Memory Keeping Plans for 2015

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking120 Comments | my plan for 2015 | my plan for 2015
So what’s your plan for 2015? You have a plan, right? What? You don’t? Didn’t you get the memo? Scrapbookers in this modern era need to have a plan! And in addition to your plan, you need a mission statement. What? You don’t have one of those either? I’ll just wait here while you get to work on that.… go ahead. No, really. I’ll be here.


(See, I’m trying to be funnier in 2015. How’s it going so far?)

After doing Project Life for the past three years (both traditionally and digitally), I feel like I’m ready to shake things up a bit. Don’t misinterpret: I LOVE my Project Life albums. In fact, I’m working on my digital book for 2014 and thinking the finished product is going to be really, really cool.

I just finished reading Ali Edwards’ intentions for 2015 and I feel that. I do. I’m not going to do it myself because one time I did a mixed size page album for a class (Design Your Life) and it’s my least favorite album for one reason alone: different page sizes in one space make me sweaty. But I love the idea of just doing what you feel like doing in a less structured format.

So here’s what I’m thinking: a monthly document, done digitally, with the end goal being a printed book. I think I’ve mentioned my lack of space for album storage. I wish I had endless shelves to store book after book, but I just don’t. The idea of a slim, printed book appeals to me on so many levels. Plus, if I take a monthly approach, I can just build pages here and there and choose as many photos and stories as I like. I will use my same Minimal Basic Templates, because I still really like them and you can modify them very easily to create new looks. I know I should make all new things. I get it. It makes me more money, but honestly? I don’t need to reinvent the wheel every year. That’s one prong.

Next, I’ll continue to make 8.5 x 11 hybrid pages that filter into our respective family albums, just as I always have. These stories will be told as they come. They might be part of a class I’m teaching. They might be inspired by the moment. It remains to be seen. I still like to combine a few bits of paper with a simple embellishment to tell a story. And I still like showing you how to make design one of your scrapbooking tools.

I’ll continue doing annual projects, namely 30 Days of Thankful and December Daily. Who knows, I may invent a new monthly project. You know, something like March Mini Albums (you make one mini album daily for all 31 days of March and in turn, go completely crazy by the end and never scrapbook again) or Just Selfies July (self explanatory).

I have a few craft storage update plans, namely, I want to replace all of my current chipboard albums, the ones that hold all of my family pages, with plain black faux leather ones—also inspired by Ali’s storage—but that’s going to take a while to knock off. I’ll shoot for two albums a month and see where I end up at year’s end.

I want to keep working on updating my photo albums, a project I started a few years back.

And finally, I want to get rid of a ton of scrapbook shit that’s currently taking up valuable space in my basement. I don’t need three-quarters of the stuff I have and I know there are local schools and community centers that might appreciate some extra crafting supplies.

So that’s my plan. It’s pretty close to the old plan.

And my mission statement is unwavering: take the crap out of scrapbooking.

What does your plan looking like for the coming year?

Cathy ZielskeMemory Keeping Plans for 2015

120 Comments on “Memory Keeping Plans for 2015”

  1. #1

    I have never done PL in a traditional sense, before it was even a thing I used to do a pocketed double page spread for each month and then throw additional pages in at a chronological order. They are some of my favourite albums, particularly as I did December Daily in pockets so everything is in the one album, that makes me sooo happy! However, like you, space is an issue.

    Inspired by your PL 2014 catch up post last week, I have decided to do a digital weekly page for the family as a whole. I already do a daily diary plus photo using DayOne app for my daughter then get it printed each year via Blurb. I absolutely love it but feel like the general family stories are missing from the last two years as her book focuses on her, what she has done, what she said, where she went etc. So that’s the plan.

    Where all my pretty paper fits in? I have no idea yet 🙁

  2. #2

    I took your DYL class and I LOVE that album and the different page sizes. It doesn’t make me sweaty at all! I’ll confess that I don’t have a plan for 2015. I’m working on Kerri Bradford’s “The History Project” and that’s all I’m signing up for now (and 30DOT and DD). This past year I did Ali’s WITL, your METAV, 30DOT and DD – some of which overlapped. I must work better under pressure (or I’m completely INSANE!), because I’m extremely close to having them all finished. So, no plans for me this year. Oh, and by the way, you’re already hilarious for 2015.

  3. #3

    I, too, am doing “as it happens” and not trying to do a photo a day, printed. I AM taking photos each day, and following Capture Your 365, but not necessarily to document my life. It is to give me some structure.

    I am also going to do hybrid as I love texture so simple things like raised lettering, the occasional embossed card etc will happen, but not frequently.

    I have projects (new grandbabies) that will happen too, but my life is full of other things as well and so it will happen when/where it does. I am formally removing the pressure of “doing” too much

    and last, but not least, I am going to go through my stash, re-organize it and put a collection of things that *must be used* in a shoe box to use before the month ends. That way I will be using up my stuff and I will NOT buy more until this is under control. I will replenish the shoe box at the beginning of the next month and repeat till I have significantly less “stuff”. If I can’t find a use for it in a month, it will go in another box labeled “donate or toss”.

    oh, and …. My name is Holly and I’m a paper addict!

    1. #3.1
      Kathleen S

      Monthly shoebox! What a great idea, Holly! Great way to cut things down to size. Thanks for being a scrap storage genius!

    2. #3.2

      I too love the monthly box idea because my stress induced scrapbook supply buying really went up a notch last year.

