Weekend Creative Guest Post | Katie Nelson's Roundup

FROM ALI  | I asked my friend Katie Nelson to share some of her tips about her awesome monthly Roundup idea. It's such a cool way to capture details of life and would make a great addition to Project Life and/or other memory keeping adventures. Enjoy!

Do you want to know my most valuable tool for keeping track of the experiences I want to scrapbook? It’s my monthly “roundup” exercise that I started in January of 2006. All I do is answer a set of simple questions at the close of each month to help me centralize and simplify the stories I want to document. Taking the time to recap the events of the past month saves me countless hours of searching later on. It also acts as an index to remind me of the memories I want to commit to paper and share with my friends and family.

I post the roundup prompts on my blog at the end of each month as a reminder to myself and my readers. I encourage people to copy and paste the questions and use them in their own blog posts, journals, facebook feeds, etc. – whatever form works best for you! You can always find the roundup in the sidebar of my blog, but I will also list the questions for you in this post.


  1. What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

  2. What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?

  3. What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?

  4. What gifts did I give and/or receive?

  5. What special or unusual purchases did I make?

  6. What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

  7. What were my accomplishments this month?

  8. What were my disappointments this month?

  9. How did I do on my goals for the month? (Or any current short or long term goals)

  10. Anything else noteworthy to include?

Feel free to change the questions as needed to fit your own needs. I’ve been experimenting with this formula for several years now and I really like the mix of questions I’m using right now. I find that I’m able to cover the important happenings by focusing on these 10 simple prompts.

The second part of my monthly roundup focuses on “housekeeping” tasks to keep your creative workspace in top running condition and to ensure that the tasks associated with memory keeping take place on a regular basis. I don’t do all of these tasks every month, but I find that my life runs much smoother when I complete them.


  1. Upload all digital pictures to my hard drive and clear off memory cards in camera. Place all photos for the month in a computer folder labeled with the month and year. Make a backup copy of the photos from the month on my external hard drive and a dvd. I also upload all photos to my flickr account (you can use any offsite photo storage site, but here is why I love flickr). Ideally, these activities should be done every time you process any pictures through your computer so you don't lose any precious files, but if you have lapsed during the month, now's the time to get it done!

  2. Choose photos or digital layouts to be printed out and get it done while I'm thinking about it.

  3. Backup any other documents or files as needed. I use an external hard drive, I also upload many documents to Google docs. I don't like to lose stuff.

  4. Backup my blog. It's easy to do if you have one, just use Typepad backup or blogger backup.

  5. Clean off my work area, empty my inbox, and clean up my computer files. Here's a link to my digi organization post.

This is my 6th year of doing roundups (I haven’t missed a month since I started!) and I can't even begin to tell you how much easier it has made memory keeping for me. I am constantly referencing my past roundups for ideas for scrapbook pages and I always have material for journaling now. After I answer the questions I just post them to my blog and my roundup is done. If you don't have a blog, just save them on your hard drive or print them out.

I use my roundups for all sorts of creative projects and I even find that they are useful just to keep track of personal information like when I last went to the dentist, or when we traveled to Disneyland in past years. If you want to see how my roundups became one of my favorite scrapbook albums, be sure to check out this post on The Daily Digi.

If you are looking for a simple but highly effective memory keeping tool, I hope you’ll give the roundup idea a try. It’s a great way to feel a sense of real accomplishment at the end of the month, and you will be happy to greet a month of new possibilities ahead once you’ve taken a few minutes to roundup your memories!

Katie Nelson (aka “Katie the Scrapbook Lady”) has been sharing her passion for memories for more than 6 years at scrapbookladypages.com. She is also a contributing writer at The Daily Digi and co-host of The Digi Show podcast.

Katie’s new workshop Roundup Your Memories begins on January 5, 2012. This workshop is suitable for all types of memory keepers; paper scrappers, digital scrapbookers, bloggers, and journal creators. Sign up here.

