Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - Journal Keeping

Before I got married I filled a few journals. Not necessarily writing every day - but enough to fill the need.

After I got married - the journaling pretty much stopped (ummm maybe b/c I now had a constant companion to relate all my stuff to - poor guy!).

A way that works for me now to keep a journal, that I don't have to write daily or even weekly, is to go to my "sent emails". I look for emails that I have primarily sent to my family (my family lives 1000 miles away and my dh's family lives 3 hrs away - so a lot of our communication is via email).

I quickly sift through the emails looking for journal material...special things we did or a special thing one of the kids did, maybe a time of illness someone had etc. I cut and then paste the writing into a word document - along with the date.

I do this a few times a year maybe - whenever I think about it and have the time. You can either take an afternoon to do it or do it in bits and pieces.

When the kids were really small I'd usually be writing to grandma or to another family member to let them know all the cute/fun/bad things the kids were up to. This helped too, to fill in the baby book gaps - you know the deal - where the first kid has a full baby book and the other children have blank pages or empty fill in the blanks. I was able to look back in the emails and gather some of the missing information.

Of course this all takes time - and maybe it would be easier to do your journal writing each day - but I know I'd never get around to keeping a written journal like I did before marriage. And the way I do it - I'm kind of killing two birds with one stone.

The journal isn't so much for me to remember all these things - though I imagine some day I'll be old and gray (or should I say old and gray-er) and will get a kick out of reading the accounts of our youth. The journal is for our children.

My dd (now only 8) especially has enjoyed looking back and reading some of the journal entries that pertain to all the stuff she did when she was really little - and from time to time she'll mention to me or to her brother about the funny time mom was talking on the telephone outside and how she snuck up to mom and dumped a pail of sand on her head and that it was the same day that she bit her baby brother.

For more Works For Me Wednesday tips - head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.


Keep A Journal said...

Nice posting! I used to keep a journal as well, and then fell out of the habit. Similar to you, when I started again, I did it more so my kids would have it than for me.

Another time-saving way of keeping a journal that you may want to consider is to keep an audio voice journal.

You can use a service called LifeOnRecord that lets you dial a phone number and make recordings through your telephone. I typically do it during my commute and when I have the kids in the car, I'll pass the phone to them so they can talk about what they did during the day. Those recordings can then be downloaded to your computer, podcasted into iTunes, or the service can send you a CD.

I don't think I can put in a web link in these comments, but I put the address in the URL field, so you can click on "Keep A Journal" to see the site.

Amanda said...

I do "Friday Letters" and each kid has a journal and I write them a letter every Friday in them. This is a great idea though!!

Mom2fur said...

I kept journals for my kids when they were younger. In fact, the last entry in each book is about 9/11. But wow...what a great idea to go back through my blog posts and e-mails (those I still have) to find more journalling material! I love that!

Lynda said...

Excellent idea...