ForeverJoy Designs

Project Life | Finding My Photo Flow

I have found a few tricks to make Project Life work for me: I do my spreads on a monthly basis as opposed to weekly; I print at least 13 photos for each double page spread and I always try and work on two pages at a time. So this month- I paid close attention to what was preventing my work flow from really sailing along smoothly- and I found it was editing my photos.

I can’t just let editing go– especially since I print from my Ipad and collage most of my photos into 2 photos on a 4×6 sheet to print. I’m in there anyway- so it seems kind of slack not to do a bit of cropping, tweaking and brightening while my apps are open. And, I have really come to love text on my photos- so chances are high that I will open an app for that.  The problem is- there were so many photo editing apps on my Ipad I would become a deer in the headlights trying to figure which would be best- and which I should use first. Perfection kills me all the time.

A few weeks ago, I downloaded the Beck Higgins Project Life App. And while I had played around with it a few time making layouts in the 12×12 format,  it wasn’t until this weekend that I really explored what it could do for my 4×6 printing- and I have to say- I was blown away by how much easier it could make my photo editing process. Now, this app isn’t the magic bullet for all I need to have done- (it tends to be a bit buggy when I try to edit the photos inside the app) but, I can definitely say it sure is the icing on the cake! I an officially addicted.

Here’s the work flow I have now adopted:

First things first- make sure the photos I want to use are on my Ipad or in my Dropbox.

Dropbox.  I am a big Dropbox fan.  For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out a great way to get my photos off my Ipad and onto my computer. Then, I downloaded the Dropbox app- and photo sharing has been so easy! When I open the app- my photos are automatically uploaded to the Dropbox cloud- I can open that folder on my desktop and copy whatever photos I’d like onto my hard drive.
Every two month or so- I remove my photos from my Ipad by making sure they are all copied into my Dropbox.  I then take then from the Dropbox and put them on my computer. I find two month is a good time range because I will have printed or scrapped what I needed by then. (and my photo file gets filled up quickly on my Ipad!)

When scrapping- I can print right from my Ipad or Dropbox.  If there are photos on my computer that I want to print or edit on my tablet- I can copy them into my Dropbox and then access them whenever I’d like.

Next- edit the photos I’d like to work with.  For me- editing can be a black hole that zaps my free time for scrapping.  I don’t want to spend too much time editing my everyday photos- but I’d like to pimp them up a bit-  it was a paradox until- by much trial and error- I narrowed my editing down to these apps:

AVIARY is my go to app. So many times- I would hit a wall if I had to change the orientation of my photos- or if I needed to correct the white balance in them. And so many apps that have filters that are just too artsy for my everyday shots. I wanted something powerful- but easy. This app works well for me.
Tied for second place are PicTapGo and Snapseed. PicTapGo is super easy- and great for a quick touch up – Snapseed works well for me if i need to do a selective adjustment- like brightening up a certain area of a photo.

If I’d like to add text to my photos I turn to Little Moments or Typic . Both are terrific- I like the word-art, doodles and font choices of Little Moments and will typically open that app first.

*I have found that I can save time editing by copying photos from my camera roll to a folder I created called “To Edit” as i go along my days.  I may take 20 photos of an event- but when going through them right after that event- if 2-3 really strike me- I will simply copy them to the “To Print” folder- that way, when I take time  out to edit- I don’t have to hunt for the “good” shots- I just look in that folder. After I edit them- I can save them back to the photo folder- or upload them to Dropbox.

Finally- I collage the photos for printing. This is where the Project Life app is unbeatable. When doing my Project Life pages- I will put two 3×4 photos on a 4×6 sheet- I will typically cut them apart- but will sometimes leave them on the 4×6 and slip them into a pocket of that size. The Project Life App makes this so simple- and will let you open the photos from your library- or yay! from Dropbox! Here’s the awesome thing- you can have a Dropbox folder with your digi Project Life cards in it- and drag them over to the app to be printed on the 4×6 sheet!

What I also like is that I can make a bunch of collages and the save then in a Library in the app. That means- I can make collages to print all month long- and then, when I sit down to scrap- they are waiting for me in the Library and I can just print and go! I have yet to play with the 12×12 layouts in the app- though I would like to do that in the upcoming year.

Finally a PS: If you have not visited the site already- I highly recommend popping over to the Persnicky Prints blog.  I can tell you that after years of being disappointed with other on-line photo companies- I am now turning more and more to Persnickety for my printing needs. (And- nope- they are not paying me in any way to say that.  None of the apps I have talked about here are sponsors- I’m just writing form my own opinions and experiences.) The Persnickety blog is packed- and I mean packed with great tutorials and tips- and the posts on Project Life can be found here.

Here are two pages that I did for the month of October. See the photo in the top right corner that has the “Carve Out Some Fun Time”? That’s two 3x4s printed on a 4×6 sheet- I like how that turned out. I am glad I haven’t given up on Project Life- now that the year is beginning to wind down- I love looking back on all my pages- there are so many little moments that never would have made my 12×12 layouts- but taking the time to slip them in a little pocket means I’ll get to keep that memory forever. And that is so worth the effort it has taken to find a workflow that makes this process easy to do.  I hope that sharing my lessons helps make it easier for you too!

I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have learned in making your Project Life work flow more fun- just leave them here below as a comment! 



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