i’m doing it. i’m going completely digital with project life for 2014. and i’m so excited about it!
why digital you ask?
well, for me it comes down to a few good reasons…
1. digital is faster + easier for me to complete my weekly pages. life is busy and i want to document it. so it’s all about getting it done. by going digital, i can drop photos into my weekly digital templates and be done. when i used a physical album i had to order my photos for printing, drive to costco to pick them up, sort through the photos, cut down some of them for 3×4 pockets and then print out my journaling cards. it turned into quite a process for me. so going digital is the way for me.
2. space + book size. i’ve done project life for the past two years and each year i need two 12×12 albums to fit it all in. these albums take up space. and looking forward, i have no idea where i would keep two big albums for each year – on top of all of the other photo projects that i want to complete.
3. design. i love the clean + simple look of a hard cover photo book. i love how it looks like a real book that you would buy in a bookstore. i love the idea of documenting my family in our very own book format. sleek. slim. all lined up on a shelf. i’m giddy just thinking about what it will be like to have all of these project life books looking so pretty all together on my shelf…
4. i can use my simply white photo templates to continue to keep my design clean + simple while adding the photos that tell our stories.
5. i can make more photo books. i can print extra copies of our project life photo books and give one to each of the boys one day if they would like their own. and if something should ever happen to these photo books (eek!!!), i could always get a new one printed.
6. the security of backing up our family story. i can now back up our whole entire project life album in more than one place. (please tell me you have your photos + project life pages backed up!)
7. i got a taste of digital project life when i did december daily 2013 using project life digital templates and completely fell in love with the whole process. the end.
i set up a few things to help simplify my whole process for this year…
* i created 52 folders (weeks 1 – 52) in my pictures file on my computer to hold my photos + weekly page files.
* i printed out my weekly design a planning pages and put them into a 3-ring notebook. even though i’m going digital, i still need paper + pencil to plan it all out. download a free copy of this printable planning page here.
* i added week numbers to my calendar so that i always know what week i’m working on because for me project life is always a work in progress. in ical you can add the week numbers through the ical preferences, but for some reason i couldn’t figure it out. and i like my numbers showing up in my monthly calender format. so i found a link to this week numbers calendar and just loaded that right into my ical. that saved me the whole long process of typing in each week number one by one! (i’m a mac girl, so i’m not sure about the process for any other system, but i’m sure you can google it.) i like to start my weeks on mondays so i don’t break up the weekends.
* i created weekly collections for project life in lightroom. i use lightroom to manage and edit my photos. (i also use photoshop for photo editing too.) when i import my photos onto my computer, i name them with the date. then as i’m editing photos, i can just drag + drop them over to these weekly collections. when i’m ready to put my project life pages together, instead of searching through all of the photos i have taken that month, all i need to do is click on the weekly collections and i can see all of the photos that i wanted to use for that week. to do this in lightroom, go to the collections panel and choose “create collection set.” (think of this as the big folder to hold all the other little folders. i called this “2014 project life.”) then to add the individual week collections click on the collection set you just created, then right click and choose “create collection” from the pop-up menu.
my plan is…
1. to create weekly digital project life pages and keep all of my files on my computer backed up in the cloud and on an external hard drive. you can never back-up to too many places! i would be devastated if i did all of this work and then lost it all before i could get it printed at the end of the year.
2. to upload copies of my weekly pages to a folder on my ipad so i can digitally “flip” through the pages of our project life photo book as the year progresses. (i’ll be waiting until the end of the year to print the entire photo book.) i did this for my digital december daily pages and it was so easy! i just emailed the .jpg files to myself, saved them on my ipad, created a new album on my ipad and copied + pasted the files into this new album. when i saved new pictures it did not add them to the end of the album in chronological order, so i just tapped on the photo to copy + paste it into the right place in the album. the best part about this? i can flip through my project life pages from anywhere – as long as i have my ipad with me.
when i started this project, i used cathy zielske’s life basics no. 01 template set for my weekly page templates. but the corner’s in cathy’s templates are not perfectly squared, although they are pretty close. because i couldn’t find exactly what i wanted, i made them my own page templates and now sell them in my shop! so, now i am using my simply white life pages 12×12 page templates. these page designs have a nice amount of white space around the edge of the page and also have squared corners on the photos inside of each template. i have lots of different page layout designs and i’m always adding more as i create them for my own design needs.
now, waiting until the end of the year to get all of the pages together and our project life photo book ordered is not going to be easy, but i know it will be worth it when i’m holding my first book in my hands.
how are you doing project life in 2014?