      1. #3.2.1

        I have .far. too much stuff that I bought and never used. Some of it simply got sifted to the bottom of the box/container/whatever, some was stored and out-of-sight-out-of-mind and some I just didn’t know what to do with. I have a serious problem with being overwhelmed by too many options as well.


        the smaller box, with less stuff to be overwhelmed with and a limited # of tideas on what to do with it, leaves me more free to use it up or get rid of it.

  4. #5

    Pretty much taking the same approach, even cleaning my extra craft flies out of the basement which is making my husband a wildly happy. Too funny about the DYL class- that was the one thing about the class that made me very uncomfortable as well I did mine all 8 by 8 🙂

  5. #6

    My major crafty goal in 2015 is to PURGE… I also have tons of supplies that I hardly ever touch, especially now that I’ve gone largely digital. I just need to keep some stamps, dies, and basic consumables around for making the occasional card and that’s probably about it. I’m jumping back into a Project Life-ish endeavor as well after taking a year off, though I’m going 6×8 for 2015. It seems promising so far–the first spread took less than an hour, start to finish, so the prospect of keeping up with it seems likely!

  6. #7
  7. #8

    OMG I took Design Your Life and the album makes me sweaty too! I thought it was just me. I thought when I was taking the class that “this is just not right!” How can I have an album with all different size pages? I hardly ever even browse through it because it drives me crazy! Thanks Cathy!!!!! 🙂

    1. #8.1
      Cathy Zielske

      You know, the design education in that class is solid! But I was trying to appeal to too many sizes of scrapbooking, right? 🙂

    2. #8.2

      Since I prefer 12×12 layouts, I took a lot of my 8.5×11 layouts from Design Your Life and mounted them on 12×12 paper. I now like the way these pages look in my albums, although for some reason I also like having 6×12 pages mixed in, just not 8.5×11.

  8. #9

    Cathy – would really love to see more of your “stuff.” What are the chances of a video showing us your “respective family albums” (what does that mean, a book for each of you? Is it chrono? By person?) how you store supplies, where do your mini books live? I know that’s a lot and hours could be spent on each, but would really love a brief overview as I try to figure out my own plan. I get so caught up on limited space and getting albums organized in a way I can go forward, I get paralyzed. I don’t feel like I can start scrapping my kids until I know – will their layouts go in their own album? One family album? The thousands of pics in photo albums, and just scrap a few? Help me get my kids lives off the computer and to a place we can enjoy them!!! (Is that too much to ask? 🙂 )

    1. #9.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I would love to do a post like that. Absolutely! I can film with my iPhone. I think people might be surprised at how low tech it all is, but maybe that would make people feel better, too. Not all of us who work in this business have fancy craft rooms!

      1. #9.1.1
        Kim Smith

        Oh that would be fabulous, Cathy, and why I love you. You keep it real by showing that you’re not fancy-schmancy, that your space is similar to ours…..and that it’s totally doable if you don’t have all of the fancy tools the others have.

        I don’t think you are funnier….I think you’re just letting more of it out 🙂

      2. #9.1.2

        Cathy, knowing that sure makes me feel better. The lower the tech, the better. I am finally feeling comfortable enough in my own scrapping to take part in discussions and share work, but there is a ton of tech stuff I just don’t get. I just bought “IPhones for seniors for Dummies”…..that says it all. LOL

  9. #10

    That made me smile 🙂
    My plan is no plan which means probably getting nothing done…but I do need to get my son’s scout album done before his Eagle court of honor…so I guess that is my plan and then we’ll see after that.

  10. #12

    I am in SUCH a restless state with all of this. I started vacillating between memorykeeping options for 2015 halfway through 2014. Ultimately I decided I’d continue with PL in 2015, but honestly? I’m not feeling it. I decided on NYE that I’m not going to do a traditional PL album this year and ever since then I’ve been running through ideas for what to do instead. Because NO memorykeeping? Yeah effing right.

    I’ve run through a thousand different ideas in the last six days. Enough to the point where I’m driving my girlfriend CRAZY with my ever-changing mind. SO MANY IDEAS. I can’t pick just one. So I don’t think I’m going to. I *think* I have a fun monthly-ish AND all-inclusive yearly “plan” (I use that term loosely this year) going…if I don’t change my mind…again.

  11. #13

    I love that you and Ali are changing it up this year. I had an “ah-ha” moment in December when I came to the realization that weekly spreads are too much for me to handle, esp during our busy fall season with four kids. I realized that I could actually enjoy the process if I go monthly. I love the freedom and semi-structure of posting as much in a month as I want without adhering to a week by week spread. Then I felt sad that all of my fav designers were still going weekly. I guess I don’t need to worry about that anymore! Can’t wait to see your 2015 unfold!

  12. #14
    Beth H.

    I always love reading what you write and your terrific sense of humor. I’m about to go back to work full-time from part-time so I definitely need a stream-lined approach. I did Project Life with two pages per week in 2012 and 2013 and then stopped — it was just too much and i didn’t have time for fun traditional designed scrapbook pages. That said this year’s plan is to keep making layouts of whatever inspires me — favorite photos, an event, a story I want to tell, old photos etc… I also want to keep capturing the everday through photos and status updates on Facebook and Instagram so I can use them in a layout if I want. Lastly I want to organize my albums. I don’t have tons (maybe 8) and the pages are in the order I printed them or made them. I want to organize them so the chronological pages are chronological and pages that span different years or tell non chronological stories are in a different album by theme? Of course this was the plan for 2014 as well, but maybe it will get done in 2015? Thanks for inspiring me and telling it like it is!

  13. #15
    Beth H.

