The Importance of Handwriting in Memory Keeping

There’s something to be said about the beauty of a handwritten memory. With so much technology readily available, the art of handwriting has faded in today’s instant world. Instead of writing letters and keeping journals, we tend to opt for a quick email or text and a social media update. These communication and storytelling mediums have their purpose, but memory keeping is not always one of them.


Part of Your Identity

Is there anything more personal than handwriting? We all have a unique way of writing that, in more ways than one, expresses our personality. The way we dot our i’s and cross our t’s, our spacing between letters and words, and even the pressure we apply with the pen tells us something about who we are or what we may be experiencing in that moment. There are expressions and impressions that can be read from the way we carve each word. Were we thoughtful, happy, sad, tense, or enthusiastic? Readers connect with the honesty and vulnerability of handwritten memories. As we preserve our memories in our scrapbooks, handwriting is also part of the story. Even if it feels imperfect, it is an extension of ourselves that is important to include in the stories we preserve and share with others.

Handwriting in Memory Keeping #ctmh #closetomyheart #memory #keeping #journal #journalling #journaling #scrapbooking #cardmaking #diy #handwriting #writing #write #memories #personal #identity #unique #kitchen #traditions #recipes #cutabove

Thoughtful and Intentional Journaling

Writing by hand tends to slow us down, forcing thoughtful and intentional words. Editing occurs less as we write, often making it a better reflection of our genuine self. Physically writing out a page of words takes more time and energy but it also engages our creativity. Handwritten journaling can show that we put more thought and effort into something that could easily be typed in less time, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. By writing our stories in our scrapbooks, we’re assigning greater meaning to our memories—moments that might otherwise get lost.


Keepsakes

Handwritten memories become keepsakes. Consider old letters exchanged between your grandparents and compare them to text messages we send today. Which is a keepsake truly worth saving? The same goes with writing in cards, letters, journals, and scrapbook pages. The stories and memories saved in handwriting are more likely to get passed down from generation to generation and held tightly and close by those who admire and love us. Texting, emails, and social media are all signs of the times. It could be fun to screenshot a text conversation and scrapbook it. It is part of our lives after all, but typed words don’t evoke our personality the same way that handwriting does. Including it in our scrapbooks enhances the story and the value of the keepsakes we create.

Perfectly imperfect, writing by hand is an investment we make to share a piece of ourselves in the stories we tell for others. Whether you love your handwriting or can barely stand it, we encourage you to share this piece of yourself in your memory keeping—everyone who looks through your scrapbooks will be glad you did.

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Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones

Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch on one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Classic Family Memories

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapping #scrapbooking #familymemories #familyfun #family #cruiseHave a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love

Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes

This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing

Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #ctmh #closetomyheart #readinglayout #scrapping #scrapbooking #readingscrapbook #readingType a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things

In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes & Dislikes

Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities

Ideas for organizing your scrapbook albums #scrapping #scrapbooking #ctmh #closetomyheart #hikescrapbook

What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of our We’ve Got You Covered! campaign, where you buy one album and get a second at 50%-off, to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!


Recipes

12″ x 12″ Disney Cruise Layout
E1034 My Acrylix® Marker Alphabet Stamp Set, A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp SetD1660 My Acrylix® Ink Blot Stamp SetZ3263 Uptown Fundamentals Paper PacketX7220B No Worries Paper PacketX7221B Prickly Pear Paper Packet1385 White Daisy Cardstock1386 Black Cardstock, Z2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ3309 Snapshot ComplementsZ3264 Good Life ComplementsZ3314 Black & White DotsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling PenZ1151 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Love to Read Layout
D1702 My Acrylix® Capture This Stamp Set, X7220B No Worries Paper Packet, X7222B Jack Paper Packet, Z2873 Slate Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad, Z3308 My Girl Complements, Z3309 Snapshot Complements, Z1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling Pen, Z1151 3-D Foam Tape, Sewing Machine

12″ x 12″ Hiking Layout
A1182 My Acrylix® Etched Alphabet Stamp Set, D1702 My Acrylix® Capture This Stamp SetX7222B Jack Paper PacketZ3254 Enchantment Fundamentals Paper PacketZ3262 Rustic Home Fundamentals Paper Packet, 1384 Colonial White Cardstock, 1385 White Daisy CardstockZ2805 Black Exclusive Inks™ Stamp PadZ3266 School 7-12 Complements, Z3314 Black & White DotsZ1979 Marvy® Uchida® LePen™ Journaling PenZ1151 3-D Foam Tape, Note: Title cut 1½” using System font in Cricut Craft Room®.

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From Jill: Capture Memories as You Make Them

Use your planner to write down things you want to remember for your scrapbook! #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #scrapbooking #tips #crafting
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.Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

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:

Use your planner to up your scrapbooking game--you won't want to miss this great idea! #ctmh #closetomyheart #scrapbooking #planner #journaling #memorykeepingmatters

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.

 

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbookColoring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

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.

Coloring planner 2017 #ctmh #closetomyheart #2017planner #adultcoloringbook #coloringbook

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,

Jill


To learn more about our 2017 planner, check out our video below (which features me!) 🙂 :

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