How Izzy’s 4 Easy Tweaks Make Project Life a Truly Simple Approach to Scrapbooking

Izzy's Project Life 2013 5

Is your experience with Project Life as simple and easy as you thought?

Becky Higgins created Project Life as a simple solution to scrapbooking, but many of us online have complicated it with daily and weekly approaches and a focus on lots of additions and embellishments. For some, those approaches are perfect, but for others of us (me! me!) these daily/weekly/highly embellished pages are more demanding than our original scrapbooking process.

We’ve talked on the Roundtable about how we, as women, often place unnecessary expectations on ourselves. Now that Izzy is doing Project Life, that idea has become more real to me. He blew me away with his simple approach, and let me tell you, I LOVE looking through his Project Life scrapbook!

So if you’re someone who need to simplify your approach to Project Life, (or if you just want to see a male version of the project!) take a look at Izzy’s process…

4 Ways to Have Super Easy Scrapbooking with Project Life

1. Use Project Life Like a Journal.

Izzy sees PL as a way to journal, but it’s more awesome because it includes photos!

Journaling Approaches:

  • journal about a topic
  • record what you did
  • record what you’re learning

He doesn’t make it harder than necessary by forcing each spread into a week, or forcing each week into a spread.

2. Design a Spread Around a Topic.

So far, Izzy mostly picks a topic, usually related to what’s going on in his life. He prints related photos and creates a spread on that topic, regardless of whether it filled a week, a day, or a few hours.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 1

For this spread he wanted to talk about working on the editing of his short film so he added in some pictures during the film shoot last year.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 4

Izzy has left the right side of this spread blank because he wants to fill it in with photos from another, future, bike trip. See how you don’t have to tie yourself down with time constraints?

Only once has he done random photos from a specific week.

He also does pages about some things he’s learning.

3. Share A Sampling of Your Photos.
Izzy's Project Life 2013 (1)

Izzy is really good at just picking the 3 or 7 photos that fit into a 4×6 pocket. He knows that our other photos are easily viewable for us on the computer, on Facebook, and streaming on our television screen. We don’t even need all of the good photos in an album because they’re viewable these other places.

So his picks a few favorites and they represent.

Click here for help on how to choose fewer photos.

4. Use Repetition for Easy — But Good — Design.

Izzy's Project Life 2013 3

We love using embellishments to make our pages more visually pleasing but Izzy did something I’ve never seen before! He repeats the same decorative card across the spread. This repetition…

  • creates bold contrast between the cards and the photos
  • leads the eye across the page
  • gives a sense of unity to the spread

It’s a simple way to get good design without having to break out lots of products, tape, etc. And it has great impact, don’t you think?

There’s no right or wrong, and there are other simple approaches you can take for Project Life or scrapbooking. But if you’re finding it difficult to keep up with your current method, these are a few possibilities you might consider if you want to make it easier on yourself.

And by the way, isn’t it cool to see how a male might go about it?

  • L Squared

    Love this – thanks for sharing Izzy!

  • Totally Awesome Approach!!!!!

  • Pearl Reardon

    izzy, i LOVE it! when i heard on the PRT that you were doing PL, i was so impressed. seriously. i know my husband would never do it (it’s a huge feat if he remembers to take a pix when i’m not with our boys… and that’s with a text message reminder). i hope that when my boys are older, they’ll participate in some little way. thank you for the reminder that it can be simple yet soooooo impactful.

  • Scrapbookista

    Very cool! I love how he used the repetition on the last page.

  • Canuck Carol

    Izzy’s journal cards across the middle of all the pages totally work to eliminate the sometimes ‘chaotic’ pages where you don’t really know where to look. Maybe I’ll give it a try after all.

  • sandrabunch

    Go Izzy! And thanks for letting Noell share with us. I’m actually a bigger fan of yours than my own (struggling as a newbie).

  • Yes!!

  • So awesome to see this. I LOVE the design repetition and tips for using it like a journal

  • stacyk

    I love love love Izzy’s PL and his process. I listen to Paperclipping every week, and you both do a fantastic job. While listening to your show on the drive home, I get tons of ideas … your show really and truly inspire me to go beyond my norm. And of course Izzy is crazy funny! You both make my 1 hour drive home bearable.

  • JulieP

    You’re my hero Izzy!

  • TracieClaiborne

    Izzy rocks!! I absolutely loved seeing his approach to PL. I really love to see it in his simplicity because it makes it so doable for everyone. PS: I think Izzy has the greatest smile and the greatest laugh! He makes me smile. :)

  • You must know by now that Izzy has a huge following of fans ;). Thanks for sharing with us! This type of scrapbooking has so many different ways of helping people keep memories.

  • geezee

    I am so glad Izzy came over to the dark side. Seeing what is going on in this version of Project Life is great. I am also a fan of Izzy’s. Your participation on PRT is great. Your beginner status has been a good perspective. I have been listening to you all along and I am a non schmo.

