When I was a teen, I used to have a journal. I started journaling because it was encouraged at church. It was supposed to be a way to find oneself and get in touch with their spirituality.
I didn’t have a formal journal. I remember taking college-ruled paper and keeping the sheets I’d written in a binder.
I wrote very personal things in there and while I don’t remember much about what I wrote, I do recall that after I came home years after I’d left to the military, I found a small stack of the sheets stapled together.
I destroyed the darn thing from the embarrassment of what I’d glanced. It was so dumb. I regret having done that. I probably should have taken a closer look at what I’d written.
Over the years, I’ve journaled to keep a time capsule of my life on paper. I’d like to believe that what I’ve written will help me remember more of my life and perhaps my family members after I’m gone.
Yeah, it’s corny. But, that’s who I am and I love it.
When very special moments happen in my life, I try to record the details about it in my journal. I’m very detailed and I like writing about my feelings and not just what happened.
Well, with the use of cell phone cameras and all sorts of other devices, it does make it easier to record moments as well, but it’s still not the same as writing how one felt or their intimate thoughts about particular events.
It’s like when you read a book like, The Notebook and then you watch the movie…you can’t understand everything by just watching unless you’ve read the book.
Keeping that in mind, here are some things you might want to think about doing if you want to preserve your memories in any type of way.
DIFFERENT RECORDING METHODS
- A traditional journal: I love to buy journals for my kids because they love to write when they are in the mood. I usually get their journals from stores like HomeGoods, Marshalls, Ross, Walmart or Target.
They’re not usually expensive. They run between $4.99 and $12.99. There are definitely some more expensive ones out there, but what matters is that if you’re going to buy a physical journal, it has to hold the pages well to endure lots of use – especially if it’s for kids or teens.
- Make your own: with so many options to get creative nowadays, you can create your own journal.
Like I mentioned, growing up I used college-ruled paper and stuck it in a binder.
But with the many ways to print beautifully designed note paper from the internet for free, you can personalize your own paper, print it and write on it or type on it and print it.
As far as where to keep it together, you can still use a binder and decorate it with stickers or print out your own cover sheet or even create a binder cover out of fabric or any material you like.
- Word Doc or Google Docs: if you use a Word document, you can add a password to protect it.
It’s convenient to keep it on a Word doc because you can save it to your cloud, but keep in mind that if you save it to your hard-drive and it crashes one day, you might not be able to recover your document.
A Google document is more secure because not only does it automatically save as you type, but it’s pretty secure as long as you don’t share the account or your password with anyone.
- Use your phone recorder: many phones have recorders built-in. iPhone comes with Voice Memos, Android has Cogi and there are many, many other apps that are free of charge to select from.
While recording takes up a lot of memory on phones, some people prefer this to writing and others like transcribing what they recorded at a later time.
This option can be useful when you’re full of excitement and want to take note of what just happened before you forget all the details about the event.
- Video: some people have taken to YouTube to journal their lives. While this is a risky option, because you know what they say, once it’s online, it’ll always remain online even if you delete it.
However, some people set their YouTube journal channel private and give the domain to only those they want to have access to it at the right time.
People love this option because their loved ones will not only get to listen to them as they tell their stories, but they’ll get a full emotional effect by watching their body language as they tell their stories.
It’s also less of a burden to keep on a hard-drive somewhere at home or on a paid cloud service.
- Social Media: Someone I know uses a private Facebook page of their own where they post their daily journal videos to keep from paying for a paid cloud service.
Again, it’s on the web, so if you’re ok with it, then, hey, by all means, go for it!
Lastly, let’s discuss keeping your privacy. If you decide to keep a physical journal, think about where you’ll keep secured. Some family members or friends might be a bit too curious to read it if left out in the open.
Others might not want to bother. But, the best thing to do is to keep it away from others because this is where you’ll record your most intimate stories.
Some might be too precious to share with others or you might have embarrassing stories that you’d rather keep to yourself.
You might want to consider not letting people know that you keep a journal to not spark curiosity.
If your journal is online, you’ll want to keep it password protected. Make sure no one has the password and that you use a secure location on the web to secure it.
For example, keeping it on a google document in an account that many people have access to is not a way to go. Make sure that you use a google document from a private Google account that no one has access to.
If you use Word, you can add a password in the settings options on the document.
- Open the document that you want to help protect.
- On the Word menu, click Preferences.
- Under Personal Settings, click Security.
- In the Password to open box, type a password, and then click OK.
- In the Confirm Password dialog box, type the password again, and then click OK.
- Click Save .
|Tip To remove a password, select all contents in the Password to open box, and then press DELETE.|
It really helps to try to be consistent with journaling so that you can keep it going in the long run, but you don’t have to spend lots of time journaling.
I try to do 15 minutes a week. Sometimes I end up writing a lot longer and other weeks I don’t write at all.
Just make sure you write down the most important events in there that you think you’ll appreciate reading about when you’re older.
Do you have a unique way to record moments in your life? Share with us, we’d love to know what other ways people use to keep their memories alive.