Memory-keeping: the system that works for me

Since this month is a month I want to focus on relationships, I thought I’d write one post to show you all about my memory-keeping, and at least I can then link to this one instead of the 5 or so on the blog πŸ™‚


  1. I take tons of photos on both my camera and iphone, and use photos from both devices for my albums. I’m still partial to my big camera (Canon) but life is much easier with my iphone 6 since the quality of the photos is so magnificent. As they say, the best camera is the one you have with you. And I add, keep your big camera out so you’re more likely to use it.
  2. I do a 52-week photo project of the kids. This is my third year.
  3. I then choose 4 pics per child per month, and 4 pics of them together. Because I take so many photos, I purposefully choose images for that are not from our 52 project pics. One day soon, I’ll just print the 52 photos for our album but that day has not arrived yet. These limitations have given me a lot of freedom.
  4. Then I do project life. Here’s how I used to do it and here’s how I now do it.
  5. The key to successful memory-keeping is being realistic about time and money.
  6. And here’s where I talk more about money because all of this stuff costs money so the key is to think about what will work for you.

How do you preserve your family’s memories?

What have you found is the most realistic method for you, both in terms of time and money?

If this is one of your goals for the year, join me for monthly accountability coaching to get your things done this year!

Memory-keeping on a budget: My 5 best tips

I want to talk a little more about realistic memory-keeping.

I wrote a blog post about that before which focussed on the time aspect.

I thought I’d add to that post by talking about the other realistic side of memory-keeping, the budgeting part.

Here are my 5 tips on realistic memory-keeping on a budget.

1. Consider all your options before you start

We waste a lot of money (and time) when we don’t properly think through things. Some things you might want to consider are …

– what is your style?
– what is your budget? (your actual budget, not the idealistic budget) We all know this kind-of thing is a luxury so give yourself the permission to acknowledge that
– what do you NOT want to do?

I love the look of photobooks and so I bought some vouchers from 3 separate companies about 3 years ago. Well, I can now tell you I will never ever ever make a photo book again. I will happily pay for someone else (with my clean, visual style) to do it for me but for me, no thanks. You see, the book cost about R200 on special but I spent about 3 torturous hours putting it together. Not worth it for me. I would rather pay more and have someone else do it.

The next set was easier but still the time investment was a killer, and the third time (I don’t learn very quickly, do I?), when the system kept bombing me out, I asked for a refund and remembered why I do not do photobooks.

2. What is your minimum level for memory satisfaction?

There are many f.ree apps available and some very cost-effective ones too.

Is it snapping a photo with your phone?
Is it Instagramming it?
Is it putting a folder on Facebook?

I did a Project 365 last year. Most of my photos were also instagrammed but a lot weren’t. I didn’t want to Instagram hard days at work but they’re part of my story so those photos are saved to my Project 365, for my eyes only πŸ™‚


3. Do you want to print anything?

After the photobook disasters, I decided that I’m just fine with photo albums. I love my photo albums. I have a big one for each child from 1 up to 5 years old. I print just 4 photos a month per child. I love having that creative boundary because it’s just supposed to be a snapshot in time of what that child was like at that point in his/ her life.

4. Choose your method of storage carefully

I have the same type of photo albums (200-page) for everything so they stack nicely on a shelf. They suit my style of photography because I mostly take landscape-layout pics.

Some people do a monthly or weekly Project Life .Β I do a monthly Project Life because I don’t like the idea of having weekly pressure πŸ™‚

When you’re choosing how you want to store your photos, consider current and future costs.

When I ordered mini albums, I ordered 3 so that I was sorted for 3 years. That might not work for you if you like everything new. It doesn’t bother me to not have the most current everything so I’m good.

I love the idea of Project Life but not the shipping costs to South Africa. And so, my best budget memory-keeping advice…

Lime Album

5. If you do Project Life, buy only what you want from the digital kits

I paid about R1100 for my first kit – just the kit, not the albums – with shipping costs. That’s crazy expensive and hurts my head every time I think about it too long.

Next time around I ordered digital project life files off the site (only the 4 X 6 filler cards because I use a mini album – as I said, I LOVE boundaries!). I mixed it up so I got the Honey and Sunshine kits because they made me happy, printed off the PDFs and now I’m set. The only slight nuisance was cutting them out because I don’t have a paper trimmer. I only paid about R100 for the files and printing on cardstock. HUGE saving of R1000.


In my opinion, even if you do a weekly PL layout, you will still never finish the entire box in a year. Yes, you could use the cards for list-making (I do this too) but why waste money to start off with?

Which one of those was your favourite tip?

PS Do pop over to Pink Ronnie to read her tips on keeping to a memory-keeping budget.


Apparently accountability and parties motivate me – the baby book project

If you follow me on Facebook and/ or Instagram (marcia0608), you’ll have seen me post some projects I called #babybookproject

Birth to 1 Connor 2009-07-28 02-58-09 PM-1

That first year of my twins’ lives were so crazy and baby books were the last thing on my mind. Sometime last year though, I decided that they needed baby books.

To be 100% honest, this crazy idea came about because I saw really cute photo journals. And bought them. I am weak in the face of cute stationery πŸ™‚

Two weekends and they were done.


Yes, I worked like a mad woman to get them done but I did it.

Because apparently accountability (I’d told my friends I was doing it) motivates me. That, and parties.

I also told myself I’m not allowed to start planning the babies’ 4th birthday party til the baby books are done. And I usually start the planning two months before the time, which is May….

So I got them done. I even got another photo album done for that first year.

1020 009

Now that that’s done, I can start party planning.


What motivates you? How do you get yourself moving on projects?

PS Please ask anything you want about the process, etc. and I’ll either write another post or answer in the comments.

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