  • Susan

    Love it! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Jen

    Love it! Izzy’s simple approach is awesome!! I too am keeping it super simple this year. I’m using a Clementine kit to document a 365 day gratitude journal. I am using F style page protectors (10 vertical 3×4 pockets and i horizontal 4×6). I keep a stack of cards and my favourite journalling pen beside my bed, and another stash in my scrap room. Every day I make a note about something I am grateful for that day – some are long (in which case I use multiple cards if needed) some are just a few words. I not the date on the back of the card and when I have a few minutes in my scrap room I slip them into my album. I am adding photos as I feel like it/am able. I print at home, so it’s easy to just add a couple at a time. Sometimes they relate directly to my gratitudes, but others are just random photos from the week that I love. I am totally open to mixing it up as the year goes on by using older photos and possibly memorabilia too. But the bottom line is whatever I do it needs to be simple. We are a military family and will be moving this summer, and I know if I make this complicated I won’t be able to keep it up. So far I love how its turning out! If anyone is interested and is a member of the PL community at Big Picture, I have January’s pages posted there as Jermangirl :-)

  • Kathy H

    Awesome job Izzy!

  • Cool! Thanks for sharing such a unique approach!

  • Long live Izzy and his many talents!!!

  • Was totally going to ask if Izzy was to share his PL. Very cool approach, thanks for sharing!

  • Mary Cardini-Anderson

    Thank you for sharing. I love your approach to Project Life. I love anything made simple.

  • I am a newbie to pl izzy approach mackes it look so easy/i have been scrapbooking I ordered the tur ten years and will be working on on a abc album. I core kit and the small pank of page protectors is this a good place to bedin

  • Debra

    Yes, very cool to see how he does it. You’re right, it’s really simple and yet really good. I’ve got a lot of photos backed up at the moment – printed ones I want to put in my album – and I was daunted by the process until I just said, “Wait on, let’s make this simple” and I just stuck them all in without any embellishment at all. 200 photos in three hours. Am going to type journalling and add dates, but then I’m done. I’ll get back to being more creative later. Feeling good!

  • KathyinMN

    I do as Izzy does-my project life isn’t a day by day snapshot, or even a week by week. Some times there are more photos (apparently last Labor day I took around 8 layouts worth…) sometimes a lot less. The only thing I’d add is to something Izzy said on the roundtable about how to incorporate vertical photos-hey Izzy-use some of the other PL pages that incorporate them! There are other page formats that allow for vertical photos. Love to finally see someone who’s PL style is more similar to my own. Yippee!

  • Kim Howard

    Love seeing this and the male perspective! I like keeping mine simple as well, not too much added in unless I have some extra time to add it. Fabulous job! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • V. Orders

    Love it – but I guess I’m embarrassed to say that I already do PL like Izzy. Please don’t take my scrapbooking card. Now I do approach PL as weekly project – but my goal is to hit the highlights each week and I am totally comfortable with using the core kit cards as is – afterall they are designed to be used that way. Now I do add some stamping and sometimes some label stickers if I need to add a small note to a picture, but that’s it. I save my “creative” scrapbooking for my scrapbook pages.

  • Dolly

    Amazing! Way to go Izzy!

  • Izzy has other pages formats with verticals for his childhood album, but he doesn’t shoot vertical photos. He doesn’t like vertical photos. Plus, that TOTALLy takes away from the simplicity. He also always limits his photos to just what will fit into a single or double page spread. Again — faster and simpler.
    Not saying he won’t ever do it differently later, but this is what he likes and I have to admit It’s made me rethink what I”m doing in some ways because it’s so much easier!!

  • Great job!!

  • Iceteeeeee

    I love it, Izzy! Between you, Noell, and your kids, creativity abounds at your house! So very cool! Love you guys!

  • Annette

    so totally cool! Izzy you rock!!

  • Colleen Umlah

    Izzy, it’s fantastic!

  • Karen Poirier-Brode (Ladydoc)

    Yes, great idea. I’ve always found photo albums challenging – too many photos and how do you separate topics. This would work and has the advantage of taking the writing off the back. I can see mixing pages like this in with my “artsy” scrap pages in an album about a trip or event. Maybe even my regular albums but those are too much of a mix of topics, though loosely based on Stacy’s people, places, things and us ideas.

  • lindsalita

    I love that Izzy is doing PL! So inspiring. Makes him even cooler. Seriously, if he was not on the roundtable I would not be listening. Alright, that’s a lie. I love the show too much. Izzy just makes me laugh out loud while I listen to the show. My favorite is when he really starts laughing and I can just picture him throwing his head back and leaning back in his chair bustin up laughing. So playful and so fun. Thanks for the roundtable, it’s incredible! Hey, you guys should totally video it when you do a show :)

  • skyeisle

    Love this idea! Thank you for sharing such a valuable tip. And thanks for your service to America as well.