Project Life, Take Two + a free download for you

Cathy ZielskeFree Downloads, Project Life87 Comments


Last Spring, I decided the allure of Project Life was just too great to resist, so I jumped in with both feet and was raring to go!

And I absolutely loved it for about 8 weeks and then I fell off the wagon. And even though scrapbooking is supposed to be fun and guilt free, I have to tell you: I wish I would have kept it up!

Life got in the way. Work got in the way and I found myself not tracking and documenting the way I really wanted to. It’s funny, because when I look back at those 8 spreads, I absolutely love how they transported me right back to March and April of 2010. And then I felt like a bonehead for not keeping it up.

Enter Project Life 2012.

This year will be different, and why? Because I have a plan. My plan goes like this:

• Stock up on 4 x 6 photo paper.

• Create Weekly Project Life Folder on my hard drive (and sub folders for Weeks 1 to 52) to drop in pictures or bits of journaling for each week.

• Use layered journal cards where I add a bit of story every few days while it’s still fresh in my mind.

• Pay closer attention to the every day.

• Put my pages together on Sunday afternoon, with some tea and some good music.

• Share them on my blog each week following.

• Be open to tweaking and playing with the products as the inspiration hits me.



I am using the Clementine core kit and a basic black We R Memory Keepers 12 x 12 album. I used a bit ofthe digital paper from Clementine but plan to mostly stick with the paper kit products, and digital creations of my own, like this title page file:

You can download these files for free by clicking the link below. They can be printed on a 12 x 12 piece of cardstock and trimmed to fit one of the 6 x 12 Project Life page protectors. One is a printable PDF where you add your name manually; the other two are layered PSD files that both use a free downloadable font, Museo Slab.

Download CZ_6x12TitlePages

I’ve created a few other products that work well with Project Life, the latest being my Weekly Wrap Up 6 x 12 templates. I plan to use a number of the 6 x 12 page protectors for weeks where a bigger story space is needed. I’ll also be using two different story cards to tell stories as well, these and these, as well as develop pieces as needed.


I also have a 6 x 12 photo template set that could be cool for dropping into the back side of the 6 x 12 protector. However, I’ll  have to have those printed at an online printer as I don’t own any 12 x 12 photo paper.


I love the idea of combining traditional with digital, along with any other bits of ephemera that will find their way into this album project.

I’m also starting to use an app (for Mac users only at this time) called Day One on a recommendation from Izzy from the Paperclipping Roundtable show that I was on just the other day. It’s a little journal app for the computer and the phone and it pops up every now and then for a check in. I figure if I jot down little notes throughout the week, I’ll also have that as a Project Life resource.


Just like I try to Move More and Eat Well every day, getting back into a regular habit of slowing down and documenting our every day here at Chez Zielske is going to be a priority in 2012.

I’ve got my album set up in a corner of my “scrapbook” room, and I’m ready to go.

Pl storage 1

Pl storage

Here’s to 52 weeks of saving life.


Project Life, created by Becky Higgins, is a flexible, easy-to-use, highly customizable way to save your memories in a fun, stress-free way. Learn more about getting started with Project Life by clicking here.


Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Take Two + a free download for you

87 Comments on “Project Life, Take Two + a free download for you”

  1. #1
    Lois Houston

    I’m going to do hybrid, too, I think, for my Project Life/Family Album this year. I have been mulling it over since the beginning of December but I am like you – I really like the format of the PL album.
    I’m thinking I will add in my digital pages where appropriate as well. Going to get brave this year and try some of the hybrid printables you have on Designer Digitals, too!
    Here’s my thoughts about my family scrapbooking plans for 2012:

  2. #2
    Kirsty Davies

    I have an app called momento for my iPhone and it’s fab! It takes all your feed (Facebook, twitter, instagram etc) and shows it in a calendar format where you can pick a day and you can see all your posts from that day 🙂 Came in really handy when I was working on a page about new years eve in 2009 & I couldn’t remember, and all I had to do was go to that day on my calendar and my posts came up. You can add moments in the app as well do it doesn’t just need to be something you tweeted or posted 🙂

    I have day one too, love that the reminder pops up to get you to write 🙂

  3. #3

    I am so happy to see you on Becky’s creative team and plan to follow your PL journey and buy all the stuff you design. Just love you.

