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: 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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): 


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. Fournhawks says…

    Hi Ali! I love the 2013 digi kit. Does the digi template let you change the 2013 to 2014? Because I know in some of the digi kits it doesn't allow you to change certain things.

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi - the PSD versions have editable layers. In Photoshop you can type in the new date.

  2. christinew1112 says…

    I started to do one a few years ago and never completed so now that I have the kit and your full guidance I hope to complete this one I'm looking forward to it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…

    My Story Stamps arrived today...that would be another great WITL tool for anyone who gets them...because the "get real" theme will probably hit at some point during the week. Don't know about everyone else, but it's hard for a week to go by without having "one of those days" or at least "one of those moments."

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Scrap4_3Luvz says…

    Same question as Bellaa75 ... I do not have PSE and would like to change the dates. *I start my weeks on Sunday. Thank you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. YolandaL says…

    I just wanted to offer some encouragement for anyone who is saying they are "nervous" about getting through this project. I have done WITL only one time in 2010. I took and processed my images and made notes each day and that is ALL I had managed to do...until 2 months ago.

    That's right, I finally created a photo book about a week of our lives in 2010...in 2014. And you know what? I loved that I took the time to capture that time. My daughter was potty training at that time. She was fighting naps. I was struggling as a mom in a way I have SO much sympathy and compassion for now, because I have distance.

    Reading my words and seeing pictures from our old lives put together in a single album has been a gift. And it wouldn't exist if I hadn't taken some photos and wrote some notes 4 years ago. Is the finished book amazing? Is it the most well-designed thing I've ever created? No and no. But it is a time capsule of a life I can't go back to. And for that, I love it.

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. ScrappinMyHeartOut says…

      It's really never too late if you ask me...I operate in both present, past and future...lol with the emphasis on past and trying to catch up! As long as it's fun and rewarding, that's what counts for me.

    2. anandi says…

      This is so great! Thanks for the encouragement. I gave up last year because I felt like I wasn't being comprehensive enough and didn't have enough photos or an hour by hour timeline, when really any documentation I captured would have been great.

  6. Raylene says…

    Hi everybody! I'm doing week in the life this week, simply because I have more stuff happening this particular week. I have done this a few times before and I love the challenge of it. You really zoom in on the every day and take a lot more photos of ordinary things. I try to do this all year, but this special week gives me a "shot in the arm", a refresher on taking more close-ups!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. chrys23 says…

    hey ali, i was wondering if you got the 6x8 daily sheets up for us to use?

    thanks, chris

    Reply 4 Replies
    1. ximena says…

      I was also looking for them! I'd like to have them ready for next Monday.

    2. Theresa says…

      I was also looking. Thanks for asking the question.

    3. geordie281 says…

      Me too!!!

    4. AliEdwards says…

      Hey guys - ack - sorry! Those should be updated within this post tomorrow.

  8. Marjorie30 says…

    Hi Ali.
    I suppose you're not doing any digital files with foreign words, am I right? I was waiting for an answer before I buy the templates. Just to make sure I would have time to prep. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. princessmemo says…

    I'm so excited to get started too. I decided I'm going to make this book digitally, a la Shutterfly. I would LOVE to play with paper and embellishments, but I am in a season where the only way I can see this project getting done is to do a little each night after the kids go to bed, and at the end of that week print and be done. Thanks Ali for helping me embrace what's real. I've followed you for a long time and during that I've been able to shed my perfectionism and just enjoy the process and complete my albums without expectations and unnecessary pressure. I'm forever grateful. Happy scrapping!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. littlelamm says…

    Are the 6x8 daily sheets available yet? I cannot wait for Monday!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Yep - look above under INTENTION LIST - click on the orange type to download.

  11. soonermama says…

    Hi, I like the 4x6 printables as a journaling card. Any chance of a stand alone 6x8 version? Just a pdf for printing and then writing on? I don't really want or need the rest of the big layered packet and have a hard time spending $15 for just that one printable. Not sure if anyone else is interested, and may be too much work, but just an idea. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. needtime2scrap says…

    this will be my 3 time around doing WITL and I am promising myself to BE IN THE PICTURES! Not just my feet or a part of my hands...I'm setting up my camera with the timer, not sure how technically good they will be be but I'll be in there!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. anniebeagle says…

    I hear you on "where are the words?" I just finished my 2013 December Daily album, and had no journaling to use, so I only wrote a short caption for each photo. In years past, I wrote a paragraph for each day. Looking back through that album, there are so many details I can remember because I recorded them, or reading one thing I recorded jogs my memory to remember other things. Week in the Life is like that too. So many details. My brain works in complete sentences, and so my journaling is looooong. I have tried so many times to make it more list-like or poetic, even, and it just doesn't work for me. Even the daily sheets (which I so wish I could make work) just don't cut it. I need pages and pages of notebook paper. :) Because of that, I've ended up making three sections in my Week in the Life binders. One for the digital layouts, one for all the school papers and stuff I decided to save, and one for my handwritten journaling pages. It takes a lot out of me to record all those notes for a week, so when I'm done, I usually don't want to go back and summarize or pull out the highlights, and end up having little to no journaling on my layouts. I think that's OK, though, because when I want to sit down with those albums, I can quickly look through the photos or I can take my time and pour through the detailed journaling. I do both from time to time. :) I really love how you encourage all of us to make it our own and do what works for us. This will be my fifth year to do Week in the Life, and I'm looking forward to it. :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Jodiemaree says…

    The best surprise was waiting on my doorstep this afternoon, I didn't think it would arrive in time (living in Australia)for Monday's start, but it has...and it's beautiful, I love every single piece included...SO EXCITED FOR MONDAY ... can't wait to get started...Thanks Ali for being so accessible to those of us on the other side of the world...you truly inspire me... :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. cdnwithlittleaussies says…

    Hi Ali,
    I am planning to have a go at this for the first time and have purchased the 6x8 templates and was thinking of doing it in photo book with Artifact Uprising. I was playing with the photo book during the week and it looks like there is a border around the outside of the page and I am not sure if that is just while I am loading or if it will appear on my finished book. So I'm not sure whether it would work, adding the completed templates to the photo book. Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? I think it would be awesome to have a little library of these each year. Thanks Kimberly

    Reply 2 Replies
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I think you might need to set it up so that each page is a full-bleed page. I can't remember if you are able to do that in AU or not because they have set templates. If you can replace and move the pages around you'd want them to be ones without a border. I've had really good luck sending them messages via customer service - I'd recommend doing that to get the best information.

    2. cdnwithlittleaussies says…

      Thanks Ali. It was so much fun documenting today. I can't wait to see the finished product!

  16. SparkleDelight says…

    I am wondering if the Layered Templates are able to be used in Lightroom? Does anyone know?

    And an awesome synchronicity, I decided last week to do my WITL starting this week, and just now thought I will have a look at Ali's site for some inspiration, and wow, somehow I have picked the 'right' week to do WITL!

    Lovely new site too Ali!

    Thanking you from Sunshine Coast, Australia! Love Natalie

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. AliEdwards says…

      Hi! I don't think you are able to work with layered PSD files in Lightroom but I could be totally wrong. You need to be able to use a program that allows you to work with layers - I don't use Lightroom so I'm not sure if it has that ability.

  17. torysmama14 says…

    Not sure who came out with the idea to ship out the international orders early, but THANKS to you! I was worried that mine wouldn't show up in time, but it did!

    Reply 1 Reply
    1. shannan_mm says…

      I'm in Sydney and still haven't received mine yet?

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