I’ve been scrapbooking for a long time, and if you recall, my one little word for this year is Capture. So, to me, it seemed a natural fit that I’d want to spend more time scrapbooking the photos I’ve been taking on Instagram and with my camera, and remember every detail of the year that I can.
Because of this, I have invested time on a Summer album, a Vacation Instagram album, and even just random layouts that capture Zach and I’s life together.
Now, if you’re a part of the online scrapbooking community, you may have heard some extra buzz this week, as yesterday was Day 1 of Ali Edward’s A Week In the Life project! The aim is to capture those every day moments– everything from laundry to family dinner and anything that happens in between, whether it is exciting or a bit standard in your life.
The project isn’t anything new, but I’ve ended up skipping it year after year. However, I’m just coming off of the high of receiving my completed summer album, and I’m realizing so quickly how important it is to keep these memories documented. It helps that one thing Zach enjoys most is looking through our summer albums. I love that he gets such joy from remembering the ways he spent his summer.
The idea is that Zach and I will be able to look back on this album 1, 5, 10 years from now and remember what life was like at this time… and, over a period of years, over a period of AWITL albums, we’ll be able to compare how life has changed from year to year and see what is different about how we eat, what we watch, what we love to do, and how we look.
To do AWITL, though, I needed a plan.
First, I started with an album idea. I knew I wanted my album to be the same size as my other albums– a 6×6 mini album from ArtsCow. Why? Because it’s affordable, and the quality is good. I also love a mini album for a few other reasons. With it being small, it’s portable, so Zach can carry it around with him and manage the pages himself. It also doesn’t take up a ton of space on the shelf, so I can put multiple books side-by-side atop my bookshelf. It’s exactly what I want for taking a quick peek at my pages!
Then, I needed to decide on the design of my album. Why did I want to decide my album before the project started? Because I wanted to ensure I was taking plenty of photos! Because I love the clean, photo-loving style that Nettio Designs creates, I decided that using her newest LifeCaptured album would be perfect. The only hiccup? She’s created it in an 8×10 size. However, with a little creative playing around in photoshop, I adjusted those photo-loving templates to a square size to fit my needs. It brilliantly captures her style that I love so much, while making it my own and allowing me to print in the size I need.
Finally, I needed to have a plan on keeping track of my notes and photos. Ideally, I’d be able to do my pages every day, making sure to capture, document, and finish the pages as soon as the day was through. However, I also knew, realistically, that I may not be able to complete my pages every single day. I decided the best option was to find a way to take notes as I go, to be sure that I have the memories written down in case it took me days (or even weeks) to finish my album. So, I decided to use the free Evernote App on my phone to keep track of the times that we would do things, especially trying to make them coincide with the photos I was snapping. This helped me make sure I was documenting a variety of things rather than documenting the same photos day after day. It also helped me make sure I was capturing the entire day’s events overall.
Once I had those things all figured out, it was time to get started.
Now, if you’re thinking “AWITL started yesterday, and it’s already night of day 2, so I’m late… maybe I just won’t start…” I’m going to tell you to hush, stop those silly thoughts, and DO THE PROJECT! AWITL doesn’t have hard and fast rules. Nothing says you have to do it when Ali, or I, or anyone else does it. You can start tomorrow and run it for 7 days following. You can wait until next Monday. You can do it 3 weeks from now. Just pick any week that symbolizes a typical week in your life, and document it.
Perhaps you’re thinking “I don’t have any scrapbooking skills, so I can’t!” Yes, you can. Whether you’re a scrapbooker or not, you can do it. Pick up a photo album at the store, snap pictures throughout the week and write down notes on note cards. Slip your notes and printed photos side-by-side, and you’ve documented your week in the life. Not into paper scrapbooking? Try your hand at digital, like I’m doing. Do what works for you, and capture your life the way that is less stressful for you.
And maybe you’re saying “I lead a boring life! Why capture it?” Because the every day memories matter. Because not every scrapbook you have should be about vacations or birthdays, Christmas and other thrilling events. What do you think your kids will treasure more 10 years down the road? 20? Because I think that if it were me, I’d value a memory of those little events that made life so special, even if it wasn’t a special day like Christmas.
I promise, it’s worth the time. It’s worth the energy. It’s just one week out of your busy year focused on capturing what life is like for you. So consider it.