(I’m sharing images below to show how my memory keeping has changed with time.)
After seven years documenting my life using the pocket pages system (four years and a half using the Project Life App), I have decided to try something different for my memory keeping endeavors. Put it simple, I want to create digital photobooks with little (or no) use of embellishing products, a minimalist design and focus just on words and photos.
Documenting life has been a constantly changing journey in terms of style and content. This hobby has taught me how important and rewarding telling stories is in someone’s life. While memory keeping hasn’t acted as therapy for me, it has been a wonderful tool for self-discovery and it has helped me to realize how relevant is preserving memories and investigating on myself and my own story. Using lots of products and techniques have helped me to discover that, from certain point forward, I don’t necessarily need products or classes or prompts to tell stories and preserve them.
Life Book 2014
While I can’t say that I will never use embellishments or scrapbooking methods to document my stories again, I would like to share briefly my (very personal) reasons why I am trying a different approach in 2019:
- Product availability can be overwhelming; it is hard to decide what to use when every day designers create so many awesome things.
- Pressure from seeing what other people is doing/trying often holds me back from finding my “enough” and getting it done.
- The guilt I feel when I fall behind or when I don’t use all the products I purchase or when I feel bad for not being able to find a story to respond to each prompt (on a class or on a product).
- I don’t feel comfortable anymore with one of the major brands (even if they create wonderful products, and amazing and modern scrapbooking solutions, I simply can’t relate to them as a brand anymore) and I don’t want to keep promoting their business through what I might create.
- I want to focus on telling stories and use just photos as a visual support to them while creating a simple guiltless system that allows me to be “up to date”.
In summary (and unfortunately) the creative process of scrapbooking has become a big distraction from my main goal: telling stories and preserving memories. It somehow stopped being helpful and fun; when I was able to recognize this I was also able to let go and move to try something different and see what happens.
Life Book 2015
Things that will remain the same
- I will still call my album Life Book.
- I will still print my pages in a photobook format.
- I will still include details of everyday life, special events, travels, extraordinary moments, etc…
Life Book 2016
Things that will change
Journaling and content
- I will include more journaling in Spanish.
- I will focus on writing stories about the following ten themes: routines, mornings, evenings, spaces (home), places, milestones, connections (relationships), favorites, celebrations and unexpected events.
- I will not include screenshots of any sort; only typed words and photos.
- Digital memorabilia will go to a digital Commonplace Book (inspired by this wonderful project).
- If needed, the only digital embellishments I would use are the Ali Edwards products that I already own (love love love Ali!).
Format and workflow
- I will change the size from 10X10 to 8×10.
- I will consider using a different printing service (probably Blurb; I currently use Shutterfly and like it very much).
- I will not divide my layouts per week but I will work on the stories everyday before bedtime (hopefully) and I’ll work in the album set up once a week.
- I will take notes on my phone or notebook with potential story ideas.
- I’ve created layered templates using the Affinity Photo app. I will complete the pages weekly and then will transfer them monthly to full page canvases in Shutterfly or Blurb.
My stories will be simple but I will try to go beyond my usual “Today we went to the beach and it was awesome”. My main goal with this project is to capture our life as it is now; mostly capture and preserve a glimpse of what we do, how we do it and why.
Life Book 2017
Other memory keeping projects I’ll be working on
Besides my Life Book, I will be working on a digital Commonplace Book, a travel photobook from our vacation and also a One Little Word album (I am not sure if I’ll include OLW layouts on my Commonplace book or if they’ll go into a separate photobook). At the end of the year I hope to have 3-4 completed photobooks.
Life Book 2018
Memory keeping has always been a rewarding way to spend my time on and my intention is to simplify my process, achieve a minimal design and after all, document our lives and make something tangible to cherish my memories and share them with the people I love.
I CAN DO THIS!