project life: reflections on the first week

week one for my project life journal is complete. well, sort of. the design and content are finished. journaling cards and photos have been printed. but i’m still waiting on the page protectors to become available so i can slip it all in and see my completed pages.

somewhere in this week, i found the time. the time to document little pieces of our life. the time to take the photos. the time to write down little bits from the week. the time to edit the photos and print the journaling cards. i found that i had a lot of camera burn-out from the holidays. so this was a really good reminder for me to continue to pick up my camera. even if most days it was just my iphone. that is just fine. it still counts.

i wanted to share some of my thoughts + learnings about my first week documenting project life. so i can look back on this as a reminder of where my thoughts are now. to help me during the weeks to come that i might fall behind.

my thoughts so far:

  • project life is about memory keeping. there are no rules. no instructions. no need to follow a strict chronological order. (i’m very much a chronological order kind of girl. i can get a little psycho over it sometimes.) there is no must-have photo list. just my world through my eyes. just pick out whatever stands out from the week and go with that. this is supposed to be easy. and fun. don’t make it hard. keep it simple.
  • i realized that i take more photos of quinn than i do of tate. it is just easier to shoot a still target and not a moving one. like tate. always on the move. not fair to him. mommy will fix that pronto! (next up: tate’s two year photos this week!)
  • i am so very happy that i finally have a place where our everyday life is being documented! just one week in and already i am forgetting some of the tiny details that made me smile this week. but now they will live in our family journal. and not be forgotten.
  • i am more aware of what it really means to document my life. our life. it is not just about taking pretty photos. my photos now have more context. details. stories. it is not just about taking photos of the boys. or us. i am now noticing more of what we are doing. loving. playing with. eating. and just being. i am gaining some awareness + clarity about what matters. and this is priceless.

a few project details:

  • starting off organized has made me feel like i can do this and keep up with it throughout the year. i set up a drawer to hold all of my supplies (like my pencil, pens, corner rounder, stamps, blank index cards and blank journaling cards) in one place and i created files on my computer for my photos and journaling cards  labeled week 1 through week 52. get it done now and i won’t fall behind. that is my thinking. and my hope.
  • i’m being flexible. not getting stuck on having to do this a certain way. the project life journaling cards are still out of stock. so i am making my own. blank index cards cut to size with rounded corners. super easy to make and they give me more flexibility to really create what i want on each card.
  • i have chosen to print out my journaling cards (but i’ll be open to using my handwriting on some in the future). following these simple instructions on how to print on journaling cards is a game changer. i just tape my blank journaling cards onto the printable template and send it through the printer. card done. just like that.
  • i bought a 2012 weekly planner to record just a tiny snippet from each day. i have kept it out on my desk to remind me each night to write a few words. i picked a spiral bound planner so i could fold it in half and it doesn’t take up too much space. and having a design i like makes me want to keep it on my desk. i’m not at all a pink girl, but i did like the simple style and thick pages in this planner. i keep my pen clipped right to it. all within reach.
  • these printable templates and these printable templates are they key to creating my page layouts without feeling overwhelmed. i use a pencil to write in where i want everything to go. and just erase when i want to change it. now i have a great excuse to buy a big giant eraser because i changed my mind quite a few times as the week progressed.
  • i love the look of a tiny white border around all of my photos. i forgot how much i loved this look until i saw someone else’s project life page layout on pinterest. so i created a photoshop action to add a white boarder to my photos. one click and it is done.
  • i am taking the time now to create some actions and templates that will make everything more efficient throughout the year. i have created a template for six instagram images on a 4×6 photo (see the first photo above) and for two instagram images on a 4×6 photo. i’m sure there will be more to come as the year progresses.
  • i wrote a “happenings” journaling card with little bits from our week. i liked it so much that i am going to make it a weekly card. a place to record the date and some of the fun things from each week. (see, that chronological order part of me just can’t create pages without dates!)
  • i am totally okay with taking lots of iphone photos. i don’t always have the big camera. and i don’t want to always have it. so my iphone is so handy. and there is something different and raw about those in-the-moment iphone images.
  • getting the week wrapped up on sunday night is going to be so important. i have chosen my weeks to be monday through sunday so that i have an unbroken weekend.  putting together a little bit every few days is the plan. if i can give myself some time each sunday night to finish any journaling cards or edit and save any last photos from the week, then i can start the week fresh on monday. so my goal is to complete each week before moving on to the next. if i let my weeks run into each other and merge, i will probably get overwhelmed very quickly. that is the plan. we will see how it progresses.

if i stopped this project today. completing just one week, i would still be so incredibly happy that i did it. even only one little week. because it is a week that i will not forget. memories kept. it really is that special.

begin anywhere. do it your way. go project life!

show hide 4 comments

Wendy - Yay! So excited for you. I hope we get to see your finished layouts somewhere :) I’ve been so excited with my project that I’ve considered starting to go backwards into 2011 and put together some simple layouts from whatever I have. This is just so awesome…

tracey - Can you please come do this for my life? Ha. Just kidding. Sort of. :)

stacey - Okay. I am UBER impressed by you. Wow. I have a hard just keeping up with my blog…but this? Wow. What incredible memories you are creating for you and those boys of yours!

Krystal L - Would you mind sharing how you created the template for the instagram photos?? I love that idea for the weeks when I have a mountain of photos and I just can’t choose between them.


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