    What did you put on the back of your 6×12 title page? Did you leave it blank?

  4. #4

    I wish I was an iPhone user, the momento app sounds great. However, as a current droid user – I found that a website called works great to help me record the moments of the day. You can enter your journaling on their website directly or via an a daily email.

    I wish I had access to an app that would pull in all of my feeds. I wonder if that exists for droid?

  5. #5

    thank you so much, cz, for sharing this. I am one of the masses who missed out on the traditional photo pocket pages. yup, had them in my cart and couldn’t decide on a quantity. 😀 I love what you’ve done and know I can make it work for pics, too.

    thank you! you rock!

    oh! and I love the app you mentioned! searching for one was on my to-do list for today. easiest thing I’ve checked so far 😀

  6. #6
    Lori P.

    Hi Cathy,
    I too did not do a great job with my Project life last year. I am almost caught up with all of my pictures in the album but I did not keep up on the journaling.
    I knew to a point how it would go and need to give myself some slack as it was my first year doing it. Right? This year will be different. You are on the terrific creative team and since I already eat my breakfast reading your blog, it will be better. So many ideas coming my/our way. Also, I just love the idea of your “Weekly Wrap Up 6 x 12 templates”. This is a me thing! Thank you! I can fill it out during the week and print it off. More room for pictures? maybe! :O) Especially since last years album holds a 2 page spread’s of a whole day or celebration here and there. Why not… it is my album. Thank you again for sharing all of your life with us, your Designing Digitals designs and so much more. Yep, please take a bow – Thank you!

  7. #7

    Your title page looks so awesome! I am currently patting myself on the back, because I just caught myself up from a mid-year drop-off of PL 2011. I had done nothing since June 10, but I LOVED what was completed, so I really wanted to finish it. I still have a bit of journaling to do, but I really never thought I could get caught back up! I had to go the uber simple route, but I don’t care. My goal wasn’t to have the BEST album, just to have a completed one. I didn’t achieve my original goal of one picture for every day, but in 20 years, I don’t think anyone will be thinking, “Gee this is great, but what the HECK did they do the week of September 18th??”

    Thanks for the free templates! On to 2012!

  8. #10

    Thanks for the downloads, and I’m going to check out the weekly wrap-ups at Designer Digitals.

    I’m so excited to follow the PL design team this year. I figure my best bet is if I record a little bit each day and then add in longer stories on the weekends as needed. So my album is near my photo printer, and I also slipped a page protector in the front that holds a pen, my date stamp and stamp pad, some extra journaling cards, and the day stickers from the kit.

    Plus, I recruited a friend who’s also doing PL, so we’re going to keep each other accountable. 🙂

  9. #11
    Shari Rohde

    Cathy you are such an inspiration. Thanks for posting this. I too, started PL last year and fell off the wagon. I have tons of “everyday photos” on my computer and printed from last year intended PL album. I think I might try to put together a condensed 2011 album and focus on making sure 2012 is a priority. I completely agree with slowing down, taking care of myself (via Move More Eat Well) and documenting our lives this year. It is pathetic how many scrapbook supplies I have and how few pages I create. I loved your idea about creating files on the computer for each week, and having a PL ‘station’ in your room. Thanks for inspiring me to get organized and get going! Now, if you dont mind, I am leaving for a nice long run! : )

  10. #13

    Yay I’m so glad you’re doing this! I’ve loved the idea of project life since I heard about it, but seeing how I struggle with my “december daily” and “week in the life”, I didn’t even bother to attempt it. But I decided to finally give in and give it a try this year. I fully expect to have failed and quite by March, if not february, but I’m excited at the idea of what it will be if i AM able to complete it. And I’m doubly excited that you’re giving it a go too and will hopefully keep me on track. 🙂

  11. #15
    Ronnie Crowley

    Do you think the templates would be easy enough to change out for month instead of week – or do you think you could make a set for month. I’d do Katie’s Round-up class and a once a month review if my plan and thought this may be a great addition. As class starts tomorrow was thinking about adding this.

  12. #17

    Cathy, tell me, do you plan to just print instagram photos on 4×6 and trim? I really wanted to do something that only used instagram photos but if I make it too difficult it won’t happen. Right now I am focusing on one pic a day using Project 365 on iphone. If I can do that for 30+ days then I will think of PL.

