Everybody knows that Pocket Pages, inspired by Becky Higgins’ Project Life, are all the rage right now. And they are not going anywhere! The concept has been around for a while but it took me, personally, a couple of years to jump on board the bandwagon. My personal story involves completing P365 (a photo a day) in 2010 and it was a fantastically documented year for us! Then I sort of wimped out after that with regards to organized projects and continued scrapping whatever struck my fancy (which, by the way, is totally cool). Last year, I dabbled in the Pocket Pages, doing a 2 page spread a month, but I still havn’t completed the year because it is very difficult for me to summarize most of our months in 2 pages and still manage to get any “story” documented. Not to mention, streamlining the photos. I took forever just figuring out what to include! So this year, I decided it was time to jump into the deep end.
My Pocket Project is all digital, because that’s really how I scrap. I can certainly see the fun and benefit of doing it hybrid, but baby steps for me :). Digi is what I am most comfortable with, so all Digi it is.
I am simultaneously creating a planner/smash book/journal for the year and it has been SO helpful in getting all those little moments and stories down on paper. I, personally, do not plan out my page per se, but I do have my week all laid out in my planner when it’s time for me to scrap my spread.
I have also set up Smart Collections in Lightroom for each week, as well as tagging my photos on import with keywords and a Star System, so it makes it pretty easy to grab my pictures as well.
Perhaps, I’ll do another post sometime detailing my process…
Anyway, since this is my first year really being committed it is taking a while to really get my system down. I think I have it now, but I’m sure I’ll find ways to tweak it over time. What I was really interested in was what other Newbies were learning, how we were all doing, and what advice those who have been at it for a while could give us. So, I asked. Here.
And here are a few things that were mentioned in that thread that I thought were worth repeating for us all…
1. Tali (talivstouwe) was the first of many to express something that is critical to any long term project’s success. Lack of stress and anxiety about it is key. If you don’t enjoy the project, it is going to be difficult to complete it. She says “So far, I’ve learned to just relax about it. I’m remembering the WHY in all of this – that my kids are someday going to look at these pages and love reading about all the simple little things we did in our everyday life.” Perfect lesson to learn!
She is also learning to simplify. “The biggest thing I’m avoiding is adding too much to my pages, embellishment-wise. I’d love to dress them up but going for just photos and a few journaling cards is really working for my flow so far!”.
And finally, here is her process for now. I love hearing how others do things, because sometimes they say something that will just click for me. “I do feel like my process is down. I go through each week’s photos and email them to myself from my phone (so happy my iPhone tracks which photos are taken on each day!) Then I import into Lightroom, and edit. I picked 2 presets (one color, one B&W) to use for consistency. I throw my calendar card on the left page, then start arranging pics. My journaling card generally goes on the right page. “
2. Tracie (tkradtke) is a two year veteran and has changed her process a bit this year. Last year she was very consistent with the same template every week. This year “I use whatever template I feel fits my pictures best now and I have no set formula to putting them together. I also have given myself permission to fill as many pages as I want. ” Again, lack of rigidity and stress is working for her.
Her advice is to make this part of your life. Consistently. “So what I, personally, learned was that consistency [in templates, etc] in the beginning is what helped me establish a routine. Now that I have a routine, I don’t need the consistency any longer. “
3. LeeAndra gives some advice for those doing it hybrid… “Start with the ‘A’ template. Do as little post-processing as possible on your photos & stick them in the ‘pockets’ with little to no embellishing. Stockpile some filler cards with either cute quotes or ‘currently,’ ‘what we ate,’ ‘what we watched,’ etc. Don’t stress. Don’t compare. Don’t take more than 2 hours to do a 2 page spread. Set up a ‘no fail’ environment for yourself.”
I LOVE the “Don’t Compare” line in her advice. This was also a recurring theme and so important. This goes for all of our art and it’s not easy to do. However, if your spread makes YOU happy, it is perfect.
4. Becky (bderby) echoes this by saying “Look for inspiration and be inspired, but for me, having them done is the goal.” Amen!
5. Laura (lauracw) is a Photo-Taker :) and has been successful at P365 for years (I bow down to you). However, that many photos can be overwhelming. She says “I’ve learned that this is a great way to quickly scrap everything!”.
As for her process, it is still developing (1st year PL-er), but she does say “I picked a date card to use for each week and a font. I’ve decided to stick with stitched templates. Otherwise, I’m using whatever catches my eye. I like colorful and fun and since I’m just scrapping for my girls, I’m guessing they won’t care if I’ve “followed the rules” lol”. No, Laura, they certainly will not.
