Project Life, Week Eighteen (fully digital and kind of loving it!)

Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Scrapbooking37 Comments


OBSERVATIONS: Last week was an experiment in digital scrapbooking. No, it wasn't the first time I've done fully digital pages, in fact, as I looked through my files, I found tons of stuff that needs to be printed, but it was the first time I did a fully digital Project Life spread.

And I freaking LOVED doing it.

I found myself working on Week 18 throughout the week. Dropping in stories and photos as they happened, not just waiting until the week was over. I found myself changing my mind, moving stuff around, adding, subtractingโ€”in short: playing and having fun with what I was doing.

Not that Project Life hasn't been fun. I adore this project. Becky Higgins is a veritable genius.

I just didn't think I'd get the same kick out of doing something fully digitally.

I was mistaken.

And get this: pretty much all of the Project Life kit stuff is available digitally. Get out!

Then, on the advice from many of you, I placed my first order with Persnickety Prints, and I'll be a monkey's uncle if it didn't turn out just fabulously. I opened the box, and my pages were right there. The color looked spot on and I was really happy with the results.


Now onto the Week 18 pagesโ€ฆ



Here's what they look like side-by-side.


One cool story from this week: Aidan was asked by five different seniors at her school to take their photos this year. No, she doesn't consider herself a pro. Yes, she would rather grow up to be a mathmetician than a photographer, but she really did a fantastic job, in my not-so-objective opinion. 

One cool product: GeoTag Alphas. I love the look of those little geo tag pins, so I designed a set of alphas+numbers & symbols. I think they'll be fun to layer into photos and on tags. 


Shooting with a Canon 5D and a sweet L Series lens didn't suck either. Go, Aidan! 


Me and digital Project Life? I think we're going to be fast friends. 

The templates I am using are now for sale at Designer Digitals. They are very similar to the Project Life templates, but with wider margins, narrower spaces between the photos, smaller corner rounds and a softer shadow on all the layer masks. If I was going to be digi, I needed to make it work for my design aesthetic. You can place any element into the templates, but keep in mind: as you size down, the proportions do change slightly. If you prefer to have your stuff closer to being 6×4 and 3×4, Becky Higgins' digital templates will be a better choice for you as her layer masks are closer to the original sizes.

I created two sets, both feature six templates each. One of the things I think I'm going to love about the digital process is not being married to one particular page pocket. You can really mix it up however you like.

CZ_LifeBasics01PREV CZ_LifeBasics02PREV

And speaking of Designer Digitalsโ€ฆ

Now through next week, it's the quarterly sale at Designer Digitals. Save 30% on my entire collection. All collection supplies linked below are on sale now.

the basics video + free template to help you learn. Click here for more information.



Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Week Eighteen (fully digital and kind of loving it!)

37 Comments on “Project Life, Week Eighteen (fully digital and kind of loving it!)”

  1. #1

    Really interesting to watch/read your journey with Project Life. I think your digital pages look fantastic! I find your clean style, super inspiring. Thanks Cathy.

  2. #2


    I hadn’t thought about going digital like this but I can see the sense in it. I can see the sense in doing a photobook too.

    And yet…..

    Where do you hide personal stuff you want to document but don’t want “in yer face” so to speak?

    I’m torn, really torn, now.

  3. #3

    Ive been wondering about that too. But, I have all sorts of little pocket pages from the Project Life collection that for this year, I can just put into the album binder itself. Im planning to print all my pages and place them into the 12×12 album Ive already started, so for now, that will work. : )

  4. #4
    ee k.

    You are inspiring me to go digital. I love the way your pages look compared to other digital PL I have seen. But what to do with all the physical PL product that I can’t seem to stop collecting?!?

  5. #5
    Heather Johnson

    Looks fantastic! It sounds like you worked on your week much like I do…it seriously is so much easier. I have a couple of physical kits I have been using to do a baby book with and some past years and OMG, it takes me 75x as long to get them going AND my pages do not look nearly as good as they do when I do them digitally. Digital is just so much faster, and I think one can get a balanced/pretty design when you can constantly switch it around, recolor, etc….I am excited to see more digital pages from you:)

  6. #6

    They look fantastic, these pages! I already bought and downloaded the templates. And you’re so right – being able to mix and match every week is kind of sweet, if you ask me. Now, I think I can stick with this design. Thank you!

  7. #8

    THANK YOU for your PL templates. I started doing Project Life all digital 3 weeks ago and I love it too. Can’t wait to play with your awesome templates. Thank you!

  8. #9

    Love the new templates! You make it sound so nice switching to digital PL I am new to digital and was wondering, should I get the Photoshop Elements or if I need the Premiere Elements, too? I can’t seem to figure out the difference.

