7 Steps To Find Your Project 365 +1 Work Flow

Do you only upload photos from your card when you feel the urge?  Or do you clear your card minutes before an event when you realize you have no room left?

Success with 365 (or 366) happens when you make it a habit. The more routine the process becomes, the more success you will have.

For me that means creating a work flow I can stick with.

Create your work flow routine. Write it down. It doesn’t need to be daily, but it does need to be regular. You want 365 to become routine just like brushing your teeth each morning. It happens on auto pilot and you couldn’t imagine skipping it! For you that may be daily, weekly, or some other time period. Find yours. Stick with it and your 52 weeks will fly by leaving with you a finished masterpiece at the end.

Here is my work flow:

Upload Photos To Lightroom

Any program will work. Lightroom, Aperture, PSElements, and iPhoto are just a few options.

I like the flexibility of Lightroom as well as the ability to quickly process multiple photos. I save my photos in daily files in a Yearly Catalog.  I’ve found Lightroom runs much more efficiently when I limit the number of photos in my catalogs.


Keyword All Photos

I add keywords to each photo in the Library after I’ve uploaded a day’s photos. I try to include a variety of keywords including:

    • colors
    • event
    • people
    • places

You’ll find more information about my key wording strategy in this post at Debbie Hodge’s Get It Scrapped.

Select my photo of the day (POTD)

This can be a fast process or a long, difficult one. I try to make my choice quickly. My photo may represent my day or I might simply choose my best photo from the day. Occasionally I will call on others to help with my decision like I did on this day and on this day.

Add POTD and 365 Keywords

Once I’ve selected THE photo for my photo of the day I add two keywords – POTD and 365. I can quickly find all of my 365 photos with a Smart Collection in Lightroom. I sometimes open my smart collections to see the work I’ve done through the year. I love having them in one quick spot to review.

Edit My Photos

I rarely post process all of my photos taken on any given day. I do try to post process my PTOD.

My typical edits include:

    • Adjust white balance
    • Adjust exposure
    • Adjust blacks
    • Adjust clarity
    • Add preset

Give My POTD A Name

I save each 365 photo to my POTD file with the name POTD 01-01-2012 – 4312.jpg

In Lightroom I choose Export. I’ve created an Export Preset for saving my POTD. It fills the information I need to save each of my 365 photos. I adjust the date and save the file.

All of my 365 photos are saved in year specific files:

2011 POTD
2012 POTD

I am then able to open the individual files to quickly view my 365 photos. I reference this file often for blog posts, daily emails, and class writing and marketing. It is also a nice place to have them when I want to review my progress (are you hearing that as a theme yet?)

I also save to my POTD file FTW (for the web). This is a smaller file that I save using a Lightroom Preset I created specifically for my web photos.

In June of this year I started adding the original file number to my pots file names. I found it much easier to find the original file when that number remained with the jpeg. I don’t need to find the original very often, but it comes in very handy when I do need it.

Myra wrote a beautiful post on organizing her 365 photos.

Share My Photos

I then upload to Flickr and  the CY365 Gallery.

I am very good at doing this at the beginning of my projects, but definitely fall a few days behind when things get busier. I then try to catch up on weekends when I can. At the very minimum, I upload my photos and select my photo of the day on a weekly basis.

Enjoy The Process

Falling behind and getting overwhelmed with the process is the biggest contributor to not completing your 365 project.

Your work flow doesn’t have to match mine. Create a flow that works for you. Need more help? My friend Kayla can give you guidance in her class Finding Photo Flow.

What is manageable given the time and obligations in your life? Find yours and you’ll make the year a success!

What is your process?


  1. Terri Torrez

    I’m curious how big a LR catalog can get before it becomes a problem. I switched a few years ago because I’d maxed the capacity of PSE Organizer. Haven’t had any problems yet but I suppose it’s only a matter of time. I hate the idea of splitting though because I tend not to search or view chronologically.

  2. Claudia

    Great post! Thank you Katrina 🙂

  3. This was a very helpful post, although I’ve enjoyed all of the recent ones, and think I am ready to give this a try again. I’m just learning Lightroom, and maybe this will help me feel more proficient there as well. Thanks for all the valuable information this week!

  4. Love the tip about having a different LR catalog for each year! I love gleaning little tidbits here and there from you and our community.

  5. I so wish I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee! What a great post! My mind is whirring… excited to start next year’s project with new software and try this technique. I’ve been using iPhoto and a 365 album within it. The problem: if I whizz through the day’s pictures AFTER I pick the POTD, there is a chance it can get deleted bc there’s no way to “tag” photos in an album. Lightroom looks like it has so many options! Looking forward to delving in…

  6. I definitely need a better way to organize my individual POTD. I think I’m going to follow Myra’s suggestions. Being uniform in the labeling process should make a big difference for me. Thanks ladies!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *