While I was working on the last spread for August 2014 (shared here), I decided to write down how much time it actually takes to work on one week and documented the different steps.
This is my second year doing Project Life. I started with it in 2013. And for the past 20 months I only felt two times behind and had to catch up. The biggest reason for this might be my simple process and another big one is the fact, that I actually take the time to work on my spread each and every Sunday. Your spreads don't get done by itself, you have to take the time.
The whole process takes around 105 minutes (and additional 80 to prepare everything for my blog).
Step one: Plan (15 minutes)
Before I sit down and actually work on my spread I always make a plan first. This starts with looking through the photos I made on my phone. 99% of the photos I use for Project Life are made with my iPhone 5. I edit them on the go, which means they get edited right after they were made. When I know which photos I want to use I add them to my planner. I draw some tiny mock-ups of the actual photos and I also decide on the size of the photos. Most photos are 4x6 and 3x4 or when I add them to a 4x6 card they are either 3x3 or 2.5x3.5.
Step two: Print (25 minutes)
After I decided which photos to use I upload them from my phone to my computer (I have a MacBook Pro and save my photos in iPhoto). Then I open the photos in Photoshop Elements. I created two different templates. One with three 4x6 photos on an A4 paper and one with six 3x4 photos on and A4 paper. This way I can drag and drop my photos into those pre-made templates. I usually need three A4 paper per week. I print all my photos at home with my very old HP Photosmart C5280 All-in-One Printer.
Step three: Display (25 minutes)
This step involves cutting out my photos, use the corner chomper, lay them on my table the way I planned it in step one and looking for 4x6 and 3x4 cards from my stash. I also add all ephemera I collected throughout the week and put them on the card where I want to use them (on the bottom left). If I think the spread looks too busy I make a few changes but mostly it stays the way it was planned.
Step four: Embellish (35 minutes)
And then starts the fun part. I add embellishments and write down the stories I want to tell. I either write them onto some labels which I add to the photo, on the 3x4 or 4x6 card or directly on the photos.
When I'm done I add the photos/cards to the page protectors and into the album they go.
Step five: Clean-up (5 minutes)
I put everything back where it belongs.
Step six: Blog (80 minutes)
When the month is over I photograph my spreads (5 minutes), edit the photos (35 minutes) and write the blog post (40 minutes).