Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

July 20, 2011

Week In The Life | Thoughts On The Process & Daily Sheet PDF

Next week I’ll be documenting a week in our lives.

Seven days of photos and words, chronicling the little things and the big things that happen from Monday through Sunday.

There’s so many different ways to approach this project. There’s no right or wrong.

  • Maybe you’ll follow along with me and focus on the theme of time this year. Check out my design plan and supply list here.
  • Maybe for you this project will be an attempt to catch just one story per day with words or photos.
  • Maybe for you this project will be all on your blog and you won’t be creating an album.
  • Maybe you’ll go all-out and jot down things as they happen on an hourly basis (even doing this for one day during the week is really cool).

If this is your first time participating in this project I highly recommend you read this post: The Basics Of Documenting A Week In Your Life. I’ve also got completed examples from a couple years available here: 2008 and 2010.

For me this project is about capturing the rhythms of our days over a period of one week. What time are we waking? What time are we falling into bed? What’s special about our family right now? How can I pay close attention to (and honor and celebrate) the things that are happening now which likely won’t be the same next year?

This project is simply an opportunity to capture the real, the basic, the rush, the slowness, the crazy, the simple, the ups and the downs of a single week. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Next week my focus is ONLY on documenting. I won’t be putting the album together at all. I’ll be using my camera and writing things down and just letting the week evolve. The actual bringing it all together will happen the following week.

Week In The Life Schedule

Here’s what’s happening next week:

MONDAY | The week begins with a special Week In The Life giveaway from the 2011 sponsors. The comments on the giveaway will be open through Friday with the winners posted on the following Monday.

TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY | Each day I’ll share my photos and words for the day. At the bottom of each post I’ll include a link widget for you to link to your own blog or site sharing your photos and words. Seeing others photos and reading their words are such a great way to get inspired and to think about other things you’d like to include in your own project.

WEEK OF AUGUST 1 | I’ll be sharing my completed album.

Free Daily Sheets PDF To Help Document Your Week

As I was thinking about how I want to approach my content I remembered that when I first taught this class back in 2005 I included Daily Sheets for people to use to document pieces of their day. I created a new PDF that’s geared towards what I’d like to include in my album and am making it available for you to download here.

The simple idea is to print out this PDF and keep it with you throughout the week for a very easy way to write things down. It’s possible that not everything you write on here will make it into your album and it’s also possible (and likely for me) that I’ll be writing even more stories on the back on these sheets.

My hope is that this will give you a starting place.

The PDF includes 14 pages – 2 for each day of the week. The first page features time by hours (all 24 hours are listed) and the second page includes a spots for food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), observations, gratitude, favorite memory, and overheard.

Download the Week In The Life Daily Sheets here (3.1 MB).

I hope you’re getting excited! Charge up those camera batteries –


  • 1.
    Jo said…

    Thank you Ali for the PDF, I’m sure that will help me keep up to date next week.

    • ….
      Christine said…

      Thanks for the pdf sheets! This should help so much

  • 2.
    JenR said…

    Thank you so much for this! This is my first time doing WITL, and I was beginning to feel just a tad overwhelmed. This makes it feel much less “Big” and more do-able. Thanks!

  • 3.
    Brandy said…

    This is awesome! I am taking a small notebook to jot down times and things to remember, so it can have it with me even at work. I can see using these at the end of each day to get all the details in. Thanks for these and for this project, I love it!

  • 4.
    Alejandra Blanco said…

    Hello Ali. This is my first time doing this project. I really hope I can do it right. Thank you!

  • 5.
    sandi m said…

    SO excited!!! Getting things ready so I can stay on track.

  • 6.
    Melanie said…

    Thank you so much Ali for the PDF file. This will be my first time doing this project and I’m so EXCITED!!! Thanks for all your inspiration.

  • 7.
    o-girl said…

    Thank you for sharing your creative thought process on this project & for the .pdf’s. They’ll be quite helpful.

  • 8.
    Cynthia said…

    Thanks for the PDF, it will be invaluable! I plan to get my supplies together this weekend so that I am ready for Monday! I am pretty excited as I will be a first timer as well.

