Family Life

6 Tips for Making a Year in Review Photo Book

Want to make a beautiful year in review photo book as a gift or for your family? These six tips will help you get it done!

This post is sponsored by Mixbook

Last year was the first year I’d made Year in Review photo books and all year, every time my girls looked through them, I was so glad I’d done it.

As 2017 wound down, I knew I wanted to do another one to add to our collection.

December, of course, was crazy busy, but once the new year rolled over, it was the perfect time to do it – there aren’t many holidays or events in January and February and with cooler weather and early darkness, it’s an ideal indoor activity.

Plus, the previous year is still fresh in your mind!

Want to make a beautiful year in review photo book as a gift or for your family? These six tips will help you get it done!

Want to make a beautiful year in review photo book as a gift or for your family? These six tips will help you get it done!

I love Mixbook because they have beautiful print quality (after years of seeing photo books with wildly pixilated and dull colored photos, Mixbook is always a breath of fresh air).

As soon as it arrived this year, I was delighted with the beautiful photo of my girls on the front and how crisp and sharp it looked. I love every detail about it, from their little eyelashes to their tiny painted nails and their chubby cheeks.

Want to make a beautiful year in review photo book as a gift or for your family? These six tips will help you get it done!

(I also sighed with relief that I’d put the correct year on it – I kept worrying it’d show up and I would have written 2016 or 2018 on the cover!)

This is the kind of project I’ve wanted to do for years and kept putting off because it seemed like too big of an undertaking.

But now that I’ve done it for a few years in a row, I’ve picked up some tips for making it as quick and easy as possible.

  1. Remember that ANY photo book is better than no photo book. Guaranteed, in 10 years, you won’t look back and think “I forgot to add this one photo. I wish I didn’t have this book at all.” You will be thrilled you did it and so will your family, so don’t stress yourself out about making it absolutely 100% perfect. Everyone loves looking through photos of people they love and great memories, and Mixbook makes beautiful books – so pretty much no matter what you put in, it’s going to be a hit!
  2. Stick with 20 pages. I mean, you can certainly add pages (it’s $1.29 for each extra page, so very reasonable), but I tend to feel overwhelmed, so knowing that I only have to do 20 pages made it feel super feasible. This doesn’t need to be an encyclopedia of your year.
  3. Use your social media feeds to remind you of the highlights. You can connect directly to your Instagram or Facebook feeds and it’ll show you all your photos. You can even just pull your own whole feed in and Mixbook will auto-populate your book. Because my Instagram feed has a bazillion book photos on it which I don’t necessarily want commemorated in my family photo album, I just browsed through, it selected the photos I wanted and let that remind me of the highlights of the year – Tally’s birth, a quiet spring mostly at home, my work travel, our family reunions, a Fourth of July in California, tons of swimming, the first day of school, Halloween, Christmas, then dropped those photos in.
  4. Don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. Mixbook has really talented designers, so pick a style of book and use their templates. I tweaked a few things on mine or changed the layout, but mostly I just trusted them to have made it beautiful and didn’t waste tons of time starting from scratch. Plus, they have way better taste and a sense of style than I do.
  5. This is for you. After I added the photos from Instagram, I went back and found photos that Bart and I had texted to each other. They weren’t the kind of photos I’d post on Instagram, but they were fun and sweet and things I didn’t want to forget, like this completely goofy photo of Star at a Halloween party with the scariest panda eye makeup and a white dress-up dress from her cousin eating an entire plate of plain whipped cream. It wasn’t really an Instagram photo, but it was definitely a photo I knew we’d love seeing every time we looked through this for the next 50 years.
  6. Set a deadline. One thing I love about Mixbook is how simple the whole process is – you pick a Year in Review book, you import your photos, write a few captions and place your order. Done! But it’s easy to let it drag out forever or never quite click that order button. So set yourself a deadline and add it to your calendar with a reminder a few days before. Or decide to give it to your spouse or children or parents as a Valentine’s gift so you need to have it ordered in time for it to print and ship. You’ll be glad you made it happen.

Want to make a beautiful year in review photo book as a gift or for your family? These six tips will help you get it done!

I was so happy to have this done a second year in a row – my girls are just growing up so fast and I want to make sure I have a tangible record of our travel, our biggest events, and our quiet days at home.

I don’t want to miss a moment.

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  • Reply Sarah R January 29, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Thank you so much for this! I have been getting into a terrible habit of keeping all my pictures on my phone and never getting around to putting them on my computer or printing them out. My husband and I were just saying we need to set some time aside to take care of this, and then I read your post. I just spent 3 hours creating my book and I thought the process went so smooth. My pictures are not professional like yours are, and I am HIGHLY underskilled in photography (and creativity in general) so this site worked great for me. I am so excited to see the finished product!

    What size book did you create? I went with the default of 8.5 by 8.5 since it was so much cheaper and it was my first time.

  • Reply Liz January 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    I uploaded the same photo to mixbook and shutterfly both sites reduced the quality of the picture but sadly mixbook made the picture terrible. I wanted to love it!

  • Reply Diana January 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    I am SO impressed you do a year in 20 pages!! I’ve been doing photobooks since 2014ish and I’ve always done 100 pages for our annual book…plus another 60ish page book for every vacation we take (usually once a year). PLUS a ~100 page book each year for our son, covering about birthday-birthday. So…generally ONLY 260 pages a year… Hahaha. I do work on them gradually through the year though, updating once a week, if needed (not always needed, we don’t do a whole lot in January-March! We make up for it in the summer!). I SO agree that any photobook is better than none! And SO interesting to see how others do this!

  • Reply Paige Flamm January 29, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Last week I sat down and made photo books for the last 4 years, and it was seriously the best feeling ever knowing that I’m finally “caught up” on our life!


  • Reply Charlotte Anne Brand January 30, 2018 at 4:18 am

    This is such a lovely idea! <3

    Charlotte |

  • Reply Rebecca Lately January 30, 2018 at 9:01 am

    That is so cute! I did a photo book for the first time in 2017. Now I want to go backwards and make all the years since we’ve been married. It’s so nice to look back on all our pictures!

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