Project Something

The new year will soon be upon us, sending waves of excitement and fear into every memory keeper.

“Oh, I can’t wait to get started on Project Life!”

“This year, I’m really going to take a photo a day!”

“I just can’t decide…Project 365, Project 52, Project Life, Digital Project Life…oh the possibilities!”

So how do you decide? How do you choose a form of memory keeping that is right for you?

After doing Project 365 for five years and doing Project Life for a whopping total of three weeks, here are my suggestions for choosing a form of memory keeping.

1. Choose what gets you excited. Don’t get sucked into something because everyone else seems to be doing it. If it doesn’t excite you at the beginning, it sure won’t excite you at the end.

I remember spending the second half of 2008 completely enthralled with Jennifer Woodbury’s Photo a Day project. I couldn’t wait for the new year to get started! The idea of taking one photo every day spoke deeply into me. I knew that little my little, I could capture our real life. As I end my fifth year, I am still as inspired as I was at the beginning. You can read more about my first few months HERE.

2. Be realistic. Each of us have a different amount of time to devote to memory keeping. Only you can assess your schedule and what it might mean for memory keeping projects. You have to ask yourself, “How much time do I have and how much of that time am I willing to devote to this?” The best memory keeping is the one that gets done.

I spent three weeks attempting Project Life. I loved the idea of it, but I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule. With my daily photos, lots of kids, homeschooling, my template making, and the other demands in life, I just couldn’t devote more time to memory keeping. What I was already doing worked. So why try to fix what isn’t broken? Taking a photo a day is easy for me — a few seconds to click the shutter and I am done.

3. Choose something that won’t make you feel guilty. There is nothing worse than doing something wonderful for your family (memory keeping) and then feeling guilty about it. If your memory keeping makes you stressed because you are “behind” six weeks, perhaps you should choose something else.

I love that with my photo a day project, I don’t feel guilty or “behind.” From the beginning, I knew I wouldn’t try to scrap my photos. I take the photos, edit them when I get a chance, and then post them online with captions. When the year is done, they go into a book as-is. It’s not a project that hangs over my head. I have too much of that in my life to add more.

4. Figure out why you are doing it. Some approaches to memory keeping lend themselves to stretching your creative wings and some are more for documentation purposes. What is it that you want to accomplish? Are you trying to preserve the memories of day-to-day life? Are you trying to venture into new creative territory?

For me, scrapbooking has always been about preserving stories. Sure, I love the creativity of it all, but in the end, I want to capture and record our real life. With limited time, I know that taking one photo every day does an amazing job at capturing all the day to day activities and quirks that make us who we are.

As work on deciding what memory keeping project is right for you, check out these great posts:

Project 365 and Other Alternatives

What I HAVE Accomplished

Four Months and 11 Days

Is it Project Life or Pocket Scrapbooking?

The pocket scrapping pages in the post image were created by Traci Reed. You can see more of her pages as well as other great design inspiration at Traci Reed Designs.