What is Modern Memory-Keeping?
Modern memory-keeping is the act of capturing and curating your family’s most impactful memories efficiently and effectively. It is all about remembering the beautifully simple moments that tell life’s story. Modern memory-keepers leverage technology to record, cherish and share memories.
To some, the phrase “modern memory-keeping” may seem like an oxymoron. But I promise it’s not! Memory-keeping has transformed over the years. Gone are the days when memory-keeping was synonymous with super complicated, done by hand, giant scrapbook albums. No longer do we have to hope our pictures come out good with film or use expensive equipment like stamps, stickers and scissors. (Like really, how many fancy pairs of scissors does one really need??)
Documenting and savoring your story has never been easier, and it comes in many varieties. In fact, there really isn’t a limit to the number of ways you can record your past and present. Here are my top ten ways that you can begin memory-keeping today!
10 Ways to Preserve Your Memories Today
1. Keep a Journal
I would argue that keeping a journal may be one of the most important ways to memory-keep. Documenting important moments using your own voice, with your own handwriting, and in your own unique way is invaluable. Not only does it allow you to literally tell your own story, but it can also be extremely healing as you work through especially difficult times in your life.
While the idea of keeping a journal may not be all that “modern”, the ways in which you can do it today are. There are many apps and websites out there dedicated to journaling. My favorite app for journaling is called DayOne. Although it doesn’t capture my handwriting, I use it majority of the time for convenience sake. I use DayOne for my personal journals, recording notes to or about my son, and even keeping my recipes organized. A few of my favorite features are voice to text and the fact that I can include images in my journal entries.
2. Taking and Storing Pictures
Taking pictures is a wonderful way to capture a moment because they give us a window into the past. A picture can sometimes even describe a moment more effectively than words can. More than ever before, taking pictures is is an easy way to memory-keep and definitely something you can start today. We have fairly high quality cameras installed directly on our phones. DSLR cameras have many settings that make taking a crisp and vibrant picture possible even for those who aren’t professional photographers. And, there are many photography gurus that offer courses on sites like Youtube, Udemy and Coursera to help those of us who want to become better at photography!
When it comes to taking and storing pictures, what sets apart modern memory-keepers from the rest is the preservation and presentation of those photos. For a quick and easy way to start organizing and saving your photos today, check out the Google Photos app. Once you download it, you can have it automatically bring in the pictures from your phone, so you don’t have to! I used to cringe thinking about if my phone or hard drive were destroyed. What would happen to all of my pictures!? But now I rest easy because of Google Photos. Plus, it does so much for you when it comes to organizing and editing. Did I mention it’s free?! I don’t recommend Google Photos to be your only means of storage, but it’s a wonderful way to get started.
Have a lot of printed pictures that you’re not sure how to store? Savor Your Story offers a Photo Digitization service to help you get started.
3. Create a Photo Book
One specific way that you can present your photos is by creating a photo book. Modern memory books should be simple, tell a story, and put emphasis on what is most important – you and your family. There are many options out there for you to create your own photo book. I have explored many of them myself. For those with time and a creative eye, these are great options!
For those who don’t have the time or energy, here at Savor Your Story, we offer custom photo book creation as a service. You simply give us which photos you want to put in the book, we edit them and design the pages to match the story you are trying to tell. We then give you the edited photos, an ebook version of your photo book (this is wonderful for sharing and additional printing!), and a hardback version of your photo book (in your desired size). There aren’t many moms or dads today who feel like they have the time to create books like these, and we want to help! We believe that every family deserves happy memories and that they can be customized and look beautiful. Take a look at some of our current specials and packages here.
4. Post to Social Media
Social Media is one of the more common ways that people are memory-keeping today. People are sharing where they are, what they are doing, and how they are feeling… that’s memory-keeping!
For those of you who post frequently to Instagram or Facebook, Chatbooks may be a great option for you to put your posts into a photo book format. Just as a disclaimer, the images you post to Facebook and Instagram are typically sized down in quality, which is why I don’t use this kind of service. However, if you’re looking for a quick and dirty solution, this may be for you.
