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The first time I ever remember looking at a photo book of any kind was when I was quite young. My mother had meticulously created a baby book for me with photos, lots of little details and even a lock of my hair. I was enamored. It contained things like the guest list of who attended the baby shower and photos of me being held by different aunts and my grandmother. I have always cherished that book for all the details, the memories and the love I knew my mother had poured into it.
That was probably the first inspiration I had to be a memory keeper in my own life. By the time I graduated from high school I had several notebooks in which I had created my own scrapbooks. This was the late 80’s so scrapbooking hadn’t really become a real thing yet. Or at least not in my little world.
Today, I’m going to focus on memory keeping, not just scrapbooking. Because ultimately, no matter how you do it, doing it is what matters most! Recorded memories connect us with the past and the future. They are the proof that we lived and loved. I would give anything to have full on scrapbooks from my grandmother. I’d love to see what photos she would have taken, what little notes she would have recorded and what memories would live on long past her own life.
What are the best ways to memory keep? There are so many options out there and so many things that fit multiple styles and personalities. I have narrowed it down to five.
- Scrapbook Albums. These are albums stuffed full of photos and journaling and paper and stickers. These can be done by hand in a traditional way, they can be done digitally on the computer or they can even be a combination of both. It’s about finding what works for you and what you enjoy most.
- Pocket Scrapbooking. I am giving this its own section because of how different from traditional scrapping this can be. The idea behind this is to keep it simple, focus on the photos and the journaling. Typically, there isn’t a lot of product used on these pages except for journal cards that fit into the pockets. It’s meant to be quick and easy so that the process of documenting doesn’t become too overwhelming.
- Photo albums. This way has been around for years. It is how my parents documented my childhood. These are obviously better than nothing because it at least gets the photos into a place that can be seen and preserved. But what I miss most from these photo albums is the story. Often there isn’t a lot of journaling and if the photos don’t have anything written on the back of them, it may be hard to remember dates, people and details as the years go by.
- Blogging. This obviously is a newer way for family storytelling. It has taken off in the last 15 years or so and is preferred by many. This method is free, can be shared with family all over the world and has little risk of being destroyed by fire or flood. Family blogs can be password protected and added to as people see fit. I love blogging as an option for memory keeping! There are even services, such as blurb who can then help you print your blog into a book every year or so.
- Social Media. This way continues to grow in popularity. So many of us use our phones multiple times a day. Many of us now take our photos with our phones and can easily add them to Instagram and/or Facebook. Many times when I go to scrap a layout, I will refer to what I may have posted during a time period for help in remembering and documenting details. There are also services, such as Chatbooks, that can be automatically set up to your social media to print out little books every 60 posts.
I love that we have so many options! And no matter which way you choose, finding ways to memory keep and document the details of your every day is such a worthy endeavor! You’ll never regret the time and work you put into these precious memories. Making them and sharing them can be so much of what we remember about this beautiful life of ours!
So do something today to create a memory, document a memory or share a memory! And I’d love to hear from you! Of the five ideas above, which one is your favorite way to document?