Project Life, Week Forty-Two + a organization tip for iPhoto users

Cathy ZielskeProject Life48 Comments

OBSERVATIONS: Last week, I played catch-up for three weeks worth of photos and stories, and I did something that made it so much easier to organize my photos and honestly, I can’t believe I wasn’t doing this before and yes, when this run-on sentence is finished and I take a breath, I’m going to tell you this remarkably simple thing that I did to make my Project Life SO much easier.

But first, my Week 41 pages. (And thank you for all your feedback on last week’s Project Life dilemma post!) Side note: I’m just going to document as I would, whether that’s one page or two, and break up my album if need be. Of course, I’m still not totally sure what I’m doing for next year, but that’s for another post.



This week, I decided to work in my Day Document cards and I think I like them. Here are two stories told on the 6 x 4 canvas they provide:



I decided to use the same digital paper I use in my Weekly Card, although just having a white background would have looked nice, too. I like how they work as digital files, but I really want to work them into more of my hybrid projects. Might even use these for my December Dailyβ„’ album (I’m doing it for my 2nd year!), in addition to some of Ali Edwards’ new card designs. I can see printing these very simply, and then trimming photos by hand to drop into the various spaces. (I also have Day Documents in a 6 x 8 format, as well.)

But enough about the cards, here’s a video tip with Mac users in mind. PC users, depending on how you save and organize your photos, can also benefit from this tip if your app allows date sorted folders. It’s all about using Smart Albums.

iPhoto Smart Albums for Project Lifeβ„’ Memory Keepers from Cathy Zielske on Vimeo.

And that’s all I wrote for Week 42.


Cathy ZielskeProject Life, Week Forty-Two + a organization tip for iPhoto users

48 Comments on “Project Life, Week Forty-Two + a organization tip for iPhoto users”

  1. #1

    I’m happy to see your PL pages here! They look great and I love those day cards, especially the one with you and Dan!! SO COOL!I have noticed that the kids are in the pictures more often, I’m sure this makes you happy too. Always sweet to see that Chester in here, so sweet he is.

    Thanks for sharing, makes me smile just seeing your pages!

    I’m ready for 30 days of thankful. Happy to be doing this again, will be putting it in my PL again.

    Can’t wait to see your Bee Dance….

  2. #2
    Karina K

    Thank you for that video and iPhoto tip. It will help me out since I’m behind in project life!!

  3. #4

    Guess you never took Stacy’s library of memories class or you would have learned about smart albums before now! So happy to see some 6×8 size templates from you! Yay!

  4. #5

    I pretty much love these weekly cards.

    Bee costume!

    BTW, you are kind of off the hook for a couple of those years not knowing about smart folders, because they weren’t introduced to iPhoto until Tiger (10.4) in 2005.

    I also started using them after I took Stacy’s Library of Memories class. Wait til you start tagging your photos. πŸ™‚ [insert heavenly choir music here]

    Have a great day!

  5. #6

    I love your videos lessons, they have been so helpful. Now I just have to work out who you remind me of with your dry humour. It will come to me.

  6. #7

    There are – so it seems to me, a definite neophyte with iPhoto – so many easy tips . This is just one, simply & superbly explained. Perhaps you could/would feature more from time to time. You do such a tremendous job with explainin’ stuff…
    Thanks for this and all the encouragement you provide.enjoy Halloween. Bzzzzz…


  7. #8

    Thank you for that tip… I just sat here and created albums starting back in June to catch up (it’s been a long summer of trips, repairs, remodels, and now back to school with college applications thrown in…)

  8. #9

    OMG, thanks for the great video, Cathy!! I have been using iPhoto for years and knew nothing about how smart albums work. When I print my photos for PL, I usually have the calendar next to me checking the dates for each week. This will be much easier! thanks again!!

  9. #11

    I have one smart album set up and I just edit the dates to see the week I’m doing. Holding down the command key I select all the photos I want to use that week then right click on one of them and create a new album from the selected pics. Then I deal with editing as I have the time πŸ™‚

  10. #12

    Unbelievable! I never used the smart folders either because I never explored how to use them. Who knew! Thanks for showing us how easy life would be if we use them. Thanks for teaching this old dog a new “trick” and I got a “treat” out of it too!

  11. #13
    Heather Johnson

    Hi Cathy-
    So excited to see 6×8 templates! After doing 12×12 albums for DD the past few years I am ready to go smaller. Do 3×4 cards fit in any of the spaces? (I am hoping to use the new Merry and Bright PL kit.)

  12. #14

    I totally rushed to your Facebook page to write a fangirl comment when I spotted the 6×8 templates on designer digitals (and bought them immediately). I am planning to use them for December Daily. They were EXACTLY the thing I was looking for. And can I add that I am ECSTATIC to see your design more templates designed to create a full album. Photobooks are my thing and I love your designs.

    And not to blow your mind completely, but you could also set up similar Smart Folders in the Finder, which would allow you to see every file you modified or created during a certain period, including images. This would be useful if you happen to receive images by email…or import images to your computer, but fail to bring them into iPhoto…or if you one day decide to use another photo organization program (but still use a Mac).