  9. #11
    Mary Kate

    My 2012 PL album is traditional paper. And it looks terrible (ok maybe not terrible but definitely not great). With a 1 and 2 year old I had very little time and pretty much threw everything together. I really only had one goal last year: to get it done. This year I’ve switched to digital and wow, I am shocked at how much better the entire process has been. It’s been much easier to keep things updated and I’ve been able to be more creative. LOVE being able to use any kind of page design and not have to worry the next week about making things fit. My pages actually look good and the best part is that I’m having fun doing it! With a background in graphic design I don’t know why I didn’t do this digitally from the start. The only problem is that I can’t stop buying digital supplies ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. #12

    Welcome to the PL digital dark side – lol ๐Ÿ™‚ This is my second year of digital PL and I LOVE it. It is a drag waiting for the photobook to arrive at the end of the year but it looks fabulous on the coffee table and it takes up SO little space. I find we all look at it a lot more than we do at any of my traditional albums which are bulky and in the basement. I usually do mine the same way as you and drop in photos as the week happens. I love not having to print and worry about photo size or orientation as I make my pages ๐Ÿ™‚ To respond to Morti’s comment above – I simply blur out the details that I don’t want to share when I put the pages on my blog and the unedited version gets printed in the photobook. My journaling is never so graphic that I can’t print it for my book (all the venting happens in private posts on my blog – lol)

  11. #13
    Sue Alg

    I would say I do 90% of my PL scrapbook digitally. I love working throughout the week of my pages and find I keep up-to-date.

    I, too, started using Persnickty Prints. Boy are they fast and their quality is great. I can’t print pages are reasonable as they are.

  12. #14

    This looks great and from my view, I can’t tell the difference. Thanks for taking the “plunge”, it inspires me to look into different ideas for my PL.

    Do you just then slide the 12×12 print into a 12×12 page protector? I’m assuming you don’t then cut them all down and slip them into a page protector.


  13. #15
    Abby P.

    Love your templates…just need to decide if I can wait a whole week to have the printed 12×12! I print and insert traditionally every day and I love seeing the week just emerge…tempting! Thanks for making the templates with the cool margins and narrower spaces.

  14. #17

    Yes, I will be just putting them in regular full sized page protectors! In fact, now I have to order some! Its not a size I keep a lot of here!

  15. #18

    Abby, I feel that way too! Like now, I have to upload and send out to print. Part of me doesnt want to wait! But, I do have about 10 digi pages Ive made in the past year that I never printed. So, a big order is going up today!

  16. #19

    Love the geotags! Can imagine SO many uses. (e.g. to id kid in photos of band performances where he is1 of 75) As soon as I saw them on your post, went out and bought them!

  17. #20

    I’ve only been a digital scrapbooker myself, well, I did try traditional scrapbooking a long time ago, but my OCD personality just couldn’t stand the mess, so when I found digital it was a whole new world for me. Love seeing others digital work, and am certainly glad there are designers out there that make my life a whole lot easier!

  18. #21

    Woohoo! I’m so happy to see you loving digi-PL! This blogpost really made my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (Now I’m off to go buy your templates. :))

  19. #23

    I am trying to figure that out now. Its tricky to make them work with the proportions of 3×4 and 4 x6 cards. But yes, Im going to see if I can figure it out!

  20. #24
    Jenny B.

    YAY for Aiden, miss photographer! ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s very cool.

    LOVE digital Project Life. LOVE. IT. I have been all digital since I started it, and now I’m trying to do a physical album for all the photos I have stored away from my college years (pre-digital camera). I am having the hardest time remembering that if I do, say, a design D pocket page for the right side of my two-page spread, that the NEXT two-page spread has to use a design D on the left! Ack! Digital is so much easier (to me, anyway). ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. #25

    Cathy, your digi pages look fantastic, but of course they would because you created them. Thanks for the templates and new products…I’m heading right on over to DD to order up a bunch.

  22. #27

    I’m doing PL fully digital this year and intially I just couldn’t get Becky’s templates to work for me. My problem was that I wanted to have a white background and white journaling cards and I didn’t want to compromise on the sizing of photos etc. Anyway, I ended up making templates like Design A but with no margins and no background and no rounded corners – I don’t mind it, but I have to be very careful to make sure there is plenty of breathing space around all the elements.

    Cathy, what does the drop shadow look like when printed? Some look a little unrealistic and I often turn them off when I buy a template … but your PL templates look to answer a lot of my worries and could be the answer for next year.

  23. #28

    love your simple style Cathy! Please, pretty please, would you consider creating PL templates for us 8.5 x 11 scrappers? ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. #29

    i just purchased your project life templates. Your digital pages look really cool. Doing poject life this way would save me some money. I have no need to purchase so many different page protectors. Thanks

  25. #30

    Yes please figure it out for 8.5×11, I have 4 years of 365 photos just waiting for this ๐Ÿ™‚ Another bonus I see of digital pages is you can fit a whole year into one album, that is my dream solution, 8.5×11, one album per year. You inspire me so ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. #31

    Welcome to the dark side! Yesterday I was hoping you’d be selling your templates and here they are!! The spacing of the PL templates is just not as precise as I know yours will be! You made my day!

  27. #32

    I love your design for these new templates. I’m just wondering if you’re planning to make another version without the rounded corners? Pretty please. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. #34
    Margy Eastman

    Yay! I’m using the original templates this year, but I really like your set for 2014. You’ve figured heavily into my album this year – journaling cards, little tags, your cute banners…all perfect!

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