Let’s start this off with… happy new year! I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would approach memory-keeping in 2017, trying to look back at the last 366 days to identify what could be added, removed, and simplified.
I’ve tried a lot of methods and processes in the last three years and to be honest, I’m really excited for 2017. I feel like I’ve finally figured out a system that works really well for my lifestyle and my time.
Before anything else, let me tell you about my own situation so that you’ll understand the context at which I’m approaching this. We all live different lives and have different priorities so what makes sense to me may not be the same for you. Take what you can and leave what you don’t need ;)
I have a 9-5 day job and a loooong commute for five days in a week. I’m also writing blogposts and creating content for Youtube and my e-course, Your Travel Story. Of course, on top of that, we all have to sleep, eat and have some fun, right? ;) So I don’t have huge chunks of time to spend sitting down and working on layouts. In this blogpost, I’ll show you how I work smartly with the time I have throughout the day so that I can keep up with all the memory-keeping that I love doing. As they say, if you love it, you should make time for it!
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed or lost, I hope this blogpost will help you create your own memory-keeping plan.
Here’s what memory-keeping looks like for 2017:
I’m still doing 9x12” pocket page memory-keeping for everyday memories. I swear by this memory-keeping method and I’m certain that I will continue doing it for the years to come. But after reflecting on my memory-keeping process, there are a couple of things that I want to change for 2017.
First, there will be no monthly or weekly dividers in my album. I will still create my layouts chronologically but I will no longer be dividing it in any way. Last year, I did monthly dividers and it stressed the heck out of me when some life events crossed over to the next month. Do I split the layouts between the months? Do I just put it in one month? My perfectionist self couldn’t handle it! So, to eliminate all of the complexity, my album will just flow continuously from January to December.
Second, I will be memory-keeping with myself in mind. For the past three years, I’ve always tried to make it into a family album - I prioritized family-related photos and events more than my own personal experiences (a.k.a. coffee flatlays, what I’m reading, etc.) and to be honest, it made me feel disconnected with my own album. Don’t get me wrong, I love documenting our family memories but I feel a much stronger connection to my personal and individual memories. It’s easier for me to spend time getting creative with my layouts when I’m fully invested in it. I think this is also the reason why other memory-keepers would create a separate “me” album.
Nothing changes in this one! I’m still making a dedicated 6x8” pocket page album for each trip that I take. As you know, this is my favorite kind of memory-keeping. While I don’t have any immediate travel plans for 2017, my six-week long trip to United States will keep my hands full in terms of travel memory-keeping ;)
Family Photo Books
Something new that I’m adding to the memory-keeping mix this year are family photo books. Because the pocket page album will be centered on me, I want to create something that will focus on our family as a whole. I made a photo book as a Christmas gift for my mom and I really loved how it turned out. I can see creating more of these for each significant family gathering, holiday or trip.
Quick commercial break // This has been in the works for about a year and a half already... I'm launching an e-course on analog travel memory-keeping! I am PASSIONATE about introducing a better way to relive your travel experiences (yes, I am throwin' some slight shade on social media...), a way where you can TANGIBLY flip through the stories of your past adventures.
This course - Craft Your Travel Story - isn't launching until May 2017 BUT I want to help you get started with travel memory-keeping while you wait excitedly ;) This is why I created this FREE comprehensive five-day e-mail course, The Travel-keeper Bootcamp!
In this bootcamp, I will be sharing very practical + actionable tips, intentional systems and methods to help you document the details your travel experiences, take photos that accurately tell your stories, and gather ephemera as your "hard evidence." This bootcamp will prepare you a lot when it comes to finally creating your analog travel album.
You can join this bootcamp - did I mention that it's completely free? - by clicking here and signing up on that page or just leaving your name + e-mail below:
The memory-keeping system
I’ve always maintained that the only way to be consistent about memory-keeping is to dedicate time for not. Actually carve out the time into your calendars and commit to it. That’s not changing this year ;)
For 2017, I’m going to try and do a little bit of memory-keeping each day to slowly build out my layouts, pocket by pocket.
In the morning (before I get to work), I’m going to spend 30 minutes editing + printing photos and sorting ephemera. I will then store this into the IKEA Kvissle letter tray for later memory-keeping. During the day, I will spend about 15 minutes planning the layout for the photos and ephemera that I organized in the morning. When I get home, I will spend 45 minutes to 1 hour creating the layout that I planned during the day. If I don’t finish within the hour, I just put it back into the letter tray and continue the next day.
The tools of the trade
There are a couple of tools that I’m adding into my process to make memory-keeping simpler for me.
Canon Selphy CP1200
I am so freaking excited about this! I bought the Canon Selphy CP1200 which is a compact photo printer. I will be using it to print all the photos for my albums. For the past three years, I’ve been using the Canon Pixma IP2770 (a budget photo printer) and it did a really good job. But it does drink up printer ink like a dehydrated monster! Each month, I would have to replace the ink even if I didn’t really print that many photos. I did the math and I figured that buying the special ink + paper for the Canon Selphy was much more cost-effective for me (and I love that the ink + paper prints exactly as much as it says in the packaging - no more guesstimating when the B/W and CMYK ink cartridges will run out).
I haven’t had the Selphy for long so I’ll reserve all of my thoughts on it for a later review but so far, so good! I’m loving how I don’t have to trim the paper to make it 4x6” (which is what I used to do with the Pixma) since all the Selphy paper are pre-cut to be 4x6”. I have high hopes for this printer and I do think that it will make the memory-keeping process go faster for me :)
IKEA Raskog Trolley
I have been wanting this trolley for a long, long time. We don’t have an IKEA in Manila so it can be pretty cumbersome to get this locally. I’ve tried to buy from resellers but the mark-up was just too high for me. So, now that I’m in California for vacation, I was finally able to buy it!
I can’t show you the actual thing yet because if I take it out of the box, it will be hard for me to bring it back home to Manila. This trolley will hold ALL of my memory-keeping supplies such as pocket cards, clear stamps, ink pads, embellishments, tools, etc. To avoid hoarding supplies, I have to force myself to fit everything in this one trolley. In short, if I don’t have space for it in the trolley, I can’t buy more stuff ;) It forces me to use up my stash and also save some money in the process. Another thing that I love about this trolley is the portability of it! Since it has casters, I can drag it to a different part of the house to do my memory-keeping elsewhere. Heck, I can even drag it to the roof deck area of our building and craft with the Manila skyline as my view ;)
IKEA Kvissle Letter Tray
Another IKEA purchase I made (okay, one of the many purchases…) was this letter tray. I think I got the idea from Ali Edwards but as I mentioned above, I will be putting my in-progress layouts in the trays. So each tray will house all the photos, ephemera and loose cards + embellishments for a single layout. Since there are only four trays, I should only have four in-progress layouts. Similar to the concept I have with the Raskog trolley, I shouldn’t start layouts until I’ve finished the in-progress ones.
Coming soon: my first ever actual desk!
For the first time in my 24 years of existence, I’m finally getting a proper desk! For the past three years, I’ve done most of my memory-keeping on the floor or on random flat surfaces. It was okay sometimes but most of the time, it was a pain in the butt. Now that I have the space for an actual desk, I bought a drawer and a pair of desk legs in IKEA so when I come back to Manila, I’m going to visit a woodworks shop to get a wood table top!
I’m excited to level up my memory-keeping game for this year! I literally have no excuses left (dang it!) ;) How about you? How are you approaching memory-keeping this 2017?
Don’t forget! If you want to get organized about how you’re doing memory-keeping this year, you can download the free (!!!) workbook that I designed for you!