. You can watch a video walkthrough of many of my past albums that I put together last year here

I love this project. It has become so much a part of the way I live my life - I honestly can't imagine not having a word each year. 

Check out a recent Feel Good Effect Podcast episode where I chat with the host Robyn about living with a word for the year. Also, check out an episode of Elise Gets Crafty to hear Elise and I chat about our 2018 and 2019 words. 

DECEMBER DAILY®

I just finished up my December Daily® album for 2018 this past week. My commitment to the project is to share my stories of Days 1-25 here on my blog during the month. I know that many of you work on this project at different times in the year - some in January and some in the summer right before we release new products. 

This year my album was a 6x8 again which is my personal favorite size for the project. I also loved putting together the travelers notebook I used for documenting our NYC trip in early December. 

To get ready for this project each year I create "Foundation Pages" that give me a heads up on some of the crafty parts of my storytelling. You can see those here.

You can view all my December Daily® blog posts here

TRAVEL PRODUCT PLAY WORKSHOP

This year I also put together an online workshop for travel documentation and created a 3x8 album from a trip to France back in 2013. It was a super fun way to approach travel documentation. 

In that workshop I also show how I put together a 12x12 album of an Italy trip we took in 2010. 

I'll be doing another travel themed workshop in 2019 featuring a new travel collection in the summer. 

STORY KITS™ & STORY STAMPS™

The other thing I do monthly, which I don't really view as a project but more as ongoing storytelling because there isn't really a beginning and an end, is us my Story Kit™ and Story Stamp™ to tell three or four stories plus a Project Life® spread. 

I tell stories from yesterday and today in a variety of sizes, based on the monthly theme. You can see the upcoming themes for 2019 here. Process videos for the stories I tell each month are included in a classroom that comes with a subscription to either the Story Kit™Story Stamp™, or Digital Story Kit™. All subscriptions are currently available if you would like to join in with this kind of ongoing storytelling. 

I'm looking forward to telling stories with you in 2019. 

Which projects did you participate in this year? Which projects do you enjoy most? 

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21 thoughts

  1. Rina_AbbottJard says…
    12/29/2018

    Hi Ali, thanks for the perspective. So the other stuff i.e. Story Kits, Stories of the Month (seasonal / monthly kits), individual Kids Albums, and Project Life are not projects per se but a blend of ongoing 'business as usual' or 'work in progress' activities i.e. there is no hard and fast start and end date. I thought it was fantastic how you combined the products into the other memory keeping stuff by the way, so they could be incorporated into the current memory keeping practices people already had. And thank-you, great timing for the post. I think a lot of people will be setting 2019 Memory Keeping goals at this particular time of year.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      12/29/2018

      Thank you! After thinking about it I added in a bit about the Story Kit as ongoing memory keeping I do each year.

  2. YolandaL says…
    12/29/2018

    Over time I have come to accept that I am truly a project-based memory keeper. I like the intensity and then the release. I need distance and space between my projects so that they don’t feel like obligations or chores.

    I love Week in the Life and December Daily for those reasons. With both projects I work in phases: a documentation phase (capturing the stories + images) and a design phase (usually months later) where I build the actual album or photobook.

    In 2019, I would like to try participating in Day in the Life. I also have a few travel-related photo books I would like to check off my To Do List.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. tuna13 says…
    12/29/2018

    Thank you Ali for your continuous inspiration on an almost daily level.
    My projects this year were:
    Project Life (I am in October and hope to finish soon)
    December Daily (on day 16. Had too much stuff going on and I enjoy this project so much that I dont rush. I work on it when I can and savor it)
    WITL (I completed year 8 this year and LOVE this project)
    I did OWL for the first time this year and really liked it. I love that it takes me out of my comfort zone and makes me think more about myself and how to grow. BIG THUMBS UP.
    And of course the story kits. I have not done anything with the rest kit and joy kit. But I will get there.
    I am so thankful that I discovered your blog back in 2006 (I think).
    Goal for the next couple of years: participate in story camp.
    You rock Ali! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. laura_g_ says…
    12/29/2018