    BTW — I tried to do a monthly approach to Project Life last year — that was still too much for me and I quit before January was even over!

    1. #16.1

      If you have kids, try their school…art teachers and elementary school classroom teachers will likely take anything you give ’em.

      Also check with your local community center(s) and library/libraries, even (all different types of) rehab centers and/or nursing homes offer art/craft classes and would likely welcome donated supplies.

  14. #18
    Kathryn Benfiet

    I’ve been doing a monthly project life since 2011 and love it. Some months have more pages than others. I have a hanging file folder thing that sits by my desk and I have purchased Smead File Pockets ( purchased from Amazon and I have one folder labeled for each month. As I have photos printed (also organized by month/year on my computer) I put the photos I want to use as well as any supporting documentation (concert tickets, receipts, brochures, etc.) in the folder. I use Day One and Collect (apps for iPhone) to keep track of the daily minutiae, gratitude journalings, etc. I am a paper scrapper but use my computer for all my journaling. My goal this year is to finally figure out how to do digital pages (just the thought makes me sweaty). I find PSE so intimidating. In the meantime, I’m loving the combination of monthly PL and other scrapbook pages I complete.

    I LOVED your Me: The Abridged Version (still working on it) as well as the 31 days of Thankful. Your clean and simple style makes my organized soul so happy. I would sign up for almost any class you teach…as I’m sure many of your other blog fanatic, I mean followers would too.

  15. #19

    Cathy – I’m thrilled to read you are going monthly with regard to PL. Weekly is just too much for me! I love memory keeping but often feel I spend more time trying to capture my life moments than actually living them – not good, right?

    I started PL for the first time last year and used your products, modifying them as needed to accommodate my desire for a monthly approach. I didn’t quite finish out the year but loved the pages I did and plan to finish. Monthly really worked for me, and I’ll do same for this year. I love your templates and would also like to see new products from you.

    P.S. You’re always funny and insightful and inspirational and definitely worth reading. Don’t sweat it too much – just be you. You are unique and marvelous, just as you are.

  16. #21

    I’m going to do PL in 2015 with actual PL kits. (I know, right? Up until now I was too ornery and tried to use my own supplies. Which is a noble goal, but required me to cut paper into 3×4 and 4×6, which was time-consuming.) In 2015 I want to: Do PL (one side of a page protector per week), finish 2014 PL, scrapbook 2013 Disney and 2014 anniversary trip, and do more scrapbooking about our pre-child lives.

  17. #22

    What makes me sweaty is my old CM albums that I randomly did pages of photos just because I had them. My plan is to go through those albums and redo the pages that have a story and that I want to keep and add them to my 3 ring binder albums. Then dump the ones I really don’t like. Right now I have my albums in three different colors but thinking on going back to one color and create an awesome story library of pages. This will be a major work in progress. One thing that did inspire me was your photo album project. I am using Becky Higgins albums (her mini ones that hold 160 photos) and adding my favorite photos from the year. I have done this for 2013 and 2014, plus have pulled the photos for 2012 and 2011. No more storing original photos for someday. I can always print a new one if I need it for a project. I would rather have them in on my shelf in my living room for people to look at. Someday when I am dead they will read the stories. So that is my ongoing plan. On the everyday stuff, i.e. project life, I ponder this every year and do nothing with it. One year, I used your 8 1/2×11 month in review templates and LOVED it. Wish I would have continued with this. It was a month review of photos with some documentation. I just can’t find someone to print an 8 1/2×11 digital book. Would you consider making 10×10 templates this style? Thanks for your inspiration.

    1. #22.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Ann, you can always size down any of my 12 x 12 templates before starting to design. The only trick? Bumping up the type size AFTER you size them down to a normal type size (10 point or so!)

  18. #23

    Here is my plan:

    Do stuff.
    Take pictures of me and my family doing stuff. When I remember. And my teenagers let me.
    Print my pics.
    Scrapbook when and how I feel like it.

    I am feeling pretty good about my plan Although yours sounds pretty good, too.

  19. #25

    I’ve been reading a lot of posts by people who want to shake things up a little bit this year. I think I’m going to do a modified PL in an 8.5×11″ format and include layouts I do based on Ali’s story prompts and some OLW stuff too. I have templates bought for baseball card protectors and other letter sized layouts. I haven’t decided whether I’ll do PL weekly or just as a space for collecting photos and stories I love. I should have space for 30 days of thankful in the same album and I was inspired by Leslie (who commented above) to do a day or week in the life a few times a year to capture the routines of daily life if I go with a non-weekly PL. I also do a year in review photo book – about 60 pages long in 7″ square format – that I share with my family overseas.

  20. #26

    Cathy- I’ve been a long time follower of your blog. In addition to your clean and simple style and awesome digital products, I love your sense of humor; unabashed and authentic! You make me laugh and I look forward to reading your posts everyday.

    I too was on the fence about my 2015 album. I did complete my first PL album last year and really love it. I especially liked that I had a place for all mementos we picked up along the way (movie tickets, playbills, special cards, etc.) This year I’m looking for less structure and also decided to do just a monthly spread with a running journal page as an insert.

    I’d be interested in hearing which resource you used to print your 2014 book. I might just have to include a 2015 printed book too. Maybe.


  21. #27
    Lori P.

