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Week In The Life™ 2014 | The Really Big Getting Ready Post

Next week you're invited to join me in documenting seven consecutive days in your life.  

This will be my 9th time embarking on a Week In The Life™ project

Last year I shared a look back at spreads from each of my past albums - you can read about that here.

Each year I take a little time before starting my new week to look back on the previous year. 

As I looked through last years album (2013) my number one question was "where are the words?" 

Of course there are some there. Little bits of life, which I love and appreciate. But I think the reality is that I slacked off on that last year - maybe that's not exactly the right phrase or way of looking at it. I can't remember if it was because I was tired, bored, too busy, depressed, in a hurry or just wanting to leave the words out, but when I looked at that album I felt like there were details missing. I felt like I missed an opportunity. 

As I was writing this out I went and looked at my daily blog posts from last year - I actually wrote more words there vs. what got added to my album. Interesting.

Now when I come across something like that I don't beat myself up. I make a note and set an intention to do something differently the next time around. 

Hello next time. 

I want the words to go along with the photos. Period. I'm the only person that can make that happen in my albums. 

Just saying it out loud to myself, and to you guys, will help me make it a priority once again this year. 

Here's a look at some thoughts as we get closer to documenting the week: 

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT NEXT WEEK

1. I will be sharing my words and photos each day on my blog. Monday will be shared on Tuesday and so on. My main intention next week is to simply document. I save the creative stuff for after the documentation period so I can focus on that portion of the project first and foremost. Really all you need for next week is a camera and a way to write down what's happening (pen, computer, etc). You might also want to have an envelope for each day of the week if you want to include other papers and such that you might collect over the course of the day. 

2. Some people like to get their album set up in advance. If you are one of those people, go for it! I don't generally do that for this project, as I mentioned above, but as with all these creative projects I encourage you to embrace what works for you. 

INTENTION LIST

This year I've had some thoughts in advance of things I know I want to capture. Most years I just charge up my camera battery, print out the Daily Sheets (an 6x8 version will be available later today), and go for it. Download the 6x8 Daily Sheets here.

Lately I've been thinking about things (stuff, routines, etc) that maybe I haven't photographed or written about lately. I like photos that show the things I'm using, the stuff that's part of our lives. Many of the photos answer the question, "what makes up the stuff of my life right now?"

Here's a few things I know I want to capture with my lens: 

  • the contents of my bag (my current go-to stuff)
  • face front shots of each kid against the white wall
  • cards with each of our ages on it - maybe a favorites card for each of us
  • a family shot of the three of us (me, Simon and Anna)
  • shots of basic stuff: toothpaste, the kind of bread we eat, fridge with the doors open, etc. 

Why the basic stuff? Because it changes. Because it's interesting to see in 5, 10, 20 years. I would love to see photos of that kind of stuff from when I was a kid - what were we eating, what were we wearing, what were we listening to, etc. 

PLEASE REMEMBER | This is not a race to see who can take the most photos. You don't have to take a photo of every little thing every single day. 

Because, seriously, who needs that many photos? 

That said, I definitely use this week as an opportunity to take more photos than I normally do of our everyday lives. Without a doubt every single time I do this project I get some photos that I absolutely love. 

ACTION LIST

1. Think about what you'd really like to capture during this week. What photos do you really want to take? What stories are you on the lookout for?  

2. Download and print the Daily Sheets. I thought about re-working these but when I sat down to look at them I felt like they still cover the things I want to focus on - they are a great starting place for writing stuff down. 

3. If you ordered the kit, take some time to look through it and see which cards you might want to use during the week (vs. ones you'd fill in after). There's a couple in there that are good jumping off points for stories to tell during the week. 

4. Consider purchasing the Week In The Life™ layered templates (in 6x8 or 8.5x11) or the 4x6 printable cards/overlays (these are great if you just want to include pieces of this project in Project Life®). See below for more details on those sets.  

5. Charge your camera battery. I tend to use my bigger camera vs. my phone during this week. I usually include a few phone photos but most tend to be with my 5D. If you print photos at home you might also want to check your ink levels to see if you need to order more ink. 

6. Get your head in the right place. This isn't a competition. This isn't about who has the best or the most or crafting the perfect story of your perfect life, this is about documenting what is real in your life at this point in time via words and photos and intentional embellishments. You are not going to get in trouble if you forget to take photos or write things down. If you find you forgot at one point or another it's no big deal, just start where you left off. Every year someone leaves a comment that they woke up and forgot to take photos on Monday morning so they end up bagging the entire project. That is not what this is about. 

SUPPLIES TO CONSIDER

Here's some supplies to consider using to tell the stories of your week: 

UPDATED DESIGN PLAN | I've updated my initial design plan to accommodate two styles of page protectors that were included with the album. You can download that on the pre-order page here. Click on the orange link that says "click here to download sketch."

