I have learned a lot this year about how I work best when it comes to storing photos and keeping track of events and journaling. I found things that work for me and things that don't. I worked on Project Life this year, have created three Month-in-Review (MIR) albums for my girls for Christmas, and worked on regular scrapbook pages. In doing this all of this, I really had to adjust how I organize and keep track of things. So, let me show you where I was and how I am going to start 2014 and be organized from the get-go.
This past year as I was creating the MIR albums for my girls, I had to go back through all of my pictures for the entire year and write down the dates and details of each photo. That took a long time. It was probably the most time consuming piece of the MIR project. Had I journaled this entire year, it would have been a piece of cake. And by journaling, I don't mean writing a long story each day. I just mean writing short bullet notes on what happened each day. For instance:
- Oct. 18: C tries on high heels
- Oct. 19: California Dreaming and shopping with the girls
Simple but jogs the memory and I know when the photo was taken. Did this notebook work? Yes and no. It would have if I would have started it at the beginning of the year. I went through all of my 2013 photos and jotted 10 pages of notes like the one above. My carpal tunnel got the best of me which will be a great reminder to keep up my new binder system in 2014. And while I could continue this notebook in 2014, I don't have anywhere to put memorabilia. I have also been confused as to what to do with all of the fun school photos the kids text me from college. The new system I am going to use will take care of that issue. Let's look at that now.
I picked a Russell+Hazel Signature Binder several years ago from 2Peas in a Bucket. They had them on clearance, and I paid about $7 for it. They run $25, and I am kicking myself for not ordering more! Anyway, they are very sturdy binders. I will use one for this project, and I have one full of sketches. I love the integrated rubber band that keeps everything enclosed nicely.
I could alter the cover but I am going to leave it bare for now. It's going to get tossed around a lot over the next year so leaving it like this is fine.
I found the pages on Pinterest from Jacky V. I liked what she did but I have made a few changes to my process which I will explain below. The pages are great if you want to download them (click here).
In Jacky's binder, she printed 52 pages and used 52 sheet protectors. I have done it a little differently. I printed 29 pages (2-sided) and only used 12 sheet protectors. She uses the sheet protectors for weekly memorabilia. I know I don't have that much memorabilia so I went with just monthly sheet protectors instead of weekly. That will work great for me.
I did create little tabs to put on the edge of each sheet protector. I used a 7Gypsies stamp set that I got from 123stitch. You can see that set here. I trimmed some Memory Box blue poppy cardstock into 1 1/2"x2 1/2" pieces, stamped each month, and adhered the labels to each sheet protector. I also stapled each label to the sheet protector because I wasn't sure the ATG adhesive would hold up on the plastic. I used my Tim Holtz tiny attacher to staple it to the sheet protector.
Binder: Russell+Hazel Signature Binder
Stamps: 7Gypsies 12 months cling mount stamp set
Stamp Ink: Memento rich cocoa
Other products used: Tim Holtz tiny attacher, Memory Box blue poppy cardstock
I will not use the top part of each page to pre-plan where pictures will go since I do not use those page protectors in my albums. I can use that area to write other notes or just leave it blank.
I am excited to take my quick notes each day and have an easy place to store memorabilia for each month. And anyone can use this system. It does not have to be for Project Life. It can be just a way to journal and save memorabilia for your regular scrapbook pages. I find I am mixing my fancy scrapbook pages with divided page protectors in my 8 1/2 x 11 WRMK albums anyway. I really like that a lot. Then I don't feel forced to put a lot of photos on a single page. I can scrap one photo on a "fancy page" and then put the extra photos from an event/day/week in the divided page protectors behind the layout.
And as far as storing my photographs on my laptop, I still store them the way I have for 3 or so years now. I can easily find what I have but now I must make sure I "process and file" those photos that come via text message. That's where I can get into trouble but as long as I manage and file those, everything works great. I also make sure I keep them backed up on my external drive (a Passport). You can see a post on how I store my photos on my laptop by clicking here.
I hope you have found this helpful. Have fun getting yourself ready for another year of capturing those family memories! Have a blessed weekend!