I personally have always struggled with keeping up on documenting the year. I am good about taking photos and organizing them on my computer, but in all my years of being married and having kids, creating photo books for the year has just never happened.
Last year I vowed to make a change, and I set out to create a new product that I thought might make it possible – something simple and easy to keep up with, but still filled with lots of tidbits from our most memorable moments of the year. It ended up being a combination of a photo album, scrapbook and journal; it is preprinted in a 10×10” size with cute designs that eliminate the need to decorate and fancify things with embellishments and scrapbook paper (unless you wanted to do that, too).
(see more about the original album here)
You guys – I totally did it. I fully documented life in 2014 and I am completely done with my album – and it’s not even January 1st! I don’t have the hellish task of sitting down for hours upon hours to complete a digital photo book for the year looming over my head (a task so daunting that I’m pretty sure that’s why I’ve never done it). And the journaling prompts are perhaps my favorite part because I filled them out as the year went on; making them current and full of info that I would have forgotten had I done a book at the end of the year.
I am SO pumped to have this complete.
I have to say, at first, it was hard to narrow down all the photos I wanted to include into just two 10×10” pages (each month has a 2-page spread). But as the months went on, I learned to edit and only keep one great photo from my favorite events, or to create small collages. For anything that didn’t fit in, I printed it out and put it in an envelope that I adhered to the back of the book – I also plan to edit my videos from the year and stick a DVD in this envelope as well, but we’ll see… one challenge at a time).
When I began documenting at the start of the year, I spent quite a bit of time figuring out what photos to include and then I sized them down, creating collages on a 4×6” photo. Then I would cut out my tiny photos and paste them in my book one by one. After a while I got smart and realized I could just create 5×7” collages for each big event and then paste the whole 5×7″ photo in instead of cutting each tiny photo out. It has saved me SO much time.
I also began using Printicular, a free photo app that pulls photos from your phone and online accounts and uploads them directly to Walgreens for one-hour printing. They print 4×4” photos, so you can get your Instagram pics printed quickly and easily! This totally sped up the process as well; I could choose photos and have them printed up while I sat on the couch and watched a TV show with the Mr. at the end of the day.
To keep up with it, I tried to sit down and fill out the journaling prompts once a month (they literally take about 3 minutes). Of course, sometimes I got a few months behind, but looking back at the photos from that month was enough to remind me of the goings-ons and helped me fill in any blank spaces. And figuring out what photos to use from the month was pretty simple, as long as I kept up with organizing them (something I discuss here).
For me, this album works.
The thought of creating a 200-page album totally freaks me out; but one with 6 or 7 photos for the month? Totally doable. I have even tried Project Life in the past, and though I loved it, I couldn’t keep up. All the options they gave me made me feel like I HAD to be creative and so I went overboard (as I always do), and thus I pooped out somewhere around July. So I intentionally made this album simple so that I wouldn’t feel pressured to do to much. If all I could do what paste in a few photos and fill out the journaling sections, I was good.
If you want an easy way to document life in 2015 and can relate to how I feel, then give it a try! I know I sound like a salesman here, but I genuinely loved documenting this year for the first time ever and I’m a believer in my own product. I am sharing it because I want others to feel the weight of documenting lifted off their shoulders as well! You can find the product in my shop.
And if you’re interested, I’ll happily give you $5 off the price.
Enter “2015ALBUM” at checkout to receive the discount. Good through 1/31/15