I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE TIMES WE ARE LIVING IN. We are living in an age where technology and creativity are at an all-time high. The ways we can connect with people are almost infinite. The availability of information is exploding. And no matter what you want to do, try or discover, there’s an app that will help you out. This also means that when it comes to capturing and storing our favourite memories, we’re no longer limited to capturing our best 24 Kodak moments on a clunky film camera.
Memory keeping is becoming a fine art form with unlimited options sure to please even the most off-beat memory keepers. These ain’t your grandma’s photo albums!
Are you curious to know the best ways to store your photos? How to start journaling? Or are you just browsing for some fresh new ideas? Read on!
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There was a time in my life when I was an avid scrapbooker. I bought up big on all the essential scrapbooking accessories, papers, embellishments and other paraphernalia. I dedicated hours of my life to sitting at a table, perfecting lay-outs. I could get to the end of a day having worked on one page with maybe two photos on it. It was beautiful. But so not practical for my current life stage!
The day I discovered Project Life was the day I started scrapbooking again (OK, it was the day I ordered the supplies to start scrapbooking again, technically). If you haven’t heard of it, Project Life is, in two words, pocket scrapbooking. Instead of big 12×12 inch album pages, you get page protectors with slots that you can slide your photos right into. You can still decorate and embellish with stickers, journal cards and the purpose-built card sets, but you don’t spend hours doing it. Plus, you naturally fit a lot more photos onto a page than you do with traditional scrapbooking thanks to the grid-style lay-out of the page protectors. I ADORE Project Life. This awesome system has enabled me to actually finish photo albums (a previously un-achieved feat!), giving me beautiful, printed memories to look back over (instead of flicking through the thousands of photos on my hard drive!)
If you haven’t looked the Chatbooks lady in the eye as she simultaneously soaks in a bubble bath and raves about how easy these photo books have made her life, are you even on social media? The quirky ad is capturing the attention of all the busiest people, and those people are ordering these awesome little photo books and receiving golden memories for almost no effort. When you create an account, Chatbooks syncs with your Instagram and automatically pulls the photos from your feed into a ready-made photo book, captions and all. All you need to do is approve it! You can also tweak it to your heart’s content and add in photos that aren’t on your Instagram, but the name of the Chatbooks game is convenience. They’re also extremely affordable. It’s a no-brainer.
In high school I had all the time in the world, and managed to keep up an almost daily journaling habit. These days I love the idea of journaling, but generally neglect my journal for months at a time. But. When I was pregnant with Jackson, a friend gifted me with a “Mom’s Line-a-Day” Journal (this exact one here!). The pages are dated, and each page has five sections – the idea being that you write a few sentences every day for five years. So on any given date, you can see what happened each year on that date, and marvel at the passing of time. I started writing in mine the day Jackson was born, and have filled it out religiously with memories of Jackson’s newborn days, little and big milestones, precious little moments, and more recently, little quotes and records of our interactions. Memories that could easily be forgotten over the years are now laid out in a precious journal. And the concept isn’t just for mums – there are all kinds of line-a-day journals on the market. Some just offer sectioned-off blank pages (like this absolutely gorgeous one), others offer prompts: for example, “what’s your favourite song today?” or “what possession could you not live without?” You could even forego buying an official line-a-day journal, and simply download a list of 365 prompts like this awesome one I found via a quick Google search. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it contains 5 years of significant (and not-so-significant!) memories in one little journal!
A while after becoming a stay-at-home mother, I realised that though many of my days at home with Jackson weren’t necessarily significant, they were something I would want to look back on and remember in detail. I am so aware that life will never be quite like this, and I want to capture every little seemingly insignificant moment of it! So I started recording Instagram stories. If you haven’t tried it before, you have the option of snapping photos or shooting 15-second videos. They don’t appear in your Instagram feed and can only be seen if someone taps on your story at the top of their app. Instagram stories have a shelf-life of 24 hours BUT at the end of each day, you can save them all in one long clip or as a bunch of individual clips. Instant memory montages!
Want the memories, but don’t love the idea of spamming your Instagram followers with every important-to-you-but-not-them detail of your life? Just set up a private account dedicated solely to your stories. Instagram makes it extremely easy to toggle between accounts without having to log out and log in again each time.
365 Photo Projects
For those not in the know, a 365 photo project is a commitment to take a photo every day for a year. Little known fact: A 365 project was the reason I started regularly blogging and writing a few years ago! I had been blogging prior to that, but never very committedly. And while I didn’t complete my 365, I managed a hefty 264 days – leaving me with a pretty great record of that time in my life. You don’t need to run a blog in order to take on your own 365. You could do it on Instagram, or if you regularly print photos, even in a scrapbook or journal. A common 365 theme is simple self-portraits, but other themes you might consider are daily things that make you smile, places you’ve visited, or interesting things you’ve seen. My own 365 theme was “what I did” – a documentation of one thing I did each day. The awesome thing about 365 projects is that they capture memories that you might not otherwise think to record – but are always extremely satisfying to look back on.
Life is beautiful, and complex, and scary, and wonderful… and so much of it is worth remembering! With so many unique ways to document your memories, there’s no excuse not to take the plunge and start memory keeping in a way that suits you – it’s something you will never, ever regret.
How do you document your memories? I would love to know – let me know in the comments!
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