Tips and Ideas for Documenting a Week in the Life

Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in Week in the Life, along with Ali Edwards and many other people around the world. This is a week-long project, where you document the details of the week with photos and words, to turn into an album at the end. This will be my 4th year participating, and over time, I’ve realised that I’m good at the documenting part, but not so good at the album making part!

Dinner

My tips for making this project work:

  • Firstly, join in on the same week Ali runs the project (this year it’s from September 9th-15th). It’s much easier to stay motivated if you do this at a similar time to other people!
  • Work out how you are going to document the week. I plan on using Ali’s daily sheets to record everything, as it’s quick and easy to do, and I’ll include extra details such as weather. Print the sheets, grab a pen, and your ready to go. Alternatively, a notebook will also work
  • Charge your camera battery. I’ve had my camera battery die in the middle of the day before. Not fun! I try to charge it at the start, and usually once or twice more throughout the week. I usually use my point and shoot and DSLR for this project for the higher photo quality
  • Have an idea of how you may put your pages together. For me, I will be using an 8 1/2×11 album and making my pages digitally. I will likely use a similar format to what I did last year of an enlarged 8 1/2×11 photo, divided basketball page protector of extra photos, and an 8 1/2×11 page of journalling, maybe with a few extra photos on there. I shared my base page ideas for the last couple of years here as well. If you need ideas, you can check out Ali’s archives for this project here, which includes lots of awesome ideas!
  • Don’t try to take photos of absolutely everything on Monday, or you may burn out early on! I aim for 15-20 decent photos throughout the day, but will usually take even more. If you have something you want to include throughout the week, chances are if you miss it on Monday, you will still be able to get it later on in the week! If you miss something you want to include, make a quick note and you can go back and get a shot later
  • Keep it simple… A week is a long time for an intense project like this. The easier you make it, the more likely you will be to stick to it! My goal is just to get photos and words for the first week, the rest can come later

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For anyone who thinks their life is too boring for this project, I disagree! I don’t have kids or pets, I live in a unit and don’t have a garden, I’m stuck in an office for 8 hours a day, yet I have still completed this quite easily! Here are some ideas on what you can document and photograph:

