I LOVE taking pictures. I love that we have phones that can take quality pictures any time, anywhere. I love that my mom passed down her camera that she started her photography business with to me. I love that pictures allow you to capture memories. And I really love taking pictures of Henry because I am already forgetting how small he was, and he’s only three months old!
The thing about today’s society and having our phones to take pictures on is that we have gotten away from actually printing pictures out. I do not love that. In order to avoid taking pictures but never having them in my hands, I sought out a way to hold myself accountable to printing the pictures I took out.
Enter the “Family Memory Catalog,” or at least, that’s what I am calling it.
I cannot and will not try to take credit for this idea though. I got this idea from something I pinned on Pinterest when I first got it, and I have wanted to use this idea ever since then. Design Sponge had posted about the project I got this idea from six years ago. (You can see the post here.) The idea is that you have a note card with a date on it for every day of the year, and each year you write something you did that day. Over time it will create a sort of Timehop-esque memory catalog because you will have multiple years to look back on. She uses it as a gift you could give someone else, which I love and may do at some point as well.
When I was getting to the end of my pregnancy and needed something to do to distract myself, I started the project because I knew we would have so many pictures and memories we wanted to remember. I got 366 notecards and wrote the date for each day of the year (including Leap Day!), and then I put mini-sticky notes at the top dividing out each month. I’m sure you could find cuter dividers to use, but the sticky notes work just fine! (In the original post from Design Sponge, she uses vintage post cards to separate her months which is a great idea for something more fun.)
I put the cards into a drawer from an antique sewing machine painted in Annie Sloan chalk paint. That’s not something you probably have lying around, but my aunt who runs Elizabeth Ann’s had one and gave it to me as a housewarming gift when we moved over to Atlanta. I didn’t intend for it to be used for this, but it ended up being the perfect size. You could use a shoebox if you have one handy!
I know you’re probably thinking, “Okay, so how does this hold you accountable to printing pictures, Erin?” I know, I know, I’m getting there.
After each day, I put any pictures taken that day behind it. I think that will make looking back on these days even better years from now when I am writing a new memory down.
Every two weeks or so, I do a picture dump from my phone or memory card in my camera, edit them the way I want them (making sure they are cropped to a 4 x 6 format!), and order them from Costco.
When I pick them up, I write “2016” on the back of them and put them behind the right date by using my phone or the memories I have written down to make sure they go in the right place.
Right now, I am just laying the framework for a family project that I’m sure will be so much fun to look back on over the years. There’s nothing to look back on yet, since this is the first year I am doing this.
*Sometimes, we don’t really do anything, so I haven’t been writing things down on those days to be honest with you, but I think I may start writing even the small things because they’re important too.
I keep this out on the end table in our living room because I know that if I had to go somewhere to write down what happened during the day, I wouldn’t keep up with it. It’s also fun for others to look at our family memories too!
So, I took Design Sponge’s awesome idea that I have wanted to do for years and combined it with my love of pictures into something that I’m already looking forward to using years from now.
Do you like to take pictures? Where and how do you keep up with the pictures you take? How do you keep up with family memories? I would love to hear things that work for your family as well!! Comment or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.