  • 9.
    Donnie said…

    Hey Ali,

    I will be participating in A Week in the Life for the first time this year and I am so excited. Like you I plan to do all of the documentation during the week and put together the album at the end of the week!

  • 10.
    Christie said…

    I am another first timer, and know these PDFs will be very helpful – thank you!!

  • 11.
    Cindy b said…

    Awesome! Thank u so much Ali! This really gets me jazzed up about this project… Really getting excited about next week!

  • 12.
    DanaN said…

    Thank you for the pdf. I can’t wait to get started!

  • 13.
    cate said…

    thank you! this is the first year WITL has felt doable to me (but my days are busier now than a year ago!) This will help me keep on track even better!

  • 14.
    Robyn said…

    Charge the camera…and buy extra ink for your printer! ;) Holy smokes!

  • 15.
    Christine said…

    Thanks for the PDFs. They look extremely helpful as this will be my first time doing WITL.

  • 16.
    Rebekah Pontow said…

    This PDF has got to be the best thing ever!!! I’m certain this will make documenting so much easier!! Thank you Ali!

  • 17.
    Kathy said…

    I can’t wait……….. I am relived that the week is just the documenting and the following week is the album because it is a huge task to keep up with so I like this idea. Thanks for the downloads they will come in handy. Here we go again…. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  • 18.
    Jenny Meyerson said…

    I took your Today You class in California in 2005 and the 3 albums (3 kids at the time) remain among my most treasured. Week in the Life reminds me of a similar focus and I’m going to do it for the first time this year. Thanks as always for the inspiration and all of the little helps, including this pdf.

  • 19.
    madeline St onge said…

    WOW great idea for the PDF, printing it out now, thank you so much. Can’t wait to start this

  • 20.
    Nicole said…

    This is so awesome Ali, thank you! My daily sheets are printed and clipped into my clipboard – ready to go. My camera battery is charged too, I just need to dig out the tripod. :)

  • 21.
    Myra said…

    This year, I’m taking Hipstamatic photos and using one of Cathy Zielske’s digi Instagram templates. Simple, one page per day approach with a little daily ephemera thrown in.

  • 22.
    Karyn said…

    Thanks so much Ali for providing this PDF. I was just thinking I needed to put something together along these lines so that I could more easily track my week. I didn’t do this last week & really struggled (hence the unfinished 2010 WIL album – the photos are all there but not the documenting/journalling).

    • ….
      Johanna said…

      Your comment made me grin – as my album for 2010 is far from completed, too! Oh, and not even to speak of 2008 :) My goal is to get those pages from 2010 ready (only some digi paper and sentiment tabs missing) and have them printed with the ones from this year – that would be so, so cool. Good luck with tying yours together!

  • 23.
    Laurel said…

    Awesome! Thanks.

  • 24.
    Megan Renfree said…

    Thanks Ali. I am a first timer too, and am drinking up everything you say at the moment in preparation. My supplies are slowly arriving in the mail and I am getting really excited about it. I have hardly been scrapping lately and I am looking forward to getting a week of our life documented to have a record of something for 2011. I just hope I can get enough photos taken.

  • 25.
    erin said…

    Thank You so much for the pdf, i was jus thinking about making something similar now i wont have to. Thank you so much

  • 26.
    Susan Brennan said…

    Thanks for the pdf files. I can’t wait to do this. I do need some advice. The week in the life is overlapping a road trip we’re taking for the last 3 days. What would be a good strategy for dividing this project from the travel journal???

  • 27.
    katie t said…

    Thank you for this, do you think you will be able to get the 12 x 12 digital template up this week?

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Yep! It’s all ready to go ;)

  • 28.
    Manda said…

    So, I’m looking forward to getting back to scrapbooking…. after a VERY long break – and hope this is the inspiration that I need!! I’m just wondering, I’ve been creating separate scrapbooks for both of my children to call their own later in life. How do you see this type of scrapbook being passed down to children. Thanks!

  • 29.
    dawn said…

    This is great Ali, thank you so much for the download. I am somewhat ready but have a couple new ideas I might try out too instead. My kids just informed me to make this year’s bigger and better then last years,lol

    I wanted to ask you if you have a plan for some specific stories or photo ideas next week? Anything like the garden, new house, first summer there?? Just curious.

    Thanks again and I’m so excited.

