Project Life: Random Tips and Tricks

Do you scrapbook?  Do you Project Life?  I am blogging all about Project Life and how it made my scrapbooking so much easier.  I have two young children yet I have easily scrapbooked every week of their lives with this system.  If you want to know more background about Project Life, check out my other posts in this series.
Project Life: An Overview
Project Life: Supplies Needed
Project Life: How I Stay Up to Date

Today I have some random tips and tricks that help me to scrapbook our life each week.

1.  Get organized - Once I started using cards from multiple kits, as well as cards I found online and printed, it got overwhelming to remember what I had and use up my stockpile.  This is the best way I found to stay organized.  

I took my original box that my first core kit came in and made dividers on kraft cardstock using my Silhouette Cameo.  Unfortunately, the core kits now come in flat boxes but if you want to do something similar, I've seen people use photo boxes or crates from Michael's.  I have a section for 4x6 cards in the back.  Then, in the front I keep all of my 3x4 cards.  On the divider tabs, I write what the kit was called.  For the other cards that aren't specifically Project Life, I write what they are like Prompt, Days of the Week, Printed Online, Quotes, etc. This helps me to find the cards I want to use better.  The cards that are organized by kit are all color coordinated so it is easy to decide on a color scheme and find matching cards.

2.  Don't worry about your entire scrapbook matching - focus on each week - If you are using a Core Kit, you could make every single layout match for the entire year.  This was my plan when I first bought the Cobalt Kit....then...I got sick of that color scheme.  I wanted something different.  That's when I found other cards online and more recently have bought smaller PL kits.  I don't worry about the entire scrapbook matching.  Instead I focus on one week at a time.  I lay the pictures out that I decided to use for the week.  I sometimes use that for inspiration of what color palette I want to use for the week.  Other times I decide what cards I want to use, regardless of the colors in the pictures I've printed.  

3.  Document your life - even if you think it is boring - people of all walks of life are using Project Life.  It isn't exclusively for parents with young kids.  There are young single people documenting their every day.  There are grandparents documenting their family life.  There are no rules.  Anyone can do this.  I know you might think, if I don't have kids, what am I going to write about each week?  Even when I started, I compared my scrapbook to others with older kids.  I felt like I had less to say because my kids weren't walking and talking.  They couldn't contribute much to our scrapbook with artwork and funny kid sayings.  But don't worry!  The whole point is to scrapbook your everyday.  What you wear, what you eat, where you go, what you do for is a time capsule of your life.  Think about how cool it would be to have a time capsule of your parent or grandparent to get a glimpse of their daily life when they were your age.  

4.  You are the keeper of YOUR memories only - When I first started PL and I was getting overwhelmed at feeling like I needed to include too much stuff, I read something about you being the keeper of your memories, not anyone else's.  So for example, I was getting bogged down feeling like I needed to keep every birthday and wedding invitation to prove that we had been there.  Then I read the quote about only keeping your family memories and it has helped me weed some of that out.  I do occasionally put that sort of thing in to show that we went but it is usually from a close family member.  It is not my job to scrapbook their wedding.  Instead it is my job to tell my family's story which could include attending the wedding and our experience.  Does that make sense?  Can you see the difference?  Don't get overwhelmed - just tell your story.  Maybe a picture or two to show that you attended your neighbor's birthday party but you don't need to document every decoration, game played, present opened, etc.  Do that for your own kid, but not the neighbor kid.  

5.  Include other family members' thoughts in your scrapbook - I am excited to do more of this as my girls get older.  I want them to journal and share their thoughts so that the entire scrapbook isn't written from my point of view.  I've done this a few times when I've gotten my husband to add his thoughts.  It is pretty rare but it has happened.  After a few sports highlights in the city, I had him write what happened and included it with newspaper clippings.  Also, sometimes when he goes out of town for work he will take pictures of what he is seeing, doing and eating and then he will journal about it for me when he gets home.  It is kind of nice to see someone else's handwriting in our scrapbook.

6.  Embrace your handwriting and your style - Before using Project Life, I didn't like writing in my scrapbook.  I preferred to type everything.  It was just silly because I have perfectly legible and neat handwriting (most of the time)...elementary teacher handwriting, ya know?  I just learned to embrace it.  It is faster and I think down the road it will be cool for future generations to look through this time capsule and read my words in my writing.  Don't compare yourself to others.  I did this a lot when I started.  I'd look at all of these other Project Lifers and think my pictures aren't as great, the lighting in my house isn't as great, I am not as creative, I can't come up with new ideas, blah, blah, blah.  Don't compare.  Embrace how you document your life!

7.  Get in your scrapbook - This is something I continue to work on.  Are you the picture taker in your family?  Me too.  I'm always documenting the fun we are having instead of being in the picture having fun.  I am trying to get myself in the scrapbook more and more.  Lately that means selfies...of me or me with my girls.  Not always a great picture but it gets me in there.  Most days I hate the way I look in the pictures - no makeup to cover the dark circles, in sweats, hair in ponytail.  But I'm trying to embrace that.  That is how my girls see me every day.  They don't look at it as critically as I do.  I think it would be a huge disappointment for my girls to look back through these scrapbooks and not see their mom in them.  So use a timer, take a selfie, hand over the camera to someone else - just get in the pictures!  

Okay, that is my random advice for now on Project Life!  

I am in no way affiliated with Project Life and am NOT being paid to promote their products.  I just absolutely love their product.  It has changed my life and I want to share it in hopes of others learning about it so that more of us can document our lives and memories in the easiest possible way!