It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with planning for goal setting and staying organized. Early in 2016, I learned about another way to use a planner: memory planning!
If memory planning is a new term for you — it’s essentially memory keeping in a planner. Instead of writing in your planner in advance and, well, planning, you document what happened after the fact and add photos and journaling and whatever else your heart desires.
Two months ago, I decided I wanted to try out this new planner trend, and I fell in love. Memory planning is my new thing, and I want to share it with the world. So, if you’ve been thinking about diving into this new paper crafting trend, here are a few things I learned during my first two months memory planning in my Happy Planner.
Try it out before you commit.
I wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit to a full year, so I used a Happy Planner extension pack, a set of mini discs and an extra laminated cover set to create a two-month memory planner to try. I set my mini memory planner up to be November and December to cover the holidays, but you could just as easily do any two months and call it a seasonal planner.
If you think your life isn’t exciting enough to document, you’re wrong.
I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t have enough going on in their life to fill a memory planner. I was a little worried about that at first, too, but it’s not as intimidating as you might think. You really only need 1-2 photos a day, and they don’t have to be exciting. You could even use less photos if you print your photos larger or inlude more journaling.
And here’s the thing: No one goes to Disney Land and eats at a five-star restaurant every day, or even every week. I work in an office eight hours a day, and I prefer quiet nights at home over crazy nights out. On the surface, I don’t lead a glamorous, photogenic life. BUT, there are things about every single day that make me smile — whether it’s a fun, new recipe I tried, a funny thing someone said, watching a movie with my husband, or checking out new stickers at Michaels. It’s those details — the moments anyone else might find lame and boring — that I want to document and remember, because when you put them all together it’s the story of my life.
Experiment with photo printing methods.
The thing I struggled with most in my two months of memory planning was printing the photos. I tried a different method almost every week before I settled on sizing the photos in PhotoShop and printing them on photo paper using my home printer. Almost everyone I talked to does something different, from creating a collage on an iPhone app and printing photos at CVS to using a Polaroid Zip photo printer. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Try something, and if you don’t like it, try something else.
Use sticky notes to help you remember.
I started my memory planning experiment thinking I would document the week every Sunday afternoon while my memories were still fresh. It was a great plan, but life happened. I got busy, and I ended up completing several weeks **ahem, all of December** in one sitting. Since I had a lot to catch up on, it was tricky to remember what happened when. Even though I used my personal planner and the time stamp on my photos to jog my memory, I still had a couple days that I couldn’t remember at all. Going forward, I’ll jot down what has happened on sticky notes every day or two so I’ll remember if I get behind.
Mix journaling and photos.
Photos are awesome, but there are some things a photo can’t capture. Journaling about your emotions or describing events or conversations can add a little more depth to your memory planner and make it more of a fun keepsake.
Get creative with images.
Think outside the box when it comes to your images. I’ve had fun including screen shots of text messages, social media posts and memes. I’ve even included screenshots of my Bitmoji.
Use stickers to fill voids.
If you’ve got a little more blank space on a page than you wanted, don’t freak out. Add some fun stickers, and focus on taking more photos next week — or just keep adding stickers.
Use the discs!
The coolest thing about the Happy Planner is the discbound system. You can add anything. In the last two months, I punched large Pocket Letter cards to add more journaling and extra photos that wouldn’t fit on the weekly page. I also added in a few fun mementos — like a greeting card my husband left on my desk with a bottle of wine one evening. If you’re going to dive into memory planning, a disc bound punch is definitely a worthy investment.
Also: Check out these pocket pages! There are so many fun ways you can use these in your memory planner. ***The link goes to pocket pages for the MINI Happy Planner. There are currently only MINI and CLASSIC size pocket pages for the Happy Planner.
me & my BIG ideas social media coordinator Amanda Rose Zampelli is the memory planning queen. She recently released a memory planning class at bigpictureclasses.com.
You can also find other awesome memory planners by searching #memoryplanning on Instagram.