Over the years, I've tried several things to keep track of my photos. For a while, I used Chatbooks, but that wasn't a great solution for me since I don't post most of my photos on social media. I also tried to make digital scrapbooks for special occasions, printing my favorite photos, and just reminiscing via TimeHop, but none of those systems satisfied my desire to have everything contained in one book. It stressed me out to think I was taking dozens of photos a week, and they were just sitting on my phone. I set out to find a way to organize my photos and get them all together in one album.
This led me to the website Modern Photo Solutions, which introduced me to a cell phone app called Project Life, a simple digital scrapbook system. This was a game changer for me because it allowed me to make my a photo book using my phone. I could pull photos from my phone gallery or Google Photos (which is what I use to backup all of my photos, including those from my "real" camera. It is another photo game changer, but I'll leave that for a different post!) Additionally, I found myself using pictures that told the story, rather than ones that would look good on Instagram. The Project Life app let me combine my photos with color and journaling cards to give my book a scrapbook feel that truly captured the event and describe what was going on if I wanted.
I started using Project Life to bring my photos together into layouts that would eventually become pages for my end-of-the-year photo book. I worked on it while waiting for a doctor's appointment, standing in line at Wal-mart, or sitting on the couch watching TV. It is so easy to use - each layout took me about 3 minutes once I got used to the app. Sometimes I would make the pages for a group of photos within 24 hours of the event, and sometimes it was months afterward. Once the page was done, I exported it and saved it in a folder until I was ready to put all the layouts together into one book.
When the year ended, I went back through my photos to make sure I hadn't missed anything, and I uploaded all of the layouts I had been saving to Mixbook to create my 10x10 photo book. Three days later, a beautiful book with all of our memories was at my door.
All of this to say, the Project Life app is the only reason I was able to pull a photo book together this year. My memories are no longer jumbled in a plastic shoebox shoved in our guest closet. Instead they are organized, display worthy, and archived. In fact, my 2017 photo book already has a few pages made.