1. Use a pre-made scrapbooking kit
Becky Higgins revolutionised and simplified memory keeping a few years ago by launching "Project Life". Most of the hard work has been done for you! You can purchase a photo album, page protectors, and the core kit (which include journaling and title cards, day stickers, filler cards and more)...all you need to add is your photos and a black pen to write your stories. No adhesive required, just slide your cards and photos into the divided page protectors. The album displays a week to an opening, with the whole year fitting into the one album. Australian residents can purchase the products via Craft House NZ. For other countries, please visit here.
2. Create a digital scrapbook album
If you're computer savvy and know the basics of photoshop or photoshop elements, try using a digital kit specifically designed for recording a 52 week project. I love this one by Cathy Zielske for Designer Digitals. The templates are 8.5x11, so you could create it on your computer, then print on A4 cardstock. If you don't want to insert photos into each box, you could add digital patterned paper instead. There's room for journaling, and for your weekly title. The templates are mix and match, so your album will look different throughout. There are plenty of other digital templates and brushes available on the market...and only a google search away!
3. Use a slip-in album to simplify the process.
This couldn't be easier. Print your photos in bulk, insert them into your album and add your journalling. Don't forget to include the dates. Sure, you won't have a week to an opening, but all of your important memories are there...recorded for you and your family to enjoy in the future. You can pick up photo-safe, slip-in albums at most major stores for a really reasonable price, making this a really economical alternative. Keep an eye out for print deals from places like Snapfish, who will deliver your photos right to your door!
4. Embrace technology and make the most of your smart phone!
Project 365 is a free app for iPhone, where you take a photo each day, and upload it to the calendar. Easy! I love this option, because you don't need to carry a camera on you all of the time...just use your phone. Upload the photos, add your comments and save. You can link this one to Facebook and Twitter, to make sharing your photos super-dooper easy. You can also upgrade to Project 365 Pro for a small cost.
Install Instagram to your iPhone too! You can edit your photos right there on your phone, and upload them to the Instagram community. You can also share your photos directly with Facebook and Twitter. Turn your photos into polaroid postcards through photojojo, or create magnets via stickygram. Imagine your fridge covered in your memories of the current year!
5. Blog your photos, either adding them to your current blog, or a new blog dedicated solely to recording your year. The frequency of your posts is up to you. If you can manage it daily, then that's fantastic! Uploading them weekly or fortnightly might be a bit more achievable. Remember to include some text. Over time we do forget when and where and why our photos were taken. Not only that, you can share your blog with family and friends, and they will instantly feel a part of your story. There are many free blog hosting options available to you, such as Blogger and WordPress.
6. Turn your blog posts into a coffee table book! If you've been blogging throughout the year, most of the hard work has already been done. You've edited your photos and written your story...so why not turn your digital work, into a book your whole family can enjoy. Try using Blurb. Create your account and link up your blog. Blurb will automatically slurp your posts across and insert them into book form. Blogger, WordPress, TypePad and LiveJournal blogs are all compatible with Blurb's software.
7. Join a 365 Project community
Don't want to create and manage your own blog...try 365project.org. This site is laid out really well, and it's so easy to use. Once again, it's based on taking a photo a day...simply open your profile, click on the date on the calender, and upload your photo. You can add comments, and check out the calendars of other users. There are also weekly challenges...great for inspiring your photography if you're feeling a little stale. Did I mention it's free? Even better. The collection of photos at the end of the month looks so effective.
Don't think you can keep up with the pace of taking a photo every single day of the year? Why not try these options...
8. Create a 52 week album
This option takes off a little of the pressure, and it doesn't matter whether you create your scrapbook traditionally or digitally...the moments you capture, and how you document them are totally up to you. Check out these great examples by my scrappy friends Wendy and Sarah. My friend Sandra also puts together a 52 album, and includes an owl on every single layout. Love that she incorporates her favourite thing right through...and its fun trying to find them too! You can create the album based around your family, or perhaps just yourself. Its great for your kids to know more about you when they're older. Let's face it...when they're little, it's all about them!
9. Join a weekly photography link-up
There are many options available to you...Wordless Wednesday, Photo Friday Challenge, 10 on 10 Challenge, and Focus52, to name a few. Take photos of the everyday moments of your life. Share them on your blog, facebook, or flickr...whatever your chosen platform is. The great thing about a linky is sharing your photos with like-minded people and being inspired...and once a week is not a big commitment. I love the idea of the 10 on 10 challenge...take 10 photos on the 10th of the month. I have participated in a similar project before, and made a point of taking a photo of the price of petrol each and every month. It was amazing seeing the increases/decreases (mostly increases) throughout the year. There are many other link-ups available...just google and find one that suits you!
10. Participate in photography challenges...but make them relevant to you!
If you search Pinterest, there are heaps of photography challenge lists available to inspire you. You can follow along daily, or when you're able to. These are your memories you're recording...so you make the rules. A lot of photography challenges are based on a theme...such as a month of gratitude, or Summer, or perhaps inspiring words. There is absolutely no need to follow it to the letter. Print off the challenge list, and cross them off the list as you take the photos. Maybe there are several criteria that you want to photograph on the one day...go for it! Once again, share the photos online, print them for your album, or just store them. It's up to you. Here's a fun example...
But what if photos aren't your thing? Fear not wordsmiths...there's options for you too...
11. Record your daily facebook statuses and twitter updates.
If photography isn't your thing, why not write down your words? Consider using a "One Line A Day" diary. I have one of these myself, and not only will it record the current year...you can use it for five years! Excellent value, and a great way to keep a record of your life. Each page enables you to record five years worth of entries, so that in 2013, you will be able to read what you were doing the year before. You don't need to start your diary on 1 January...just pick a day and begin.
12. Go old school, with a diary
Whether you're writing your deepest feelings, or keeping a day to day journal, there are many items on the market to serve this purpose. Choose a simple spiral bound notebook, a day to a page diary, or perhaps one with a lock so little eyes can't pry. I love the notebooks and diaries by Typo and Kikki.K...gorgeously pretty and functional. If you're going to document your story, make sure your journal inspires you to write. Splash out on a special pen and allocate time to sit down and put pen to paper. Take inspiration from your blog posts, your facebook updates and tweets (sometimes you can't describe your day in 140 characters!). I kept diaries as a tween/teen, and they were hilarious to read back on. Pick a journal that suits your personality and enjoy!
A family friend recently found out that her mother had kept a journal every day of her married life...over 50 years! Those memories are incredibly precious to her family now that her mother has passed away. Once you're gone, your stories and photos are all that are left. Document them today.
Recording your 2012 doesn't need to be an arduous task...find the method that suits you, and go for it! Are you planning on recording this year? How are you going to go about it?
Check out my monthly photography checklists for inspiration.