My Project Life System

My Project Life System

I work full time and don’t have a photo printer at home. And the Design A pocket pages have been out of stock since before I started the project. The combination of these things has ensured that I’m operating on quite a delay for each week’s spread. I have developed several systems for keeping track of things so that I don’t forget what happened in a given week, or get hopelessly behind.

In my kitchen

I have a small bulletin board in my kitchen, onto which I’ve strung a ribbon.  I keep a few clothespins on the ribbon, and above each I have a sticky note with a date range for the week. As I collect bits of this and that, I slip them into the clothespin for the current week.  Every couple of weeks I pull down the collected piles, hold them together with a paper clip with the dated sticky note on top, and set them in my Project Life cabinet awaiting processing. And I add a couple of new clothespins to the ribbon for the next few weeks.

On my phone

I have my phone with me most of the time, and I’ve found it really helps me keep track of the week when I’m out and about. The best app I’ve found so far for Project Life is Momento, which organizes a series of “moments” by day. It automatically pulls in my Facebook status updates, Foursquare checkins, Tweets, and Instagram photos, along with any blog posts, into one consolidated feed. And I can manually add a “moment” and attach an iPhone picture and a few words. Momento has become a primary way I remember key things during the week to add into my Project Life spreads.

My Photos

My iPhone automatically pushes photos into iPhoto with the iCloud photostream. I upload additional photos from my Cannon 40D into iPhoto as well. Every week (or every few weeks, realistically), I pick out a few photos from each week. One or two often get modified in Photoshop Elements, usually with an Ali Edwards overlay, or some on-photo journaling. All photos I’m going to use are exported into a Project Life folder on my desktop.

In my computer

I have a folder on my desktop called “Project Life”, within which I have monthly and then weekly folders. Inside each weekly folder I store any journaling notes (made in Pages), any layouts I’ve created in PSE, and any photos I want to use. Once something is ready for printing I put it into a “For Printing” folder within that week. Then I updload the contents of the For Printing folder to Shutterfly and order the prints. For odd sizes I use PSE to put them onto a canvas in a standard Shutterfly size before printing.

Putting it all together

Late at night after the kids are asleep I pull out my paper clipped stash of ephemera, and my printed photos for that week, along with my scrapbooking papers, my Project Life binder, and my basic supplies (including a paper trimmer, crop-a-dile, tiny attacher, and double sided tape dots.) I keep all of this together in a cabinet near a table in my living room. I lay everything out, and slip things into their pockets. (I only imagine that last part, since my Design A pocket pages haven’t actually arrived yet.)

So, that’s how I do it.

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