my memory-keeping framework

February 18, 2015

my memory-keeping framework / kapachino

I thought it would be helpful (for me, at least) to write out my memory-keeping framework. I wanted to settle on an overall system to make sure that I’m capturing the big picture, the celebrations, and also the everyday details and stories of our lives.

I also think that setting these boundaries will give me the freedom to say no to new projects (like this or this – both of which I love). It’s taken me several years to develop, and I don’t doubt that it will continue to change, but for now here is how I’m approaching memory keeping.

Project Life

>This is our family album and the foundation of my entire system. All of our everyday life stuff goes in here. I don’t do individual albums for the kids but I will highlight them individually from time to time.

>Compiled in a 12×12 album, there is usually about a page per week, with a month encompassing two full spreads. Inserts are included for special events.

>At the back of each album I include a large envelope page for collected “stuff” that I want to save but don’t fit well into the spreads (such as birthday cards).

>One and only one album per year!

project life 2015 : january / kapachino

Week in the Life

>I just started this project last year (and am still completing my first album) but I know it is something that I want to do every year. I love the details it gives – way more than in Project Life – but it’s too intense to do more than once a year.

>Right now I am enjoying the 6×8 album format using Ali Edwards’ kit, but this might change in the future.

Holiday Mini-album (December Daily)

>I love the holiday season and the minibooks that I’ve created of them in the past are some of my favorites. These are stored with the holiday decor and pulled out after Thanksgiving.

>So far my format has changed each year, but I intend to continue putting together a holiday-specific album each year.

holiday minibook

One Little Word

This is another tradition I’ve started this year that I love and intend to continue with. This album is more personal and for my own growth. The album is 8.5×11 and will hold 3-5 years’ worth in it.

5-year journal

I am in the fourth year of writing in my 5-year journal every night. This is where I write a brief overview of the events of each day. It forces me to be concise, but I capture the highlights. I also use it for reference when putting together my Project Life spreads.

Personal journal

I have opened a protected blog in order to write out my personal journaling. I try to do it at the beginning of each day, to get all of my thoughts out. This is just for me. I also have a prayer journal that I write in sporadically during my devotions.

my memory keeping framework / kapachino

Baby & Birthday Books

>The kids each have a baby book that ends roughly at age one. I didn’t want to stress about creating one myself, so I bought them each this one and just filled it up.

>They also each have a birthday book from the same author. They’re pretty cute and easy to keep up with.

Blog to photo books (planned)

I’ve also done a lot of writing about the kids on my blog. Birth stories, monthly updates during their babyhood, quotes, stories. My plan is to compile these posts into a photobook when I have enough of them. Right now I’m thinking every five years or so, but that may change. That way they will have something to take with them when they leave home.

Listing these all out it seems like a lot, but the only projects that are constantly ongoing are Project Life, the 5-year journal, and the personal journal; those are very much entrenched in my routine now. The others are either completed or sporadic. I think it’s a realistic framework to keep up with, and I hope it will only get easier as the kids grow up and gain independence.

Related blog updates: I gave “documenting” its own category which you can access from the header menu above. Trying to keep things organized around here! And exciting: finally after nine years of blogging, I bought kapachino.COM! It was time. From now on, will redirect here. Thanks as always for reading!

Posted in: documenting

Comments on my memory-keeping framework

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    Love the baby book and birthday book ideas. I’m in awe of your memory keeping, you do such a great job. I’m a mess with mine. I have pictures all over the place (phone, camera), have them printed but not in albums, and I’ve been bad at journaling lately. Maybe someday it will come together for me…!

  2. 2

    From Melanie:

    It’s neat to hear your process! I am in my 2nd year of a 5-year journal, and I love it and SO wish I would’ve started it several years earlier!
    Do you have a company in mind for your blog-to-photo book yet? I have used Blurb in the past, but it is somewhat of a hassle to me b/c I don’t like the auto page format they use for blogs. (Itty-bitty pics in a column down the side). It leads to a TON of time reformatting. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, I feel like there must be an easier way!

  3. 3

    From Kathleen:

    I haven’t gotten that far yet! I have heard great things about Artifact Uprising, and I also see that Moleskine has really neat-looking photobooks now. But I haven’t done any real research yet!

  4. 4

    From Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout:

    I need to get a Birthday Book for Sam! I have done one for Josiah and it is really cute. It’s so much more fun now that he can answer the interview questions.

  5. 5

    From Jenn McClure:

    Hello! I am new to your blog, having been sent your way by Brooke from Grace & Light on her post about different ways to document life. I love this post and seeing how you document your life! I definitely want to take a leaf out of your book. My plan for PL this year was just to document the important things and whatever every day life I could remember. I don’t want to stress out about my documenting life! Your 5 Year journal sounds very interesting!!! Also! Your Blog to Photobook idea is fantastic! I might do that eventually myself. It seems that sometimes I spend more time on my blog documenting things then actually writing things out… does that make sense?

    I can’t wait to read more about your documenting tag!

    Love, Jenn

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