  13. #20

    I am, apparently, easily influenced. All the cool kids are doing Project Life and making me want to join in. 🙂 But I think I’m going to do Project Life: the Weekly Version. As in, on Sunday afternoon, I’ll pull together some pictures from the week, enter a few highlights, plop them in a template or just in a blank .psd file, and print them on white cardstock. Et voila — Week 1. And I’ll just use a binder I have kicking around and pick up some 8.5 x 11 page protectors. And use up some of the patterned paper I hoard for minor embellishing. Hey, now that I’ve typed this out, I think I have a plan. 🙂

  14. #21

    Heckfire. I just remembered that you are on the PL design team and it’s probably rude to mention a no-cost alternative on your PL post. Sorry!

  15. #23

    Not a problem at all. Seriously. Just like my template stuff. If you see a design that inspires you, I say more power to people making their own!

    I know about living on budgets!

  16. #24
    Sarah F

    Great post Cathy! I’m starting my 3rd year with project life and I just love it. I don’t do anything more really than plug in the photos and journal and I’m really ok with that. It creates an amazing album of our boring, everyday lives.

    I use iPhoto to capture my POTD (weekly albums within Monthly folders) and I journal in the picture’s “description” field. Truth be told, I usually wait until the end of the year to print out my journaling cards. I just copy and paste into Word and send them off to my printer. Works like a charm. Except when a new version of iPhoto blew away all my journaling. TG for Time Machine!

    Last year I used PSE to add text of the day of the week to the photo. I really loved the way they turned out. Then I also added “Monday – ” to the beginning of each of my journaling cards. Plugging in all those arrows got really old for me! Plus I have a 4 year old who loves to put stickers all over the house!

    I may get a little “fancy” this year with some cool CZ additions. 🙂 TFS!!!

  17. #25

    Cathy, where can I get the 6×12 pages printed? I don’t have a 12×12 printer and although I love the templates you’ve created I’m not sure where to go to print them out. Any suggestions.

  18. #26

    i just went over to order stuff and bummer, the pocket pages are outta stock. this could upset the apple cart. i would like to go more high tech and do my own stuff, but i am being realistic here…

    right?! thanks for sharing.

    if you have any top secret info about when the pages will be back in stock, please let me know.

  19. #27

    At any online printer that specializes in scrapbookers! like scrapbook or persnickety prints. Places like this will print 12 x 12 sizes. You can open one of these files, change the canvas to be 12 x 12 wide, and print two on one sheet of 12 x 12, or just a single.

    I may do a quick tutorial on how to do this next week!

  20. #32

    Ok – brain dead here. I didn’t even think about putting 2 together to make a 12×12 and then print that – duh!!!! And YES please make a tutorial (if you have the time) because I need all the help I can get. Thanks for the reply.

  21. #33

    cathy – did you have your 6×12 printed or did you take a piece of 12×12 & print it on a normal 8.5×11 type printer that allowed a longer length? I just realized the paper I chose to print on it 8.5×11…. grrrr – may print anyway & think about a layer behind….??? 🙁

  22. #34
    Christina from Sydney

    Cathy I’m so glad to hear you are going to join Project Life. And now that you have committed we will be on your back if you don’t produce the goods LOL!!!

    I have a request. Can you show us (maybe in a video) how to change the titles in your 6×12 journaling blocks. They are awsome but I like to journal a little more about my grandson’s journey with Down Syndrome and thought these would be perfect. Sorry if my question is inappropriate!! just ignore if it is.

    Lovein’ your pages so far.

  23. #36
    Annet Maurer

    I’m not going down PL this year (even though I am intrigued), since I need to stay as digital as possible, with a bunch of changes happening this year (like moving continents!). But I was inspired by one of your posts late last year, so I’ve downloaded your Monthly templates and will be doing those as we go along, cause we don’t want to forget anything of this year.

    Hang on, I’m doing MMEW and Monthly, seems like my life is being run by you! Do you also do dishes, decluttering and packing?

  24. #37

    Cathy, just wondering why you didn’t keep up with your monthly review templates. I love that concept – the daily aspect of Project Life is too overwhelming for me. Sadly, I have had a PL album/kit for a couple of yrs that is sitting on my shelf.

