Project Life® 2019 | January

"What is the story/stories I want to tell this month?"

This was the question I came back to again and again over the course of the month and at the end of the month when I carved out time to tell my story from January. 

Approaching  Project Life® monthly vs. weekly has been a big mental change for me. I've been doing weekly Project Life® (or at least structuring my albums that way) since 2010. There were times over the month when I felt like I was "supposed" to be thinking about or doing something or keeping up or printing or writing. I did decide to jot down ideas I had during the month, but left all the actual work until the end of the month so I was really working on it just once.  

I have to tell you that making this change really made me happy. I loved the process of looking back over my photos from the month and establishing my story that way vs. weekly. I think I was just ready for a change. I have no idea how I will feel at the end of the year. For now, I'm excited and reinvigorated. 

I've also got a full process video for you below that includes a bunch of reflections and thoughts about the process.  

During the month when I had an idea I wanted to remember or something I might want to write about in my January Project Life® I used my  Story Planner as a holding place. I'm using the Story Idea Notepad and assigning each section a month. I'm not writing out full stories, just ideas that I may or may not use when I actually tell the story for the month. 

I am not planning to follow a specific design formula each month. Next month could look totally different than January. I'm welcoming leaving it open. I envision that I will generally include smaller inserts between two full size 9x12 pages to tell my monthly story. 

The story I decided to tell for January included a four main things: (1) 12, 3x3 photos, (2) a 6x12 layered template insert with a list of things that happened over the course of the month, (3) a favorite photo enlarged to 6x12, and (4) 3x4 January Details cards for each person in the family (love including all those voices/points of view). 

Here's a look at how I tackled my January storytelling: 

I counted up the 3x3 squares that are on the back of my 2019 cover page and then printed out 12 images. These correspond to the writing I did for my "Jan Stories" 6x12 page.

As you can see, I used my 6x12 Words + Photos Layered Template Vol. 2 for the bulk of my journaling this month. I decided to use simple list style journaling to cover some of the basics of what happened in January. I also replaced the original word art that was included on this layered template and replaced it with the Monthly Stories digital word art

I used my new rolling date stamp (my old one stopped in 2018 - this one is a bit bigger) to add the date of each of the 12 photos I selected to add to the 3x3 pockets. I also added stickers/chipboard from past Story Kits on top of the photos. 

JOURNALING

Here's what I added to the layered template in Photoshop for my journaling: 

I am a fan of January. For the switch from Christmas to New year. For the freshness. For the closure and the beginning again. Here are some of the things that happened this month:

  • 1. I embarked on a 30 days of yoga program with Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube. I did it most evenings throughout the month and there were a few times that Aaron joined me and Anna joined me once. I had a completely different experience this year vs. last year when I did most of the daily practices in my office in the morning. This year I did most of them in my bedroom in the evening. It has definitely become one of my favorite ways to begin the year and it’s directly in alignment with my desire to do yoga more days than less in 2019.  
  • 2. The kids were in and out over the course of the month as always. There was quite a bit of playing with stuff from Christmas.  
  • 3. Aaron set up his Christmas present to me which was a ceiling mount for my camera in the office. That one thing set off a whole series of other purchases - lights, etc. - so I can up my video game. These are things that have been on my list for a long time - totally happy to be making it happen. I love how it is making me feel reinvigorated in my work.  
  • 4. I drove up to Portland to meet with Robyn and go to a book signing for Danielle Walker. I love any opportunity to connect with online friends in real life.  
  • 5. Anna’s classroom was in charge of the Epiphany Mass at her school and I got to go see her. Loved her sense of pride in the planning.
  • 6. Aaron and I binge watched a whole bunch of shows when the kids were away. These included both the Fyre documentaries, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Ted Bundy Tapes, Bodyguard, You, restarted The Sopranos, BirdBox, and some Black Mirror episodes. 
  • 7.  We celebrated Simon’s 17th birthday. He had Silas, Seiji, and Emma come over for a movie, video games, and pizza. I loved watching him be a host to his friends. I love that they all have a long term connection. Simon also cooked dinner for the whole family one night this month as part of his Cooking Merit Badge.  
  • 8. Katie and I traveled to Nashville/Bowling Green for a couple days of meetings (we do this every 6 months). We do two intense days of planning for the coming year and it’s so worth the trip for the face to face brainstorming. I love traveling with Katie - we have our methods down and she’s really such a great companion.
  • 9. Activity-wise right now Isaac is doing taekwondo and a photography club. He’s also totally into graphic design. Anna is playing club volleyball. Simon is doing Boy Scouts and wanting to practice driving. Elliott is playing basketball and growing what feels like inches every time I see him. Audrey is also playing basketball and totally into playing legos with Anna anytime they are here together. 
  • 10. I read four books this month: The Silent Patient, There There, Verity, and The Cuckoo’s Calling. I enjoyed all of them.

