As promised, today's post is a follow up to my post on how to organise your personal photos. Keeping my photos organised makes all of my memory keeping projects way easier, so it made sense to start there and now I'll explain how I use my photos.
A few years ago, I adopted Ronnie's idea and created my own personal memory keeping framework. Figuring out your priorities and then deciding on a framework is a helpful exercise before committing to a bunch of projects that you may or may not be able to keep up with.
After mulling it over, I decided to break down my projects into 3 categories: photos, words and videos.
Every few months, I create a new photo book through Artifact Uprising. At the end of each month, I create a new folder on my desktop called, for example, 'Photobook-Jan'. I go through all of my images from that month, choose my favourites, duplicate them and drag them into that folder. Every 3 months or so, I create a new Softcover Photo Book (I make the 11x8.25 inches size). Using the photo book folders I've created, it's easy to drag and drop and create a book in about an hour while I watch a TV show. Once I'm done and I'm 100% happy with my book, I delete the photo book folders (because they're duplicate files that are just taking up space). To save money, I only order when there's a discount code and I post the books to my mom in Vancouver (shipping to Australia is killer) and I collect them when she comes to Sydney or when we go to Vancouver.
For the past few years I've been making a lot of photo books but I anticipate that as the girls grow up, I'll make a shift in how I approach these books. I think 2017 will probably be the last year I make 3-4 books; from next year I might make 1 or 2. If I do stick with making 1 Artifact Uprising book each year, I may spring for their hardcover books.
I also print out my favourite photos regularly and place them in frames around our apartment. Some of my favourite photos have been on our walls for years, while I change others around so there are always recent photos gracing our home.
I have 3 different projects per daughter that fall under this category. Early in both of my pregnancies, I bought a simple journal and started writing letters to the baby. I didn't write a lot; there are about 6 letters per pregnancy. Once the girls were born, I typed out each of their birth stories and pasted them into their journals. I've included other bits and pieces like monthly milestones and lists. My main goal moving forward is to write a birthday letter each year for each daughter. So far so good. I know this probably seems like a lot of work but I use these journals pretty infrequently.
My more consistent project is my Mom's One Line a Day journal. Again, I have one for each girl and at the end of the day (or every few days if I've forgotten) I simply write down one thought or memory from the day. Honestly, keeping up with this sometimes feels tedious but now that I can look back through Clementine's book for the last 3.5 years it is amazing! It is totally worth it.
Lastly, I have a traditional baby book for each little one. I've pasted in photos, hospital bracelets, ultrasound photos etc. and filled out the prompts.
This is another project that I only do every few months. Every 3 to 4 months I open up iMovie and create a very, very unprofessional home movie by putting together my iPhone video clips set to music. The girls love these movies; they could watch them all day long!
The last thing I'll say is that my motto with all of this is done is better than perfect. I know there are people who spend hours painstakingly creating beautiful photo books with perfect spreads and careful use of white space. I am not one of those people. I know that if I become a perfectionist with any of these projects, they will never get done. It may seem like a lot but because I'm pretty organised and again, I'm not trying to do any of this perfectly, it's just habit now. And when I flip through our photo books, or my husband and I spend an hour laughing over all the funny things Clementine said when she started talking, or when the four of us sit down to watch our family movies together, I'm reminded that it is so, so worth it.
Please let me know if you have any questions! You can comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to sign up for my newsletter where I'll be sharing more memory keeping tips.