Memory keeping made simple

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About Jessica

Jessica Fisher is a busy mom to six children, making her home in San Diego. She writes about life, laughter and the pursuit of a clean house at Life as Mom and shares delicious ways to act your wage at Good Cheap Eats. She is the author of several books, including A Simpler Season and Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook.

I started scrapbooking in 2003. It was right at the beginning of the scrapbooking craze and I fell in love with it all – the papers, the stickers, the circle trimmers.

By 2005 I was entering contests and submitting pages for publication and in 2007 I started teaching classes.

I was obsessed.

In 2008 I had my first child and was that first-time mom.

Every milestone of my son’s first year was documented.  I developed an online class encouraging other mom’s to scrapbook their chidlren’s first years.

But life got busier in the toddler years. And then I got pregnant with our daughter and was sick pretty much through the whole pregnancy.

As passionate as I remained about memory keeping I needed something simpler for documenting our family’s story.

Enter Project Life

This memory keeping solution has changed my life because of its simplicity.

Here’s why I love it:

  • It’s a kit

    I don’t need anything extra to document my family’s story.  Just a core kit of journaling cards, page protectors and an album.

  • It’s beautiful

    Every kit is beautifully designed.

  • It’s archival safe

    As a memory keeper, this is important. I want my scrapbooks to be passed down to future generations.

  • It’s easy

    You don’t need any skills to do Project Life. The products make it so easy.

  • It’s fast

    It doesn’t take long to get lots of photos and memories documented.

Instead of 12×12 layouts featuring layers of embellishments,  I now just stick my photos in divided page protectors, along with pre-printed journaling cards.

And what’s most amazing is I am documenting more than ever.

So if you have hundreds, thousands of photos sitting on your hard drive, my message to you is this: Develop some of them. Put them in albums. Maybe try Project Life. (Check out Project Life creator Becky Higgins’ website for more information about this memory keeping tool).

Your family will be so thankful you took the time to document your story.  Your pictures+ words are a legacy that will last for generations.

And it can be simple.

Have you ever tried Project Life? What are your tips for memory keeping? Share in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Cute supplies suck me in and and break my budget. I, too, have tons of papers, etc. but although I like the idea of Project Life, can’t bring myself to buy yet more supplies (special binders, special sleeves, special decorative fillings) for something else right now. While memory-keeping is important to me, I think it’s also important to figure out what works for you so you can cast off the guilt, lol. Sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, which is awesome.

    I’m good at keeping my favorite mementos in a ‘memory box’ on a shelf and am also good at keeping my pictures organized by year and month on the computer, but that’s about it. Photo books sound nice, but I find the software a hassle.

    For certain occasions I’ve found that the Gadanke.com journals are fantastic for me (the owner, Katie, actually guest posts over on Simple Mom). The prompts are just enough to help me recall and process stuff, and the rings let me clip in all the paraphanelia. For our big summer trip I clipped in brochures, postcards of where we went, and some favorite trip photos I printed out. Boom. Done. Works for me!

    • I started scrapbooking prekids and slowed to a stop after my now 8yo was 1. I have a ton of supplies. I have done a couple digital albums, one for a big trip and one for the entire year 2010. I said I would get into PL “some day” when I was done using all my current supplies. That never happened and this fall I finally purchased Project Life supplies and do not regret it. All my papers and stickers are still collecting dust but my pictures are going from my computer to our albums and I love it and so do my kids!

      You are right, Juliette, everyone has their own system and Project Life products has worked wonders for me!

  2. I started with Creative Memories, gosh, around 1997 before I had kids, and I still use their products exclusively. The difference is that now I just about only buy pages, protectors, albums and tape runner. I have enough paper and I rarely “decorate” my pages anymore with anything other than my photos. It’s wonderful to see my kids, now 11, 7, and 7, reach for those albums and look over them (we have quite a colletion now). I am fairly caught up wih my family albums (the separate kids’ albums I am trying to keep are years behind), but what I wish I was better about is the detailed journaling. For example, since I am working on photos from summer, I have no trouble remembering what we did so I can write the story, but I don’t remember the funny things the kids said on those days. I need to keep a better way of writing down the funny quotes, and keeping them handy so I can add them in to the story. One of my sons said recently, “Mom you didn’t write enough in this album, ” reminding me that the story IS really important (and just because I know who all those relatives are doesn’t mean they will remember what they looked like back then).
    I have a counter hight table that I keep my album project on in a main room of our house. I work on my albums while standing up, a little at a time. Sometimes I do a little or a lot each day, and most days none at all. I would encourage young families to do their best with memory keeping and story keeping. It is so worth the effort.

    • Hi Lori — not sure if you’ve seen ohlife.com. It’s a website that will send you an email each day at the time you specify and the email just asks “How did your day go?” You just send an email back and it logs it like a diary. I love it as I can print a range of days and use it for my journaling — either as cut and paste or grabbing highlights. Just thought you might like the idea.

  3. Never ever have I been up to the week current in my photos until Project Life came along. I, too, have numerous beautifully decorated scrapbooks but that is no longer realistic for me and Project life makes it so simple.
    Another perspective is we no longer document only the “special” times. I love that from this year forward, we will see where we ate breakfast, how funny my daughter’s hair looks in the morning and what project my son has going in the garage. My guilt and anxiety over memory keeping is gone forever!

  4. I’ve had a pile of scrapbook “stuff” that didn’t go anywhere. I like the idea of a kit to spark some creativity without investing more time. Thanks for the tip!

  5. I think the universe is telling me something! I’ve been so unhappy about my lack of documenting my son’s life, so I ordered the materials to start Project Life last week They arrived yesterday, but I’d about decided to just return everything. I didn’t know if this was a project I’d really do. Then this post appears today, as if something is telling me to try it. Thank you for this – it’s so timely and encouraging for me!

  6. I just might have to give this a try. I waffle between mom guilt of not documenting enough and capturing all those moments to being okay with just living in the moment. And obessing with instagram. ;-)

    Thanks for the breakdown, and for the encouragement.

  7. I too have been a scrapbooker for many years. Getting more behind each year, taking lots of pictures, and then staring at them trying to figure out the best layout and paper to use, digging through boxes and containers and bags of paper, embellishments, ribbon, stamps, etc. Then this year I found project life and I finally feel like I can see above the piles. I think I have the best of everything now. I do Project life layouts to get things in books, but I also insert 12 x 12 pages when I want to embellish. I feel like I have it all at my finger tips now. I am taking daily photos and capturing memories, but I am also going back and pulling out bags of photos and getting them into the plastics. Some are bigger pages using my embellishments and papers when I want, and others are in the numerous different types of Project Life plastics for getting it into books and journaled. I even embellish in the smaller pockets when I like. I don’t think there can be anything better than this.

  8. Perhaps i’m just really really weird- but I find the whole project life thing to be really overwhelming! I am normally an “over-scrapper” LOL, and with 7 kids, several of whom have special needs including one with low functioning autism, i had to change our plan for this year. Each kiddo has their own album (well, series of albums) and we have a family album. So i decided to do our family album project life-ishly and the kids albums normally, as time permitted. I even try to go in age order so the super cute 9yo and 3yo twins don’t get all the layouts ;) but what i’ve found is that i am doing kid layouts all the time and of this year, i have january and half of October done in our family album :O NOT cool. Its just with a blank page, you have so many options, with the PL you have specific pockets to fit specific sizes and i have NO clue how to decorate the cards to make them cute and on and on! so weird, i know! I think i need to follow more blogs with PL layouts, maybe that will help!

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