ALSO, I only do a 1 page spread per week - not a double spread - but I figure this pretty easily translates!
STEP 1: Upload photos.
- I try to upload once a month. I do the entire month and print that all off together.
- I use the folder system on my computer to help me.
- All the photos go into a month folder for the correct year.
- I create subfolders for each week and then separate the photos into those.
- In the weekly folders I create another folder called "PL" and one called "Layouts"
- Into these go the photos I am actually going to use. I try to do this process quickly and not over think it!!
STEP 2: Photo interruption!
- At this point, I am ready to do a bit of planning. I print off Design A templates (I only use Design A for PL with occasional smaller inserts when needed, this keeps it REALLY simple for me)
- The spot I got my templates is no longer there but I am sure if you Google you will find some free ones.
- I open up my PL folder for that week and decide where I want each photo to go and get a rough idea on sizing - as you can see this is really rough!! But it sure helps a lot.
STEP 3: Photoshop
- Once I have this planned out and am sure of what photos I am using, I copy and paste these into a folder on my desktop called "To Print"and inside that in my "To Prep" folder. (The photos are copied into the "To Prep" folder.)
- I use photoshop to resize my photos and try to fit as many as I can onto a 4x6 canvas.
- As I save these I rename them to the "week" they belong to: e.g. Jan 5-11 1, Jan 5-11 2, Jan 5-7 3, etc.(see photo)
- I then save these in the "To Print" folder rather than back in the "To Prep" folder. When I am done with that week, I go back and delete all the originals from "To Prep" (remember I copied them over so I am only deleting a copy).
- (You can see I have a "Printed" folder too. I dump these edited photos in the "Printed" folder once I have actually picked them up. I empty it occasionally but keep them around for a while just in case I need to reprint something or need reminding where I have printed up to.)
STEP 4: Rinse and repeat
- Sorry, couldn't resist!
- After I do one week, I just keep repeating this process. I put the photos I want in my PL folder for that week, plan it out on a template, copy them to my "To Prep" folder, open and resize in Photoshop and save to my "To Print" folder.
- Once I am done the month (or however long it has been since I last did this process) I upload them for printing.
- I personally print at London Drugs (I am in Canada) as I find their prints are far nicer than Costco and I like their index sheet. It shows me the filename for each print. Oh, method to my madness!! I can use the index sheet to sort out my photos after I pick them up!!
- (I also have a Selphy but as I am doing a month at a time I don't use it for that. I use the Selphy for layouts more as it's only a couple photos at a time)
STEP 5: Sort and stuff
- When I pick up all my photos I use the index sheet to help me sort them out. ^^^
- I then trim all the photos down to size (remember I have more than one photo on a 4x6 sometimes).
- I then take these photos and put them into the page protectors they need to go in. (right into my album). I usually take the time to also pick all the cards (you will see on my video). I then cut up my templates (I have 4 on a sheet of 8.5 x 11) and tuck them into a free pocket in each page protector and I am ready to do these any time.
STEP 6: Get 'er done
- For project life I tend to do it in fits and starts. Recently, I started leaving 1 week out on my work space (in the page protector prepped as I described and you can see above). Having it in the page protector makes it is easy to move around if I need the space for something else. But having it sit there reminds me I wanted to work on it and I will usually do 1 card at a time when I need a break from work, when I have a few minutes, etc.
- I will sometimes sit down and just do a bunch of PL but as a busy mom who works from home and home schools 2 kids... if I have a huge chunk of time it usually is devoted to a layout.
- Another thing I do is take these prepped spreads with me when I have to sit around waiting on my kids. I have a PL bag with everything I need to do this - I just pop the prepped spreads in a box (use empty page protector box) and I am good to go. I am going to do another post AND video about this soon.
And there you go... this is a SUPER long post and I promise I tried to make it as simple as possible! Here is my process video on my most recent Project Life pages.
Please feel free to leave me comments or questions and I will try to answer them all.