  1. Yourself – Favourite things like music and shows, what you are currently doing (my currently posts includes lots of ideas you can use for prompts!), guilty pleasure, quotes you love, projects you want to do, strengths and weaknesses, fashion style, collections, to-do lists, etc. So many details you can include about yourself. Don’t forget to include lots of photos of yourself as well… You may want to enlist someone to help take pictures of yourself, or you can become best friends with your self timer
  2. People you Love – Friends, family, anyone you spend time with throughout the week. Document your relationship with them, things you love about them, how you met, fun times you’ve had together, how often you see or talk to them, why you want them in your life, etc. You could even write a letter to them to hide away behind a photo
  3. Pets – I may not have pets, but I still take plenty of photos of my Mum’s and sister’s pets. Also, random birds you see when your out and about come up a lot for me. You can include details about your pets personality, why you love them, how you chose their name, your routines surrounding them, how spoilt they are, what you feed them, etc
  4. Food – Cooking, meals you eat, where you eat out, recipes, favourite foods. This all changes a lot… I eat completely differently to what I did a year or 2 ago, and it’s interesting to see the changes in what I love and what I cook
  5. Your Home – From the street, you address, around the house, decorating projects, corners of the house you like, what your place looks like in your everyday life, furniture, floor plans, samples of paints and fabric for projects, etc. It would be awesome to look back on what you old house was like once you’ve moved away!
  6. The area around your Home – Place you like to go, how you get between the places, parks, attractions around you, favourite restaurants, special things about your area, what you love about the area you live in, etc
  7. Your Garden – Why you planted something, plants you like, do you have a green thumb or brown thumb, favourite things you grow, details about particular plants you have, changes you would like to make around the garden, etc
  8. Hobbies – Some of us only have one or 2 hobbies, so have many. Have you ever documented them? You could share details about how you ended up starting a hobby, your current project your working on, why you like it, hobbies you’ve tried but don’t really like, how you store your supplies, how long a week you spend doing each one, what your friends/family think of your hobby, etc. There are so many things you could include here! And this is something that typically doesn’t get as much documentation as it deserves, too.
  9. The Weather and Season – What season is it? What do you love/dislike about the current season? Any days where the weather is out of the ordinary eg rain in summer? What do you usually wear during the season? You can include photos of storm clouds, rainbows, umbrellas and gumboots, sunrises and sunsets, cloudless skies, plants coming into bloom in spring, leaves falling of trees in autumn, etc
  10. Your Routines – Over the last few years, my routines have changed dramatically… I used to work nights, and sleep half the day, now I’m up early and go to bed early, for example. It’s interesting to be able to look back and see the differences!
  11. Work – What you do for work, where you work, how you get to and from work, what you love about your job, why you chose this job, hours you work, daily routine at work, etc
  12. Technology – This is something every changing, so it’s interesting to document. You could list what computers, cameras, etc you currently have, what you like about them, specifications, what you would love to upgrade to, when you brought it and how much you paid, etc
  13. Chores – Who does what around the house, tasks you like/don’t like much and why, what chores you do each day, etc
  14. News Headlines – Anything that catches you eye in the news lately? You can include cuts out from the paper, photos of headlines, print outs from the net, etc, both local and world-wide. This could be fascinating to look back on! Things like political changes, current events, the birth of a new prince, etc
  15. Trends of the Year – If you do a google search you could include things like top artists and movies for the year, fashion trends, trends in whatever hobbies you do, etc
  16. Prices of things you buy regularly – Petrol prices, regular groceries like bread, milk, eggs, etc that you get each week, etc. You can include grocery lists or receipts as well or just list them out.
  17. Challenges of the Week – There is usually at least something that comes up here… It could be that you get sick, something important to you breaks, you have work struggles, you manage to destroy an entire meal by burning it. anything causing a struggle during the week could be interesting to look back on!
  18. Purchases you Make – You could include tags from clothes, receipts, photos of what you buy, details about why you buy something, eg run out, impulse buy, etc
  19. Everyday Life – Things you do, emails or text messages your receive, blogs you check each day, screenshots from your favourite phone apps, inside your handbag, things you can’t live without, random sites you see, places you visit during the week, how you usually get around from A to B, to-do lists, grocery lists, little notes you write, quotes you hear someone say, etc
  20. What you are Grateful for – Even if you only list one or 2 things a day, this will be interesting to look back on. It’s good to recognise the special things in your life that you are grateful for, too.

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For anyone who thinks they have photographed everything, then use this as a chance to experiment with your photography. Photography things from different perspectives eg up above or from the ground, photograph things leaving white space that you can use for journalling, use your timer so that you can be in shots, learn some new camera settings so you can play with focus and shutter speed more, capture details along with the whole scene, search for good light and play with artificial light, and fill your frame with your subject. There are so many fun things that you can try with this project!

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I believe this is a worthwhile project, as your life is always changing, and it can be super fun to look back on what things were like a year, 2 years, 3 years ago! Jobs may change, kids may come along, you may move house or renovate your place, partners may come and go… It’s fun to see what your everyday life was like at any point in time!

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You can see my photos and words from each day last year here, where you may get some other ideas:
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday, FridaySaturday and Sunday
I will be sharing my photos and words here again each evening, just like last year.

The Entrance

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6 thoughts on “Tips and Ideas for Documenting a Week in the Life

    • It doesn’t take too much time each day… About 10 minutes a day for the writing side of things, and very little time to take the extra photos each day. I get the not having time though, this is a busy week for me too! 🙂

    • Thanks Robin! I was thinking about things I want to include this week, and figured if a list like this is helpful for myself, then hopefully someone else will get some ideas from it too 🙂

  1. Love these ideas, I do have kids and they end up in 99% of my photos =) This gives me some ideas of OTHER things to include in my albums =) Also, thanks for joining up with the Memory Keeping Monday link-up!

    • Thanks! I imagine as soon as I have kids I’ll be the same, but in the meantime, it’s nice to have a list of ideas to photograph for when I’m a little stuck! Thanks for hosting the linkup, it’s fun seeing what everyone shares! 🙂

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