I have been doing Project 365 since January 1, 2009. A few days ago I had breakfast with a friend. We talked about photos and I mentioned Project 365. She was interested in doing Project 365 but wasn’t sure what was actually involved. I spent a good amount of time describing it to her and answering her questions. All the questions she asked me were questions that I have been asked many times so I decided to write it all down in a frequently asked questions format.
If there is a question you have that I didn’t address, please leave it in a comment.
Project 365 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Project 365?
How is Project 365 documented?
How did you start out with Project 365?
Can I see samples of your Project 365 layouts?
What if I forget to take a photo?
What is your process for Project 365?
Why do you continue to do Project 365?
How do you decide what photo to use?
What do you do when you get behind on your Project 365 layouts?
What products do you use to document your Project 365?
Project 365 is a commitment to take a photo a day. That’s it. Most people start Project 365 on January 1st but it can be started at any time. I did a separate Project 365 for my son’s first year and I started it on the day he was born. Other ideas for when to start a Project 365:
- new school year
- getting engaged/married
- milestone birthday
- military deployment
- going on a mission
- study abroad
I take photos of my everyday life but there are others who pick a specific photo topic (typography, animals, architecture) or use Project 365 to try new photography techniques.
- Scrapbook Layouts – I document my Project 365 with weekly scrapbook layouts that I do digitally. At the end of the year, I get the layouts printed as a photo book.
- Instagram – Some people use Instagram and a hashtag to document their Project 365. A few years ago I came across Erin’s #typegeek365 hashtag on Instagram. She documented different typefaces that she found. You can see her those Instagrams here. I tried the Instagram way in 2013 but it didn’t last long. I didn’t always take my Project 365 photo on my phone and it was inconvenient to transfer the photo to my phone or iPad to get it onto Instagram.
- Blogs – My friend Aprile is an amazing crafter. I met her online in a Project 365 thread on the Cricut message board in 2007. She documents her Project 365 on her Chirpin Is Fun blog. Sometimes she updates her blog everyday and other times she updates in large chunks. Eventually she uses the photos and information to create scrapbook layouts. I had another friend use Blurb to create a photo book from her Project 365 blog.
At the end of 2008, Becky Higgins designed a Project 365 Kit. I was interested in the concept of scrapbooking a photo a day. I frequented the Cricut message boards during that time so I joined a thread on the message board about doing Project 365 for 2009. I ordered Becky’s Project 365 kit. It came with a large 3 ring album, 12×12 pocket pages, 4×6 journaling cards, 2×3 journaling cards, stickers, monthly dividers and many other details. I started Project 365 in January, 2009 with Becky Higgin’s kit. This is one of my layouts. Each week was a two page scrapbook layout spread.
My son was born in February 2009. I decided to do a separate Project 365 for Colin for his first year. There were no other Becky Higgins Project 365 kits available so I had gathered my own kit for Colin’s Project 365. I used a We R Memory Keeper Faux Leather 3-Ring Binder (affiliate link) and We R Memory Keepers 12×12 Photo Sleeves (affiliate link).
Other supplies I used were scrapbook paper, cardstock and stickers already in my stash. I loved both Project 365 albums I did in 2009 for different reasons. In 2010, I switched to doing Project 365 digitally.
I am happy to say that I have met many of the friends that I made in the Project 365 thread in real life and we continue to be friends in 2014!
If you scroll up to the previous question, you can see sample layouts for both Project 365 albums that I did in 2009.
When I first started Project 365, it was the end of the world if I missed a photo but then I relaxed. In fact, some days I don’t even use a photo I took. There are many things you can do if you forget to take a photo:
- Internet photo – I have used a photo I found online on big news days. I used a photo of Obama that I found online the day he was elected president.
- A “favorite photo” – Have a favorite book that you read over again or a movie that you know all the quotes from? Why not use a photo of the book cover or DVD cover?
