Confessions of a Project 365 Quitter

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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:

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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

Gather Memories

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Autumn Falling by Kristin Aagard & Stolen Moments. Howie’s stamp font by Fontologie

 

As we head into a very busy time of year for memory keepers (holidays, family gatherings, parties, and more), it’s a good time to make a game plan for how you are going to gather up the memories you want to document. Life moves pretty fast in general these days, and it seems to kick into hyper-drive during the holiday season. It’s important to take a little time to plan and prepare so you don’t miss out on the fun memories.

Gather “THE GOODS”

We are lucky to have a lot of technology and memory keeping options available to us, now’s a great time to make sure everything is in working order and ready to use.

  • Locate your camera(s) and make sure the batteries are charged. If you have extra batteries on hand, put them in your camera bag, purse, or tote bag to keep them handy. Consider storing your camera bag next to your keys and purse (or whatever you take with you whenever you leave the house) so you don’t forget them.
  • If you have a camera on your phone, check out some apps to help you take great pictures. Remember, the best camera is the one that’s with you! Review this post on scrapping with phone photos and check out the picks of the week from The Digi Show episodes for some great suggestions.
  • For those who are traveling, round up your power and sync cords for laptops, cameras, phones, etc. so you will be able to have functioning technology on the road. It’s so nice to be portable!
  • Pick up some extra cds/dvds or flash drives to make sharing photos with friends and family easier at gatherings.

 

Document As You Go

Don’t count on memory alone during this time, you might think you will remember everything once it’s time to sit down and scrapbook the events of the season, but it’s hard to keep it all straight. Use the tools around you to record memories as they happen.

  • Carry a small notebook, or use an app or notepad feature on a smartphone to jot down notes about holiday activities.
  • Interview your friends and family using a smartphone voice recorder, a tape recorder, or a Skype session. You can transcribe the notes later on and you’ll have a wonderful audio recording of their voices. This is a great time of year to gather journaling!
  • Take pictures of signs and informational materials that will help you with journaling later on. One of my favorite tricks is to photograph my journaling.

 

Be Nice To Yourself

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we have to do it all, believe me, I know that feeling! The holiday season often means that we’ve added a lot of extra activities and chores on top of our normal routine. For some, it’s a time where they miss lost loved ones. It can be a stressful time even in the best of circumstances. It’s wise to realize that there won’t be time and energy for everything.

  • Forgive yourself if digi scrapping won’t fit in the holiday schedule. It’s a great time to be taking pictures and making memories. Use this post as a reminder to focus on the parts of memory keeping that will fit in your life during this busy time.
  • Let go of some expectations. Maybe you won’t make handmade gifts? Perhaps you’ll order take-out instead of cooking sometimes? Maybe you won’t go to all the parties you’re invited to? Take some time to discuss the holiday priorities with your friends and family and make adjustments where needed. Consider asking each person to list the one thing that is really important for them to do during the holidays and make sure those are the activities that don’t get missed. The rest are usually optional.
  • Pat yourself on the back for making and keeping memories during this time. You are giving yourself and others in your life a wonderful gift by sharing your pictures through creating scrapbook pages. You rock!

 

If you have any tips that help you gather memories during the busy season, please do share them in the comments. And remember, that we will be here each day with do-able and fun ideas to help you scrap your precious memories!

katie big

Passionate About Memories

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Over the years, there is something I have discovered about myself through my scrapbooking journey.  What I’ve discovered is that I am passionate about memory keeping. I am passionate about documenting the things I want to remember. It doesn’t matter if those memories are documented on my blog, through photos, in a magnetic album, paper album, digital layouts, or video as long as they are recorded.

I am equally passionate about MAKING MEMORIES with the ones I love. I try hard to live by the moto of giving my kids experiences instead of stuff. Quite often though, I have a difficult time coming up with ideas of fun things to do that are inexpensive.

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Many of you know and love Janet Phillips who actually started The Daily Digi with me. I have always admired Janet’s creativity with the fun things she does with her family. I was super excited to learn several months ago that Janet was working on an ebook with fun family activity ideas.  As I read through the book, my mind was swarming and I was so excited to have some new things to do with my kids. I was also super excited about the photo ops these activities would provide, the memories they would make, and the new layouts I would be able to scrap! She has a free chapter you can download with a fun activity idea that I can’t wait to try this month with my family. It is filled with FIFTY super fun and affordable ideas, things I never would have thought of on my own. It’s priced at a super low $5.99 (that’s 11 cents per idea).  Janet’s book is available as a downloadable PDF, as well as Kindle or Nook versions.

P.S. This ebook is great for anyone with little people in their lives: grandparents, aunts/uncles, teachers, etc.