KIT | Many of you have purchased and received the Week In The Life™ kit. Obviously this isn't a requirement for participation. If you are still interested there are a few kits still available here

DIGITAL PRODUCTS | New sets are available this year in a 6x8 and 8.5x11 versions (see below for a 4x6 option) that include PSD and PDF and PNG files. I'll share a tutorial on how I used the layered templates when I share how i put my album together. You can view my 2013 layered template tutorial for Week In The Life™ here (it uses a previous template set but gives you the basic idea).

Here's a look at what's included in both the 6x8 and 8.5x11 digital packages:

These packages include a PDF of the 7 main weekday pages (without the grey box). 

This is for easy printing if you want to print out the pages and then add a photo, journaling or other embellishments directly on top. 

Here's what the PDF pages look like printed out on Epson Matte Presentation Paper

Also included in the package are 7 photo collage pages: 

You can mix and match these within your album. 

Here's a look at both pages together (using photos from last year): 

WEEK IN THE LIFE™ IN PROJECT LIFE®

If you are looking to incorporate this project into your Project Life® album you might be interested in the Week In The Life™ 4x6 PNG/PDF set

These files can be printed via the PDF or you can add the PNG files directly on top of your photos:

I used this idea last year (using the 2013 templates) and here's how that turned out: 

You can read the full post about putting that together here

You can scroll through all my past Week In The Life™ project posts in the archives here

I'm really looking forward to embarking on this adventure again. I learn something new about myself each and every time.

Questions? Excited? Nervous? Let's do this together!

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72 thoughts

  1. NickieB says…
    10/20/2014

    I can't wait :-) I participated in week in the life last year for the first time I took lots of photos and wrote heaps of notes on the work sheets but have not yet put it all together but that is not stopping me from documenting my week this year. I have preordered the kit but live in Australia so have not received it yet. I hope it comes next week so I can take a photo of it and record it as part of my week :-) I am also thinking about starting my week on Friday as we are going away for the weekend. This is not a typical thing for us which I will definitely note that in my Journalling but my work days are the same every shift so it would be nice to record not all work like it was for my week last year. So excited. Thanks Ali!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. hlgray73 says…
    10/20/2014

    If I were to order the kit today would it likely get here in time? (I'm in MN.) I have tried this project at least five times and have yet to complete it and I keep thinking this is the year!!! I already bought the digital stuff....but maybe completing it traditionally will help?

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. cyndyib says…
    10/20/2014

    this is my fifth year participating! the other four albums are complete (or very close). I look forward to this project each time, and more as the years go by, because there is nothing like looking back at a completed WITL album. this year we are in a new phase of our lives as we have moved from our home on Vancouver Island to Saudi Arabia - wow my album will look different in so many ways...and I also can't wait to see how similar it looks. there will still be lots of food, piles of books, pets, to-do lists and more. I know this project will help to remind me (and my family) all we have to be thankful for - every day is not easy here and we are still adjusting. thank you for expedited shipping and a beautiful kit. can't wait to start on Sunday. first difference - our week starts Sunday!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. kristeng says…
    10/20/2014

    So excited! This will be my first year participating, and I am thrilled for the challenge.

    I decided this year to keep it simple, stop stressing out about creating my own layouts, and use smaller inserts in my Project Life album. Your kits are BEAUTIFUL, and once I've tried out the project, I'm sure I'll be diving a little deeper next year.

    Thank you so much for this project that we can all share.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Stryx says…
    10/20/2014

    This is my first year doing Week in the Life! I'm really excited to join in! I've not joined in in the past because of the pressure I put on myself to create the days pages in my album on the same day! Crazy! Now I've given myself permission to make sure I capture everything in words and pictures and just take it from there! I'm going to print out the Daily Sheets today and have a real good think about how and what stories I really want to capture. Thank you for making this project so accessible!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. mjacchina says…
    10/20/2014

    Could you share the font you used for the date? I'm doing WIL this week so I will need to change the dates on my template. Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      Hi! Try Helvetica - really any sans serif font would work great there!

  7. mtercha says…
    10/20/2014

    This is my first year. I'm a little nervous because I can get tripped up by things out of my control. But I thought hey just document it. And absolutely no pressure.

    I received my kit a few days ago. It's really awesome and I love it.

    Thanks very much for the daily sheets, and thanks for the encouragement.
    Michelle t

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Borcherding says…
    10/20/2014

    Thank you Ali for these little tips. I think I am going to start thinking about an INTENTION list for next week as well as look at our overall "schedule" to get a feel for what days I might me able to take pictures more than others and NOT stress if I don't take any on a particular day. I am worried about the words and getting the story down. Wish me luck! :)

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      You can do it! One day at a time :).

