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I love this ongoing project. It is one of the best things I have ever done, just because I know how important it will be to me in the future. I know that not all of my last year’s pages have been posted but I am almost caught up – I just need to get my hands on a few of my Mom’s photos from Christmas. In the meantime, I have been brainstorming what I want to do for this year. As I looked through pinterest and what I had done in the past year, I realized a couple things:

I take way too many photos and I don’t need to use all of them.

One of the things I was worried about at the beginning of 2013 was that I wouldn’t take enough pictures. Have I mentioned that since 2010 I have taken well over 24,000 photos? I don’t know what I was thinking, but it all comes down to the fact that I actually take too many and then I have to chose, which makes for great options but also lots of leftover pictures if you don’t plan correctly. Which leads to my next point…

Planning my pages makes things a million times easier, and saves me money.

This is huge. At the beginning, I printed and printed and probably spent $5-10 a week in photos just because that is how many I took. Once I realized that if I kept that up, I would be spending up to$520 on this project, I was like, “woah, don’t know if it’s worth all that”. So I started using Marcy Penner’s PL planner pages. This helped a ton and then I only ended up spending $1.50-2 a week, which is much more reasonable.

I love design A of Becky Higgins’ page protectors, but I’m always in the mood to mix it up when I can.

Although it may not be consistent, I really like to use the different page protectors. I have always been a fan of portrait photos (as opposed to landscape) even though I know that there is a time and place for both. I think this might stem from iPhone photos just because it’s more typical to take one when the phone is being held the “right way”. But regardless, that is something I am working on for my 2014 album.

Take photos with a better quality camera than an iPhone.

While I love the convenience of being able to take photos with my iPhone, the pictures never come out as good as the ones I take with my dslr. I’m almost always happier with my spread when the majority of my photos come from my Pentax. What I’m still trying to figure out is how to appropriately capture life with my big camera…people tend to shy away from that more and I can’t get anything candid with it. Also, any time I bring it out, my friends think that they need to go do their hair or wear cute clothes. If anyone has figured out the key to being more conspicuous, let me know your tricks!

Don’t be preoccupied with getting a spread for every single week.

While I never skipped any weeks, per se, I did combine two and even three weeks into one spread a couple times. There are just some weeks when things don’t happen and I can only take so many photos of studying, food, and the sunsets I normally see on my way home from campus. At first I was bummed, but now with my finished album (which is busting at the seams) I realize it’s probably better off this way than putting in pictures I don’t really care to look at.

The more of yourself, the better.

I realized during the middle of last year, that journaling is really important to me and in the future it will mean just as much to me, if not more, than the photos (which I hate to admit). I want to capture not only what my life looks like, but how it makes me feel as well. This year, I am adding a 3×4 card a day of written journaling and so far I love it. Some days it’s just a bullet-ed list of what happened, sometimes it’s a grocery or to-do list, and sometimes it’s how something made me feel or just a summary of that days’ events.

I will always choose personal over pretty for this project.

lot of the blogs I read and people I follow on pinterest also have project life albums. I’m often super envious of their super clean layouts, photos that all “match”, and typed up explanations of what is going on in the photos. But I also realize that they are sometimes using “filler photos” or all photos from one day or one shoot instead of capturing their whole life. This isn’t what I’ll want to read, so I will keep hand writing and using the photos from my whole week.

Include photos, journaling, and items from other people that are important in your life.

Last year, I collected tickets, pamphlets and anything else I could think of to stick in my project life pages. I have some pictures that my Mom or Kevin took and I also screenshot a couple of snapchats to put in my binder. Similarly, Kevin always saves things for me to put in PL – sometimes it’s a menu, brochure, ticket stub, or receipt and I love that he has a part in helping me with it.

Just as I was last year, I am pumped to get started on this years album. I hope that I never lose passion for this project.

*Note: Hereare some of the “week” cards/photos that I am using for 2014! This has a super easy tutorial and so pretty.

*In case you missed it, check out my posts from 2013.

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