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.
- What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
- What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?
- What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
- What gifts did I give and/or receive?
- What special or unusual purchases did I make?
- What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
- What were my accomplishments this month?
- What were my disappointments this month?
- How did I do on my goals for the month? (Or any current short or long term goals)
- 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.
- 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!
- Choose photos or digital layouts to be printed out and get it done while I'm thinking about it.
- 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.
- Backup my blog. It's easy to do if you have one, just use Typepad backup or blogger backup.
- 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.