Confessions of a Project 365 Quitter


Project 365 is a “project” where a person commits to taking one photo everyday.  I have started Project 365 (P365) at least twice in the years I have been a digital scrapbooker and quit as many times within ten days. P365 is something that I have always loved the idea of, but has also been too overwhelming for me, not to mention how behind I felt in scrapping it. Remembering to take a photo every single day, just didn’t happen and my reality didn’t allow me to do a layout each week. I often felt like a failure.

So, the last time I tried P365, I swore it off for good. I accepted the fact that I would never be able to achieve that goal and therefor, would not attempt again. Until…

A listener of The Digi Show posted that they had found an iPhone app that was really helping them with Project 365. I downloaded Photo 365 and on 11/11/11 (at 11:11) I decided to start P365 and see how long it stuck (I seriously had given it no thought prior to that exact moment). With some new allowances in place, I have been successful since. This is the longest I have ever stuck with this daily photo project.

Photo Nov 11, 11 11 34 AM

Why It’s Working This Time

This is another method of documenting memories. With the app, I can enter a bit of text about the photo that is added to the images metadata. This has become a way for me to document memories that might not have been documented in any other way. Small details in my life that I would never do a layout about, but will enjoy looking back on later (for example: my internet grocery order being delivered, a screenshot of doing Facetime with my husbands family on Christmas Eve, my record high score in Ticket to Ride on the iPad, the clock as I sit in the parking lot at a crazy early morning hour waiting for my daughter, etc.)

It’s less about the photos and more about the memories. Because this is another way to document my life, I’ve told myself that it’s okay to use screenshots of texts, emails, or other items as my photo for a day. This has been a super fun addition.

Photo Dec 19, 9 44 45 PM

(The above text was sent to my daughter the day after my car was hit by a teenager in the parking lot while waiting for her).

I didn’t start at the first of the year. I know this would be a barrier to some people and you need to do what works for you. I have now realized that one of the reasons P365 hasn’t been successful for me in the past is because I am burned out at the first of the year. After the craziness of the holidays and everything that comes with it, my heart just isn’t into it.

Photo Dec 28, 12 50 14 PM

I’m not scrapping these photos. Some of the photos might end up in layouts, but most of them will not. I’m not worrying about doing a layout each week or each month with these photos. Removing the mental requirement that I must scrap these photos has given me a lot more freedom!

An automated daily reminder. I was able to set up a daily reminder at a specific time in the app (1pm in the afternoon). This has been the biggest contributing factor to my success. It comes in similar to a text by vibrating my phone and putting an alert up.

Photo Dec 28, 12 49 32 PM

I can forget or miss a day. I am giving myself the allowance to miss a day and come back later and add a photo. I usually take a photo of something from the day that I missed and then add it.

I’m just using my phone. This has simplified a lot of things for me, mostly the keeping track part. I put all of the images into their spot on the calendar in the app and then also add them to my P365 folder of photos for easy access later. My camera on my phone is the camera that is with me most often, no remembering to bring the big one.

Photo Dec 28, 12 48 35 PM

I’m enjoying it. So far, I typically look forward to figuring out what photo  or thing will be my photo of the day. Some days, I am more excited than others, but that’s just part of life. This hasn’t become “one more thing to do” and I hope it stays that way. If it does ever become a chore, I will most likely drop it.

(I think it’s important to note (especially for Android users) that you don’t need this app, you could easily set a daily alarm on your phone and put all of the photos into a folder or album. I think the calendar is a super fun addition and worth the 99 cents, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.)

I think it was Anna Aspnes that said on one of The Digi Show episodes that we are often limited by the rules that we give ourselves. I have found this to be true for me with P365. By not limiting myself to what P365 should or should not be, I have been able to document more of my life, and to me, that’s what it’s all about!

Looking for support and inspiration for Project 365?

One of my favorite sites for P365 inspiration and ideas is Katrina Kennedy’s Capture Your 365. Katrina’s daily email reminders have quickly become one of my favorite sources of P365 and photography information.

ZigZag Scraps has a few forums for P365 and P52 set up.

Check out Oscraps gallery.

If I did decide to scrap my P365 photos, I would probably use every{day} life 365 system by Weeds and Wildflowers. They also have a support forum and gallery in place:


Be sure to check out these older posts as well:

Our first post about P365 on our second day in existence.

P365 Check in at 4 mos. and 11 days

P365 and Alternatives