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Everyone tackles creating Project Life spreads differently. The process is as unique as our personalities I think. I wanted to share what has been working for me personally lately. I have long been a “go with the flow” type of person. I would make a spread at a time or print out a bunch of photos and then fit them into the spread.

This started leaving me with multiple pictures (because I’d reprint a different size) or extras that didn’t fit anywhere. I like to do a month at a time. That way I don’t feel like I’m ALWAYS printing photos but so that I don’t get too far behind. The one tool that has completely changed my process is the free planner pages from the super awesome Marcy Penner

I print out 4 of these, sit down with my calendar,  notebook and scroll through iPhoto (where my phone pictures are) and Lightroom (where my 5d pictures are) and jot down where I want each picture and what size. I also like to have my current Studio Calico PL kit with me and I’ll even jot down where certain cards will go.

This has been working SO well for me the last few months. I’m sitting here doing this as we speak

Once I’ve made all my notes I’ll export the photos into one folder, resize, add digital stamps or create collages and then send them all to print at either MPIX (if I have time) or Costco (when I want them in an hour)

This takes longer than printing all the photos without thought as to where they will go, but saves TONS of time in the actual creation process.


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.


  1. This is almost exactly my same process (except that instead of Marcy's print out I just write on post it notes and stick them on the actual slots in my PL binder) and it works so well. I have to admit, I do loathe the process of pre-planning it all out, but it does save a ton of time when I sit down with the actual prints. So far I've been printing several weeks at a time to cut down on shipping costs, but we have a new Costco opening nearby that I may try soon!
    Love, love, love your PL pages, Allison!