If you are interested in learning more about using digital products for paper projects like this layered template, check out my Hybrid workshop

Behind the 6x12 layered template I printed a 6x12 photo of Simon and I reading in his room. This was definitely one of my most favorite images from the month. 

On top of the photo I added cork speech bubbles, a rubber circle, and a quote from Kramer (Seinfeld) that says "We have to do it. It's part of our lifestyle...it's like shaving." This seemed like the perfect Kramer quote to add to a photo of Simon and I reading together in his bedroom under his Kramer poster. 

Both the speech bubbles and the rubber circle were from past Story Kits™ or Add On's

The last page in my January story include the 3x4 January Details cards and pattern cards from the January 2019 Stories By The Month™ Kit. The digital version of that card/kit is available here

I used four inks - including a yellow - that will be released in March with the Week In The Life™ products. The small alpha stamp set was included with the Type Story Kit™. 

Sometimes with prompt cards like this I'll have my people handwrite their responses. This time I texted them and then simply copied and pasted their answers onto the cards before printing. 

Here's a complete video of my process this month: 

JANUARY 2019 | PROJET LIFE® PROCESS VIDEO

SUPPLIES

You can see all my past Project Life® blog posts here. For more information about my overall process make sure to check out my self-paced Storytelling With Project Life® workshop

Shop This Post

Related Posts

Sign in or sign up to comment.

33 thoughts

  1. smultringunn says…
    02/01/2019

    "Contemplating exercise" - hah! I really like this approach. In 2018 I started every month of my album (not PL, just a regular 9x12 scrapbook) with a divided page protector with homeless photos, and you've inspired me to add some random homeless stories there too. :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/01/2019

      Awesome!

  2. clwil says…
    02/01/2019

    Loveing the new way of recording & presenting to us Ali

    Is there a post on how you set up you 2019 cover page? I don’t remember seeing it?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/01/2019
  3. BSAW15 says…
    02/01/2019

    So inspirational!! Love it. Will there be story planner products launched soon?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/01/2019

      Yep - sometime this month (Feb).

  4. jkbroyles says…
    02/01/2019

    Love, love, love the new camera setup. Already looking forward to February’s installment. Go Ali Go.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      Thanks! It has been fun to mix it up!

  5. andiegirl says…
    02/01/2019

    Love your new way of recording really lovely to see you on camera makes it very personal. Also you looked lovely in pink (just thought Id mention that). Great switch up for project life I have been doing a monthly approach and really love it, so really nice to have fresh inspiration and see how you tackle it. :) thanks

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      Thank you so much!

  6. KatB says…
    02/01/2019

    I love this Ali. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm loving what you are doing with your videos too.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      THank you!

  7. craftandsmile says…
    02/02/2019

    Hey Ali, you have all your stamps in wooden boxes. Are they in your shop?
    Great january story.I love it.

    greetings from germany Stephanie

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      Many of them are in the shop - many of them are also from the Story Stamp subscription: https://www.aliedwards.com/subscribe/story-stamp

    2. sarahsworld2000 says…
      02/06/2019

      If you meant the boxes, those are from ikea I believe. After watching this video, I think I need to go pick up some more of them.

  8. swimfin says…
    02/02/2019

    Thank you for all of this. It is so helpful to see how to use the 9x12 size (which I have been struggling with) and for your thoughts and process for collecting the stories over the whole month.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      You are welcome!

