I find myself reflecting on my scrapbooking projects as we approach the second half of 2020. I’ve been thinking about what’s working and realized that having specific routine projects has been helpful for me. I use a classic size Happy Planner half-sheet notebook, or a big Happy Planner (8.5″ x 11″ size) for most of these. I’ve never done weekly Project Life, so these are the ways of documenting my everyday life that work for me.
When I started working from home in March, I realized how much I needed daily creative time to add some more structure to my days. June 30th marks 100 days of Daily Pages for me!
This is the first time I’ve been able to keep up with a regular Daily Pages habit. The Scrapbook Daily Pages: 30 Days of Showing Up class and community really helped me stay motivated. I just spend a few minutes each day making a spread in a Field Notes journal. This has been a great addition to my routine.
I write a short letter at the start and end of each month in my Happy Planner half sheet notebook. The letter at the beginning of the month usually includes things I’m looking forward to, and how I’m currently feeling.
Then at the end of the month I reflect on how things went. It helps me see how much growth and change can happen in just a month. I try to keep it simple, I don’t let myself write a draft or make any notes ahead of time. I want to just sit and write out how I’m feeling at that point in time. I started doing this last May, and I love having a year of these letters to look back on.
I love that Kristin does a Currently List every Monday as part of her Daily Pages routine. For me, I like it to fall on different days of the week. I first started getting into doing Currently Lists regularly last year during the 100 Day Project. My project was 100 days of storytelling, and I did a Currently List every ten days as a way to sort of check in with how my project was going.
I struggle with fitting all my thoughts on a 3″ x 4″ card for Currently, so for my 100 day project I just typed them in a Google doc I was using for my other stories. This year I started including the lists in my Happy Planner half sheet notebook, and I find that the size works out a lot better for me.
The amount of effort I put into the style of the list just depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I use the Currently stamp set, other times it’s just a pen, and one time I used Procreate on my iPad with the purple digital version of the currently card (I need to do this again soon!). I mark it in my planner to do a Currently List every eight days so that it falls on different days of the week for me.
Day in the Life
Last year I started documenting a day in the life once a month–except I struggled with actually scrapbooking the photos I took. I got overwhelmed by trying to figure out a format, and by just making the project too big instead of focusing on keeping it simple and doable. This year I simplified my process.
My goal is just to have one two-page 8.5″ x 11″ spread for my big Happy Planner. I print these pages at home on matte photo paper. I set reminders on my phone to take photos and write down notes throughout the day. Just by simplifying the project for myself, I’ve been able to actually get it done! I like to document a day toward the end of the month, and I like the day of the week to rotate (like with my Currently Lists). So, this January I documented the last Monday of the month, then February I did the last Tuesday of the month, and March was the last Wednesday, etc.
At the end of each month I print photos to put on the monthly spread of my big Happy Planner. I was first inspired to do this by Amanda’s Big Picture class, Memory Keeping in The Happy Planner, and how she used to memory plan in her monthly spread.
To get started, I look through my photos from the month on my phone camera roll and then add them to a template I set up in Canva. (I could do this in Photoshop, but I get annoyed dealing with all the layers and with Canva it’s easy to drag and drop.) I print two 8.5″ x 11″ sheets with 20 photos on each. Even though each monthly spread only has 35 spaces, I don’t mind having some extras for my daily pages or other projects.
I’ve contemplated doing this project all digitally, but I like having all the photos printed and then rearranging them on the page when they’re cut out. I don’t force myself to have the photos correspond to exact dates, as my goal is to just have an overview of what my month looked like.
Okay, so writing all this out feels like a lot, but this is what currently works for me! I’ve learned to not put pressure on myself, and if one of these projects feels like too much work or isn’t worth the effort, I’m fine with dropping it from my scrapbooking routine! I also have projects that I work on when inspiration strikes that aren’t part of my monthly routine. I like having the balance of routine and inspiration for my scrapbooking.