At the ending of last year, I had many intentions for my Project Life 2015 album. The major intention was to keep it going daily and keep up-to-date with it, so that I wasn’t trying to catch up with it weeks or even months later.
Oh how I am failing.
I haven’t touched my Project Life album since National Scrapbooking Day on May 2, when I decided to start it! So, a few days ago as I was perusing through all of my minibooks and planners, I spotted my Project Life 2015 album from the corner of my eye. I’ve been getting back into YouTube lately, and have begun to follow a lot more scrapbookers and planner nerds. There were two in particular that I watched their Project Life videos and I began to think, I should work on mine. It’s funny how a bit of inspiration from someone else’s work makes you want to work on your own project. These ladies’ Project Life albums were the 12×12 size and I just sat there and thought to myself, well if they can keep up with theirs, I can surely begin my little 6×8 album and keep with up for the rest of the year.
So since my summer has been pretty slow going all of a sudden (I’m down to one job instead of multiple and my boss has been away on vacation, so I haven’t had much work), I figure I’d work on my album. It’s really interesting how when you look at your empty album and the stack of photos you have next to it, it seems quite overwhelming to even begin. But once I push myself and start working on it, I sort of get into the flow of it and often times I can’t stop. I suppose that’s why they say the hardest bit of it is beginning.
So far I’ve gotten January and February done. To be quite honest, I haven’t been taking many photos this year, so there wasn’t much to document. I do have a nice stack of photos though for the following years, but once in the spread, it won’t look like much. I’ve also been keeping it quite simple. I’ve never been a master at embellishing my spreads, but I think these pages are especially under-embellished. They came out lovely nonetheless. I realized I especially love labels, which is unfortunate as I’m almost out of them. I’ll have to print some more!
She was beautiful in white, walking out to an instrumental version of Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are, which was so distinctly her that it made you smile amongst all the tears. She laughed through the whole ceremony, but you had to expect that because that’s how she deals with nervousness. Afterwards, my friend found the whole thing odd, and not because our high school friend had just gotten married, but because she hadn’t changed at all. I looked at him and questioned why he would ever think she would change who she was, and he just shrugged, saying that she’s married now, she’s adult.
My good friend just got married two weeks ago and for me it marked the start of some massive changes. She’s moving to Hawaii for a bit, uprooting all the way to the other side of the country. My other friend just presented his master’s thesis and is now preparing to move to New Mexico, also on the other side. If our little friend group wasn’t already spread thin as we are all up to our own things, we’ll be even more spread apart in just a few months, when everyone will be in all sorts of places all around the world.
I shouldn’t be worried, I know, and I’m not really. It just seems very weird and unsettling to me and I suppose it’s because I’m not ready for it to happen yet. As much as youths today reveal in the idea of growing up, I seriously loathe it. Called it a Peter Pan Complex, but I just can’t seem to get my head around growing up and being an adult. What do those things even mean? I suppose it doesn’t particularly help me that I’ll perpetually look like a sixteen year old. The constant defensive of my age is really wearing thin and I’m just tired of it. Thus, I refuse to accept any sort of adulthood responsibility and whatnot. Honestly, I hate it and it should stop shoving itself in my face and go away.
It hit me the other day though, that I’ve know these people in all of these photographs for almost half of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever held onto friends for that long. It kind of amazing to me that we all still support one another even today and that we can easily mold back to how we used to be with one another even after so many years of separation; we’re all still the same. It’s nice and refreshing, especially for me, a person who has trouble keeping in contact with other people.
It’s a shame that growing up or adulthood or whatever you want to call it brings forth such a separation. It’s like you’re together for years then you all go away to college–or don’t–but you’re all going your separate ways and no longer see each other 24/7. I suppose it doesn’t really matter for some people. They see this as an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends, but they’ll never be those friends, the ones that have seen you grow up and become the person you are today. Those friends are special and life hammers on their heads hard. I must consider myself blessed to still have those friends in my life, even if we are miles and more apart.
Last week I got to play with a new planner I ordered and had been waiting to come in for two weeks. It’s the Filofax Butterfly Personal Organizer and I ordered it from Amazon UK because it wasn’t available on the Filofax US site and it was much cheaper to order from Amazon UK than Filofax UK. Positive first impressions. The planner is very pretty. Soft pastels with a snap closure, just my style. My only complaint is that it’s much smaller than expected, but since I’m using it solely as my blog planner, it’s completely fine.
So my blog planner! I’ve decided to separate my blog planning section from my personal planner and into a planner of its own. I figured having my blog planning in a separate place will help me plan better. I know that sounds silly, but I feel like my blog section gets lost in my personal planner amongst all the other stuff that I just forget about it. So when I have an idea for a post I jot it down quickly somewhere else they plan it as I write it, which is not really productive blog planning as I would like to have multiple blog post ready to go, so I can space out my posts and post more frequently. So having a separate place for my blog–and my social media posts as well–seemed like a very good idea that I’d like to try out. Plus, I needed to put my new planner to use.
I basically set up my planner the way I had it in my personal planner. Upon opening it up you have my cute little dashboard and on the left I filled in the credit card pockets with some goodies like sticky notes and washi tape. For my dashboard I used 7Paper by Studio Calico Cat paper, embellished with standouts from Crate Paper’s Notes & Things. The rest of my dividers are made with paper from Ashley Goldberg and Maggie Holmes’s Confetti line. They are all embellished with either Project Life cards from Studio Calico, ephemera pieces from Dear Lizzy’s Fine & Dandy line, Cards from Heidi Swapp’s Memory Planner line, and standouts from Crate Paper’s Poolside line. I didn’t label any of my tabs only because I know where everything is and should be and I just prefer leaving my tabs blank.
After my dashboard I have the year at a glance overview that came with my Filofax. I kept it in just to cross-out the months as they pass. This was the only insert besides the filler paper that I kept from what originally came with this Filofax planner. Following that I have the clear dashboard that came with the planner, then I head right into my blog planning pages.
I broke down my planning by month. The first page you see is where I’ll jot down my blog ideas for the month and at the bottom corner is my “Blog Review,” or overview of how the month went. I’ll fill this out at the end of the month and jot down how many post were published, the total comments I got that month, and the total number of blog views.
The next two pages is my month at a glance. I used a free printable from Chelley Darling for my month on two pages. This is where I’ll write down when I publish my blog posts. I basically write down the post title on little circle stickers and place the sticker on the date I want that certain post published, so in case I don’t finish up that post in time, I can move it to a different date on the calendar without having to cross anything out. This essentially is my editorial calendar. The following page is where I track my social media pages. At the end of each month, I’ll fill out how many followers I have for each, that way I can see how much my audience grows.
The next section just holds my “Blog Content Planner” pages. This is where I brainstorm and plan each individual post. I’m currently using a free printable from StudioL2E for this. It’s a perfect printable to organize your thoughts on a post you want to write. It also acts as a check list of all the things you need to do–like take pictures, film videos, etc–for each post.
My last two sections hold a bunch of miscellaneous things and lots of filler paper. The miscellaneous section holds a lot of general to do lists as well as my new YouTube subscribers tracking list. I’ll use this section for planner and Instagram photo challenges as well.
Here’s a video flip through of my current blog planner setup.