  9. marieterec says…
    10/20/2014

    I'm a little late to the game. Just ordered a kit. Suggestions on where to buy an album, and what kind, since I missed out on that option. Thanks, Ali.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. desilei says…
    10/20/2014

    Hi Ali. I started WITL today. For the first time. I think I'm just trying to figure out how to do it. I'm walking around with a little notebook, jotting down times. But now as I sit at my workspace (I work from home on Mondays and Fridays) I can tell I'll have a few hours of down time. But I think I'll use some of this time to walk around my house and take pictures while the kids are out. The main problem I have is that my home is very dark. I'm in a middle unit townhouse so I have few windows. I'm bummed my pictures will not be as bright as I would like. Anyway, this has been interesting 3 hours so far! It's a lot of work! But man, I'm super excited to tackle this! --Desiree

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Divinemsq says…
      10/20/2014

      You can always adjust the exposure in editing software once you upload the pics to your computer. Don't let the lack of good lighting in your house derail you. Remember the old saying - "the best camera you have is the one in front of you." I'm a substitute teacher & will be taking all of my work-related pics with my iPhone with crappy classroom lighting. And you can always write a journal card that talks about your house & its crappy lighting - that's documenting the "here & now."

      Have fun! I've done 3 of these albums & they're the only theme album I've ever managed to totally complete!

  11. Julie_Paradise says…
    10/20/2014

    I hereby declare: I will cheat! Yep. That is the ugly truth. ;-)

    I will because I have noticed the last 3 times I tried to do it the way it was intended, to capture a week, one week of 7 consecutive days, that I only got to take notes and fotos every other day, and since for me this is not the point of this project but to have a record of the things that happen in a short period of time in my life, I find it okay to piece more than 1 week together. I typically get a good amount of special moments and everyday life in 2-3 weeks, so this is what I will do.
    Writing this I still mean to thank you Ali for this awesome idea and your openness regarding "whatever fit your style", I just mean to encourage people who do wake up on the first day and forget the fotos and then ´not even start. Those need to remind themselves that anything is better than nothing.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      Love that you make it work for you!

    2. StaceyH03 says…
      10/21/2014

      I so very much love your honesty!!! It helps me relax knowing that there is at least one other person "cheating"!!!

  12. papergoddess says…
    10/20/2014

    I'm always hesitant to do this bcz I feel like my life isn't always interesting enough... However I like your approach and the digital templates. I may just be an observer next week then try it a different week. Lately I've been thinking about going back in time and recording some stories from childhood, so maybe I could find a way to correlate it to this.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. Divinemsq says…
      10/20/2014

      One thing that always helps me is to think about previous generations in my family. What kinds of things would I love to know about their daily lives? That helps me when I get into the "my life is boring" trap.

      Another thing I do before the week begins is go back through old family photos & make a list of the things that grabs my attention in them - things like clothing, hair styles, product packaging, technology (rotary dial phones, anyone?). Then I make sure those same things are documented in my WITL photos.

      I also document what's going on in the world each day. I take a screen shot of our local newspaper's app on my phone, as well as screen shot of the weather app. Sometime during the week, I'll do one of those "price everyday items" lists. A picture of the gas prices always pops up in my album as well.

      I hope this helps! I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that everyone else's lives always seems more interesting than our own. But, to someone else, you're the "everyone else" to them!

  13. scrappysue says…
    10/20/2014

    Wow WITL came round quickly! I absolutely LOVE the kit and look forward to using it next week. It will be half term over here, so I went into a bit of a spin, since I want to include our normal routines. Then I realised I can just start in the middle of the week, so I can include some of half term and some of "normal" school days. Had to laugh at myself for trying to make it more complicated than it needed to be :) Good luck everyone and hope you have a wonderful week!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. mtercha says…
      10/20/2014

      Thanks! You, too. Enjoy. Michelle t

  14. lbateman5383 says…
    10/20/2014

    i am SO excited to participate this year in WITL. this year, i can document and relish in this week as i document what it is like to be a NEW mom to my ever blossoming 6 month (almost 7) old. i am SO excited to really focus on the details, our routines, our "ordinary" and document this very special and fleeting time. SO excited to play, work and document along with everyone. xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. deniseweatherby says…
    10/20/2014

    This is my first time doing WITL and I'm pretty pumped about it. I love the kit and the downloads. I always say my life is pretty monotonous and boring, but yet people regularly tell me, my life is crazy and fun and we are always doing something out of the norm, and that we should have our own reality show. My intention with this week, is to look my life and see what others see. Not what I consider normal and boring but what an outsider might see, if they were to spend an entire week within our household. My children are both adults, and I was worried that would make this more difficult, but they spend so much time with us, I'm hoping to capture some pics of them also. I have started to set my album up a bit, and my ONLY complaint so far, is that I know I will want more pages. Studio Calico seems to be out of stock. I wish they had them available, considering no other pages fit these albums, but I will get them eventually, and obviously this is not your fault.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. pepper56 says…
    10/20/2014

