5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014

I know I haven't blogged about all my spreads for 2014 - and I really want to! - but I think that before I start blogging about my Project Life 2015 plans, I should take the time to reflect on my 2014 album.

Project Life 2014 Album Status

As of January 3, 2014

  • 24 finished spreads + days of December
  • 18 unfinished spreads + 23 unfinished days of December
  • 18 blogged spreads
  • 1,243 photos taken (possibly more)
  • Countless memories told

The numbers don't look to great but the only thing that really matters is that last line - countless memories told. That's what this project is all about, right?

I recently looked back at the album when I was transferring them over to their shiny, new, black faux leather 12 x 12" albums. It's amazing how much memory I've told - from the mundane to the insane, from the peaks to the falls, from the old to the new. It doesn't seem much now since I feel like I can still remember most of it but I imagine how grateful I'll be a few years from now when I might not even fully recall what I did for my birthday.

I thought it would be fun to list down what I've learned from this process after a whole year. It might also be helpful to you, if you're still over-the-fence about starting Project Life.


1. Don't overthink the style / theme of your album.

It'll come to you as you create.

As I flip through the pages, I saw my style change bit by bit. I admit, what enticed me to start this huge undertaking were all the good + cute + edgy + unique embellishments. In my first few spreads, I went to town with the embellishments. I can finish a pack of enamel dots on a single spread. Somewhere along the way, my style started changing visibly. I opted for larger, full-pocket photos and longer stories. I wanted things to look cleaner and simpler. By the time I reached December, I was all about the minimalism.

[one-half first]5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014 • Organized! by Pam[end-column]

[one-half]5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014 • Organized! by Pam[end-column]


Yes. My album looks disorganized and each spread feels like it belongs to a different style. But I don't care.

The important thing was that I tried it out and figured out what my style was. I love the fact that I naturally and organically gravitated towards it. I think that's better than planning a lot in the beginning on something you're not even sure is your style.

2. I love the weekly format.

But I'm not bound by it.

The weekly format allows me to document the nitty-gritty of each week - what I ate, where I went, what I did / did not do, who I'm with, etc. It's amazing how five years from now, I can tell you exactly what I ate for lunch (ok, not all the time but most of the time!). That's kind of unbelievable.

5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014 • Organized! by Pam

However, even though I love the format, I feel that, because I have to do weekly spreads, I spend less time telling my stories. I just scribble a short caption here and there and that's it. Recently, I'm craving to write more and tell more about the stories of my day. The stories of big events and the stories of small experience. I want to look back at the album and remember how I felt

So for 2015, I will be doing something different ;)

3. Routine is key to keeping up.

Now that I have a demanding work schedule (definitely way longer than 9-5 and way more erratic), I am realizing the value in setting up a good routine for Project Life. It's not a strict schedule but more of a guideline for me to follow. I work on my spreads on Mondays since I have the day off and then (hopefully) photograph them on Tuesday since the office's natural lighting is crazy good. All the other days, I just collect memorabilia, take photos, etc.

4. Using a monthly kit greatly helped me speed up my process.

Before, whenever I get my monthly kits from Studio Calico, I would split them and store them in my stash (after marveling at their awesomeness, of course). Scrapping from my stash worked for me before because I didn't have a lot of product. But after subscribing to the PL kit for a whole year + 6 / 7 months of the Scrapbook Kit, it was becoming harder and harder for me to find stuff within my stash.

5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014 • Organized! by Pam

Last October, I decided to start using the monthly kits as they're intended - for using within the month I bought them. I sit down, use just the October kit to scrap a week and October and then maybe grab something from my stash whenever I remembered a product that would be perfect for that page. Seriously, that sped up my process from two hours to 45 minutes per spread. 

5. Dropbox syncing is my savior.

Transferring + identifying images used to be the bottlenecks in my scrapbooking process. I took me a full hour to transfer all the photos from my phone (which I use as my camera) and identifying for which week each photo was supposed to go.

5 Things I've Learned from Project Life 2014 • Organized! by Pam

That's before I realized that I could sync my phone gallery to Dropbox. And better yet, Dropbox renames each photo with the date and time it was taken. Seriously mind blown. Now, whenever I want to edit + print photos, everything is already synced in my Dropbox folder.

I hope that wasn't too long for you but really, those were the gamechangers in my scrapbooking process. As the your day-to-day routine changes, I believe that your process must also evolve in order to keep up with it.

Don't force yourself to a fancy routine / process that doesn't work for you.

With that being said, I am so ready to take on my Project Life 2015! (While still working through the backlog of 2014. Please tell me I'm not the only one!)

Up next, I'm going to talk about my Project Life 2015 plans + blogging about my cover page! Exciting times ;)