  • 30.
    Andi Sexton said…

    The words that I am holding to heart are ‘this project is about capturing the rhythms of our days…’ “what time are we waking? etc.’ And… How can I pay close attention to the things that are happening now which likely wont’ be the same next year?

    Ali… I am in your otw class. I have my word.. and I am living it.. big huge steps… and the there is so much that will not be the same next year.. because of my word… My family will not be the same we are all are experiencing the ripples.. that is all I am going to say… it’s personal stuff.. however, WITL will capture ‘this life’ that we have together, for one week, this year.
    And. next year I will to the same and compare them..

  • 31.
    Gail said…

    I was so excited about the timing of this years WITL. And my main goal is to document simply the happenings of the week. These should come in very handy. Thanks, Ali for the pdf’s and WITL.

  • 32.
    Wendy said…

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate you sharing these PDFs! I’m so excited to document our week next week!

  • 33.
    Amber said…

    Thanks Ali, I just printed them out. I’m very excited for this year (as long as it doesn’t start at one AM like last year!). I need to get organized. Last year I had envelopes and folders ready to go and that was so helpful. I also love looking back at my blog and timestamped photos from that week. I’m sure this year will be much different, can’t wait to slow down and take it ALL in for the week!

  • 34.
    Denise said…

    This is so exciting, Its the first time im doing this, so I’m looking forward to it!! Im doing project life this year also.
    In New Zealand its winter and i do find it harder to find things to photograph as we dont do as much. Its awfully cold, but we dont have the fun of any snow to take cute snow photos!! Ideas for photos would be great!! There is only so many photos one can take of fog and frost and ice :)

    • ….
      Jules said…

      Denise, it is funny how always want what someone else has – we are Kiwis (from the depths of Southland) who have been living in remote Western Australia for the past five years. While I don’t miss things like dealing with the laundry in the winter our relentlessly sunny, warm days can be monotonous! We can only plant a vege garden in the winter here as it is so hot in summer nothing will survive. Enjoy the contrasts your winter weather brings you :)

    • ….
      Krisje said…

      I’m with Jules… I live in Belgium and although it should be summer, it looks like fall the last days. Between april and june we had such dry weather, our weatherman called it sahara-like conditions. And now we have chill and showers all day long… I would take pictures of how I and my family cope with the weather: do you have special house-socks for instance, for when your feet are freezing. Do you do games when it’s to cold to go outside. what’s cooking? Any winter time pick me ups? (like coco, or cakes or stews…) Just thinking. Figure u are telling those who don’t live near you, how you deal with this kind of weather.

  • 35.
    annette said…

    Thank you for the PDF! I am excited to actually do this this year!

  • 36.
    rhonda said…

    Ali, I have to say that I’m always inspired by what you create. I’ve done the December Daily and am currently doing Project Life. Do you find that the Project Life and a Week in the Life overlap? I’m not sure how to do both without repeating myself but I really want to give it a try. Thank you!

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Hi Rhonda – for me Week In The Life has always been much more detailed. Rather than a single photo a day or a few over the course of the week, with Week In The Life I might use 20 photos or more for a single day. I’ll still be doing Project Life next week and it will be the same as all my other weeks – more of an overview vs. details in order of our days.

  • 37.
    Laurie Ferguson said…

    Thank you for the starter pages for the week. This is my first time doing the Week in the Life. I am so excited!! I have so many ideas of how I want it to look.

  • 38.
    Jamie D said…

    Just printed my sheets. Thank you so much for these, Ali! This is my 3rd yr doing Week in the Life and these sheets will help a lot!

  • 39.
    Felicia Young said…

    Thank you Ali! This will work for me:)

  • 40.
    Carmel Keane said…

    Ali – I am keen to do this for the first time this year. Next week is not going to be a “typical” week for me. It is school holidays here in NZ – I will be away for a few days and my dughter is competing in a National Trampolining Competition. I can’t decide if it is a good idea to go with this week and document all these events or to wait and do a “normal” week. Any thoughts? I suppose there is no right or wrong way….

    • ….
      Ali said…

      Definitely no right or wrong – this project can be done at any time. It really all depends on what you want to see in your album – if your goal is to really capture the basics of your home life then I’d wait and begin after you return home. If you want a snapshot of your lives right now then go ahead and do next week + include whatever it is you have going on :) .

