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Week In The Life™ 2023 | Community Tips

As part of our 2023 Week In The Life™ Prep Day, we had a fantastic community zoom chat. So many great ideas ranging from mentality, to preparation, to managing expectations were shared. The call was recorded and is available to view in the classroom. We wanted to bring at least a small sample of the community's collective wisdom together here on the blog. Thank you to everyone who participated! 

1. Be the Boss of this Project

  • Don't attempt to tell every story and capture every moment this week. Take some of the photos, document some of the stories and know that the sum is greater than the parts.
  • Acknowledge the ebbs and flows of the project. Monday you will likely take ALL the photos, Thursday you will have less.  And that's ok. This project is a marathon and not a sprint. 
  • Whatever you get done is better than nothing. You define what is enough. 
  • Establish a structure and format that works for you. Many people are using a journal, some are documenting in a travelers notebook. Some are making a photo book. 
  • Don't forget that you are the main character of your story. Everyone else is a supporting character. 

2. Preparation + Planning

  • Revisit old albums for a reminder of what you like and don't like, in terms of stories and photos.  
  • Decide on an album size before starting the project. This may help guide your photo taking. But don't forget that cropping can work wonders. 
  • Play with the product beforehand and set aside your favorites. This may influence stories you want to tell or photos you want to take. 
  • Want to avoid feeling overwhelmed? Establish a formula beforehand. If you do, you will know exactly how many photos you "need" for each day.
  • Check your stash of different sized page protectors. You have so many configurations available if you are willing to trim/cut your page protectors. 
  • Don't be afraid to pivot if things don't go according to plan. 
  • Your process may look different according to your season of life…from year to year or even to day.
  • Lean into what you are most excited about. Photos? Words? Product? Spend the most time on the things that bring you joy. 

3. Stories 

  • Think about the stories that matter to YOU. If it matters to you, it matters, period. 
  • There is value in reflective journalling, in stories noted in the moment, and journalling done at the end of each day. They each bring different layers to your story. 
  • Fun tip: use sticky notes to jot down details and just stick them in your album. What a fun and easy way to incorporate handwriting! 
  • Invite your people to participate in whatever way makes sense for them. Teenagers may text photos, parents can send emails, screenshot text messages with friends. 
  • Having a story plan can help when you're feeling uninspired or stuck. Here are just a few examples:
    • five things
    • gratitudes
    • letter to yourself
    • letter to your people
    • around here
    • five senses (I see, I hear, I smell)
    • I want to remember
    • focus on a different family member each day (you could include a family pet!)

4. Photos

  • Create an album on Pinterest or Instagram (wherever you find inspiration) dedicated to photo inspiration for Week In The Life™ and add to it all year. 
  • Consider repeating your favorite photos from previous years. 
  • Establish categories beforehand to narrow the scope of your picture taking and possibly make it feel less overwhelming.
  • First time? Perhaps start with three photos: one in the morning, afternoon, and evening each day. 
  • Consider using "filler photos" or photos that are not tied to a specific day of the week. You can take these in the beginning of the week when you have the most motivation, or you can address gaps at teh end of your documenting week. 
  • Don't forget screenshots as stories: music, text messages, emails, daily calendars, memes, podcasts, etc. 
  • Repeated photos are great! Want to capture your coffee mug each morning? Your outfit at work? Everyone at the dinner table? Make that plan in advance. 
  • Progression photos! Whether you are watching flower bloom or completing puzzle, this could be a fun element to include in your album. 
  • Consider doing a daily delete or favorite your photos. This might cut down on overwhelm later in the process. 
  • Join in our Community Photo Share:
    • MONDAY | On my desk:  #aeonmydesk⁠
    • TUESDAY | In the dark: #aeinthedark⁠ 
    • WEDNESDAY | On my plate: #aeonmyplate ⁠ 
    • THURSDAY | My stuff: #aemystuff⁠ 
    • FRIDAY |  Their stuff: #aetheirstuff⁠ 
    • SATURDAY | On the couch: #aeonthecouch⁠ 
    • SUNDAY | In the yard: #aeintheyard⁠

5. Miscellaneous Friendly Reminders

  • Certain things are best captured on a daily basis:
    • Weather 
    • Front Pages (the Front Pages app does not keep a database, grab your front page of choice each day)
  • Tracking numbers? Think about what you are tracking at the beginning of the week. 
  • Inspiration is a wonderful thing, comparison is not. Be aware of how much time you are scrolling for inspiration, versus the time you spend telling your story.

These tips and so many more were shared over in the classroom. We highly recommend you check at the recorded call. Bring on the stories! 

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2 thoughts

  1. Rina_AbbottJard says…

    Super awesome post. Thank you Week In The Life Community for the collective brainpower and collaboration!

    Reply 0 Replies
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