Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 16, 2010

My Week In The Life Design Plan & Product Suggestions


Next week for me is all about the documentation. I am getting so excited. I love this project.

Each day (starting on Monday night or Tuesday morning) I will be posting and sharing photos and words from my day and cheering you on as you go through the process. 

The following week I'll put my actual album together and show you more about my process: cropping photos, adding embellishments, a tutorial on working with the digital template album, bringing all the pieces together.

That said, I did spend time this past week coming up with a simple plan for the design of my album.

Here's a look at where I'll be headed once I have my content and the supplies I will be using:

Witl_layoutexplanation sample pages created using random photos : click to view larger

Just like in 2008 I'll be using an 8.5×11, 3-ring album and each day of the week will have four pages.Yes, four per day.

One of the questions people have been asking is the difference between this project and Project Life. The biggest difference is the amount of content for each day. In Project Life I do one photo and maybe one captured conversation or memory or bit of ephemera. In this album I'm collecting lots of images, lots of words, and potentially lots of stuff (receipts, papers, clippings, etc). 

Here's a look at what each page per day will include:

ONE : The first page I call my daily opener. It includes an enlarged photo (8.5 inches x 8 inches tall), a pattern paper strip, and a daily tab (more info below).

TWO & THREE : Pages two and three are a single baseball card page protector (using the front and the back). Inside these pockets I will be slipping photos, journal cards for the categories I am documenting, and other ephemera I collect throughout the week. 

FOUR : The last page of each day is a photo collage (photos can always be replaced with paper stuff collected over the course of the week or more journaling), another paper strip, and a sentiment tab.

As you can see from the image above I really am keeping it simple with a pretty strict focus on the words + photos. If you are interested in adding more creative twists, such as embellishing cards for the baseball card pages check out my 2008 album. This link shows a bunch of different ideas for creating fun mini-canvases that lend a nice consistency throughout the album.



• 15 sheets of white 8.5×11 cardstock with more for printing the journaling

• Seven sheets of pattern paper:

  1. American Crafts I Do Hyacinth (35051)
  2. SEI Noisette 8-1906 (using the grey pattern on the back)
  3. Basic Grey Cappella Bellini (cap-2393)
  4. Basic Grey Boxer Commando (box-1178)
  5. Hambly Little Circles (silver on kraft) (451)
  6. Crate Paper Brook Collection Ripple (#BK727)
  7. Bazzil Swiss Dot Cardstock

For my pattern paper selection I went through my stash and grabbed seven sheets that felt like they matched the look I'm going for as the basis for the album. I was looking for blues, greys, and kraft/beige that would be a nice complement to the gray of the accents I am using.

From these pattern papers I'm cutting strips that are 1.5 inches tall x 5.25 inches wide and 1.5 inches tall x 2 inches wide – this leaves just the right amount of room to add the sentiment, daily, or initial tabs (see below).


My journaling this year is going to go on these small cards I designed that fit inside the baseball card page protectors. I printed them out yesterday and plan to hand-write my documentation each day. My journal cards are printed on this cardstock from Bazzill.

Other years I have just jotted things down in a notebook or on a worksheet and then transferred the words to my album during the process of putting it all together. I'm going to try this card approach for a change of pace in 2010. If I'm out and about I'm planning to bring along the cards and document in the moment on the go. That's a lot different than trying to remember things at the end of the day. 

AEdwards_WeekInTheLifeJournalCards_PREV These cards will be available for purchase tomorrow at Designer Digitals. Journal cards are available here. The package includes a PDF for easy printing, as well as 17 individual PNG files and a blank customizable PSD file.

If you don't want to hand-write your journaling you can add your text directly onto these cards in Photoshop or in Word.

Remember that you don't have to necessarily do the same journaling categories each day. I am printed out a bunch of the cards and will choose the ones for each day that make the most sense for the stories I want to tell.


In addition to the journal cards I created Daily Tabs and Sentiment Tabs that are used throughout the album (there will also be a set of Initial Tabs available). I chose to print these on photo paper. Each digital package includes a PDF file for easy printing (they also include individual PNG files, outline files, and PSD files for customization). 



For those of you who want to do a completely digital album for a photobook (or want to create the pages digitally and print them out and slip them into an album at home) I have a new Week In The Life Layered Template album package. A 12×12 version (Shutterfly ready) and an 8.5×11 version are available.

Both these albums follow the same format that I'm creating with paper and hybrid elements.

Documenting everyday life and celebrating the small moments are a big part of my memory keeping passion. Because of that I've designed lots of products for Designer Digitals and for Technique Tuesday that support that theme.