5. Capture Video
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video has to be worth millions of pictures. Video allows us to relive our memories over and over, and just like photos, they can be taken easily with our phones. When I had my son, a friend of mine recommended that I regularly make short videos of him. I’ve tried my best to do this and I’m so glad I did. It’s funny how quickly you forget the little noises your baby makes and the mannerisms they have at the different stages of development. The same principle can be applied to remembering many things in life.
Savor Your Story offers Custom Video Montage Creation as a service to help you combine your most important pictures and videos and put it to music. To learn more about this service, click here.
6. Record Audio
Have you ever heard a song from your childhood or high school years and it seemed to transport you back to that time in your life? Sounds we hear can be closely connected to our emotions and memories. Audio, in it’s varieties, is a powerful and often under-utilized form of modern memory-keeping.
There are many ways you can memory-keep by recording audio starting today. If you are going on a vacation, consider making a playlist of songs that describe that trip. If you wrote a journal entry to your son or daughter, try recording you reading it out loud. If you enjoy making music, try recording it! My family and I love making music together. We regularly make family records full of our “hit singles”. This is something that is always fun to do over the holidays when we are together and can usually be done with the recording device on your phone.
7. Do Genealogy
Part of modern memory-keeping is honoring your past. Genealogy is the study of your own personal family tree and it can be an excellent way to better understand your own story. It can come in many forms such as interviewing your living ancestors, documenting your childhood, or researching previous generations. It can be an eye-opening and humbling journey to discover where you come from.
FamilySearch.org and its associated app are great free ways to get started learning about your roots. It’s an online database that can help you fill out your family tree. Since we’re all connected, you may be surprised to find how much is already known about your ancestors. Another great option for learning and recording your family’s story is Ancestry.com. It does have a monthly subscription, but you have access to millions of records and information from many countries.
8. Maintain a Blog
Blogs can be used in a variety of ways. They can be personal or commercial and can be about any topic you can think of. Blogs can act as a sort of online journal that is shareable with friends and family. So not only can you preserve your memories, thoughts and feelings for yourself, but you can also update others in real time.
There are many great options for starting a blog, and it all depends on what your goal in starting the blog is. If you are looking for a way to memory-keep and don’t want to spend a dime, sites like WordPress, Wix, Blogger, and more could be for you. You’ll want to choose before hand if you care about owning your blog or not and how much you might want to customize it, so make sure you do your research.
9. Start a Vlog
Vlogs are blogs but with video and can be created using the video camera on your phone. Vlogs are typically found on sites like Youtube and have a wide range in subject matter. Vlogging has really emerged in the past couple years as a popular method of sharing information or marketing a skill. There are vloggers around the world talking regularly about every kind of topic you can think of, so why couldn’t this be used for memory-keeping? Vlogs have pretty much all of the benefits of video paired with the shareability of being online. I probably wouldn’t share everything on a vlog for security reasons, but it could be a good way to document a specific trip or event in the moment.
10. Keep a Daily To-Do’s Planner
Keeping a planner or writing down to-do’s can be a great way to document the day to day and is definitely a form of memory-keeping. The little things we do each day like running errands or finishing projects at work can definitely feel like minutia in the moment. However, when you look back at a to-do list you made months or years ago, it can be really fun to reminisce that time in your life. All you need for this is a notebook and a pen. Anyone else like drawing checkboxes on your to-do lists?
Modern memory-keepers love including things like to-do lists from planners into memory books because it provides personalization and character. As I was piecing together a memory book of the years when my husband and I were dating, I included parts of my college planner at the time. It definitely added a cool dimension to our book because it reminded me of my concerns and to-do’s at the time.
I hope this list got you excited to start memory-keeping today! Preserving your memories doesn’t have to be complicated and can usually easily be incorporated into what you are already doing. If you think we missed anything, please tell us about it in the comments! If you’d like to learn more about starting your next modern memory-keeping project click the button below.