Save Your Memories with an Easy Email Journal

Save Your Memories with an Easy Email Journal

I’ve kept an “email journal” since my children were born. Periodically, I would write an email to my parents and sister about my family’s activities, then I would print it out and keep a copy for myself. It’s hard for me to believe that so much time has passed, but I’ve put over twenty years of precious memories into 3-ring binders. It’s fun to go back and read through them and remember some of the things we’ve done. I especially enjoy re-reading the funny things my kids said and did when they were young. Here are a few examples:

October, 2004 (Margaret, 6 yrs)

Today the kids and I went to our new Walmart Supercenter for the third time since it’s grand opening, yesterday. I was trying on sunglasses and all of a sudden, Margaret started crying and yelling at me, “MOVE! MOVE! Go somewhere else!” I had no idea why she was so panicked. I asked her if she was feeling sick, or if she had to go to the bathroom. No. She was upset because she had touched a watch, and at that moment, someone over the loudspeaker said, “Call the police!” (Hayden said that they said something else with “please” in it. I didn’t hear it at all.) I tried to convince her that they wouldn’t call the police on her just because she touched a watch, but she wouldn’t believe me. She did calm down, though. When we got home, I suggested that Margaret take a bath before gymnastics, which she did. Hayden started playing a new PlayStation game that he had bought – a racing game complete with police sirens. When Margaret heard the sirens, she thought the police were coming for her, so she jumped out of the bathtub and ran to get dressed. Then she realized that the sirens were coming from Hayden’s game. I’ve been chuckling about this all afternoon!

June, 2005 (Hayden, 10 yrs)

You may have noticed that Hayden is drawn to anything electronic and technical. A few days ago he changed the ringer on my cell phone so that it clucks like a chicken when I’m getting a call. Yesterday I was sitting in the library looking at a magazine while the kids were watching a movie. The clucking started and people were looking around with the funniest expressions, trying to figure out where it was coming from. I suddenly realized it was my phone, grabbed my purse and hustled out of the library.

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Quick and Easy

The email journal was an efficient way to keep in touch and preserve memories at the same time. I tried the scrapbooking craze, but found that it was a time-consuming and expensive hobby. This method worked better for me.

Start an Email Journal of Your Own

To start an email journal of your own, you’ll need a printer, a 3-ring binder, and either page protectors or a 3-hole punch.

  1. Write a newsy email about what you’ve been doing lately. Remembering to write periodically may be the hardest part. Frequency is up to you, but the more often you write, the more memories you’ll preserve.
  2. Send to its intended recipients.
  3. Print out a copy for yourself.
  4. Use either a 3-hole punch or plastic page protectors to put them in 3-ring binders.
  5. Include photos in your journal, optional. You can buy plastic sleeves for that purpose. This is something I wish I had done from the beginning.

 

It’s never too late to start. You may also want to include emails you receive from friends and family. I kept some that my sister wrote about her kids. Grandparents could compile one of emails they receive.

Do you have a funny story to share?

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Comments

  1. Ana Willis

    This is awesome! I never thought about doing anything like this. How wonderful is to be able to look back to all these memories. Truly inspiring!! Thanks for linking up with us and sharing this post on #BlessedMOMdays at theycallmeblessed.org. Xo, Ana 🙂

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  2. Melanie

    This is such a great idea!! I love this! I am always looking for ways to share and remember our precious memories! Thank you so much for sharing this idea!

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      mcurren527

      I’m happy you liked it. I’ve been so glad that I thought to do it. It’s amazing how quickly time goes by!

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      mcurren527

      You’ll all benefit from it that way. You’ll get to hear about all the cute things your grandkids say and do, and they’ll get to read about them when they’re older and laugh at themselves.

  3. Debby

    That’s a great idea! You can’t recreate that ‘watch’ story 10 years after it happened. Love the idea of doing it right away.
    I’ve heard about new parents sending stories and pictures to an email set up for their newborn child. They continue sending pix and stories to this email address..when the child is 18, they give their child the email and password.

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      mcurren527

      I haven’t heard of that. It sounds overwhelming, though, to try to read through 18 years of emails like that. And wouldn’t you just die if they weren’t there? I think it’d be better to print them out and make notebooks and then give them to the kids on their birthday. I may have to do that sometime, make copies for each of the kids.

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      mcurren527

      I hope this post doesn’t seem like too much of a “duh,” but I think there are people that write about interesting things in emails but haven’t thought to print them out and keep them like I’m suggesting.

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  4. Home's Cool!

    Super idea, although I waited until my children were grown and gone before I began on-line work. The one I would have written, my mother, is also gone. However, I could begin writing my siblings and I know they would love it.
    Thanks for the hilarious “police siren, chicken clucking” thoughts! You’ve started my day with a big smile. <3

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      1. Home's Cool!

        Hmm…let’s see…
        Oh, yes! Our children loved memorizing dialog from favorite videos we allowed them to watch. Not always was it appropriate to apply old one-liners to life, though! In one cute, old-time, Little Rascals episode, there was the line, “My fault, Big Shot!”
        Not a wise saying to a parent who is asking about something amiss…? 🙂

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  6. Spring Lake Homestead

    That is a really good idea…I have a hard time with a photo album, but recording the things they say…that’s priceless, and I already share those things with family. The story about your daughter is too cute!

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      mcurren527

      Thank you! Yes, it’s hard to find time to keep up with photo albums or scrapbooking, but jotting down some things doesn’t take much time. You can add some photos to it if you’d like pretty easily, too.

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  8. queenof5dollarbling

    I love this ideal and can’t wait to start it with my son as well as share it with my step daughter as she has just had her first baby.

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!