Since Louise and I began Beautiful Fairy Photobooks, we have heard one fairly common and consistent remark from mums who have older children: "I wish I had been able to write down more." Time is a precious commodity when you have children (and not only little ones) and as they grow, you never seem to get more of it! Therefore, I have adopted a 'just get it written' approach to my note taking about my own children, and have some great simple tips to share to help you record those memories, moments, one liners and milestones.
- A simple approach is to write a short note in word or notepad when you download your photos to your computer. Most cameras will record the date with the photo file, but it doesn't hurt to note it again. Use dot points, and keep a note of Who, What, Where, When and Why. It may be as short as:" Janice and Colin, playing at the Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, July 24 2010, a day's outing during our weekend trip to Melbourne." If you have the time and the inclination, you can include any special stories from the day. Save the word file in a folder with your photos. Write it as the photos copy off the camera.
- Keep a notebook, just a basic one that costs a couple of dollars. I like the ones with a pen holder on the front. Instead of sitting at the table with a cuppa reading the catalogues, make a few notes. You don't have to do this daily, just occasionally is enough. And ALWAYS put the notepad back in THE SAME SPOT, so you can always find it.
- Baby gift books are a great way to start you off. Many of them have spaces for photos, newspaper clippings, cards and other memorabilia. If you have time to do this, then good for you, but I never did. Don't let the thought of all the 'extras' overwhelm you. Skip the time intensive tasks and fill in the blank spots that are significant to you.
- Work with existing habits. I love my diary, it is always nearby and I use it most days. I also keep my diaries for 7 years as I keep financial and other notes in it. I have begun to make sure I buy a diary that has a few lined pages at the back for keeping a few notes. I mostly write down some of those amazing things that kids say, that make you laugh and you desperately want to remember. Last year I put all of my son's one liners into a book, and it was amazing how many Mums said they remembered their child saying funny things, but couldn't remember what. It's simple, easy and effective. You could use a calendar, a notepad in your handbag, any small habit you have that makes keeping notes easy.