    I make a list of projects every year I want to work on...but I need to go back and refine and prioritize the list to what I can actually complete! :) December Daily is my favorite project and I continue it through the end of the month. Our grandson has a birthday Dec. 29 :) I subscribe to Story Stamp and hope this year to really make an effort to sit down and tell stories as soon as I receive the Stamp monthly. (Kind of like my own personal homework assignment) I quit doing PL and am focusing on making each grandchild their own album by making a layout, copying it and putting it into the individual 8x11 albums...I'm using my stash of PL cards as much as possible. I have several travel albums in progress..:) They are also 8x11..I'm able to put 3 4x6 pics one page by overlapping them a bit. Since discontinuing PL I find my photos being printed up and being stuck in a box...I need to make a conscientious effort to print them up and put them in an album. Maybe a monthly PL..8x11..of course :) I did complete an album about my beloved maternal grandma this year for Christmas gifts..75 pages per album..10 albums! Pretty proud of that! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. jambajuice57 says…
    12/29/2018

    Ali, about that middle-of-the-night lost sleep thing...I have recently discovered Headspace’s sleep meditations and they really work well for me. I never have trouble going to sleep but often wake up between 2 and 4 a.m. - I have a favorite (“Desert Campfire”) that makes it easy to relax again and shut off my brain. I rarely hear more than ten minutes of it anymore and I’m gone....there are about 8 different ones, so you just have to find the voice that works for you. May be worth a try if you do Headspace anyway.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      12/29/2018

      Yes! Thank you - I do have and use that.

  6. smultringunn says…
    12/29/2018

    Love seeing these all together like this! This was the first year I made (and pretty much kept up with) a big family album (9x12). I also really enjoyed WITL this year, something about the 3x8 size made it really click for me. Your travel classes motivated me to make/finish three albums of old vacations, which I'm really happy about. I also made a Halloween costume album, and of course I'm in the middle of December Daily. My biggest change for 2019 will be that I'm putting my own more personal thoughts in a 6x8 album so they don't clog up the family album.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. nerdgirl says…
    12/29/2018

    Did you forget your Italy travel album?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      12/29/2018

      Yep! I forgot I did that in the Travel Product Play workshop - ha. Added that in - than you!

  8. deannawbennett says…
    12/29/2018

    First, thanks for the ongoing reminders to make our storytelling work for us. I just cleaned out my scrapbook room of materials that I had collected from over a decade. It was more about what I thought I could do rather than what I am actually doing! I have completed or have in progress 42 real albums. I didn't need stuff that I may get to someday. Every year I do a Project Life album (it is sometimes 2 depending on the year), OLW, a WITL, a December Daily (which has always been 2 albums each year), various Story Pages, and 1 album of some kind (in 2019 it is school albums for my kids, to "catch up"). I love the mix of hard core journaling, project life simplicity, and focused event based storytelling.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. SFK14 says…
    12/29/2018

    Ali, thanks for once again encouraging us to shape this hobby in a way that suits each of us, and for the reminder that I am not bound to what suited me last year or five years ago. I used this post as motivation to make a list of projects I would like to move back and forth between in the coming year. I am setting aside Project Life-style memory keeping for 2019 in order to tell more stories from the past and stories about my values, choices, and so on that I have never got onto paper. Planning to use 6x8, 9x12 and 12x12 albums and to choose the story and size that I am most interested in working with at any given time.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      12/31/2018

      Awesome - love being intentional.

  10. birdnscrap says…
    12/29/2018

    I continue to enjoy doing PL. Thanks to you, Ali, a few years ago I switched to using almost all A page protectors, which keeps it a lot simpler. I still like 12 x 12, because I like to work in a lot of photos. I have found that I don’t use the Story kits enough, so I prefer the Stories of the Month. The Story kits just don’t resonate enough for me. I do like doing DITL, and I do it in all 3 x 4 vertical photos. I can fit 24 photos into one Design F page protector, which covers a day. I just pop it into my regular Project Life album. I don’t do WITL anymore, since I think PL covers it well enough. I can always add extra pages if I want more details. I have done a 30 days of Thankfulness project in November and December Daily for several years. This year I am combining them with am emphasis on gratitude in my December Daily. I got the idea from Ali's DITL and Cathy Zielske. Thank you! I did a One Little Word project for a couple years, but am dropping that for 2019... unless a word "finds me" and I can’t resist.
    Lastly, I have added a new project this year. I did 30 Days of Lists in September and December. This project is very quick and easy, and maybe I will get tired of it soon, but so far it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Phew.
    I love that our world of memory keeping always changes and evolves as life changes. I look forward to watching what everyone does this year! Thanks to Ali for her inspiration and sharing!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Untiedt says…
    12/29/2018

    i enjoy it all. I did OLW which keeps me focused on self improvement and being kind to my self. I did the WITL & both DITL I don't use he story kits as much because I can't located the photos to go with my stories. I hope to do more in 2019. I use the monthly kits more since they fit into PL. My very favorite is December Daily. The rest of the year it's a three way tie OLW, WITL, and PL. Thank you for all the inspiration and enriching my life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…
    12/30/2018