  25. #38

    I printed it on a 12 x 12 pieces of white bazzill card stock on my HP Printer that prints oversized papers!
    If your printer wont go that big, you can always upload to an online printer that likes scrapbookers, like persnickety prints!

  26. #40

    Hey Christine,

    Those titles cannot be changes. I design the titles in a particular font (I believe these are all in Helvetic Neue) then in order for them to show up and look like they do, I have to convert them to artwork, called rasterization. So they are not editable for this reason. Its part of any designer who wants a title to look a very specific way, this is what we have to do because its very rare that everyone has the same fonts on their computers. I try to create some things with free fonts as well, but right now, Im mostly using some very specific non-free fonts.

    Hope this answers your question! They still could apply to telling your grandsons story, possibly. : )

  27. #43

    I am loving the digital version on Shutterfly. We are moving this year and will have lots of upheaval so traditional scrapbooking will be difficult -even hybrid will be hard. But online digital!! I can do this on vacation, from the road, with a house full of packed boxes, a house full of unpacked boxes. You name it, I can do it! Thanks so much for sharing the inspiration.

  28. #44

    Your pages are looking awesome already! Definitely bookmarking that journaling app, it sounds like just the kick I need. 🙂

  29. #46

    So fun hearing you on the roundtable!!! after listening I may try to tackle project life digital. You and Jessica made it sound so doable!

    Ps LOVE the barn quilt in the picture for your template. Is that at you family’s farm?

  30. #48
    francesca di leo

    hey cathy, thanks so much for the free psd files…. any tips on how to change the colors in photoshop elements? i love orange, but you know… a girl might like variety… lol. thanks again…

  31. #49

    I like the journal component of Cozi.
    Also creating a shared grocery and honey-do list that both hubby and I can see not too shabby either. : )

  32. #50

    Oh, thats just placeholder color! Click on the layer with the solid orange, go to Edit Fill Layer, then under Contents you choose Color, then pick a color, and click OK.

  33. #51
    Kristi in CA

    This is my 3rd year doing PL. The first year I totally forgot to journal and had an entire years worth to do at the end of the year. Then I found

    Shuttercal shows you each month and you can see which pictures you are missing. You can even add journaling when you upload your pictures so if you are running a bit behind in journaling (ahem), you can hover over the photo and see what you wrote when you uploaded it! You can upload from your computer or use the app. I think it cost $.99. I believe it is only for the iphone, but can’t recall.

  34. #53
    Sharon Holesh

    You said that you are using the “paper kit products”– do you mean actually using the Clementine scrapbooking paper rather than digital paper? Thanks,


  35. #54
    Jane Simmons

    Started with PL last year when you did and I really love it. I don’t try to do weekly page–I just do a month at a time. I still do some journaling by hand on the paper kit cards. But please do design some monthly journaling templates.
    Although the purist in you would no doubt be a little sad to see it, I must confess that I have changed alot of the titles on the 4×6 journal cards. I just cover up your title with a rectangle in the background color and then add text. Maybe another thought would be a kit of 4×6 journal cards that have placeholder text in like Museo Slab that we could modify?

    Do the digital papers come from Jessica’s website? I’m doing cobalt this year.

  36. #55

    Hi Cathy,

    Great post.

    Just wondering if there is a limit to how many words you can journal on Day One? I’m keenly interested but I like to do, but it doesn’t have a calendar option.


  37. #59

    Jane, both great ideas! Ive been asked to do some monthly templates! Will be working on some stuff for next week@
    And yes, Jessicas site is where the digital stuff is!

  38. #61

    Cathy, your cover page looks AMAZING!! I love the photos you picked and the colors are WOW!!

    So happy you are trying this again and sharing it with us. You will be so happy at the end of the year when you look thru and see the little tidbits you may have forgotten. Remember if it is to much for you alone, see if the kids and Dan will help out some weeks. It is a family album so seeing their writing and thoughts/photos is an extra bonus for all of you.

    Good luck and have fun!!

  39. #62

    Holy Cats woman!! You are doing a 12×12 album!!!!
    After the initial shock, I have to tell you it looks wonderful so far! Looks fantastic! I tried PL 2011 and it was a bust for me after March 3rd I think? Somewhere in that month I fizzled. I missed out on getting the kit last year because it sold out so fast and this year, I am not sure about tackling it again. I have been taking the pics just in case and journaling in my Momento App on my iPhone. You should check that one out.
    I am still trying to work on OLW 2012 and MMEW12 stuff for January and I am still struggling with that one word for 2012….I have 3! Anyway….PL 2012 may have to be added to my madness of 2012 after seeing this post. Thanks for sharing yours. 🙂

  40. #64
    Missus Wookie

    Thank you for the 6×12 template – just picked up some of that size page protectors too.