    Well, I read Ali Edwards “One Little Word” statement and I have my word. It is “change”. Change it up, change it around and just change. But will I be doing her class this year. Nope… not changing that much as I never got my album done from 2012. Oops! 🙂 But I am right there with you on the “take the crap out of scrapbooking”. Since I went thru Chemo in 2011, I have not been scrapbooking and this year I want to…. you got it…. “change” that. There are stories and memories to be captured on paper. I am not sure if I will change from 12×12 to 8.5×11 or mix it all up. I know I want to work with my “Project Life” supplies and have some fun. Along with the scrapbooking, there is so much crap around this house that just HAS to change (paint colors, purging to be done and more). No more keeping this or that because… So, 2015 WILL be a year of “CHANGE’s”!

  22. #28
    Melissa O.

    Sounds like a plan. 🙂 Maybe you could even post some of that “scrapbook shit” for us to buy, or do a blog give away with some of it. Schools & Crops of Love type charities are great too. Can’t wait to see your new plan unfold over the next year. I am always inspired to be more creative & crap free when I read your blog.

  23. #29

    My plan is to finish my old projects. I have PL from 2013 & 2014 mostly done, the annual Twelve project book from Stacy’s class in 2012, your MeTav, Jennifer Wilson’s Before Your Story (which I think I’m going to combine w/ metav), plus my digital photo workflow is in a horrible state, with my lightroom catalog needing categories and tags, and others that I can’t remember now, but are probably causing me guilt. Maybe, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I’d like to create a quarterly story book ala Ronnie, formally at I love the clean style and focus on words.

  24. #30

    I think I need a big sign over my desk that says “Taking the crap out of scrapbooking.” Every now and then I get sucked into the Internet vortex of too many projects, plans, classes. Thanks for this virtual whack upside the head!

  25. #31
    Madeline St Onge

    I bought Becky’s PL kit again this year, haven’t done one in about 3 years, it will be different size pages and would like to encorparate , Me the Abbridged version, your November 30 days of thankful and Shimelle’s Sept class’learn something new everyday’ in there and maybe a december daiyl/JYC
    i will do a once a month Section also. Not sure it is all going to work so we will see

  26. #32

    A plan? I’m supposed to have a plan? Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong all these years 😉

    But seriously, I’d really like to do pages about family vacations and the various trips I’ve made through work. Right now, I think I will do them in the PL style with pocket pages of varying sizes (don’t swoon!). I also want to get back to making traditional layouts (I’m a 12×12 digi scrap gal), maybe even going hybrid with those…or not. Just more traditional layouts. And somewhere along the line, go back and finish those PL albums that I’ve only partially completed the last couple years.

  27. #33

    I love scrapbooking with friends. It’s motivating, it’s fun and if I schedule it, it will happen! I’ve decided to host a number of scrapbooking events in my studio. People can bring their laptops or their scrap crap 🙂 I’ll play some awesome music, we can all bring snacks and have fun. I’ll teach a few classes on photography, scrapbooking 101, digital scrapbooking and story telling. Of course your blog/FB site will be a huge feature!! Thanks for keeping me motivated!

  28. #34
    Brenda Howell

    plan?? I’ve heard about this but am a bit fuzzy on the concept!!!
    Seriously, for this year the plan is
    Project Life/Rhonna Designs app+ Persnickety Prints=Done!!!

  29. #35
    Michelle t

    Hi, Cathy, I just wanted to tell you that as I’m starting my December Stories (it didn’t become a Daily) I am so loving your stamp set from Studio Calico and your digital elements that I’ve been able to print. I love that reindeer! (Anyway, thanks). I am just scrapbooking 12×12 layouts with whatever photos and stories inspire me as I go along, with hopefully a few projects in the mix. Thanks for sharing your plan, and I think you’re hilarious. Michelle t

  30. #36

    My plan is to actually get a plan. I think I’m really good at documenting life on Instagram. And I kick ass at journaling. So if I could just get them all in the same place, that’d be rad. I’m thinking I’ll start with my “first house.” We’re in Escrow again so it seems fitting to get this chapter documented and move on to the next one 🙂 And I’m starting simple. I don’t have time to learn a whole new system. PUH-LEASE.

  31. #37
    Janet White

    Going completely digital again here – but this time with InDesign and an 8.25×11 book to be printed at the end of the year. Keeping the A-Z + # approach with added monthly summaries.

    Finding this amazingly quick and easy to do – leaving a bit more wiggle room in my life that feels fabulous!

  32. #38
    Kim Shimer

    my goals for this year are to downsize and not overthink everything. I have way too many supplies. A local scrapbook company moved a few years back and it was one of those stuff anything you can in a bag for $5 sales and needless to say…I stuffed…so many of the exact same items because you never know when you need to create 423 of the same layout right!
    I was contemplating making my “One Little Word” for 2015 “Purge”, but I envisioned myself huddled over a toilet for months on end with some stomache virus and wanted the universe to be crystal clear on what I meant so instead it is “do”. Do is about just taking the time to get some stuff off my to do list. I look forward to each year as a clean slate and am always motivated by that. Universe, I said “do” not “doo”!

  33. #39

    I have 39 completed 12×12 albums….insane! My very favorite album is the design your life! There something about having all the different size pages that makes my creativity go wild. i look at my photo and I can make the page any size I want!!!!

    This is the year for me to go digital…’s just me and my Mac Book Pro.

    I’m sure I can speak for the majority of your followers… Whatever you decide to do career wise we will follow. I’m pretty sure you are working through pros and cons about what to do next…. I (we) care.

  34. #40
    Nicole M.