My digital products at Designer Digitals are not just for completely digital scrapbooking. I often print them out and add them to my pages just like you see above.


OV871754X In 2008 I used my Story Of Today overlays for my Week In The Life album. You can read about how to work with these and print them at home here. They are great if you would like to do more stream of conscious writing or if you are planning to document your day in a list-format – pretty much all my journaling for each day went into that space.

If you are interested in adding elements on top of your photos I have quite a few photo overlays and word art that can be added in a photo-editing program (and even in Word). For more information on how to do this check out my video tutorial that will walk you through the process in Elements.

DS527238 OV369388
I have photo overlays (that also work great for journal blocks) for the month of April and a package that includes every day of the year. I also have photo overlays for the days of the week & months.

DS849515 DS143715
I have word art that celebrates the ordinary-ness of everyday life and hand-drawn sentiments that celebrate your life right now.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Charge up your camera batteries and make sure you have some way to jot down the things you want to capture in words. The process of taking photos of the basic, mundane, everyday pieces of your existence is really an awesome experience.

It's work, but it is so worth the effort. 


A complete list of posts related to WEEK IN THE LIFE
from both 2008 & 2010 can be found here.


  • 1.
    KathleenA said…

    I am so excited to do this project again this year. I did it in 2008, and since then I have moved across the country, changed jobs and made tons of new friends. In preparing for this years project, I reviewed my 2008 album. I was amazed at how many little everyday things I had forgotten, things that I thought “I do that EVERY DAY, I’ll never forget that”! Thanks so much for the daily inspiration to document these little things.

  • 2.
    Jo said…

    I’ve been waiting to find out how you are planning to put it all together this year. Just this morning I pulled out some patterned paper in yellows and greens that I thought I might use – very spring like. Are you planning on using one patterned paper per day, or mixing it up through the week? I was going to use your ‘Story of Today’ template like last time, however having now seen your spread idea I’m rethinking it again! Really looking forward to starting next week. Jo in England

  • 3.
    Judi said…

    I can’t wait to do this project. I have been making lists of pics I want to take and have my folders ready to go. Blues and greens for me and touch of red. I love stopping by your blog daily for inspiration and encouragement. Thanks Ali

  • 4.
    alyssa said…

    This is going to be my first year taking on the project. I am SO excited – for pushing myself, for the process, for everything I’ll learn. So far I’ve committed to only buying a new album and page protectors (which shouldn’t have been such a hard decision to accept!) and to taking as many photos as I can. My camera has been a stranger lately, so I am especially excited about this part. Thank you so very much for all the suggestions, documentation, and total transparency with your process. I seriously cannot wait!

  • 5. said…

    Love this idea! Have you thought about putting it out there digitally like in Shutterfly?

  • 6.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Oh I’m getting excited too.
    Sometimes I take 20 photos/day just to find one I love for habit right now, so while I’m taking those photos anyway I know that I need to shoot a LOT to get the range I’ll want. Great layout! I’ve done one as well, but now might make some changes; I LOVE the idea of writing the cards and … journaling done.

  • 7.
    Elaine Allen said…

    Ali -
    I don’t scrap or journal, but your are making me have second thoughts!
    Elaine Allen

  • 8.
    Rachel Wright said…

    I hope you continue to do this project. I really want to do it ~ but sadly it is just not in the cards (finances) right now. I will be watching though with envy and admiration. Good work everyone!

  • 9.
    Peaceliving said…

    Ali, I love the simple graphic designs you’ve come up with for you journal cards and daily tabs. This is the first time I’m convinced to buy them from designer digitals! I’m not doing a week in the life next week (having a very irregular week so I’ll wait until later) but I know I’ll be downloading those for my project, or even to use in conjunction with Project Life.

  • 10.
    Allison said…

    This is my first year to do this! I think I’m going to go for it! I’ve been out of the scrapbooking world since my daughter has been born (2.5 years), but I still love to document daily things (such as my blog) so I’m excited to maybe get back to scrapbooking too! Thanks for inspiring me!

  • 11.
    Ali Edwards said…

    My plan is to mix it up (the pattern papers) throughout the week.

  • 12.
    Kirsten H said…

    I am excited. I was supposed to have knee surgery next week, so I figured I would have to wait a bit – but it got bumped for two weeks so now I can play along.

  • 13.
    kirby said…

    I’m a ‘week in the life’ rookie – am SO excited to do this next week! I intend to, unashamedly, mimic much of your general plan from your ’08 album…need, however, to stop ‘gathering’ – that’s been much too fun.
    Quick question for you, if you get a chance – i’m wondering about cropping pic’s for the baseball card pages (as well as your journaling inserts). I bought the We R Memory Keepers equivalent and the openings are 3.5 x 2.625…is this, by any chance, the same size as the b’ball card openings? i’m hopin’ so! :)
    thanks, much, Ali, for doing this!

