One of the things I've learned over the years of embarking on this project is that a little thinking + planning ahead can make the overall process more enjoyable. Around here I've started the process for myself and put those ideas into a video to share with you today.
Quick reminder that our Order Selection Period for December Daily® 2021 has closed. The products with stock remaining will be available in our "regular" shop on October 4th at 12pm EST and regular shipping rates apply. Order Selection Period boxes will begin shipping on October 11th, 2021.
Let's dive in to today's video:
STEP ONE: BEGIN GATHERING SUPPLIES
For me this step includes three main things: (1) taking stock of what I have, (2) restocking basics, and (3) shopping for new products to support my stories this season. Last year I put together a video showing how I clean up and organize my products once my project is complete. You can see that here.
For supply restocks I generally make sure to have some of the following:
- Printer Ink (you can read more about the printers I use here)
- Printer Paper
- Black StazOn
- Scotch Rolling Adhesive
- Red Line Tape
- Avery Index Tabs
- Printable Vellum + Colorful Vellum
- Grafix Transparent/Plastic Sheets (I use these as foundations for clear pages)
- Pens: Precision Pen + Slick Writer
- White Cardstock
- Tiny Attacher Refills
STEP TWO: REVISIT PAST PROJECTS
One of my favorite steps in my personal process of getting ready for December Daily® is taking a little time to go back through my past albums and establish what worked + what didn't work. As I flip through my past albums I look for both story ideas I might want to repeat again (same jumping off point with a new story for a new year) + design ideas I might want to repeat or expand on this year.
I recently shared a video walkthrough of my 2020 album and you can watch that here.
If you are brand new to this project I'd encourage you to spend a little time watching some overview videos on YouTube and/or scrolling back through past posts in our December Daily® Facebook Group. Seeing what other people have done in the past is a great jumping off point for establishing how you'd like to embark on this project this year. Please remember that people approach this project in a wide variety of ways and there's no right or wrong! Getting your own stories told is what this is all about.
STEP THREE: WHAT KINDS OF STORIES DO YOU WANT TO TELL THIS YEAR?
There are a couple ways you can begin to think about what kinds of stories you might want to tell this year:
- Look through your past projects + select some story prompts you'd like to repeat again this year.
- Once you receive your box of supplies go through them and look specially for the products that spark stories. We design products with storytelling in mind and specifically integrate prompts and story invitations into many of our products. Many of the products are wonderful jumping off points for stories to tell this year.
- Think about what might be different in your life from last year. Are there any specific milestones for any family members this year? Is there something specific you want to focus on in your storytelling this time around?
It's usually during this step that I start thinking about my Reason Why for the year. I love starting my album with an intention/reason why - it helps me set the tone for the season and is a piece of the process that I've really come to love each year. Setting a reason why might also spark some stories that you'll want to capture or things you want to be on the lookout for during the month.
STEP FOUR: TAKE A CLASS
Many in our community love to revisit our classic Storytelling With December Daily® workshop each year before embarking on this project again. It's a great refresher - or starting place if you are new - and helps you establish your own personal storytelling mindset for this project this year.
I'm totally looking forward to the upcoming Product Play: Back To Basics which is new for 2021. For the entire month of November our team will be bringing you one idea per day. More details on this workshop can be found here.
STEP FIVE: PLAN SOME PAGES IN ADVANCE
One of the ways I set myself up for storytelling success each year is by creating or starting some of my pages in advance. I call these "started" pages "foundation pages." The way I create foundation pages has evolved over the years as my own take on the project has evolved. These days I don't number every day/story before the month begins and some pages are much father along in the process than others.
Some people love foundation pages and others don't like them at all which is totally okay. I personally enjoy the process of going though my products and using those to help guide my stories. Some foundation pages I create are really specific and complete (meaning all they need is a photo and some words) and others are significantly more open-ended. I'll be sharing my full foundation page post here on the blog later in October.
A couple things to remember with foundation pages:
- You don't have to plan out every single story or every single day.
- Foundation pages can be as simple as going through all your product and picking out some things you know you want to work with this year and slipping those into some of the divided page protectors.
- Foundation pages are a great opportunity to get some of the crafty things done in advance such as painting, embossing, stitching, etc.
See my large archive of past foundation page posts (with images + video) here.
I hope today's post gives you some things to think about while you wait for your box to arrive and for the holiday season to begin!