2016 One Second Everyday Project

And just like that, we are already hitting the ground running with 2017. Time is a funny thing. Small moments make up larger memories that contribute to the story of our lives. Slowly, but surely each of us change in subtle ways. We often don’t realize how small moments shape the trajectory of our lives until we look back. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, right?

At the start of 2016 I decided to document the year through an app called One Second Everyday. This brilliant app allows users to take a quick video snapshot each day and then compiles all the moments into a video at the end of the year. Throughout the years I have tried every project under the sun to keep track of everyday moments. Journals, video diaries, photo challenges – you name it. This is by far the easiest and most rewarding project I have taken on. When I shared the completed video on my personal Facebook, I received lots of comments and questions. I figured what better way to share this idea with others and get you started on the right foot then with a blog post! Enjoy!

Getting Started

Do I have to start on January 1st? No, absolutely not! I just happen to hear about this in December of 2015 and decided to give it a try for the year of 2016. You can start whenever you’d like! Birthdays, the birth of a baby, the start of a new month or any old day makes for a great time to start.

How does the app work? Download One Second Everyday from the app store. There are plenty of tutorials to walk you through how to get started and the app itself is fairly intuitive.

Taking the Videos

How do you take a video for just one second? Each of my videos are typically between 3-20 seconds depending on what I am trying to capture. I take it with my iPhone camera. The app then allows you to pick which one second of the video you’d like to use.

How do you remember to take a video everyday? I am a creature of habit so remembering to take a video everyday came pretty naturally. At the beginning I put reminders in my calendar and set an alarm on my phone. After about a month, I got a rhythm down and remembered to take a quick video as parts of my day unfolded.

What happens if you forget a day? It’s no big deal! I forgot one or two days and just captured a video of something I had done on the day I missed. For example, reading a book or going for a walk. I gave myself grace and did not consider this cheating. You could also leave those days blank and the video compilation will skip over them.

How do you compile the snapshots into a whole video? The app will compile your videos for you! I mashed them a few times throughout the year as back up, in case something happened to my iPhone. At the end of the year, I merged all 366 videos (hello leap year) into one. It was so fun to watch it altogether for the first time! I added a title slide and background music in iMovie and called it good.

Tips & Tricks

Take lots of videos! On days when I had multiple occasions and memories to document, I would capture all of them and choose at the end of the day which one was the keeper.

Capture your videos with landscape orientation. This is my number one recommendation! When you take vertical videos, your video quality is reduced significantly and 2/3 of video is cropped out. By using landscape orientation for every snapshot, your mashed video will be full frame and high quality.

Switch it up! You have 365 days to play around with capturing one second videos. Try new things, break out of your comfort zone and switch your captures up! Some of my favorite videos are ones that are unique or taken from different angles.

Focus on the subject. This is something I got better with overtime. One second is a really short amount of time and if your camera is moving in every shot, it is easy to get a dizzying video. Instead of moving the actual camera, hold it steady and focus on the subject.

Ditch perfection. At first I was so particular about what I would capture each day. As time went on, I gave myself room to be creative and ditch my perfectionist tendencies. Look for unexpected moments and don’t fret if your video is a bit blurry or only significant to you. After all, this project is for you!

So, what are you waiting for? Download the One Second Everyday app and get started today. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out! And if you have further questions, please comment below. I’d love to help!

Laura Jean
  • I love this so much! I have just started taking more videos so that I can make mini videos and share them! Your video was SO fun and I love the idea! I may need to try it!

  • You’ve totally inspired me! What a fun glimpse into your 2016! Hope all is well 🙂

  • LAURA! I’m obsessed because 1) I just got this app for 2017 and have done it everyday so far! But you have given me SO many great ideas for capturing more of the mundane moments of life! Thank you! and 2) How did I not know you live in Minneapolis?!?! Did you move in the last year or so? We should totally meet up! 🙂

  • I’m trying this for 2017 and am VERY excited about it! What a fun idea! — Lisa | Naptime Chai

  • This is so cool! I might try this starting with my wedding anniversary in March, or my 30th birthday in June.

  • Why have I never head of this before?! I’m getting married in March and this would be a super fun way to document the first year of marriage and beyond!