    This year I am actually going back to doing PL weekly. I attempted doing it monthly last year, and actually felt that was harder for me. I need the structure of doing it weekly, plus it felt more time consuming for me to go through a whole month of stories and figure out what I wanted to include and then get it scrapped, rather than a week. I realize you could just add stuff as it comes throughout the month, but that doesn’t work for my brain. I also attempted to do a physical album last year, as I just love all the ‘stuff’ (wood veneers, enamel dots, sequins), but felt that just slowed me down too. I missed the portability of just working on digital pages wherever I had my laptop with me. So my main focus is weekly, digital PL for 2015, and finishing up some albums I already have on the go, and digital pages of whatever random stories hit me as time goes on 🙂

  35. #41

    There is also a non-profit on St. Clair in St. Paul called Art Start that would be delighted to take your old stuff. They run art programs during the year and have a re-use store.

  36. #42

    I will be doing Project 365 for the 6th year (Went with your project life template set last year which I loved!) And a family album. All digital 🙂

  37. #43
    Jenny B.

    Cathy, I think your plan sounds great! Good for you for staying true to taking the crap out of scrapbooking (I love that slogan, by the way). 🙂

    I have been thinking about my plan a lot, but I don’t have a mission statement. 😉 2014 was the first year I actually finished my Project Life album (my 3rd year doing the weekly format). I finally feel like I’ve got a groove going, so I am keeping it much the same for 2015 with a few improvements.

    I spent the last few weeks of 2014 catching up (I had stalled out at week 26), which taught me that I really can get it done quickly. So, I’m planning to apply that to 2015. I will still do weekly layouts, but I may only work on the project once a month. I think NOT working on it every week will be help me avoid the burnout I’ve experienced repeatedly in the past around mid-year.

    I switched from a digital photo book to a physical album in 2014. It was a tough decision for me (for all the same reasons that persuaded you to make the opposite switch), but I think gradually filling up the physical album really helped motivate me to get it done. My children loved having it out on the table all the time and flipping through pictures of things that happened fairly recently. That brought me a lot of joy, so I plan to use a physical album again in 2015.

    I decided to have my cake and eat it too, though. It dawned on me a couple of weeks ago that since I design all of my Project Life layouts in Photoshop before sending the individual 4×6’s to be printed, that I could just upload those pages to Shutterfly and have a digital book of the year ALSO. Why would I do both? The big 12×12 albums are heavy, and once I get the new one for 2015, the 2014 album won’t be sitting out on display anymore. I don’t think my kids will look at it much if they have to drag the huge thing off the shelf. But I think they WILL look at the photo book version. I think they’ll be even more interested in looking at it than my previous Project Life photo books because they’re already familiar with the pages.

    So… My plan for 2015 is weekly layouts in a physical 12×12 album with Design A page protectors AND a digital photo book from Shutterfly (well, technically two books since with all the inserts and extra layouts, I will exceed the 110-page limit).

    Whew! That was long! 🙂

    1. #43.1
      Cathy Zielske

      It’s great to post this. I think people can get a lot of ideas just from the comments.

    2. #43.2
      Cindy Lee

      Hi Jenny B,

      After you complete your digital layout in Photoshop, what is your process for “sending the individual 4×6′s to be printed”? Does Photoshop allow you to save the individual photos the way you cropped it for the layout? Or do you print the 12×12 page and cut out the 4×6’s?

      Thank you!

      1. #43.2.1
        Cathy Zielske

        Cindy, for 4x6s, I use a PictureMate Charm from Epson. It just prints that size and that size only.

        But for my Project Life 12 x 12 digital pages, I send the whole 12 x 12 file to print at a place like Persnickety Prints if I’m going to make an album with page protectors. That’s what I did in 2013. Ordered several pages to be printed as 12 x 12s, then popped them into full sized 12 x 12 page protectors.

        For this past year, I’m ordering a book from AdoramaPix.

        1. #
          Cindy Lee

          Thanks, Cathy! Jenny B said that she is planning to print out her 12×12 PL pages. But she also takes the 4×6 pictures from her layout and prints them individually. What I want to know is what are the specific steps in Photoshop to print a 4×6 that’s in your layout? Can you click on the 4×6 photo that’s all nicely zoomed / panned / cropped and open it in a new Photoshop window to send to the printer?

          1. #…
            Cathy Zielske

            No, is the short answer. Because even if you use Becky’s templates, the layer masks are not true 6 x 4, and they definitely aren’t on my templates.

            You’d have to create a new 6 x 4 doc, drag that photo into the doc and possibly size it up to fit. 🙂 I

          2. #
            Cindy Lee

            Darn, but thank you, I’ve always wanted to know the answer to that question.

  38. #44

    So funny! You know I read Ali Edwards statement and the first thing I thought was – man, if she’s lost interest in doing a weekly Project Life album and she like does this stuff for a living, the rest of us should really be able to relax now. Lol

    I do monthly Project Life – I love printing all of my photos at the end of the month and taking a couple of hours on a weekend to put together a spread or two that represents the prior month. It’s good crafty fun but not all-consuming like weekly project life

  39. #45

    Sounds like a good plan. Everytime I think of doing a digital layout it kills me because I don’t know where any of my supplies are. Would love a post on how you organize your digital supplies.

  40. #46

    I just want to scrapbook again….I keep puttimg too many rules around how I need to do it and it stops me from getting started. I just want to find my scrapbooking groove and make some pages.

  41. #47
    Debbie McIntyre

    This year I’m going to attempt once again to do some hybrid pages. I am going to use some of the many digi kits I’ve purchased and make a page. This is the year! If I fail again, then I’m getting on the plane with my computer and flying to St Paul and waiting for you at the nearest Starbucks for a hands on lesson. This is the year…seriously.

  42. #48

    I bought a heap of PL stuff at the start of 2013, did it for a few months and then fell off the wagon. But am doing OLW this year and I want to do more with my photos. So yesterday I sat down, used your brilliant tip about the date range smart albums in iPhoto and created albums for each month in 2013 and 2014 and this year. I went through 2013 and used some planning pages to plan out the months I hadn’t done photo wise, as many pages per month as were warranted and ordered them and will go back and use my PL cards and a few bits and pieces with them. Then, because I’d done a couple of pages for 2014 with the PL app, I decided to do it all that year. Have done half the year already, again, just doing as many pages per month as I want plus the odd random page of things I love and not worrying too much about matching pages across spreads etc in the interests of finishing and will get them done in a photobook. This year I want to get better at using PSE so I think I’ll do a combination of app and digital/hybrid pages and use an album. I’m doing OLW hybrid and MMEW so we’ll see. But definitely sticking to the just as many pages per month as I feel like and doing it in chunks when I can.

  43. #49
    Lisa Cole

    You know what’s so funny? Out of alllllll of my albums (and I have about 20), my Design Your Life album is my *absolute favorite* because of the mismatched sizes! 🙂 Plus I just really dug that class … in a big, big way.

  44. #50
    Judy in Huntsville AL

    I have no plan – I never have – lol –
    I scrapbook when I can and use ALL different sizes of paper depending on the story to be told — have never done PL – but will have to say that the pocket page system pulled me in this past year when I had a million [and one] photos from our trip to Northern California –
    My goal? Scrapbook at least one day / night monthly – ha.

  45. #51

    Hi Cathy!

    I had to make digital Project Life my own from the beginning as a monthly project. I’ve never had to keep up with week #’s. That’s ok because this empty nester who lives away from my hometown/family didn’t have that much going on weekly. But monthly, I can do and love it. Each month has different amounts of pages depending on what happens. I often tell my husband we have to go out and have fun so I can scrapbook something:)

    I haven’t printed the pages because we’ve moved so many times and it’s been a hassle to move the “real” 12×12 albums – they are heavy and bulky. We enjoy hooking the computer to the tv and having a leisurely slide show several times a year.

  46. #52
    Amanda B

    For me, plans usually just make me break them. So, no…no plans for 2015 other than I will be doing active memory keeping. Very similar to how Ali will be doing it (I had decided on that and then Read her post and was excited to see I wasn’t totally crazy). Different sized page protectors don’t bother me…in fact, I love that effect. But I can see how it could make some people sweaty. 😉

    If, at the end of the year, I have made some progress in my memory keeping, then I’ll be happy. And that’s all that matters, right?

  47. #53
    Barb in AK

    Cathy, I am so in a quandary!
    I really, REALLY like your idea of making a digi book with your templates. Right now I have around 40 albums (some pretty darn fat, too), and I don’t have the shelf space to keep going on with the 12×12, 8×8, 8.5×11 sizes. Nice, slim 8.5×11 books sound like heaven!
    BUT, here’s the problem– I LOVE playing with the cardstock, patterned papers, adhesive, ephemra, ribbons, flowers, gems, pop dots, glitter, etc.

    1. #53.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I get it. I do. Which is WHY I loved December Daily so much this year. And last year. I do like to play with cutting stuff and glueing. Glitter, of course, you lost me there. 😉

  48. #54
    Amber M.

    Well, what can I say … I am a type-A overachiever who is very happy making a plan, achieving stuff, and crossing it off my list! I know that probably sounds pretentious, but ever since I made a “master scrapbook plan” about three years ago, I have enjoyed this hobby more because each thing I do has real purpose. And it all makes me crazy-happy! On a more serious note, I lost my parents when I (and they) were quite young and they didn’t leave us many pictures. Then one of my sisters (who finished raising me) died three years ago from breast cancer. As a scrapbooker herself, I saw her try to get as many of her stories as possible documented before she passed away. I honestly feel some urgency in getting my primary projects done, I think for these reasons.

    1. #54.1
      Cathy Zielske

      First of all, I’m so sorry for your loss… I think planning and memory keeping totally go hand in hand, especially if it alleviates stress about the whole thing. God knows I love all the stories I’ve saved to date (except a few ugly pages I made about my hubby that I saw last night and thought, ‘what was I thinking’?)

    2. #54.2

      I’m with you Amber! Glad to know that your plan is still working for you 3 years from now! Hope I can say the same in a few years! Cheers!

  49. #55

    Here’s my plan:
    1) Keep (relatively) up to date with 2015 PL. As in no more than 3 weeks behind with picking photos/getting the “stuff” in. Picture printing will be done en masse through Snapfish or some other such retailer during a sale. It’s a budget year…
    1a) Finish PL 2014. I think I’m in March… Plan to do this a week or 3 at a time while I do 2015. All the “stuff” is in the album, just need to pick the photos, print, and get ‘er done.
    2) Finish off the “Before your story” class I signed up for last year and never did. My kids are in that “when you were a kid, mom…” phase. Need to get more of those out of my head and on to paper. Also: pick husband’s brain for stories. (This is scheduled for summer when we plan to camp (a lot) and will have plenty of story telling time.)
    3) Get the office done. We finished our basement in 2014 which means the guest room/workout room/storage room/craft room is now an actual office. The cabinets are in, the counter is about to be installed, and the shelves should go up later this week. Once that is done, it’s time to get all the stuff out of boxes/unpiled, organized, and ready to go. THAT will help me immensely. I don’t deal with chaos well.

