Memory Keeping, Project Life CT

Week in the Life Starts Next Week!

Week in the Life 2015 | Wednesday | Julie Love Gagen

Oh, friend. Week in the Life starts next week and I’m SUPER super excited for it!! I’ve had my kits picked out for weeks. I have the files in line, the templates selected, and my past projects are on my desk (for added inspiration).


Week in the Life 2015 | Final Album | Julie Love Gagen

If you’ve never done this project before

If you’ve never done this project before, and if this is your first year, seriously, do not feel overwhelmed. Here are three tips I have for the first time Week in the Life’er.

  1. Start small. If you only take 10 photos a day, THAT’S OKAY. You don’t need a lot of photos. In fact, sometimes it can be harder if you have too many.
  2. Pace yourself. Maybe use a timer, or your calendar, to prompt photo taking. Include photos in the morning, mid-day, evening, and night. Whatever you are doing in that moment, capture it. It doesn’t need to be special. Or pretty. In fact, most of that gets corrected in the editing anyway.
  3. Take a variety of boring photos with your phone camera. Prompt yourself to capture your morning routine, your commute, your meals, your desk or workspace or activities of the day. Take a few different photos from a few different angles.

Here are a couple of blog posts to help:

Getting the Most out of Your iPhone Photos

Editing Images on your iPhone

2013 Week in the Life

In 2013, I was SO EXCITED about this project. The timing was terrible, of course, because we were just a few weeks into owning our new house and we were FULL ON renovating all of it, whilst cramped into a small, hot apartment with a lot of people, including my family (while they waited to close on their new house), 2 dogs, and an active 1-year old who insisted on proving that our living quarters were not, at all, baby proofed. There was dust everywhere. It was hot. And my commute to work was 3 hours per day.

I was excited, and apprehensive, and full of all the feelings with owning a new house and trying to manage it all.

And taking a bunch of photos and writing stories was so. not. happening.

So I waffled. I tried not to do the project. Truly. But quickly realized that, despite the absolute chaos of life at that time, that I was not willing to miss out on Week in the Life. So I did it anyway.

I used the paper print out sheets that Ali made (see hyperlink on this page). I took all of the photos with my iPhone, periodically, and as often as I could remember. I made a point to capture my thoughts at the end of each day. And I put it aside, knowing that I would eventually make it into an album.

And it did.

Week in the Life 2013 | Julie Love Gagen Week in the Life 2013 | Julie Love Gagen

Though, certainly not the album or the format or the way I would have imagined it. I wanted to add stories. I wanted to use the words and the thoughts that I wrote. I wanted to include more life in the Week in the Life. But, truly, I just didn’t have the time or the resources, or the space to do it.

And that’s okay. It was the season of life that we were in.

2014 Week in the Life

So, in 2014, this project became its own 8×11 book. It was time. It was also a gorgeous month, and I finally had the space, and the time, and the dedication to do it. I was ready to push myself. And that comes, as I’ve said before, with practice.

2014 | Week in the Life by Julie Love Gagen

I made a digital book using Photobook America‘s desktop software, which has more functionality than a typical digital book website because it allows you to import digital brushes and stamps, as well as project life cards and papers. For more on this software, read this post. Also, they make high quality books for a very affordable price.

I absolutely love the way this book came out. It beautifully captured our life in that moment.

You can see the pages of my 2014 Week in the Life album, by day: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

2015 Week in the Life

In 2015, I took it a step further. Using the same templates from the previous year, I was able to quickly add in my edited photos, favorite cards, and add words and sayings to pull it all together QUICKLY. In fact, for this project, I completed it as it was happening.

Week in the Life 2015 | Monday | Julie Love Gagen

That’s right, friend. Every day, at the end of the day, I sat down at my computer, selected pictures, edited them, and made pages. I also wrote it into a blog post and posted it here.

That’s the advantage of digital, friend. And I will forever follow this format for this book because it’s gorgeous.

You can see my full 2015 Week in the Life album here.


I hope this has helped in some way. And if you’re doing this project, I would LOVE to see what you make!!






  1. Vicmarie says

    I loved reading this! Thank you! I wanted to ask how do you incorporated the Ali Edwards templates into the photobook software? I’ve played a bit with the Blurb photobook software but I haven’t figured out how to add the templates. I really really would love to purchase Ali’s 8.5×11 templates since I would like to try non-squared layouts. I don’t own Photoshop so that’s not an option for now; that’s why I’ curious. I currently create all my memory keeping projects using the PL app but they don’t offer the 8.5×11 size. What would you suggest if I want to use the AE templates outside Photoshop? Is that possible? Thanks again!

    • Julie says

      Hey Vicmarie!! I was in the same position, wanting to use templates and not being able to because of software limitations (and a refusal to buy Photoshop, which, spoiler alert, I just recently bought… and am still not sure I’m ready to transition away from Photobook America because I love the software so much). Anyway.

      So there’s a long answer and a short answer. Short answer is, you can’t use her templates. I use aspects of her templates, I use her brushes, and digital cards, all of which I can import into the desktop software for Photobook America. There is definitely a learning curve to mastering the software, but once you get it, it’s really simple. The templates that I used are ones that I made myself. I took inspiration from Ali’s layouts, created mock up pages in the software (in the book itself) and repeated that process for a variety of different page types. I did that in 2014. Once I set it up, I saved it as a template. In 2015, I used that template to make my book in half the time, using almost exactly the same layouts and options, with a few extra pages.

      I’m really happy with the outcome. And even though the software is limited (you can’t change the color of the brushes, for instance), I know different tricks and tools to work around it to make it work for me. Hope that helps!!

  2. Vicmarie says

    Thank you so much! I’ll definitely give it a try to Photobook America. Can’t wait to create my side projects on different size templates.

  3. Fabulous post, Julie! It was just what I needed to build a little confidence to tackle the project.

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