This post originally appeared last year on our blog. It has been edited slightly for relevance. Read the original here.
As I enter the New Year with resolutions and hopes for the future, there is one resolution that I keep at the top of my list year after year: documenting my stories. Because this is so important to me, I am always looking for new ways to do it.
For the past two years, I’ve been trying a new form of journaling involving my planner. I have always been a planner person. Even with technological advances, I like using pen and paper to organize my days, and since I always have my planner close by, I thought I’d try something out.
Here’s what I did: Whenever something sparked a memory from my past or whenever something special happened that day that I wanted to remember, I wrote it down in my planner. You can see my example here from two years ago.
By jotting these things down in my planner as I remembered them or as they happened, I found I focused more on what’s really important in life and not just my never-ending to-do list. I also found that when I went to scrapbook, I could reference my planner for journaling ideas.
Sometimes what I wrote in my planner was something that happened on a specific day, but other times I just wrote down a random memory from the past.
Either way, turning to my planner gave me inspiration for what to write next to my photos, like you can see from this scrapbook page I created last year:
The photo I used on this page was taken in June, but that little quote actually came from a conversation between these two kiddos in January. Even though the exchange didn’t happen at the same time as the photo, it made a much more meaningful story to compliment my photo than something generic like “here we are at the park… again.” The quote and photo work together to tell the story of their relationship at that point in time.
Our dear friend and brilliant storyteller, Stacy Julian, has spoken at a couple of our events in the past year, encouraging everyone to document memories as they come. On our CreativeLive show last year, she led us in a fun exercise to trigger memories and stories with random photos of ordinary objects.
This exercise transformed the way I think about storytelling, showing me that even seemingly random, unconnected memories are part of my story and can often be connected to more significant memories. Instead of letting these random memories fade whenever they are sparked by something I encounter in my day, if I just take two minutes to write them down, they can be kept and told. Whether the memories are old or new, a planner is such a convenient place to record them as they come so you can remember all those details when you sit down to do your journaling.
I want to invite all of you to join me in my efforts to keep and tell stories by writing down things as they happen in your planners. And if you haven’t already gotten our 2017 planner pages yet, I encourage you to get them now! We have three different bundles. You can check them out by clicking on the images below.
One thing I love about our unique planners is that they have coloring pages, which is a great way to inspire your creativity every time you open your planner. It makes your day-to-day planning feel extra special, and when you combine that with documenting precious moments and revisited memories, you can create something really beautiful.
To help you get started with this new journaling approach, here is your first prompt: Document a conversation. This could be something your cute kiddos say, a nice exchange between you and a loved one, or the conversation you observe between a grandparent and a child. If you’d like, snap of photo of your notes and share it using the hashtag #memorykeepingmatters.
One of my favorite quotes from author Madeleine L’Engle says, “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” This is what I want for my family and my life, and I want it for each of you, too. Join me in a storytelling journey by using your planner to record special memories as they come to you.
Always let your stories shine,
To learn more about our 2017 planner, check out our video below (which features me!) 🙂 :