    I’ve also considered going digital, but will stick with the pocket approach for 2015. I kinda like the “stuff”. But I’m seriously considering the digital book in 2016 and starting a binder of envelope pages for the stuff I can’t bear to part with. My mom still does the traditional scrapping with pages around certain events or whatever inspires her. I’m immensely grateful. But yes…I’m filling up with massive 12×12 binders. (And I still wonder – what will my kids really want when they are my age? How much of this will get boxed up and never really looked at again (or heaven forbid, trashed) once I’m gone?)

  50. #56

    WTH. This is the second day my comment has disappeared into oblivion. What’s up with that?!? Check the spam, Cathy?

    1. #56.1
      Cathy Zielske

      No, it’s there. Can you see it now? Sometimes I think WP just takes a few for it to show up! 🙂

  51. #57

    Can I please request that Make a Page Monday stays in your plan? As a newbie it’s awesome for me.
    Also, you refer to you dining room / scrap room. If you are making videos….. I have a dinig / living / kids play room / media room / office and it is part of the reason I have been procrastinating about taking up scrapbooking for 5 years… Yes it’s true, 5 years, eldest turns 6 on Friday…. Would love to see your layout / how you squeeze it in.

    1. #57.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes and yes. Although I have no page ready to go for next week, but I am planning to do a room tour!

      Also, I may take older pages and do them for make a page monday. If my goal is to teach design, why not?

  52. #58

    My scrapbooking is all over the map. I originally started PL monthly, knowing that I could not commit to weekly spreads. (Hell, I hardly wash my hair that often!) But when you did that video on file organization with the smart albums, I was in Heaven. I am definitely behind in weekly PL right now, but catching up is just a matter of using your 2014 PL digital templates and pulling it all together…everything is right there. Plan A for 2015…I am with you on the monthly spread.
    And your plan…I really like it. I too would love to see a video or post on just how you set up your album structure. That would fit nicely into my Plan B.
    Oh, and I doubt that you being funny has ever been in question. Your blog is usually where I get my first chuckle of the day. Thanks!

  53. #60

    I tried scrapbooking last year.. and guess what.. I absolutely hated it. It’s not for me. That’s why it was such a relieve to find your site and read ‘taking the crap out of scrapbooking’. I chuckled and thought ‘That’s exactly what I need!’ So I’ve been reading your blog ever since..I know it’s just been a few months.. but still thank you!

    So far I haven’t got very far at all. I’ve done a few pages, but not quite finished them, as I can’t make up my mind about whether to go 12×12 or 8.5×11. And I’m super indecisive (never take me to an icecream parlour), so I keep going back and forth between the two.
    Right now I think I should maybe go for a text-heavy 8.5×11 lay-out (to which I can add my child’s art and other clippings).. (and do photos in a separate 12×12 file).

    My problem now is that I’m looking for a design (8.5×11) with lots of room for text that I like (instead of trying to design something myself that is just not quite as good..and I did try, but did not make me feel happy.) Do you have any templates that you could recommend?

    That designerdigitals site is really getting on my nerves, and has put me off the whole thing a few times. I hate the way it looks and I can’t find what I’m looking for. For example I can’t filter by size, so I have to go through all the design to find what I’m looking for. That’s why I’m just asking you.. thanks for your help!

    1. #60.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Saskia, I did a search at Designer Digitals for “8.5 x 11” and this came up:

      You’ll find a ton of my templates, mostly because that’s the size that I do primarily!

      I have so many templates with lots of room for journaling. This one is an early one:

      I still will use that. 🙂

  54. #63

    My goal this year is to consistently work on my scrap books. (There I said it out loud) My creative mojo has been MIA for about 8 years and it’s been very frustrating to me. I have been scrapbooking since 1995, I made albums for 5 of my 7 children from birth to when they left home. My last child is still at home and his are a work in progress and my 6th child is also a work in progress. However, I want to do albums for my husband and for myself (we did have lives before we had children and each other) and then family albums. Oh. My. Gosh. So overwhelming! I have followed you for years and bought your books and love your style, which is what is needed for me to accomplish all that I would like to accomplish (clean, simple, fast, easy). I am rambling, but what I want to say is that I am excited about the new year and hope that you can do a post on tips for little souls like me that have so much scrapbooking they want to do, but don’t even know where to start. In the meantime, I’ll get busy…

    1. #63.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Darcie, I absolutely will! I want to share ideas to SIMPLIFY! We all have stories. We all have photos, but we don’t need to do it all. That’s just so crazy and it’s too much pressure! I will definitely share what I’m doing on a regular basis. I’m working on a monthly approach that I think will work for me in 2015.

  55. #65

    My problem is that I have 85,000 ideas for theme albums. Albums for my daughter- school, dance, halloween, and a baby album that should have been done 7 years ago. Albums for the family- December documented, and Project Life, just to name a few. And of course METAV, my favorite things, and my smash book for my own albums.

    I just need to get them done! I vote to use the KISS moto for 2015- Keep it simple, scrappers! 🙂 Anyone else with me?

  56. #66

    For 2015, I’ve decided to stick with the more traditional weekly way of doing Project Life. However, I have to confess that it was more about the fact that I have so much stuff stockpiled for it than about really, really loving it. I use PL to document my own life each week, maybe to prove that I am not just a mom, not just an employee… someone with friends, hobbies, interests, goals. I like that idea, but it did feel like a lot of work toward the end of 2014. We’ll see how things go throughout the coming year – maybe I’ll give it up in 2016?