  13. #17

    Cathy – I LOVE YOU!! I’ve been using iPhoto almost as long as you have and I never realized I could do this either! I’m in the process of setting up weekly smart albums for PL 2014 now. You’re awesome! πŸ™‚

  14. #19
    Val C.

    Loving the “22” photo(?) text treatment (?) on your anniversary card. Would you please share how you did that? Is it something that I could be replicated in PSE11?

    By the way, love your video tutorials! Thanks for being my virtual PSE mentor.

  15. #20

    Oh my gosh! Thank you for that video! I immediately went into iPhoto and set up my folders and NOW I feel like I can get caught up. (It was a crazy summer.) Thank you so much!!

  16. #22

    Great tip Cathy, I do the same (using Aperture). Just wanted to add that if you are creating smart folders for a few weeks, you can just create one then right click the smart folder and “Duplicate Smart Folder” then you just need to change the dates and the folder’s name without having to set each one up from scratch (I’m lazy!).

  17. #24

    I too love you Cathy! Yep been using iPhoto for 8 years and never thought of this either.
    Did I mention I love you…no more looking for photos via search-date-etc πŸ™‚

  18. #25
    Jenny A

    Genius Cathy! I never knew what a Smart Album was! Thanks for the tip! And you never fail to make me literally LOL with your commentary πŸ™‚

  19. #27

    Cathy, Love your stuff. Thanks for the smart album tip. Going to start PL next year and I’ll set up the smart albums for 2014 and be ready to capture each week.

  20. #28

    Cool! See, I had done Smart Albums before. I do them for each month of the year. Just never thought of doing them for each week for PL!

  21. #29
    Kristen C

    Hi Cathy! I, like you, have been using iPhoto for years and just discovered this feature myself! I always saw the album option but never took the time to think about it. Then, when I did Ali’s WITL this year, I didn’t have time to do anything with all the photos right away. So, I created a folder to store the entire week with daily smart albums inside the folder. Another great thing about the smart album is that it will grab all your photos matching your specifications regardless of what you used to take the photos. So all my iPhone (photos in the monthly photo stream event) and camera photos are all together in one album! Yay! What a light bulb moment!

  22. #30
    Kellie T

    Thank you Cathy! I have been using iPhoto for a while but had no idea. I must have slept through this part in SJ’s LOM class too. So thank you thank you thank you!! You have taken a part of the process that was daunting for me and it made it SO EASY! You, dear Bee, are a genius!!

    Happy Halloween!!

  23. #31

    I too have done Smart Albums since…the early 2000s but never defined them by date this way. I ended up doing it manually. ugh Holy Toledo! What a nifty shortcut.

  24. #32

    Thank’s for the iPhoto tip – it’s freakin’ awesome!!! I decided to use PL to catch up on my scrapbooks. You just saved me hours of time. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! By the way, I heart your bee costume, and congrats on 22 years!

  25. #33

    I really love the fonts you’ve used here, would you mind sharing what they are? Unfortunately for me I can’t identify fonts for the life of me, even the ones that are commonplace. I’m also very jealous of Smart Folders! How brilliant is that?! I’m going to have to try and find out if there is something similar PC users can do. Thanks.

  26. #34

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been wondering how to do this (and just too dang lazy to research it instead of whine about it). Now it’s time to organize!

  27. #35

    Hi Cathy,

    Thank you SO much for this very helpful tutorial! I just bought a Mac last year and want to learn more about iPhoto. These short videos are so helpful. Have you shared how you organize your photos on your blog or in a class? I’d love to know. πŸ™‚

  28. #36

    I have not, but that might be a good idea for a post. I do them by year and month, using Smart Albums, which is why I felt silly not using Smart Albums for Project Life! : )

  29. #39

    Cathy, do you have any advise on how to:
    a) catch up with project life before the end of the year (my ocd wants this year to end, this year, but I am perhaps 20+ weeks out)
    b) how not to get overwhelmed when looking at the amazing project life spreads out there (including yours?)

    thank you so much in advance; I love this project but I am feeling such pressure and with only 7 weeks of the year left, I just want to finish 2013, and possibly move to digital and monthly PL for 2014!

  30. #40
    Melissa O.

    I have a question about this & hopefully you’ll have an answer. iPhoto isn’t just where I organize my photos, I also use it to organize my digital scrapbooking kits & templates. I recently set up some smart albums using your video here, but it’s pulling EVERYTHING not just my photos. How might I filter out my scrapbooking stuff so there’s only photos in the smart album??? Thanks so much. πŸ™‚

  31. #41

    Hey Melissa,

    Well thats a good question. I am assuming it has to do with either creation dates of your digital stuff, or when you imported them into your library. iPhoto just knows when something comes into the system, so I dont know how to change the import dates of things. Does that make sense? You could Google and find out if you can do that, change the actual import date of something in your iPhoto. Thats all I can think of!

    1. #44.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Karen, I use the Horizontal Type Tool in Photoshop Elements. Click and drag a box for where you’d like your type to go, release and begin typing. πŸ™‚

  32. #46

    Hi Cathy
    I was just wondering what your photo organisation process looks like now that iphoto is being phased out. Are you using the new photos app or are you creating folders in your pictures folders?? I am trying to decide what to do. Amy suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks heaps Belinda

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