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Create a photo journal of your family life in 2024

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It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by. Many of the special times from 2023 are already becoming distant and blurred memories. And sometimes it’s only by scrolling through the photos on your phone that you remember some of those times at all.

As a new year begins, perhaps it’s time to change all that?

The concept of journaling has become an increasing trend over the last few years. In many ways it’s a resurrection of the tradition of keeping a diary. This tradition is thought to date back to the 10th century, from when Arabic diaries have been discovered. In the UK, keeping a personal diary became popular during the Victorian Era. Even though such diaries were intended to be private, many that have since come to light provide a fascinating insight into daily lives of the writer and the historical events of the time.

In the 21st century, personal diaries have been supplemented by a range of more specific offerings such as gratitude journals, bullet journals, fitness journals, dream journals, reading journals and many others. And of course, in our more visual society, many of these different journals now also include photographs.

So before 2024 starts racing ahead, why not decide to create a photo journal of your family life this year? Wouldn’t it be good to look back this time next year at all that has happened during 2024 and be able to relive events in more detail rather than just hazy memories.

In this article we share a few tips to help you create a fun-filled family journal. You need to start by making a few decisions. You need to decide:

  • Who is your journal aimed at?
  • What are you going to include in your journal?
  • How often will you update your journal?
  • What format do you want your journal to be?

Let’s take a look at each of these in turn…



Who is your journal aimed at?

For your journal to be really effective, you need to decide who it is aimed at. This will help to give it a sense of purpose and almost a personality of its own. 

For example, is it for the whole family to look back on regularly and enjoy? In this case, everyone can have a go at writing entries and you can all include nicknames and lots of in-jokes. But if it’s something that you want to be longer-lasting – perhaps for family members to look back on in years to come – then the text needs to be more detailed to set the scene of the photos you choose to have in it.


What are you going to include in your journal?

We’ve just mentioned text and photos. And these are two of the things that you definitely need to include in your journal. You may also decide to keep other relevant bits and pieces such as tickets or receipts.

But over and above the items you include, you need to decide whether you are going to focus just on special events throughout the year, or also make entries about little day to day events too.

We’d recommend the more the better. The problem with life is that it takes twists and turns, and sometimes you don’t know until after an event how significant it actually was. A sad example of this is that you may spend some wonderful time with a person then something happens to them and you either don’t see them again or they are changed by illness or other circumstance. On a less dramatic note, you may have a fun family day that turns out to be the last time your eldest fits into their favourite childhood outfit, or just before your youngest starts needing visits from the Tooth Fairy.

The point is to include anything and everything that is meaningful at the time. Write an explanation of what was going on, who was there and how you were feeling, and include any particular highlights – no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time. This will be so special to look back on later.


How often will you update your journal?

As well as deciding what kind of events to include in your journal, you may want to set your family a goal of how often it gets updated. If you try to do it every day you may sometimes find yourself scratching around for things to put in it. But if you leave it to once a month, you may well start missing things out that deserve to go in there.

Probably the best approach is twofold:


  • Let events trigger a journal entry

This is the ideal. Rather than feeling you have got to put something into your journal, just go with the flow. If you have been up to something fun as a family, make an entry about it while it is still fresh in your mind. The same goes for any family events or get-togethers with friends : if they feel special, get them into the journal as soon as you can.


  • Review it once a week

As well as spontaneous entries, it’s a good idea to review your journal around once a week just to make sure it is up to date and that you haven’t missed out anything that you’d actually like in there. And remember to think about the little things in your daily family life as well as more obvious events and happenings.

By combining the above two approaches, you should have a vibrant family journal that develops during the year but never becomes a chore. And the more you get into your journal, the more it will develop a life of its own and become an integral part of your family life.


What format do you want your journal to be?

There are several different formats you could choose for your journal, or you may decide on a combination.

The most traditional way to keep any kind of diary or journal is pen and paper. So for a photo journal you may want to get a large A4 notebook, a scrapbook or a ring binder. Then you can write or stick in fragments of text, favourite photos and other relevant items. And if you run out of space you will need to buy another book or binder and start Volume 2!

Many people prefer to work digitally, so you could set up a document and a folder on the family computer for all the entries, photographs, and scanned copies of other relevant items. You may even want to create a family website or blog to record your journal and share with others.

The only potential issue with going all-digital is that you don’t have everything on display all together as you would with a notebook or scrapbook. There is still an amount of scrolling to be done which for some people removes some of the magic and spontaneity of a hand-crafted journal.

Another option that could work in parallel with either of the above is to create a gallery wall in your home. Many families do this anyway, and we covered some useful tips on how to do this in our article How to curate the perfect gallery wall for your home

You could create your gallery wall as the year goes on and display individual photographs that highlight some of the main events and memories from the year so far. Or you could create a composite image for each month of the year, including small photos, text, and scanned items. You would then end up with twelve large photographs each detailing a month of your year.

If you do decide to create a gallery wall, we would recommend metal prints as a perfect format for your image. Metal prints will provide a much richer and deeper image than photos printed on paper or canvas. Firstly because every detail of the image is completely saturated into the metal, and also because there is no glare or sheen to interfere with the clarity of the image.

Metal prints are also incredibly durable and long-lasting, and more good news is that they are also very easy to keep clean so will stay looking good for as long as you want them.


We hope that the above ideas have given you some inspiration for creating a family journal in 2024. And if you decide to investigate metal prints to showcase your journal, Print Your Memory can help : check out the details here.

Happy 2024 to you and your family, from all of us at Print Your Memory. 

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