  57. #67

    Wow, it’s funny that you are going to a monthly lay out (or set of lay outs) for PL while I am going to try something new – one weekly lay out for the 52 weeks…extra lay outs if we do something special, like take a trip. I have always done monthly themes and finally decided that it was too hard to keep up when I suddenly had to complete 4 (or more) lay outs at the end of the month. I kept falling behind more and more. We’ll see if one lay out per week is more do-able for me.

    As for using digi kits, I do mine all digital, and I am planning to use a template set I bought from the Sweet Shoppe (Stories: Templates by Kristn Cronin-Barrow) – Cathy, I used your set all last year and still have those to use when I feel like it as they were great too. Also, I’ll use the same digi kit for the whole year and chose a new one from one of my favorite designers, Libby Pritchett (2015 everyday), also from the Sweet Shoppe.

    Hopefully simplifying it like this will help me keep up with PL instead of doing 6 months of catch up in January before I can send it to Blurb for printing. Fingers crossed.

  58. #68

    For the past 4.5 years we (husband and I) have done photo + journaling everyday. Half way through 2014 I fell behind because life got really busy. So now I am playing catch-up and because I don’t have the journaling part (we still took a random photo each day), I am winging my way through using the pictures to tell the story. And I will say, it’s actually been more fun to tell different stories about what was going on at different times, instead of a recap of what happened each day. So, my plan for 2015 is to continue to take pictures (not stressing about having one for each day) and then during the weeks, write more of our stories of the week instead of recapping each day. We started the new book 2015 and that’s what we have been doing and it has been great! So, I guess in a nutshell, our plan for 2015 is to be more intentional with the stories we tell instead of just writing down that we went to work, had soup for dinner and watched TV in the evening. Last night I wrote about my adventure into the first time making cod! It’s going to be a great year!

  59. #69
    Holly Corbett

    I’m loving your 2015 plan! I think I am going to go monthly to on the PL. I’ve enjoyed doing it, and have kept up with 2014 on the weekly basis, but it wore me out! I also love your Make a Page Monday posts! I use your templates and ideas regularly to catch up with older photos! Makes catching up quick and easy! Have a safe and happy new year!

  60. #70
    Donna R.

    One of the things I’d like to focus on in 2015 is putting the photos from when my parents were children into albums. The photos are all in relatively good condition and are not currently in any kind of album. Unfortunately, I can’t figure out how to go about this since no two photos are the same size and they are not really the size of photos today. Any suggestions?

  61. #71
    Cindy Barger

    I took your DYL class and loved it. The only thing that made me sweaty is I didn’t have enough pictures of the vacation I was scrapping to finish the book/project. So I remain paralyzed with sweat, realizing that in order to finish I may have to use photos from another vacation. Shudder! My absolute favorite project of yours is Encyclopedia of Me. Love love it. I too hope to purge excess supplies in 2015.

  62. #72

    I am going to use the idea from a Big Picture class a few years ago and do one wrap up pager each month with the This Makes Me Happy word square in the center. I am using an 8×8 album for this. It will be a great way to use my Instagram pictures.

  63. #73

    It seems that everyone is shaking up their memory keeping process in 2015. Mine will be pretty much the same: Project Life pages, ONE page per week. This means I only need a maximum of six really good photos per week. I will supplement in the same album with paper or hybrid scrapbook pages for special events like birthdays, anniversaries, or vacations….and some of them will be 12×12 and others 8.5 x 11. I like the variety – which for a Virgo is unusual!! In 2014, I ended up with two 12×12 albums plus one album for Cathy’s class, Me, the Abridged Version (which I loved!).

    In the early fall, I purged my scrapbooking supplies – I mean REALLY purged! I had 8 bankers’ boxes full of goodies that I donated to the local Girls Club. When I delivered them, it was just after school and there were about 15 girls already there. When they opened the boxes, they gasped with joy and had some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. It made me feel so good – it made my day and filled me up to the brim with happiness! Their teachers were thrilled, too. I encourage anyone who is purging their supplies to share with organizations that are making a difference in children’s lives.

    Cathy, keep the inspiration coming (would love some more digital classes!!).

  64. #76

    I went through all of my papercrafting supplies this year and got rid of things that didn’t inspire me and goodness gracious it felt good. Now I don’t go through sheets of paper anymore and think “when the heck am I going to use this”. I loved reading your goals for the year and I’m excited to see how you keep track of memories this time – and what printer you end up using to print last year’s book you put together. Happy 2015!

  65. #77

    Plan? That sounds amazing, it truly does. I love a plan, a good plan…lots of details and writing everything down and organizing all of my scrappy stuff.

    I bought a planner this year, to you know…plan. I’m collecting lots of amazing ideas on how to use it. I have time right? I’m only 13 days into 2015 so I’m not too far behind.

    Do you know the character Hammy from Over the Hedge? I am his human counterpart.

  66. #78

    Thanks a lot, Cathy!
    I do love your new 12×12 journal heavy style pages…so I might change my mind again. I’ll make up my mind on Friday.

  67. #80

    I like this plan. I see everyone “shaking it up” and trying new things. I’m not shaking it up.

    In 2014 i made 1-12×12 project life album, one digital 12×12 album (me: abridged version) and a few supplementary 8×11 albums for 30 days of thankful, etc. I really liked this plan so I’m doing it again.

    I feel like I’m constantly fighting the urge to buy more stuff to put on cards and complicate the whole process, so really, its enough for me to pare myself down to one 12×12 with supplements. But i have grand visions of all-digital. Someday.

    In the meantime, I’m vowing to keep the ‘crap’ out of scrapbooking to. Because that is an awesome motto! And because its a necessary good.

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