Memory Keeping

7 Fun Ways to Document your Life this Year!

With the beginning of a fresh New Year, are you feeling inspired to start a new memory keeping project? Or two?

I’ve already got a few projects underway that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming posts….but first I thought I’d share a few ideas for documenting your life, your loved ones, your hobbies and your adventures in 2016.

7 Fun Ways to Document Your Life This Year

1. Keep a Daily or Weekly or Anytime-You-Feel-Like-Writing Journal.

A journal can be a way to express your love of listing, a place to organize your personal or work  projects, a brain dump of everything floating around in your mind or a mix of all!  Consider a journal that highlights a specific theme such as a book or film journal to keep track of your favorite reads and movies this year, a fitness journal to document your healthy living journey or cooking journal to keep track of all the new recipes you try this year and your reflections on the dishes you created.

2. Create a Scrapbook.

You can make a scrapbook to document a specific event (such as a wedding or family reunion) or period of your life (a year abroad, baby’s first year, etc.) or an ongoing album that covers all of your life. Make your memory albums as simple or complex as you like. There’s no right or wrong way – just have fun with it!  If you’re stumped for a unique theme, check out my recent infographic 50 Memory Album Themes and start gathering your project supplies. If you’d love a scrapbook, but don’t have the time to create one, contact me and I’d be happy to help!

3. Keep a Memory Planner or Mini “Project Life” Album.

Several companies such a MAMBI and Heidi Swapp create memory planners which combine weekly and monthly planning pages with memory keeping. I’ve been using my MAMBI Happy Planner exclusively as a memory planner since last December and I love it! I find it’s a fun and simple way to remember the little things that happen during the week; things that I might not document in a full page scrapbook layout, such as movies I see and funny or interesting things that happen during the week. It’s also a great place to keep the images I take with my phone that might otherwise never get printed (can you relate?) but in this format, I am able to stay up-to-date with daily life and it’s ups and downs.

4. Use a Paper Planner This Year.

A traditional paper planner can be a great way to document your daily life without too much fuss. You can make it as simple or decorative as you like. Besides keeping track of appointments and events, keep lists of creative projects, meal ideas, your gym routine and anything else you’ve taken a fancy to this year. In future years it will be fun to look back. If you don’t believe me, think how fun (or completely embarrassing) it would be to see your high school or college planner – your courses, challenges, triumphs, thoughts and weekly activities during that period of your life. I’m using an Eccolo planner this year. I posted a video and review of my Eccolo planner just before the beginning of the year if you want to check it out.

5. Write a Bucket List.

Create a bucket list for the year and see how much you can do in 365 days! If you don’t want to create your own list, I will be posting free printable seasonal bucket lists on this blog throughout the year. You can check out the Autumn bucket list from 2015 or the 2016 Winter bucket list. Be sure to subscribe via email on the sidebar of my blog so you won’t miss any of the seasonal or holiday bucket lists I post.

6. Snap a Photo Each Day.

If you love photography, why not take an image each day? Create a series on one subject – your garden, the view from your window, the growth of your new puppy, etc. and see the changes day by day and through the seasons.  Or document an ongoing theme in your life – your favorite outfits, your home cooked meals or your home renovation project. You could print your pics and save them in a memory album, post them on Instagram or have them printed in an album.

7. Start a Blog or Vlog.

Sign up for a blog or YouTube channel and start posting your passions online. If you just want to get your feet wet, you can sign up for a free blog on blogger or wordpress and graduate to a self-hosted site once you’re ready to grow. A personal YouTube channel is free. Share what you love and get involved in communities of people who share your devotion.

So how will you document your life in 2016?

Keep in mind that if one of these memory keeping systems isn’t exactly what you’re searching for, consider mixing and matching them together, using only the elements that give you joy.  For example, my mom loves to dance and she has a goal of dancing in every state!  To record her grand adventure, she is doing a mix of a bucket list goal of dancing in each and every state (she chooses a few new states each year) and a traditional memory album where she creates 12×12 layouts of each of the states where she dances, and pastes photos and memorabilia of each event. To date, she’s danced in 11 states – 1/5th of the US!

Let me know in the comments below how you’re recording your own adventures this year!

Karla Mae signing off

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