our 2017 family yearbook- made with the project life app!

Ok, you probably already know that my love for Project Life runs deep.  I’ve been using this simple system to document my family’s story for seven years now.  Can’t stop, won’t stop.  Getting my photos off my phone and into the hands of my family brings me so much joy.

If you’re new here, Project Life is a simple way to use your photos coupled with a little journaling to tell the story (so much better than a regular photo album!) resulting in a stunning family yearbook.  I make one every year for my family and I love knowing that I’m doing something with my photos.  Here’s a peek at the finished product for 2017…

OUR 2017 FAMILY YEARBOOK MADE WITH THE PROJECT LIFE APP

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

This year I shifted my approach to our family yearbook.  Rather than creating a page spread (left + right page) for EACH WEEK of the year (peek into 2016’s book to see an example), I made my pages BY MONTH this year.  This small change brought so much more freedom and flexibility.  Rather than feeling ‘forced’ to fill the pages every single week, I could focus solely on the photos that mattered most to me and drop the fluff.

I began each month with a title card (January is shown below), then I filled the pages with photos, journaling cards, and filler cards until I included all the photos that meant most to me.  My months typically consisted of 6 pages (3 spreads), but there wasn’t a set rule- I love the flexibility!  On a busy month, I could include 8 pages!  On a quiet month, I could include 2 pages.  I love this monthly method!

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

Each year I select ONE design kit to use for every single page of the year.  This minimizes the required design decisions, makes it SO MUCH FASTER to pull the pages together, and results in a finished book that beautifully coordinates throughout the entire year.  For 2017 I used the EXPLORE kit (note: this link takes you to the physical kit where you can see the designs, but I do everything in the Project Life App).

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

Another new thing I tried this year was a monthly ‘day in the life’ where I used my big camera to document our daily lives.  These pages are my favorites because the photos are so cohesive and tell a beautiful story, even though they’re such basic moments.  On these ‘day in the life’ spreads, I include one journaling card and share the details of the day.

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

I printed my finished book with Blurb again this year.  It’s a 12×12 hardcover book.  I tried their Proline Pearl Photo Paper for the first time (I’ve used Proline Uncoated in the past) and I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!  (You can see my quality comparison of seven different books here and my tutorial for printing with Blurb here).

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

This year’s finished book was 74 pages total (including a first + last page… last page is shown below).  All of our prior yearbooks created with the weekly format were 106 pages.  I have to say… I think 74 feels like the perfect size!  Honestly, I wish I’d switched to this monthly approach sooner!

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

Like I said, this wasn’t my first rodeo- it was my seventh printed yearbook.  Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years…

TIPS FOR USING THE PROJECT LIFE APP

  1. Keep it simple.  Pick ONE design kit and ONE page template for the entire year.  Select a single font and keep it consistent through the entire book.  You can design your pages so much faster when you’re making fewer design decisions.
  2. Set your Preferences.  From the home screen, tap on the Question mark.  Select Preferences and set your default font size, page template, etc.  This will automatically populate on every new page you make… SUCH A TIME SAVER!
  3. Favorite your Photos.  Use your ‘favorites’ function in the Camera Roll (tap on the heart icon) to decide which photos you want included in your album.  Before I make my pages, I scroll through my photos and tap the ‘heart’ on the ones I love.  Then, inside the Project Life App, I select the favorites photo album and ONLY the photos I’ve pre-selected show up.  SO MUCH FASTER.
  4. Don’t overthink it.  There is no ‘right way’ to do Project Life.  Time spent overthinking isn’t productive.  Remember that DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT.
  5. Just start.  Don’t let yourself get hung up on the past and playing ‘catch up’. Just jump in!  It’s the only way you’re going to get a finished book in your hands!

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

Want more?  Here are some additional helpful Project Life posts:

 

I love the Project Life App for creating fun family yearbooks! Take a look at our finished yearbook and learn some of my tricks for keeping the process SIMPLE.

4 comments
  • Alexis

    Thanks Casey for this post!! I too switched to monthly for 2017 after you mentioned trying it and it is so awesome. So much less pressure to just do monthly highlight pages instead of feeling stressed on weeks where I didn’t remember to snap many photos and other weeks where multiple things happened and I had too many photos. However, my albums didn’t shrink down very much though making them is far easier. I am catching up on previous years (working on 2013 now) and the monthly process is making them a breeze as well since I can’t remember what we did week by week that far back.ReplyCancel

  • Christy

    My photos aren’t all on my phone.  My hubby likes to use the DSLR and I have a few on my phone.  I have yet to figure out how to organize the photos in order to get them on my phone to use the app. :/  Along with being so far behind it’s just paralyzing.  I’m hoping to get a handle on this and get a book or two printed this year, but we shall see if I figure out the details to make it work or not.ReplyCancel

    • I edit my DSLR photos on my computer and then put them in a folder on Dropbox. You can access the Dropbox photos right through the Project Life app! I’ve also used Amazon Drive- even though it doesn’t connect with the PL App, I download the photos I need to my Camera Roll and then create my pages. I think that way is actually even a tiny bit faster than Dropbox!ReplyCancel

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Miss Freddy is a modern photographer for fun-loving families based in Colorado while also serving clients in the Midwest & Pacific Northwest.  To learn more about my style, check out some of my work or contact me to book a session!

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