    Thanks Ali for doing this every year. I absolutely love thie project! This year I have gone digital with the daily sheets (after experiencing the lost of my papers last year ) I have also started a forum thread over here hoping everyone can pop in to discuss about their WITL project :) http://forum.paperclipping.com/topic/935-week-in-the-life-2014/ Do pop by :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Shannon_Primicerio says…
    10/20/2014

    This is my second year participating in WITL and I can't wait! I have my kit and digital files all ready to go.

    But I do have a question. Is there a way to purchase more page protectors? Since they are 6-ring I can't use my stash and think I might want a few more pages. Thanks!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      Hi Shannon - we don't have any available at this time but we will in the coming months.

  18. ytophelia says…
    10/20/2014

    I got my kit today and I cannot wait for next week! WITL this year is falling on a very interesting week - the week all our belongings get packed up and I move to England; however, my husband is staying in the US for a few more months and my daughter is in Virginia so my WITL will have three points of view. I originally contemplated using a different week, but I thought WITL might be the best way to capture everything that is going to happen this week - our home will be completely emptied, scrubbed, and staged for sale the day before I get on a plane, and I'm excited about focusing on capturing it instead of freaking out about everything that needs to get done (but by then it's really "zero hour" and I've done everything I can in advance).

    I love WITL. This is my third year, but I'm really excited about the kit - I tend to do much better (re: I actually might complete it) when I'm working from a kit as opposed to picking from a stash.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. joblackford says…
      10/29/2014

      Wow, what a crazy week! I wish I had something like that from when I moved overseas. I'm not sure if it would have been too much at the time, but looking back I can't even remember the details - it was all so overwhelming. Good luck with the big move!

  19. Pinkpea14 says…
    10/20/2014

    I downloaded yesterday Becky Higgins' list of everyday life photo ideas, which I am going to use for inspiration. I always give myself a little space for "home shots" (current organization, drawers, decorations etc.), which will be inserted in any day where I need them. That takes the pressure off of me for not having "enough" pictures and I can focus on the importance of the daily stories. :)

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      Yep! Great idea.

    2. Raylene says…
      10/22/2014

      omg! I just downloaded it too! I didn't expect a list quite this complete!!

    3. sheliak says…
      10/26/2014

      Where do you find this list?

    4. Ravenwood1950 says…
      07/27/2015

      Somebody please post a link to the suggestions for photos to take. I never have enough photos! Please!
      Darlene

  20. carrieactually says…
    10/20/2014

    Are you planning to include Halloween details in your week in the life album since they will overlap or are you just going to do regular day to do stuff in this album?

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      I'll definitely be including some photos since it's happening on that day. Holidays are still regular days for the most part :).

  21. bytesprite says…
    10/20/2014

    This is my first year of doing this project. I think it sort of mirrors what I do in my project life, so my challenge will be trying to make it different than my project life book. I think the focus on adding feelings into it will be the trick so I am ready to journal my heart out. I am an empty nester. I think this could be a very therapeutic week. Lord, help my husband. I may need a bigger book. ;)

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. CathG says…
    10/20/2014

    I hardly ever take photos on the go (there are times where I'm still carrying both children, parking lots for example) so I'm really going to try to capture that. I'm kinda shy about taking photos in public but for one week I can get over it!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…
      10/20/2014

      You can do it! Make sure to get some shots that include you as well.

  23. PolkaDotCreative says…
    10/20/2014

    This is an incredibly wonderful, straight foreword guide full of ideas and 'how-tos". Thank you! Questions? No Excited? Yes. Nervous? Not now that I've read this post. Let's do this!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. wawter says…
    10/20/2014

    My kit arrived today! Can't wait to get into it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Bellaa75 says…
    10/20/2014

    Hi Ali, can you change the date on the PDF layered templates as I'm doing mine this week? I don't have photoshop so want to print and adhere photos. Thanks :)

    Reply 3 Replies
    1. StaceyH03 says…
      10/21/2014

      I am also wondering about this! I am starting on Sunday October 26....I have photoshop elelments but really only use it for edits.

    2. AliEdwards says…
      10/21/2014

      If you are simply opening the PDF and printing then no, you can't adjust that (because PDF's aren't generally editable). You could print them out and cover the date space with pattern paper and add the date somewhere else. You would need Photoshop (or some editing program) to be able to erase the dates.

    3. JoEades says…
      10/22/2014

      So if I use the .psd I can change the date then? I'm doing mine in November. Thanks

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