screenshot of my new projects page featuring 19 project icons in a grid

Inspired by my home for stories, I decided to build a home for all the projects, side projects, and weird ideas I’ve chased over the years in a new Jekyll collection. It ended up being a project in itself. I searched my past and summoned 19 projects over 15 years. Some are work-related, some side projects, some nonsense, and some podcasts in there as well. Not all are bangers, but they were all certainly worth doing.

I both love and hate that there’s no consistency in the project thumbnails… but that’s also what makes it great; super different projects spanning a decade and a half.

Behind the scenes, a bit of therapy was going on as I time-travelled through the years. I wrote little write-ups for each one and got me a little choked up. My wife even asked me, “Were you crying?” Coming up with a status for each project was more emotional than expected and required a little breaking up with some old hopes and dreams. I settled on four project statuses:

  • Active: Actively maintained and worked on.
  • Hiatus: Taking a break, may come back.
  • Archived: Finished, not maintained, but still online.
  • Offline: Swept away by time and bit rot.

There’s a handful of projects I left out like TimeJump, podcast-player, A11Y Nutrition Cards, Awesome Standalones, my Agile Zen Whale that dispenses agile coaching advice in WebVR, my whole two-year Tabvengers stint in Open UI, my involvement in the Web Components Community Group, and other minor projects. Geeze that’s a lot. And there were projects I worked on for years and sunsetted before releasing like Tally, BudgetBlocks, and RunPlan. Double Geeze. Not all projects need a sentimental write-up, but documenting them in a list is probably worthwhile so I don’t re-forget them.

As someone who (clearly) likes to take on many multi-year projects, I’m still challenged by the idea from PARA that “Projects have an end date.” I want to hold onto that as a core concept going forward as I budget my time and energy. I think my main issue is that I like to come up with ideas, I have the skills to execute on those ideas, but I have a weird sense of guilt about sunsetting projects. I need to be more comfortable with saying goodbye. That’s the nature of ideas, they can be good for a time and that’s okay.