Project Life and 2013

For the past few days, I have worked on my Project Life album for 2012. I haven’t talked much about my album this year because I struggled with it a bit. Moving could have had a little a lot to do with it. That my life for the past few months has been all about finding a job and nothing fun is part of it too. It’s hard to have fun and find joy when things are so unsettled.

But even through my struggles and challenges, I still love this way of documenting my life. I was really inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer’s recent project life post. I love so many of the things she said, especially that it’s worth the trouble. I couldn’t agree more!

It made me reflect on my own reasons why I want to keep documenting my life this way:

  1. I save stuff. I like to incorporate ephemera and memorabilia on my pages, but it’s not easy to do and I often forget. I have no desire to create a 12×12 page about every movie and every concert I go to. But I keep all my movie stubs and concert tickets and I want to do SOMETHING with them. The divided page protectors in Project Life give me a PLACE to put that stuff when it happens. That adds another dimension to the story of my life and it makes me so happy.
  2. I am not a chronological scrapbooker. I do not keep my pages in chronological order. Yet, there is a part of me that wants to see the progression on the time line. Project Life gives me that opportunity. I love looking back through my book to see what I have done, what I am doing, and to remind myself of the things I still need to do.
  3. Project Life is filled with little details I would forget and probably never scrapbook normally. When I want to capture a small detail about my life, I take a photo and it goes into Project Life with a little journaling. My other scrapbooks are more focused on the bigger stories I want to tell. Project Life is not a scrapbooking replacement for me, I still scrapbook just as I always have.
  4. It’s a great stash buster. I have several Project Life core kits, but I am constantly adding in bits and pieces from my stash. Old ribbon, stickers, rubons, old embellishments, flowers. I love adding in details and using up older products.

I know that Project Life is not for everyone. Most people still think that it’s a photo-a-day approach and that they must document something about every single day. That does not work for me. This past year I approached my album one week at a time. And when things got crazy, I just did one spread per month and switched back and forth as needed.

It doesn’t bother me one bit that sometimes I cover weeks and sometimes I cover months. The moments I document are far more important than keeping the way I do it rigid and consistent. I just change it up to suit my needs from week to week.

So what’s going to be different for me in 2013?

I am going to try to simplify this album even more. Lately I have been struggling with gathering enough content to document every week. I am going to set up my 2013 album for one full spread per month. If it’s a slow month, I’ll just do one full page spread. When there’s more going on, I’ll add in a divided page protector with more slots.

Simple, right? Well, nothing is ever that simple…

One of the reasons I had a hard time staying focused is that I didn’t keep my album out. I don’t have a dedicated scrapbook room anymore and I don’t have much space to keep things out. So I didn’t. That was a mistake. I am re-configuring some things so that I can keep this album out all the time. When I see it, it reminds me to take photos and to capture little details so I don’t forget to add them.

I gathered up my some favorite products I like to use in my Project Life album and will keep them all in a centralized place. (More on the storage containers I use for this purpose here.):

And I’m prepping certain things that I know I like to include in my albums.

I’m pre-cutting labels in colors that coordinate.

I’m making more flags with phrases for things I know I love to document in my album. I’m also using my Jenni Bowlin label punch to cut out labels I can quickly add to photos.

It’s so easy to get caught up in how hard it is to stay devoted to a year long process. And there is no doubt — it is hard. But I know how much I adore my album at the end of the year so I’m going to keep plugging right on along. I’d rather not focus on how daunting it seems, I choose to enjoy the process and make it work for me.

Thanks for stopping by today. Happy New Year!


  1. That is such a good idea Tammy. I may take some of this for inspiration starting tomorrow. I am having a fresh start for project life and then going to start to sort some of this year retrospectively.
    Happy New year x

  2. You are so prepared, Tammy! I love to see all of the goodies prepped and ready.

  3. wow wow wow!! i wish i could be this organized! totally amazing! I am still on the fence about PL 2013!! I really love it but it seemed like a huge chore last year– i don’t know what i am going to do!

    happy new year

  4. I actually had a little station of PL stuff set up – organized in a box like yours. I was good for about 6 months and then I just started stacking stuff up on top of it. I hope to get it all in the pages in January. Just having the PL stuff has made me better about getting more pictures and keeping more ephemera. And although I bought a core kit too, I really think the most fun way to do it is to just use your stash – that’s my plan for 2013 anyway.

  5. Fab post Tammy! I’m so glad you’ve shared this because I totally agree, there are so many who think it’s a photo a day and good grief, that’s a lot to keep up with! I love that you’re going to keep your album out this year, that helped me too, even though it’s in my nature to have things put away 🙂 Looking forward to 2013!

  6. awesome ideas! tfs!

  7. Sounds like a great plan for project life!
    Very inspirational.
    I go back on forth on whether or not I want to try it.
    But I think being organized would really help!
    Happy New Year 🙂

  8. I agree it can be overwhelming and that is not part of a fun hobby! I am rethinking my 2013 album after spending days this past few weeks getting my 2012 put together. I was good at saving stuff writing each day when there was something but there is just so much you can do when you find your self repeating your self. The good thing is to make it your own!!

    Check out my blog I plan to unveil my 2013 project life idea 🙂 (still writing about it)

    Looking forward to 2013~

  9. Great post, I haven’t tried PL yet but seeing others makes me want to give it a go. Happy New Year

  10. This such a wonderful post. What a help you are. Very useable ideas. Happy new year

  11. Great post and great way to keep it manageable for you.
    Love your storage and really love the stamps with the matching dies…could you share who makes them 🙂

    • Sure – the labels and dies are from Papertrey Ink! 🙂

  12. Great reasons & system for maintaining your PL – you’ve really made this work for you! Here’s hoping the perfect job comes along in 2013!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.