21 thoughts

  1. Vera

    2011-11-25 07:14:24 -0500

    A friend introduced me to Katie's roundup years ago but I couldn't commit to it, i found the questions daunting! haha. But maybe i'll give it a shot at the end of this month. Love this post, thanks for the links too!

  2. Cherri Engle

    2011-11-25 07:33:08 -0500

    Great information and thank you for sharing the questions and your process. I will be implementing several of your ideas into a new practice for myself.

  3. Kim

    2011-11-25 08:47:43 -0500

    Great post! Sounds like something I'd like to start in 2012.

  4. Cathie

    2011-11-25 09:03:30 -0500

    I love this idea and must adopt it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tamara

    2011-11-25 11:11:40 -0500

    This is great! I think one of the things that keeps me from consistent scrapbooking is the overwhelmingness of it all! What do I do with all these photos....what do I want to actually put in the scrapbook...where do I begin? This is a great plan of attack! Thanks!

  6. Sharon Dryjanski

    2011-11-25 15:54:28 -0500

    Great idea thanks for the tip!

  7. Brooke

    2011-11-25 17:31:18 -0500

    Sounds like a great idea. I often lose some of the information of the moment and when I try to go back to document it it's not quite as well done.

  8. Chris

    2011-11-25 19:03:08 -0500

    Thanks for sharing this! I pinned the idea to add into my blog (possibly scrapbooks, too) starting in the new year. Hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving, Ali & family!

  9. julia

    2011-11-25 20:28:26 -0500

    this is a brilliant idea/process. definitely bookmarking this post! thanks for sharing katie... heading over to your blog now...

  10. Deb P

    2011-11-25 23:59:55 -0500

    This is a great idea!!! I m going to have to follow the path!!

  11. MichelleGB

    2011-11-26 06:33:06 -0500

    Great post! I've been looking at the class and thinking that it would be interesting and an easier way for me to track life than a daily routine. Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Rebecca Brooks

    2011-11-26 12:51:38 -0500

    LOVE this. I saw the BPC email about the class, but I wasnt' sure what it was about and I really don't have the money or the time to take all the BPC classes that I would like to, anyway! Thank you for inviting Katie to guest post on your blog. This post is awesome and full of great info, links, and details! I'm bookmarking this post to come back to later. This is perfect timing as well so we can start with January 2012 and do this each month of 2012. Also, I have never been successful with daily or even weekly journaling so these monthly questions seem much more do-able for me.

  13. Elyse Bleaman

    2011-11-26 12:55:07 -0500

    Thanks for the "Roundup" ideas. This comes at a great time for me with so many changes to keep in line. Your blog is terrific, btw!

  14. Sue

    2011-11-26 18:47:43 -0500

    Wow I just got so many tips from that post and the links - thanks heaps!!

  15. Anne

    2011-11-27 18:35:37 -0500

    Yay! A new blog to read and loads of inspiration.

  16. Kendra

    2011-11-28 13:09:31 -0500

    In love this idea! Wish I could "pin it." Maybe later :)

  17. Katie

    2011-11-28 23:01:44 -0500

    Thanks everyone and thanks to Ali for inviting me to post here! :)

  18. Karen

    2011-11-29 13:18:54 -0500

    This is my third year doing my family's monthly round up and I love it! I've been a fan of Katie's since the day i first encountered her blog. Thanks Katie and Ali for such wonderful ideas that keep us motivated and wanting to record our family's everyday....

  19. I’ve been thinking about my photo/scrap goals for 2012 | Life His Way

    2011-12-26 12:05:20 -0500

    [...] Monthly Roundup – I really like the idea of these monthly roundups that Katie Nelson does. I think I’m going to try doing something similar. Definitely for me and I may try to adapt it for my kids, too. Again, I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll scrapbook on a monthly basis, but I’d love having the record of those things that we did/liked every month. [...]

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    2012-01-09 08:38:00 -0500

    [...] ale żeby trochę to urozmaicić będę przeplatać zdjęcia z tekstem (może z odpowiedziami na te pytania), może z jakimiś małymi pamiątkami typu bilety, ulotki itp :) No to tyle z projektowania i [...]

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