Preserving memories is something everyone does, whether it’s by posting and sharing on social media, storytelling, or in a more obvious way – by creating memory books. No way is more right or effective than the other, and finding the way that’s right for you and your story is just a means of trying new things and discovering what works best for you and your story.
Since starting my scrapbooking hobby 13 years ago, I have realized that it’s not something everyone can commit to or even get into (as many of my friends can attest to). When I was younger, I had a lot more time to commit to this hobby, but as responsibilities grew and priorities shifted, so did my commitment to memory keeping through traditional scrapbooking.
So for those looking for alternative ways of memory keeping, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top 5 ways of memory keeping:
1. Pocket-style scrapbooking
If you’re finding yourself short on time and patience but still want the look and feel of a handmade scrapbook, I recommend trying out pocket-style scrapbooking such as Project Life. This method uses page protectors divided up into pockets that you can slip photos, memorabilia or journaling cards into.
Best for: Someone looking to scrapbook on a more regular basis but with a small time commitment. For example, this is the method I am using to scrapbook my first year of marriage. I’ve committed to doing one page per week for a total of 52 weeks at the end of year one.
2. Digital Scrapbooks
Using an online tool to help create your scrapbook is an efficient way to use all your digital photos and get them printed professionally. It’s also awesome if you’re doing an anniversary, wedding or milestone book that you might want to print over again to share with friends and family. I’ve used tools such as Blurb.ca, Shutterfly and Artifact Uprising, all with great results.
Best for: If you’re looking for a more professional looking book and would like to share multiple copies of it. The tools help with layout as well, ensuring each book looks great, even if you’re a little more creatively-challenged.
Whenever I go on a big trip, I bring along my journal to keep notes on the happenings of the day, things I want to remember and places I visited. When backpacking through Europe, there was no way I was going to lug around my scrapbooking supplies, but I wanted a way to track each and every memory. As an alternative, I decided to bring along my journal. When it was time to plan my honeymoon, my best friend I had traveled with before gave me the most beautiful journal to keep track of all my special memories.
Best for: Daily memory keeping when you’re traveling and have limited space, or if you have a lot more to say than pictures to accompany your thoughts. This is a great way to keep track of ALL the details, rather than just the highlights.
Keeping track of special dates and memories can be as simple as keeping them tracked in a personal calendar or planner. I know a couple of people who take their agendas with them everywhere they go, just in case they need to jot down a specific thought or something cute their kids said or did. I am currently using the Get To Work book by Elise Cripe, and can’t get enough of filling it up with all my thoughts, to do lists, inspirational messages to myself and special dates, creating my very own time capsule.
Best for: Someone who already uses their calendar or agenda on a regular basis. There are beautiful ways to decorate it and keep track of memories, making it a little memory book itself.
5. Mini Books
Scrapbooks don’t always have to be 12X12. There are so many great ways to scale it down and work on a mini book. This means less the time to complete pages, but an equally satisfying end result. I have used mini books in the past dedicated to documenting special events, such as my grade 8 graduation, family trips, or smaller periods of time.
Best for: Someone looking for the handmade look, but with a small time commitment. Mini Books can be a combination of embellished journaling, instagram photos or just bits and pieces of memorabilia.
Scrapbooking may not be for everyone, but it doesn’t mean your memories should go undocumented. With each of the above options, it’s about preserving the details of life that you’d like to one day go back and revisit.
We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone. – Katie Thurmes
I’d like to think memory keeping does the same thing.