6. DennyDenny tells us how she handles photos… “I upload all my photos from the various devices every monday afternoon on Lightroom. I delete some photos and made a selection of the photos to put in the PL page. My problem is that I always have too many, so if I feel the need I make an extra 2page spread. Then I edit them and export in a temporary folder on my desktop.”
and her supplies… “In my scrap folder I have one for projects and inside this I have my 2014 PL folder with all the pages and the basic templates and some elements that I use every week. I open my basic template ready with place for title card and week in review card. And then I put the photos, the cards, the journaling and some elements… very basic.”
7. Courtney (bestcee) has a lot of great things to add, but I especially like what she has to say about her photo process. She is in love with DropBox and uses it correctly :).
“Dropbox is my friend. Both mine and DH’s camera are set up to auto upload to the Dropbox folder on my computer. I also keep my DSLR upstairs on the kitchen counter. Because life happens upstairs in the kitchen and living room mostly. I don’t want to miss the moment tracking down my DSLR, and I learned that I love having those pictures, not just phone pictures in my book. On Sundays, I pull the SD card out of my camera and add the photos to my computer. I rarely edit them, usually only for white balance or shadows/highlights if it’s way off. Often, I will use “Duplicate” and “screen” or “multiply” if the photo looks super dark or light on the layout.”
She also has set up a specific time to do this page/spread. Sunday nights. I think this is a great idea because I have found that “I’ll do it this week” doesn’t always work out.
8. Maja (Nixenkind) also makes her pages a priority each week at the same time. “I must finish my PL on Sunday evening… MUST.” She says that this is the “MOST IMPORTANT rule for me when it comes to staying on track . It served me well: I stayed on track all year.”
9. Nicole (Ink and Pixels) says she “was introduced to the collect app in TLP forum, so now I take a photo a day with my iphone, save the pic with a line of text, at the end of the week I export them to my camera roll. I like having to choose the photo on a daily basis, it saves me time later when I’m putting together the page.”
Streamlining the process. Love it.
10. Laura (lmccandless) is a Project Life Pro, so listen well, folks ;). This is her 4th year doing this project and has some great advice. “If you’re just starting out, my best advice is to really pay attention to finding the right work flow for you. Whether that means learning batch processing in Lightroom or investing in a printer, etc…whatever it is…get the best tools in place that you can. Second, make a standing date for your PL time. For me, it’s Tuesdays and the weekend. Do your best to stick with a regular schedule so you stay in the groove.”
Again, with the consistency. This must be important, hehe.
Laura also tells us the secret to her staying on track. “It’s hard for me still, but let go of perfection. I have pretty much let go of any of the “rules” I had for myself in the first year or two of PL.”
Do I need to repeat that? LET IT GO (I mean the perfectionism but I know you are all going to be singing that song for the rest of the day. You are welcome)
11. Molly mentioned that she got behind during vacation time last year. Think about these unusual weeks and decide to “just do it” or skip it… perhaps for a mini-album or individual pages later. There is more freedom in Pocket Scrapping than you think.
12. Lynnette completed PL in 2012 then didn’t even start 2013. It gave her a chance to see how she wanted to proceed and her points of advice are really terrific and will be very helpful to some of us.
- “Same template each week (design A). I may switch this up as the year goes on if I feel like I have the time.
- I chose one kit/collection each week to give myself less choices. I do add in extra things here and there, but mainly it’s just one kit so I don’t have to dig through my stash.
- Scheduled time – I have Sunday afternoons/evenings set aside to do my spread. I do Sun-Mon so my week is completely finished when I scrap it.
- Keep the embellishments simple – mostly cards, photos, words, wordart, sometimes a flair or two, but that’s about it.
- Don’t stress about the photos. If I have extra, I do collages. If I don’t have enough, I use more filler cards.
- Phone and Instagram photos go directly to dropbox, so they’re all there on my computer waiting for me when I’m ready.”
Don’t you just LOVE all of this goodness!
I think finding a process that works for you and keeping it relatively consistent is the key.
If you want to see more of what these folks said and join in the conversation, head over to this thread in the forum. And there are tons of great threads in our Project Life/365/52 Forum, as well as some awesome inspiration there and in our Project Life Gallery. One of the keys to keeping up is the support of a great community. Fortunately, we have that her at The Lilypad.
Oh, and I would be totally remiss if I didn’t point you to our Project 365 category in the store. Holy Smokes. Talk about inspiration.
Go check it all out and if this is something you are doing or interested in doing, we want to hear from you!