    Not planning on PL this year – was tempted but realistically decided it wasn’t doable this yar. Instead, I’m concentrating on the fun and inspirational side but hoping to maintain my journaling in ‘OhLife’ (really enjoying that app) although I’m tempted by ‘One Day’ with a calendar view. It would be like getting a sticker in my iCal 🙂 But looking forward to seeing how your Moving More inspiration and PL go this year.

  41. #65
    Suzie Perrie

    Thanks for reposting your 6×12 title page downloads! I meant to do that before and as usual forgot. 🙂 So excited to see what you do with PL this year.

  42. #67

    Cathy, I have your layered journal cards and journal card brushes for the 4×6 spot. Is there somewhere I can find/download the formatting you use for your “week in review” snippets? I especially love the little colored line dividers between each thought, but have no idea how to accomplish that. Thanks!

  43. #73

    I received Photoshop Elements 10 for Christmas, so I’m brand-spankin’new to the whole digital thing. I can edit photos-kind of – but that’s about it. Can you tell me, or anyone else out there – how to use your digital templates with PSE10? What do I do? How do I download them? Where do you print them – at home? I’d love to use them and do some hybrid scrapping. I know this is kind of a big question, so if you want to email me privately, let me know. Or point me in the direction of where I can learn to do this.
    Thanks so much!

  44. #76
    Gypsy Chaos

    If I recall correctly, Becky mentioned that the page protectors should be back in stock on Amazon this month, January.

  45. #77
    Gypsy Chaos

    oh no. You’re human??

    I do love when you share bits like this! I enjoy your responses to others’ posts too.

    I have a serious question: When would you be available to come east to wash my windows??

  46. #78
    Chris H.

    I just discovered your blog today…I went through a few years of overdoing it on blogs and just didn’t explore many new ones until recently. I’m concentrating on project life so much, (proud to say my 2011 is complete!) I thought I’d add back in a few.

    I really like your matter of fact writing style and thanks so much for sharing your template. I’m all about using other people’s expertise to make my life easier!

  47. #80

    Happy New Year, Cathy! And what a great start with your PL. I made it through September (though I confess to doing a sorta monthly, rather than weekly thing). I have some stuff in the album for those months, but need to get it put together. Since I’m a hybrid kind of gal, I used a hybrid kind of structure—different size page protectors, etc. I love the combo because it allows me to include anything and everything. I’m probably not going to do such a concerted version this year, but will continue something along the same lines. Maybe go back to your monthly digital templates—I loved those. So easy! And, thanks so much for the freebie. Since I still need to do those 3 months, I can use these. I have been using the Living Magazine calendar on the front, mounted with a patterned background. But they reduced the size toward the end of the year and it looked kind of lost there. I love the Photo Templates. I’m rambling, I know. Sorry. I did have some focus when I started….

  48. #82
    Danielle Roz

    Hi Cathy,

    Ok: I’m jumping ahead here, bear with me. On MaryAnn Perry’s blog, she used your Thankful Project Album No. 3, 2011…(LoVe!!) Anywho, will you be doing one for 2012? i loved her layout & am planning on doing it for Thanksgiving this year. Or can you change that 2011 to 2012?

    Thanks Cathy…& I am sooooo happy your on the PL Creative Team!!!


  49. #84

    hi cathy – love your title page. i am in the process of wrapping up 2011 and diving into 2012 and this year i have a printer and photoshop!!! yahoo!! love your title page and love the card you have that says “our lives. one year. our story.” how did you do that??? love it! need a bit of help with things and would love some tips! thanks.

  50. #86

    Hi Cathy,
    Where can I find the template for the 4 x 6 card that reads – our lives. our year. our stories? Love that card! Also, do you find when you print these digital templates that the color is distorted or does it print in its true color you see on the screen?


  51. #87

    That is just something I made by typing it up in photoshop. And I do find my color is pretty true from screen to printer. I have an HP Photosmart 8750. Its a great printer.

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