- A photo from a different day – *gasp* Did I just suggest you use a photo from a different day in place of a missed photo? Think of it this way, 10 years from now, it won’t matter that you had lunch with your college roommates on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. The importance will be on the funny things they said or how they made you feel.
- Social media status – I didn’t have a photo to go with the funny thing my son said so I just used the screen shot from my status update about it on Facebook.
- Use a friend’s photo – Did you go to a movie with a friend but she took the selfie of the two of you in front of the movie poster? Text your friend and have her send you the movie poster selfie!
- Use a screenshot of the weather radar or forecast – The weather often plays a big part in my day in Florida. Sometimes when we have a tropical disturbance in the area, I will use the forecast map of the tropical disturbance.
My process for Project 365 has remained the same since I started doing my Project 365 scrapbook layouts digitally in 2010. My photos are downloaded to my computer into folders by date (YYYY:MM:DD). This is done automatically based on my photo import settings for my Windows operating system. I have a Project 365 folder that contains a folder for each week of the year and a Done folder which contains all the finished layouts.
When I have time, I got through my dated photo folders and pick my daily photo for Project 365. I add the photo to the weekly folder and rename it to the date the photo will be used for in my Project 365.
My template file for each week goes in the weekly folder as well as the finished layout. I also copy the finished layout to my Done folder so that I can look at them all in one spot. I also name my template file and final layout appropriately so it would be easy for me to sort the files if needed.
If you would like to use the same file structure, you can download the non leap year file here.
At the end of the year, I order a 12×12 photo book with all my weekly layouts. I have also ordered 8×8 versions of the photo book for grandparents and other family members.
After so many years, Project 365 is a family effort now. My kids pose for photos and ask me to take their picture for Project 365. We sit together every New Year’s Eve and look through all the Project 365 albums together as a family. The kids point to themselves in the photos and laugh about what they are doing.
We all remember things we have forgotten or not thought about in a long time. We notice trends in our activities through the years and how we have all changed. I keep our Project 365 albums on the shelf where the kids can reach them. Several times throughout the year I will find my kids looking through the albums and it makes all the work worth it. Even if I were to totally quit scrapbooking, I would still continue with Project 365.
It is really easy to decide which photo to use if I only have one! 🙂 On special event days, I could have hundreds of photos to choose from. Since I still do other scrapbook layouts, I will usually pick a photo that I don’t think I would scrapbook.
Project 365 is about the good and the bad. I also include photos of the not so great moments. I’ve use photos of myself in the emergency room, my broken windshield from a car accident, my son using a nebulizer and the pharmacy of prescriptions that we were all on when the entire family was sick.
The most I have ever been behind in my Project 365 layouts is 4 months! 4 months?!? If you are ever behind in your Project 365, don’t give up! You can catch up. I have used two tactics when I have been behind. The first one is to dig in and just get it done. I did 4 months worth of Project 365 layouts in 4 days. The second tactic was to complete the current week’s layout and then work backwards when time permitted.
Here’s a post about how I used social media to remember what was going on in my photos when I was behind.
I use Photoshop CS5 and digital scrapbooking templates to document my Project 365. The templates and other Project 365 products are for sale in my Simply Kelly Designs Store. The templates are also available for Artisan 5 in my Forever Store. Next to the template list are links to where you can buy the products and a link to a blog post where I show all the layouts I have created with that template set for an entire year.
- Project 365 Template Set ( PSD, pakit ) – 2010 layouts
- Project 365 Template Set 2 ( PSD/TIFF/PNG, pakit ) – 2011 layouts
- Project 365 Template Set 3 ( PSD/TIFF/PNG, pakit ) – 2012 layouts
- InstaWeek Template 1 to 5 ( PSD/TIFF/PNG, pakit ) – 2013 layouts
- Project 365 Template Set 4 ( PSD/TIFF/PNG, pakit ) – 2014 layouts
- Project 365 Template Set 5 ( PSD/PNG, pakit )
- Project 365 Template Set 6 ( PSD, pakit )
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. That means if you order through the links I receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting Simply Kelly Designs.