In scrapbooking, most of us tend to document our vacations, birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. We feel like the special stories are the only ones that should be told. What many of us forget are the stories of our ordinary life. They are the little details of our lives that seem insignificant in the moment, but have a memorable story behind them.
Those ordinary memories are just as important as memories of a family celebration. But trying to document daily life can be a little bit difficult, if you don’t know where to start. That’s where a project like, “The Day in the Life” hosted by Ali Edwards comes in. The project focuses on documenting your ordinary life by taking photos throughout a single day of your life.
Officially, the Day in the Life (DITL) project happens just a few times a year as a community, but you can challenge yourself to do the project any day of the year. The stories and pictures of your day may seem boring and mundane right now, but in the future they will be great memories to have.
Before you decide to work on a DITL project, you want to be prepared for the project. After completing my first Day in the Life project, I discovered 3 tips that helped me complete the project and I want to share them with you. These three tips were the keys to my success and can be used with any mini-project or challenge.
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Preparation is Key
As silly as this may sound, you want to prepare by doing a little research and finding inspiration. For my first Day in the Life, I wanted to be as prepared as best as possible. I talked to a friend who has done DITL in the past for her advice. I also looked at ideas within the Ali Edwards community on Facebook for inspiration. Finding others who have worked on the project was helpful to get different ideas. I was also able to see what worked and didn’t work for others when planning my project.
For my DITL, remembering to take a photo every hour worried me. The suggestions ranged from setting a timer on your phone to just winging it. Most people however said that since they were more aware of the project that they remembered to actively take photos during the day without an alarm.
After reading the different suggestions, I decided I would try to stick with making this project simple. After all, it was my first time participating, so I warned my husband and put him in charge of reminding me to take photos throughout the day. During the day of the project, I was more aware of looking for the mundane and ordinary moments and snapped photos throughout the day to use later regardless of the time.
Take Plenty of Notes Right Away
Taking good notes during the actual day was key to capture the details for this project. I wanted to have a plan for keeping my notes for each photo to use for journaling. As I did some of my research, I also heard suggestions about how others documented their stories. Some people use a dedicated notebook while others take notes on their phone. Some even used the Project Life App and journaled directly on the layouts. The more notes, thoughts, feelings, and memories that you write down the better was the overwhelming suggestion.
For me it was easiest to take notes on my phone, since I would have it with me throughout the day. I could easily take a few moments to type out my thoughts as we continued through our day. I would make a note of the time when I took the photo and then write a little journaling about the photo or that time of day. Just a few weeks later, I am glad I wrote everything down, since I was surprised at what I didn’t remember.
Keep It Simple, Scrapper!
There aren’t any “rules” for how to document your Day in the Life. Traditionally it is done by hour, but Ali also offers up ideas of specific actions to document for one day. She suggests to document things like eating, feeling, thinking, reading, etc. if you don’t want to document details hourly. The key is to keep things simple to be able to accomplish your goal of documenting your ordinary memories.
During the DITL, take photos of what feels natural to you and things that are unique to you, even if it’s something small. Don’t be afraid to take more photos than one “story” per hour. You can always edit down when you scrapbook the memories. You can also change it up if taking a picture hour feels like too much and follow Ali’s alternative method to document your actions of the day.
The key is that you are trying to capture the mundane parts of your life right now to remember for years to come. When you are ready to put together your final project, have the same thoughts in mind. Keep it simple, especially if it’s your first round. Start with your photos and your stories, then add the embellishments later if you want. Don’t get caught up in worrying about what products you’ll use. Try to even put a little scrapbook mini kit together beforehand to limit your options and focus on telling the stories.
Creating the scrapbook mini kit is what kept me on track and focused on the stories. To keep my first DITL project simple, I used the same journaling cards for the entire project. I also wanted to keep my layout looking clean, so I used Project Life Photo Pocket Page F. I printed all of my photos in 3×4 size and inserted them into every other space.
Keeping the project simple helped me focus on the stories which equalled a finished project. These are all huge accomplishments for me and they can be for you too!
No matter how or when you decide to document a Day in the Life, you must remember to prepare for the project by doing research. You must also remember to take plenty of notes during your Day in the Life to refer back to later. And you should keep things simple when completing the project. Using these three tips will lead you to a great end result and more memories documented of your ordinary life.
If you have any other tips when you completed a Day in the Life project, please leave them in the comments below. I would love to hear about your experience and the techniques you used with DITL.
Haven’t tried a DITL yet? Start today and lead your best creative life doing it!