    This is an awesome post! My goals for 2019 are similar to what I've been doing this year - playing catch-up with over a decade of partially completed albums, and using my subscription products here, along with the large stash of other products I have, to make that happen. I treasure my Story kits and will continue to "mix and match" pieces form each kit on my layouts. The OLW sub is like a gift to myself. The DD products I buy are also spread across many albums vs used only for stories that happen in the year I purchase the items. I'm not a pocket scrapper, all of my albums are 8.5 x 11 for the most part. It works for me! One of my favorite things is to listen to the monthly videos for the Story and OLW subs, and to be part of the FB groups for these classes + DD. Such great communities!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. virginiegoujon says…
    12/30/2018

    Hi Ali
    Thank you for the recape! True thing is that as I am also often laying awaken (it happens every single day), I also thought to do a recap of my 2018 memory keeping projects to help me plan those I want to achieve in 2019.
    This year I participated in WITL (one of my favorite - count me in for the next one), DITL (still have to work on the 2nd one which was too close to the DD for me), December Daily (another favorite - I’ll be in again next year, still have to work on the 2nd album as I’m still in Los Angeles), OLW (of course I’m in again - Create will be my word), weekly PL (using story kits and SBTM kits - I will do it again next year), travel workshop (2 TN + 2 3x8 albums), a few A4 layouts and a few 6x8 (kids albums) using the story kits and a 3x8 « thankful album ». I’m also still working on the 31 and 31 more things projects but at my really on pace.
    Thank you Ali for everything.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. mtercha says…
      12/30/2018

      I hope your trip is awesome, Virginie!

    2. virginiegoujon says…
      12/30/2018

      Thank you!

  14. Amandainuk says…
    12/30/2018

    As the year finishes (already Dec 31 down here in Australia) I look back with so much gratitude and love for what I have completed. Our family 12x12 PL album, and the 2 boys 12x12 PL albums (I fit 2 years in each album for them) are up to date - the final page to be done tomorrow). I did WITL and both DITL for my PL album. I finished 2 12x12 albums that covered our 2014 trip to Europe (9 weeks).I completed OLW for the 3rd year. I made a memory album from my trip home to NZ last Nov for my Dad's funeral. I used the SBTM kits in my PL where they were appropriate. But my biggest and most fun achievement was going to Story Camp and completing a very full 9x12 album for that trip.
    As I sit here at the PC I am also finishing printing the last 2 days worth of our photos from our family Canada/USA trip in Dec 16/Jan 17. That's what I have been working on during this enforced time off work (many Aus companies shut down for 2 weeks over Xmas). When photos are complete I will start journaling and embellishing.
    Looking forward to an awesome 2019 when I WILL start using my Story Kits!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. jozpb says…
    01/03/2019

    Late in 2017 I was feeling really down and anxious about the state of the world in general and I decided that in 2018 I was going to focus on creating beauty to balance out the things that were making me sad. So "beauty" became my 2018 OLW although I didn't know about your program at the time. I also didn't know about December Daily or Project Life either. I played around with an art journal, different mediums like watercolor, colored pencil, digital etc. Through trial and error I got into making my own bullet journal planners using a combination of scrap paper, digital paper, and pictures I started taking of things and people in my life. It wasn't until late November that I heard about December Daily and from there found your blog and other memory keeping resources. So I kind of got into all of this in a backwards sort of way, but I'm glad I finally landed!

    My projects for 2019 will be: some kind of Project Life-ish on-going memory keeping album, another ongoing album for SBTM, OLW, and December Daily, in addition to continuing to make my own monthly inserts for planning. As time allows, I'm going to work on another album called "Art Adventures" - my collection of various things I experimented with last year to help me figure out what my creative outlet and medium was going to be.

    Reply 0 Replies

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