Staying Organized for (Digital) Project Life

As I recently shared, I am currently 16 weeks 13 weeks (progress!) behind on Project Life. I’m not really stressing about it because I have a system (do you know me? Obviously I have a system.). As promised, today I’m going to share a little peek into that system which helps me keep my photos, journaling, etc. organized so I don’t have to worry when I get behind.

I take a ridiculous number of photos every week, mostly on my iPhone. I like to get the photos off my phone once a week so they’re getting backed up and so I don’t lose track of where I am. So on Mondays I upload the previous week’s photos to Dropbox. (I just recently turned the Camera Upload feature back on in Dropbox so this part may be changing soon.) In Dropbox, I have a folder called _PHOTOS (the _ is so it shows up at the top of my list of folders alphabetically), and inside that folder I put a folder for each week.

How I upload/organize photos and journaling for Project Life.
Here’s how that looks on my phone:

How I upload/organize photos and journaling for Project Life.

Sidenote: There are two Week 52 folders because I’d already uploaded all of the photos from December 21 – 27 before I decided to include 12/28 – 12/31 in that last week of the year, so I made a second folder to keep things straight while uploading, then lumped them all into one folder on my computer called ‘Week 51 12-21 to 12-31’.

While those photos are uploading, I look back over my planner and my photos from the previous week and type up a short list of what we did that week, along with anything Ellie said or did that I want to remember, etc. Anything I might want in a Project Life layout for that week gets typed into a plain text file (so it opens easily on PC or Mac) and saved right in that same week’s folder of photos in Dropbox. Every couple of weeks I copy the photos and text file to a corresponding folder on my laptop and my desktop. On my desktop, in my Photos folder, I have a 2015 folder that has a folder for each month (01 January, 02 February, etc.), and then inside each of those folders is a folder for each week that falls into that month.

>01 January
>>Week 1 1-5 to 1-11
>>Week 2 1-12 to 1-18

My laptop is just for scrapbooking, web surfing, etc. – not for long-term storage – so I just have a Project Life folder that has a folder for each week with the week number and dates. Once I scrapbook that week, I drag that week’s folder into a “DONE” folder and I’ll eventually just delete those since the photos, layouts, etc. are stored on my desktop (and backed up from there to the cloud).

Usually on Sunday evenings, I upload any photos I took on my dSLR that week into the corresponding week’s folder on my laptop (and into the folder in Dropbox so I can easily copy them over to my desktop for long-term storage) so those are ready to go with the iPhone photos. I keep a list in Evernote of all of the weeks of of the year with the week number and the date that looks like this:

How I upload/organize photos and journaling for Project Life.
The check boxes are:

  • to make sure I’ve uploaded the pictures to Dropbox
  • to make sure I’ve put the photos on both my laptop and my desktop
  • to make sure I’ve tagged and renamed them on my desktop in Bridge (I tag with the names of the people in the photos, the location or subject of the photo, etc. then rename with Year_Month_Day_’Original Filename from camera’ so they’ll show up in chronological order no matter if they’re iPhone photos or dSLR photos.
  • to be sure I’ve scrapbooked the layout on my MacBook
  • to be sure I’ve copied the layout to my iMac for long-term storage/backup

Once I’ve done all of those things, I will delete most of the checkboxes so it just looks like this:

How I upload/organize photos and journaling for Project Life.
So, WOW. That looks really time intensive and confusing. I promise it’s not, not at all. And now, looking at 13 weeks to catch up on, I’ve got 13 folders labeled with the week number and the dates stored on my laptop. Each folder contains all of the photos and information about that week ready to go, along with any digi supplies I want to be sure to use. I can access my list in Evernote from any computer, so I can always see where I’m at and what I need to work on next. When I’m done with a layout, I save the finished Photoshop file, full-size 12” x 12” JPGs of both sides of the layout (for printing), and any files resized to share on Instagram or my blog into Dropbox so I can get the full-size files onto my desktop and the small files onto my phone to share.

Clear as mud? Any questions? Fire away!

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