Welcome to the second post in my Keeping Up with “Project” Life series! The first post was all about taking photos – read it here. So you’ve got the photos – now what? Photos may be worth 1,000 words, but they don’t always tell the whole story. Remember learning the 5 W’s in English class? Who, What, When, Where and Why – Well, this is exactly the kind of information our future generations will want to know. I recently saw a story shared on Facebook by a scrapbooker of 18 years who was going through piles of old family photos from her husband’s deceased mother and grandmother. They threw away more than 80% because her husband had no idea who was in the photos or what the context was. She felt totally vindicated – and rightfully so – when her husband finally “got” why she scrapbooked! “Thanks for not leaving our kids with this burden,” he told her.
TIP #2 Take Notes
It doesn’t matter how you do it, but get those stories written down somehow, especially the “little” things like a photo caption that are so easy to forget, but so meaningful in the future. Here’s a few ideas for capturing your memories in words – some of them you may already be doing without realizing it!
- The Basics. Keep a paper pad with you OR download a notes app on your phone.
- Use Social Media for Notes. Lots of people already share thoughts and stories on social media… why not use this for collecting notes? Facebook is my primary source of journaling when I’m going back weeks (or months… or years…). It’s gotten easier to pull up activity from a specific time period, and I have both photo explanations and bits of life captured that didn’t have/need a photo. I even share things on Facebook with only “myself” sometimes, so that journaling is preserved even when I don’t want to share it with the world. You can change the privacy of any post by clicking on the drop-down menu just to the left of the “Post” button.
*** Don’t forget to check your family and friends’ social media accounts when scrapping a photo they’re in. It can be fascinating to see multiple viewpoints and memories of the same event!
Other places to gather notes and information include your favorite news sites, blogs, and magazines (paper or online).
- Text / Private Message History. My family gets into the longest, sometimes quite hilarious group text threads with each other. One of my Project Life goals this year is to mine these to enrich my spreads! We often share photos with each other too. This is such a fun, ready-made source of journaling for any type of layout, and really captures that “day in the life” feel.
- Be Creative – Think outside the box when it comes to journaling sources and inspiration! Paper planners have taken the scrapbooking world by storm lately, reviving the traditional planner market and creating fun and pretty new ways to organize your life. If you have one of these beautiful planner/scrapbook combos, don’t forget this juicy source of notes on your daily life! Think about what you wish you knew about your grandmother or great-(great-)grandmother’s life, and find a way to capture that information. Maybe tuck a receipt or a library checkout list in your album every once in a while, alongside a weekly meal plan and grocery list. Have fun and change your perspective on what “memory keeping” means!
In my last post of this series, “Keeping Up with Project Life” I’ll talk about ways you can – “Take it With You.” I’ll share my strategies for keeping up with (documenting) life while I’m on the go with that life!