  • 14.

    Ali, you are so organized and so creative! I, too, was going to use previous project templates/overlays, but I love your new design. One question: on your second photo (sample pages), there’s a background grid. Can you please tell me what that is? It looks like it would be helpful. I have the green cutting mat shown in a previous year’s work space, but would like to know about the lighter colored grid.

  • 15.
    Deirdre said…

    Wonderful post! I’ve been doing Project Life and want to stick with just that for right now—but in 2008 I journaled and took a ton of photos when you were doing A Week in the Life. I posted them on our blog but never printed/scrapped them.
    Definitely going to do a digi mini album using your templates, etc. LOVE all these products. I can see using those journaling cards on lots of layouts. Thank you so much!

  • 16.
    amy said…

    thanks for the inspiration ali, i am excited to start this project.

  • 17.
    dawn said…

    I read your blog daily. I wanted to do this in 2008 but wasn’t sure then was sorry I didn’t. Just decided today to GO FOR IT!! Don’t have anything ready but will by Monday, I hope. I’m also doing Project Life and blogging about it so that keeps me busy. I love everything you do and all your projects, miss you terribly in my CK magazine. Your style is just what I like. Thanks for doing this project again even though you are busier now with precious Anna. I’m looking forward to seeing your end results. Thanks again

  • 18.
    Deb J said…

    I’m excitedly waiting for Sunday when I am going ot start my week in the life.

  • 19.
    linda said…

    Oh wow, such detail! I think I might have underestimated how much documentation really goes into this, haven’t done this before. I fear my minibook won’t be big enough…eek!

  • 20.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Whatever you have planned will be more than enough Linda! This can really be what YOU want it to be :) .

  • 21.
    Carrie said…

    I just decided to do this project again this year! I’ve commmitted to taking the photos and documenting next week and will set aside a few saturdays to put the album together! I haven’t even decided anything on design. I did this project a few years back at a CKU and it was one of my favorite projects to do! I love the idea of premaking the food, gratitude, etc cards and then handwriting the details every day! Thanks for the daily inspirations!

  • 22.
    Michele H. said…

    I love your design plan Ali!
    Worked on mine a little bit yesterday and am getting really excited. One of the events next week is our daughter’s IEP. A little nervous but happy to get this part of her life documented. Looking forward to next week:)

  • 23.
    Michelle Dobbyn said…

    Hey Ali, I’ve been a long time reader of your blog, and have been thinking of reason ALL week why to not do this project … but finally thought you know what, this could actually be fun and a great learning experience for me. I’m really excited to get started. Thanks for being SO inspiring :)

  • 24.
    Anne said…

    I’ve been wanting to do this project for awhile, and even though we live a very quiet life, I decided it was time. I’m starting today, so I can begin on a high note: the weekend is just more fun. :D Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • 25.
    Leilani said…

    This is phenomenal. Your planning and concepts are inspiring. I’ve been trying to figure out an easy way to document my daily and weekly activities with my boys (newest one arrived on March 16, 2010). Your ideas posted here have give me the structure to do this for even just a week. I’m hoping to take this idea and capture our daily activities. If I can do this, I will feel very accomplished! Thanks for the continual stream of ideas, inspiration and sharing of your ‘story’. This year I’m trying to capture my ‘moments’.

  • 26.
    vee said…

    i can’t wait!

  • 27.
    KimD said…

    I agree – it’s TOTALLY worth the effort and I’m not really a scrap-booker but loved this idea and am so excited to add another “Week in the Life” to my album! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  • 28.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Celebrate the quiet Anne :) . Quiet is wonderful!

  • 29.
    Ali W said…

    I am inspired and think I will do this project this year. My daughter is on school vacation for the next week and I thought of maybe starting on Wednesday so that we inlcude some vacation and some school days. My question to you is whether you “stage” any of your photos? In particular ones like the aerial view of the grocery bags, or those everyday items like food etc. By staging this could be as simple as moving things slightly so the shot is better lit or doesn’t have distractions in the background, or as complex as resetting up an activity cos you missed the shot first time. Thanks, and also, I too love the journal cards and tabs – they will be the first thing I have ever bought as a downloadable file for printing! Thanks

  • 30.
    Dana N said…

    Every year that I read your post I always think what a great idea it is. This year I am actually going to commit to doing the project. I am so excited. Can’t wait for your templates tomorrow!

