Project Life Check In + a Step-by-Step Video on Journal Cards

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Scrapbooking26 Comments


I think I'm liking the idea of updating my Project Life album every two to three weeks.

Why? Well, for starters, I'll get more mileage out of my page protectors. Next, I don't take quite as many photos as I did in the Days of Scrapbook Yore, so I feel less pressure to make sure I have images to get into the book.

This spread covers two weeks, May 15 through May 28.  Some of the biggest news of this time period? Hello? Oprah's final show? I think I could have devoted an entire mini album to that one. Alas, I'll suffice with a shot of my television screen and notes on a journal card.

Although this photo didn't make the cut:


(Yes, I watched the final show with a smoothie in hand.)

This one didn't make the cut either:


Nor this one:



Alright, moving right along…here are my pages:



I made a new set of 2.75 x 3.75 layered journaling files for those of you who want to dabble in custom journaling cards. I use a mix of my own handwriting on the Project Life cards, and my custom journaling cards. Sometimes, I have more to say than I can usually fit onto a hand-journaled card.


The files work just like any other layered Photoshop file. You open them, change your font to one you like, type in your journaling, and then change the green placeholder color of the pop word to whatever you like. Here's a very short video showing you how they work:

Working with layered journal cards from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.



1. Open layered journal card file. Select the layer with the pop word (the word in green on the template) and change it's color. To do this, click once on the Set Foreground Color icon in the tool palette to pull up the Color Picker. Move your mouse around to find a color you like. Click OK.

2. Go to Edit > Fill Layer. Make sure the Contents drop down is set to Foreground Color and that Preserve Opacity is checked. Click OK and the color will apply to the pop word.

3. Click on the journaling layer (with the T icon) and highlight all the words to change the font.

4. Type in your journaling, and you're ready to print. Be sure to send the file to print with the Crop Marks option checked in the PSE print window.

To print multiple cards on a single sheet of 8.5 x 11 cardstock, you will use the MultiCardJournalingTemplate file included in the package.

1. Open the MultiCardJournalingTemplate.psd file, and make sure you also have your journal card file open as well.

2. In the upper most bar there is an icon that has a drop down for Arrange Documents. Click on that and select the view that shows two docs side by side. Note: you can also just click on the top of the MultiCardJournalingTemplate.psd window and drag it over to the side, so you can view both documents at once.

3. Click on the journal card so its active, then hold down the Shift key and select all four layers in the document.

4. Next, hold down the mouse, click anywhere on the journal card file and drag over to the MultiCardJournalingTemplate.psd file. Let go and the entire card will transfer to the template. All of the layers move together because they are still highlighted. Click to drag into place centered in the crop marks. Repeat for more cards.

If you have any questions for me, leave me a comment. And have a fabulous Monday.

For more information on Project life, click here.


Cathy ZielskeProject Life Check In + a Step-by-Step Video on Journal Cards

26 Comments on “Project Life Check In + a Step-by-Step Video on Journal Cards”

  1. #1

    Your two weeks looks good and love the photos of the house and new color. So funny having all those Oprah pictures to choose from, she is great. I think everyone doing PL had a picture and story about Oprah that week. The journal cards are so cute and the little titles for each one is fun, thanks for sharing them with us. Happy Monday.

  2. #2

    cathy, i was wondering if you could do the journal cards in pdf. i don’t use photoshop, but would love to be able to type my journal cards for project life. any suggestions?

  3. #4

    Right now, theyre not in PDF. They would have to be blank. So youre saying you could type in a PDF? If so, I can probably amend them, but in PDF, you cant change the colors to customize, which is part of the problem. : )

  4. #7
    Lynn M

    Thanks so much for these little cards. I’ve created some in Word for my Project Life, and these will add more personality to my album.

  5. #8
    Christine Preston

    I love how simple these cards make the journaling aspect of my Project Life. Here is my question: what would be your digital solution for making the patterned filler cards (in your example, the blue striped one)? I didn’t buy Project Life and it is now sold out, so I’m trying to recreate all the other parts. Any suggestions?

  6. #9

    Hmmm. Good question. I suppose if you had the skills needed, you could create your own. The blue striped card on mine is from the turquoise Project Life. I dont do much design like that, which is why I love Beckys kit! : )

    I would just put photos in those spots, or…. find a few sheets of patterned paper you love, like a ledger style, and cut those into 2.75 x 3.75 cards to use!

  7. #10

    Thanks for the adorable journaling cards – they are perfect! Also, I wanted to comment on how freeing your approach to PL is for me. I was falling way behind as I wasn’t taking that many pictures so I started thinking, why bother? Isn’t it weird that at age 47, I can’t tell myself, it is ok that I don’t have to have a page for everyweek. But after reading on how you are approaching PL, I thought, duh! why didn’t I think it was ok to do a few weeks or even a whole month and leave it at that.

  8. #11

    Yeah, Im so not hung up on making sure i get everything. Maybe its age, maybe its that my kids are older. But I still think everything they do is adorable so I dont think thats it. : )

  9. #12

    Hi Cathy,
    Another vote for you doing a version in PDF for us non photoshop people. If you kept to the green of this year’s project life there wouldn’t be any need to change the colour.

  10. #13

    for those not in photoshop, just go into Word and make a custom page size of 2×3 and type away. if you want a title like Cathy has, just make a macro. HTH!

  11. #15
    carol in seattle :)

    Cathy, I love seeing your approach to PL. Just one question…are YOU in it? Don’t forget to get photos of YOU in your scrapbook!

  12. #18

    Diggin those little cards. And your approach. Mine is more like a memorabilia keeper at the moment, but hoping to add the photos and stories I’ve been capturing other places. Just do it, right? Was thinking since mine is turning into more of a monthly thing I might even add in some of “the monthly” spreads if I wanted to add in more photos. Still, I think it fits a need between layouts and just the photos. And I love the green!

  13. #19

    i love that in the last post, dan matches the house, and in this post, you and the smoothie match lady o. well played, zielskes! 🙂

  14. #21
    janice m

    yes, TY so much for the wonderfully designed journaling cards.
    i printed one card with the TODAY your fav chartreuse color. one i changed to orange. both turned out with lots of gray in it. i’m not sure why? is it my printer?

  15. #23

    Just noticed this – you’ve probably be doing it right since the beginning! – are you rounding all your photo corners???? Loving how it looks. 🙂 and totally loving the cards – I’m having so much fun catching up on the last few weeks with mixing and matching hand writing or typed cards…thanks!!

  16. #25

    Thanks for the alternate journaling cards! I did that on a few 2010 layouts, as the designs did not always suit the page. Yours look way better, and I always seemed to have measurement “issues.”

    Your Oprah pictures are hysterical. I do see an Oprah album in your future. You know you want to…

  17. #26
    davina ishikawa

    Interesting piece ! my business partners yesterday was made aware of to write in pdf . It’s relatively convenient to learn and it’s useful ! I am guessing they have a 7 day promotion now

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