The Adventure Starts Here: 5 Ways to Document Your Life

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

5 Ways to Document Your Life

I am a firm believer in capturing the moment and documenting life.  I know many will argue that we should live life rather than photograph life, but I honestly think that despite capturing the moment on camera, I'm still enjoying the moment as well.  And the older Noah gets, and the more I photograph, I realize that I love the candid shots more than the posed ones.  So while I am often behind the camera, I let Noah do his thing and I'm there to capture it, as uninterrupted as I can.  The reason I do this is because I really do think he will enjoy looking back on all these moments one day. I know that I love looking back at photos from my childhood.  So while it can be time consuming, I believe it's worth it.  In addition to this blog, here are 5 ways that I document our life.  

One - A Yearly Photo Album

I take a lot of photos.  And while I share a lot of them on the blog, I also want to make sure they are printed so they don't just sit on my computer.  In addition to printing photos to hang in frames all around the house, I also make a photo album every year.  I personally love and use Becky Higgins Project Life products.  I love how she has simplified the scrapbooking process and made it very user friendly.  They offer physical products, digital products, and even have an app.  And this is by no means sponsored, I'm just a big fan!

If you are interested in my method, read on, otherwise, feel free to skip to my next method of documenting.

I use Photoshop to make all my pages.  I have purchased the Project Life page templates as well as many other kits along the way.  I watched a few tutorials on how to make the pages, and I was ready to go!  I personally like to document on a weekly basis and dedicate a 2 page spread for each week of the year, but the options are endless depending on how many photos you take and how detailed you want to be.  I then usually add an extra 2 page spread for big vacations, Noah's birthday, and Christmas (when there are even more photos taken).  Obviously, I can't include every photo each week, but after paring them down and using collages, I'm usually able to include all my favorites and show a true representation of our week.  I even turn videos from the week into QR codes.  While the technology will probably change, right now it gives us the opportunity to scan the code while flipping through the book and watch videos in addition to looking at the photos.  And while photos are great, I also make sure to add journaling and a little recap of what we did each day.  I then upload the pages to Shutterfly and order a book every January when they are offering a discount code.  Noah loves flipping through the books and talking about what we did.

Two - An Album for Noah

I use the same process as I explained above, but I make a book that is specifically for Noah.  Instead of making 2 page spreads for each week, I do them for each month.  And these pages are dedicated to all things Noah.  As a baby, I focused on milestones, and now I like including the funny things Noah says.  Many of these photos were also used in our family book, so putting these pages are pretty easy. The reason I make this book in addition the family album, is that one day, when Noah is all grown up, I plan to give him all these books to take with him.  So far I've made and printed a book of Noah's 1st year.  Currently, I'm making a book that will cover 13 months through his 4th birthday (which will be here before I know it!).

Three - Family videos

Back in July, I shared some tips on how to make family videos.  I love making family videos and while I love our family vacations videos, my favorite one is the birthday video/movie I make for Noah every year.  I make it with a mix of photos and videos to show what each year was all about.  We watch it when we get together for Noah's family birthday celebration.

Four - 1SE

If our family videos weren't enough, I'm also having so much fun making this 1 Second Everyday for the first time this year!   The premise behind it is to make a video by compiling 1 second videos from each and every day.  I made the goal at the beginning of the year to take at least one video each day, even if it's of something mundane.  And while I have missed a few days, I'm very pleased with my progress so far.  Every couple of weeks, I add my videos and save the project as I go.  Even though it isn't finished yet, I love watching our year in 1 second clips.

Five - Collect App

And if everything else seems like too much work, then the Collect app is for you!  Simply add a photo for each day and you get a fun collage at the end of each month.  It is very user friendly with close to immediate gratification.

So yes, I do a lot, but I really enjoy it and love the end product!  

Now tell me, how do you document your life?

*affiliate links may be used

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram


  1. I have used the one second every day for about a month now and I am in love with it. I was just telling Russ that I want to start adding more videos too. It is super easy and such a fun way to capture life. I'll have to check out collect. I'm also thinking of making a vacation photo book too. I just got a free coupon for one so why not!

  2. These are really great ways! I've never heard of the last 2, but they certainly sound fun. I'm thinking that this year we'll do a book of some sort and/or one for each of our boys. I love looking at old pics and seeing our adventures and how the boys change and grow, so having a book would be an excellent idea! :)

  3. My husband does the 1 second a day video and it makes me cry every time watching it!

  4. I used to do Project Life, but I got a little lazy! I tend to make shutterfly books for family trips, but there are times when I take too many pictures to narrow into a book. I'm not sure how I'd fit a whole year in!

  5. I love the Collect App and it works for my low-key needs. While I love the idea of photo books, the process of making them STRESSES me out.

  6. I never heard of the 1 second app!! So cool! You know I am a crazy about preserving the memories as well! So jealous at how nice yours look!!

  7. I LOVE all your documenting. Will you share your 1SE video at the end of the year? Such a fun idea!!
    I need to get better about making year books for our family, let alone for each kid. I try to make a book of each newborn photo session and our yearly family photos (the professional pics); I also do Chatbooks to get my IG printed since I usually post favorites there.

  8. Ok, I need to see a completed album of yours, I bet they are AMAZING!! Could you give me a bit more detailed info about how you use the Project Life digital layouts? Ive always been so curious to start but then get overwhelmed. I cant wait to watch your seconds video at the end of the year!!

  9. You know I'm a big fan of the collect app! But that's all I can seem to do. I used to scrapbook (real, on paper) but I DO NOT have time of that now. I NEED to use Becky Higgins Project Life app but I just haven't gotten around to it... and now I have 4+ years to do. Ugh. Such a huge undertaking. But I need to start doing something since I have nothing printed! At least I have my blog to look back on?


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