  • 31.
    Steff said…

    Is there going to be a place to share? A Flickr group or something? It’s just not as much fun if you can’t show off ;-) And see what everyone else is doing…

  • 32.
    Rhonda Z said…

    I have never done “A Week in The Life”. I am so excited! Thanks, Ali.

  • 33.
    kirby said…

    must. stop. gathering.

  • 34.
    Jessie said…

    HI Ali! Really excited to start this and I think I may start tomorrow! I know the pictures and words are no brainers. I hope that I can put it together. My life is not exciting. I am single and not sure what I really do! But I think this is going to be fun and I can not wait to see what unfolds! Thank you for the challenge!

  • 35.
    Melanie said…

    I am SO excited about this project. I did the 25 days of Christmas in 2008 and I love that book still today.

  • 36.
    Ali Edwards said…

    One of the things that I love about this project is that it really makes you aware of what you do “do” daily :) .

  • 37.
    Heidi said…

    I wanted to do this in ’08. But I didn’t. I want to do this in ’10. And I will!!!! :)
    Thanks for the inspiration. Absolutely LOVE the tabs (sentiment & daily). Might have to add those to the gathering of supplies and ideas I already have.
    I’m totally excited to see what I do all week :) ha!

  • 38.
    Alana in Canada said…

    Ali–thanks so much for this. I was wondering if the colour of the the daily ntabs and the sentiment tabs will be able to be changed? I will be working with Word 2010–and it is capable of changing the colours of png files within a pre-set scheme.
    I’d love to use them…but my palette is a bit more lively. :)

  • 39.
    Jenn said…

    Wow! I just found your blog and I’m so… very excited that I did! This sounds like a wonderful idea, an idea that is exactly what I’ve been needing. I just hope I can pull it together and follow you next week? I’m new to your blog and not so sure I understand everything I’ve read… but I so… want to give it a try! I’m excited!
    Jenn :)

  • 40.
    Elisabeth Costa said…

    Hi Ali! Thanks again for sharing this fun project! I have been gathering some stuff together and thinking about altering a 8 1/2 x 11 binder for my album. I was also wondering about being able to change the colour(s) of the journaling cards, tabs, etc. Sorry but I’m not very digitally savvy but thought I’d really like to add these elements to my album and hoping to purchase them when they become available tomorrow:)

  • 41.
    Juliann said…

    Great ideas for pictures to take. I am set with my album and papers. I am using up things I have on hand. Looking forward to this week and next.

  • 42. said…

    I’m so excited to be doing this project! I’m considering purchasing the daily/sentiment tabs because I love them, but I’ve never bought anything digital before so if anyone out there can give me some advice, I’d very much appreciate it. To date, I’m a purely paper scrapbooker. If I understand correctly, I can just print them? Here’s to jumping off the bridge into new territory! So excited about next week!

  • 43.
    Sheryl said…

    This project came at the perfect time. I start a new job in 2 weeks, so it will be great to document the stay at home mom life I have had the past 9 months while unemployed.
    Thanks Ali!

  • 44.
    Peggy said…

    I really like the items you have that will be available on Designer Digitals, however, I don’t have photoshop so my only choice is to print out pdf’s I haven’t figure out yet on there, how to find pdf’s. Also so far I haven’t seen your new stuff listed? Do we have to wait till Monday? Or will it be available this weekend.

  • 45.
    Susan said…

    i’m so excited about doing this. i ordered an album and the baseball protectors. i still have to go over to designer digitals and get some goodies. i’m in the midst of karen russell’s photography class so this is a great chance for me to put two things i love doing together! my kiddos are on spring break this week so it will be a fun week to do it. enjoy your weekend! susan

  • 46.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Peggy – it will be available later today (saturday). The PDF’s are included in the regular package with the PNG files, etc. Do you have Word? You can also open the individual PNG files in word as well.

  • 47.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Yep :) . There will be a PDF in the package of elements with all the tabs on one page. You can print that onto photo paper, cardstock, etc and then cut them out :) .

  • 48.
    Ali Edwards said…

    You can definitely change the color. I include a PSD file (do you have Photoshop) so you can change the background colors. There is a video tutorial that talks about recoloring (and other basics) here:

  • 49.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Welcome! Focus on the basics for next week: taking photos and writing down things about your days – focus on the basic stuff: routines, what you eat, etc.

  • 50.
    Keianna said…

    Hey Ali, a fellow scrapbooker is using business card holders instead of baseball card holders. I am thinking about doing this as well. I wondered if your journaling cards are set up so the orientation can be altered? So horizontal instead of vertical.

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