Day in the Life

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Download a facilitation guide to the right.

Full description


  • Writing or drawing a “day in the life” helps to illuminate aspects of an individual’s day-to-day experiences in order to understand daily experiences and larger patterns in their life. The activity helps to identify key specific moments in participants’ interactions with people, places, and activities and can be used to unpack some of the “whys” behind activities.

Facilitation Instructions

  • Think back to a day this week or last week (consider using a more “typical” day for you).
  • Draw/write through your day from start to finish. Think about things such as: What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you see? What were your experiences? (e.g. I stood in line at the coffee shop and felt frustrated because I was going to be late for class.)
  • Once all participants have reconstructed their days, ask participants to consider/free write on their own: Where is your "home" on campus? Where are you most comfortable and what activities do you do there? Where do you get most of your classwork done?
  • Group discussion: share 1-2 “highlights’ from your day in the life and from free write.
  • This activity moves well from the broader mind mapping of experiences to more day-to-day activities, then sets up the following activity for getting more specifically focused on experiences with the library, or focus of the project.

Products Generated

  • Participants have written or visual “stories” of their typical days.
  • Notes from group discussion, capturing what is most important to participants.

Time/Commitment Needed

  • 40-50 minutes for storyboarding and discussion.


75 Tools for Creative Thinking

Additional Materials

Example: A day in the Life of a US University Student (Times Higher Education)

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