  9. kathleen says…
    02/02/2019

    SO much love for this new approach!!! Thank you for keeping it real and fresh! I lost my spark for scrapbooking last year, but its back & Im really excited to tell my stories in 2019!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      Awesome! Have fun!

  10. Joelaw says…
    02/02/2019

    In the store the digital January kit says 2018 - isn’t it 2019?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      The digital kit from 2018 is the physical kit for 2019 :). And the digital kit for this year (2019) will be the physical kit for 2020.

  11. Lwills54 says…
    02/02/2019

    Im having trouble with the resizing of pictures with the new size album, i have the hybrid class, what section is the tutorial in? My pictures look very distorted.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Inkfanatic says…
    02/02/2019

    LOVE your new filming process! Always love learning about your storytelling process, and seeing how you are changing up the PL process this year:) This was super fun to watch!!XO

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      02/02/2019

      Thank you!

  13. PatyPerez says…
    02/02/2019

    Oh, Ali! Inspiring as always!
    I've always done pl on monthly format. I did weekly in 2015, it was really cool in the end, very for me the process was really heavy.
    I like it monthly, because at the end of the month I can sit, take a look at the overall picture and let the photos tell me the stories or sometimes just story, no photo ... happens :) It's really exciting to see you try this format. I did 9x12 in 2016 and 2017. To my surprise, I decide to go back to 12x12,more room to play....
    Bring it on 2019!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. carriek333 says…
    02/02/2019

    Love this! Also love Aaron's "reflections" on exercise! :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Sjoera says…
    02/03/2019

    What a great new approach to Project Life! I love this as I can see it takes away the pressure that I feel of taking a photo everyday to tell that day's story. Will keep an eye out on the store to check when products are back in...

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. CarolineMcD says…
    02/04/2019

    I love the idea of stamping the date on the photos! Love your take on the monthly pages, very inspiring.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. kjjennings says…
    02/06/2019

    Thank you Ali for once again pushing me to make sure I am “telling my stories” and not to fear changing my process. After a marathon two weeks of completing 5 months of 2018 weekly layouts, I really ‘saw’ what was being reflected in my PL album. And while I LOVE my 8 years of PL albums, I realized that my pictures and need to fill up my weekly spreads had begun to drive my stories and process rather than letting my stories unfold organically in my album. So I followed your lead and let the month unfold before doing any work on my PL album, and the results are so wonderful. I started by simply sitting down and writing down my story for January. Then I printed pictures that helped tell the story. I put the story and pictures in my album using two side by side divided page protectors (12x12) with the story in between in a 6x12 page protector. I love it. Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. sparkle says…
    02/10/2019

    I'm soooooo excited for Hello Story 2!!!!!!!!!!!
    I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. sparkle says…
    02/10/2019

    Ali as you talked about the picture of Crammer on Simon's wall being a reflection of how he is changing, it reminded me of a OLW FB conversation I had with Kim Wogsland-Dovalina this morning about what we put on our walls. Here's what I wrote there in case you didn't see it. "When my son was in high school he asked if he could write things on his bedroom wall. I said 'Sure! Go For It! No rules!' He continued to write and draw on his walls until he moved out when he was 20. It was amazing! His walls were covered with drawings, quotes, lists of his goals through those years, tid bits of his life as he transformed into a man. I took pictures of all of it before I painted it to turn it into my scrapbook room. Letting him write on his walls was the best decision I think I've ever made. It was an incredible document of his formative years and a treasure for my heart." Thank you for sharing your family with us and how they change. Sharon

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. stkong7 says…
    02/14/2019

    Love this Ali! I too am doing 9x12 PL and love all of your inspiration.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. AlexPerry says…
    02/22/2019

    Loved this! Keep up the work! It really is inspiring. Thing like this one are helping to get through the day. Working and studying is sometimes hard. Stuff like this and these guys https://writingpeak.co.uk/coursework-writing-service are helping a lot. Thanks again for your work.

    Reply 0 Replies

Sign in or sign up to comment.