    • ….
      jennifer said…

      I tend to do my WITL in the Fall when some of the summer craziness has passed (past 2 years)….although I’m tempted to do it with you all this time next week! We just had a summer vaca and there’s still documenting to be done on this end. Either way, you can’t go wrong and if you decide not to do it next week you’ll be even more inspired after seeing what everyone else has done. Good luck! :)

    • ….
      kelly said…

      I’m also having a non-typical week next week. As much as I hate to wait,, I’m going to have to. We’re doing parents & kids swim lessons 4 evenings this week & next, and the evenings have none of our normal rhythm. I’m looking forward to including in the album the fact that I now cook every night — a new thing for me/us, but that isn’t happening w/swim lessons, so I’m going to wait & do a more typical week.

  • 41.
    Shelbie said…

    Thanks for the PDF sheets! I wasn’t quite sure how to organize myself going into this…I’m actually going to start my week tomorrow. I’ve always planned to join in the fun of WITL but this year I’m actually ready to jump in! Thanks so much. :)

  • 42.
    Donna B said…

    Thank you, Ali! I’m printing these daily PDF sheets out right now. That was very kind of you to share these & I think they are exactly what I needed for next week.

    I’ll think I’ll likely just download my photos at the end of each day but everything else will wait until the week after as far as assembling the album.

    Regarding how WITL will correlate with Project Life…I’m doing PL this year as a photo-a-day project. My current thinking is to still do my usual photo-a-day PL layout as usual through the WITL week as I do with every other week because that is my real life and WITL will capture that. I really like the idea that in years to come I will be able to see the small snippet of the day that the PL photo & journaling card captures, then for that very same week I can also refer to the WITL album and see how much more went on every day, how much deeper & richer & full of stories each day actually was.

    Thank you so much Ali, for all your creative inspiration & process around WITL. I am very excited and looking forward to it!

  • 43.
    Jennifer said…

    Thank you for the daily sheets, Ali ♥

  • 44.
    Christine said…

    Thanks so much for the daily sheets :) much appreciated!

  • 45.
    Donelle said…

    I can’t wait to begin this journey. I loved the December Daily,I know i’m going to love this challenge too. The PDF will come in handy thank you.

  • 46.
    Maria said…

    Awesome post, Ali! I really am looking forward to try it this year. :)

  • 47.
    Heidi said…

    OH MY GOODNESS. I printed these IMMEDIATELY, Ali. Last year I had post-it notes all over the place (the first 2 days I was good but after the 2nd day it was post-it note chaos) ;) lol. Too funny (except when I was putting the album together and then it was not as funny…) :)
    I am totally psyched. My kids look at last yr’s album all the time. At least once a week. Esp my little one (who’s 3 1/2). And this year these pages will come in extra handy since I just planned a last minute trip to introduce our children to my best friend from college (and meet her husband & see her son whom I haven’t seen in about 7 yrs!) because we are finally w/in striking distance of her & her family. These pages will be perfect to capture it all minus the post-it notes ;)
    Now…I need to find my camera battery charger which disappeared :O Of course I’ve never misplaced it until now when I really need it! :)
    Heidi in Guelph, Ontario

  • 48.

    Hi Ali,thanks so much for all you do i have printed the daily sheets and have them with my daily schedule from imac —I am a firm believer in the 3 P’s which —purpose process and payoff(result)
    1. purpose to evaluate and document where my time is spent and also have fun looking how I get in my ADD mode spend hours on line!!

    2.process which for me is track and take photos
    3.payoff a glimpse of my week to share and also a complete album of a WITL CIRCA 2011

    This will be a challenge and looking forward to some fun stuff with this also I though of putting this in altered book form instead of traditional album—will see

    Thanks Again

  • 49.
    Faye Warriner said…

    So excited to do this. I am looking forward to creating this special album. Thanks Ali for sharing everything and inspiring me.

  • 50.
    Marygail said…

    Thank you for the PDF files. I haven’t scrapbooked in awhile, and decided yesterday that I should start again. So I’m happy I found that you are starting your WITL again this year just in time. I think it’s the perfect project to get my creative juices flowing again.

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