One of my most-repinned posts is the one in which I talk about creating a pregnancy journal. For me, creating the mom memories has moved beyond paper journals and scrapbooks, because with three kids, who has time for that? Here are my tips for using technology to keep your memories organized.
For my first two, I had a pregnancy journal. I kept track of how I felt physically and mentally, the major pregnancy milestones I was hitting and how we were preparing for the baby. By the time the third came around, I never had time to get started. Instead, I used Facebook.
- Post the status updates, no matter how much whining it seems like you are doing.
With my kids, I had pregnancy induced insomnia. Even with Ambien, I rarely slept. I was exhausted, I ached everywhere (thank you symphysis pubis dysfunction), I was crabby, I looked terrible. And I posted about it every chance I got. Not because I wanted people to feel bad for me! I frequently look back, whether it’s “On This Day” or if I’m just go back to figure out when something happened. These thoughts are dated and organized. They are available for me to go through anytime I want.
- Create a hash tag for categories of posts.
My middle daughter is funny. She has no filter whatsoever so all of those crazy kid thoughts just roll right out of her mouth. And I like to post them to remember them later (see above). Anytime I post a quote from her, I tag it with #stuffmadisonsays. This makes it easy to find all of the Madison quotes. I just need to search by the hashtag and all of my posts related to that come up. Not only that, but if my husband posts a Madison quote, he can also hashtag it and I can find it. As my other kids say funny things, I still use #stuffmadisonsays because then all the funny kid quotes are together and I know how to find them.
- Put your photos into albums
Even if you keep all of your photos of your phone, in you Google Photos account or loaded to some iPhotos album, it’s always good to keep everything in one place. I load all of my pictures to Facebook, into albums, so I can find them later. I also believe in putting them in albums and not just in posts, even if there are only a few. It simplifies the process if you are going back and looking for one picture of your niece from that time you went to the zoo on a random day in May. This way, all of my photos are in one place too. I used to use Flickr but then after the whole “free for everyone” debacle, I got nervous and moved most everything to Facebook. It’s awesome because I can see the pictures in relation to everything else that was going, including the quotes and other posts.
- Caption your photos
You already know I think you should keep online albums, but I also think you need to caption as many photos as possible. It makes it easier to identify what was happening and why that photo was important in the moment, even if you are looking at them 8 years later.
Facebook makes it really easy to go back and find your stuff, at least if you have some sense as to when the “event” occurred. From your Facebook profile, you can select the year and month of the posts you’d like to see.
Sometimes you have to toggle the months to show you ALL and not just HIGHLIGHTS, but I couldn’t recreate that on my timeline right now so just trust me. If you aren’t seeing every post, just make sure you aren’t set to only see your highlights.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that I’d love to try a Social Book for my Facebook so far, but the cost of doing it is limiting. I’m a major DIY-er so I figured there had to be a way to export all of my own posts and that way I could weed through them and create my own timeline, though it would never be as cool as a Social Book. So, every once in a while, I download an archive of my Facebook posts. I figure this will be helpful if Facebook was to ever just completely go away. At least all of the work I’ve done wouldn’t be for naught.
So here is how you download your Facebook archive.
- From your news feed page, click on that little down arrow next to the question mark. Then select SETTINGS from the drop down menu.
- From the accounting settings main page, you’ll see DOWNLOAD A COPY OF YOUR FACEBOOK DATA.
See it right there at the bottom of the picture?
- It will open up the following screen for information about the download. It’ll ask for an account password and then it will download a ZIP file to your computer. If you don’t know what to do with it from there, there isn’t much I can do to help you in this post, but trust me, all of your data is there and you can do whatever you want to do with the information.
In a nutshell, that is how I replaced baby books with social media. I’m sure as the years go on, things will change and soon enough I’ll have no idea what I’m doing, but for now, this works.
How do you keep track of all of your special memories?