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June 20, 2014

Five Easy Methods for Documenting Everyday Life

Today, I want to share with you five methods that I use to document our everyday life. 

Five Methods for Documenting Life
Calendar  - When it comes to documenting, my calendar is close by my side. At the start of the year, I explained my plans for using my calendar as a place to document the things for which I am most grateful. I have loved this exercise! It has been interesting to see the things that stand out to me most in the day-to-day~ At the end of the day, I rarely make notes about the "big things". I find myself - with a grateful heart - jotting down memories of how fun it was to read books with my toddler or hold my little one while he slept. I also use my calendar as a place to document milestones that my children reach; new things they are doing; funny things my toddler says, etc. So while my hubby and I most definitely use our shared Google calendar, a hard-copy planner is a must for me.

Photos/Videos - I have always loved taking pictures, and since the birth of our first child, you will rarely find me without a camera in hand. I snap lots and lots of photos, and it is important to me that they are backed up in 12,758 places! I make an extra effort to keep our pictures organized, and this most definitely keep me from getting overwhelmed with the documenting process. After years of not completely loving the way my photo files were organized, I came across this method, and my brain loves it! Since making the transition to this labeling system, I sleep much better at night; and it makes it much easier to attack special photo projects - like prints for framing, albums, etc. I also love to take videos - My favorite ones are of simple, everyday moments. I will set the camera down near where my children are playing and press record. Sometimes, I will let it record them for 5-10 minutes, and I absolutely love looking back on these day-to-day recordings of simple moments.

Letters to My Boys - A couple of years ago, I told you about my Letters to Caleb. This is something I have continued for my kids, and I would love to think that I will continue to be able to do it. As I mentioned in my original post, it is not something I am able to do everyday....or every week...In fact, sometimes I do well do write them monthly, but I make the effort to do this as often as I can. I have already enjoyed going back and reading things that most likely would have been forgotten had I not documented them. In order to keep up with this, I will keep a short little record of notes in my phone (that can be quickly added to as my toddler makes a funny comment or my infant reaches a new milestone, etc.), and when I sit down to type their letter(s), I mostly refer to that.

Some of their Art Work - Earlier this year, I wrote about our methods for keeping clutter to a minimum. In the post, I explained that we do not keep all of the artwork, etc. that our children create. With the exception of a few items here and there, I typically snap photos of their work and toss it. I am then able to label the photo and include it in my system for organizing photos.

Quotes/Words - Through the years there have been key people in my life who have spoken words of life into me. Their words will always be in my mind and heart, but I also have them recorded in a document. I never want to forget the powerfully encouraging words that - at times - have been life-changing! In this document, I also include quotes, Scriptures, etc. that have had significance in my journey. Any important hard copy cards, letters, etc. [from my hubby, my parents, other important people in my life] are stored in hat boxes - organized by person/year.

These systems work well for me, and as life goes on, I'm sure they will continue to evolve~
How do you document life? What works well for you?