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How to Start Memory Journaling | Everything You Need to Know

Memory journaling. It’s the most personal gift you could create and a super creative take on the old school time-capsule. Imagine flicking through your childhood journal and experiencing all of the nostalgia but none of the cringe… that’s what memory journaling does.

Here’s how you can get started.

What is memory journaling?

Memory journaling really is what it says on the tin. It’s a journal that’s filled with memories.

You can interpret it anyway you like. Treat your memory journal like a scrapbook, filled with physical momentos. Add handwritten notes documenting how you felt in any given moment, what you could see or what surprised you. Draw or illustrate an experience that you want to keep forever.

Just like bullet journaling, you can interpret memory journaling anyway you like. That’s one of our favourite things about it!

A selection of polaroids, with focus on a beach photo

An essential reminder before we start

They say social media is a highlight reel (it’s no wonder we need to digital detox sometimes). And it’s only natural for us to want to remember the good stuff. But don’t forget to document some of the tougher moments in your memory journal too.

They remind you of what you overcame. They show you just how much you’re capable of. And prove just how far you’ve come.

How to start a memory journal

Step 1 - Gather your memories

How do you collect memories? You collect physical momentos from that moment in time, things that’ll help spark a recollection years down the line.

These could be concert tickets, photos, or souvenirs. Whatever they are, keep them someplace safe.

Step 2 - Add the personal touch

Scribble notes as you go so you can really capture the feeling of each particular moment before it becomes a memory. You can do this straight into your memory journal or just use the notes section on your phone, before writing it out properly later.

Step 3 - Document it all in your memory journal

Now, pull it all together in your memory journal. We love a dot grid journal for this, as it gives you a structure to help with your layout whilst still having the freedom to be flexible in your design.

Choose your memory journal

Midnight blue moon and stars journal
Deep ocean hummingbird journal
Blush pink moon and stars journal

Memory journal ideas

For college or the end of high school…

Your memory journal can be a bit like a high school yearbook, but with the people you actually hang out with! Use it to capture those final moments together or document your last year before graduation.

Include… playlists, event ticket stubs, photos, messages from your friends and predictions for what could happen next.

For travel…

When you’re going on a gap year or a once in a lifetime adventure, a memory journal can document that experience in a creative and visual way. Use it to relive your experiences from life on the road.

Include… plane tickets, photos with people you met along the way, notes on how you’re feeling, postcards and unexpected souvenirs.

For life-changing experiences…

If you’re having a baby, planning your wedding or are stepping into the world of work for the very first time it might feel like you’re wrapped up in the busyness of the now. But don’t forget about the future too.

One day, you’re going to look back at these days and want to remember exactly how you felt.

Include… baby scans and milestones, moodboards from wedding planning appointments and your outfit for the first day at work.

An open dot grid journal surrounded by stationery

For each decade…

What if you could create your own time-capsule, to reopen at the end of every decade? If you’re looking for an alternative approach to memory journaling, try capturing the turn of each decade. As you turn 20, 30, 40 and so on, document that moment.

Then, reflect on it as you enter the next, and see how far you’ve come!

Include… thoughts, hopes and fears for the future, alongside the seemingly mundane every day of now.

For general joy…

There’s nothing wrong with turning your memory journal into your own (more personal) highlight reel. Capture those special moments that bring you joy and happiness (and it’ll help you do more of those things too, as you start to spot the themes).

It doesn’t have to be over a set period of time, this can be an ongoing project.

Include… notes and photos of the simple joys that make you happy, messages from friends, kind words you’ve received and surprises from strangers.

A memory journal as a gift

A memory journal is one of the most personal gifts you can give. It can’t be bought and it can’t be created by anyone else but you! It’s 100% unique.

There are two ways to go about giving a memory journal as a gift. You could look back at a time or occasion you shared with someone special, and document your side of that experience in the memory journal. That way, they can experience it over and over again (and see how much they mean to you too).

Or, make like Jae and start a living memory journal that can be shared between the two of you as an ongoing project. You’ll send the memory journal back and forth to keep in touch, a bit like a pen pal but with far more detail.

“One of us keeps the journal for a few weeks and we share current life events, song recommendations or plans we have for the future. We’ve been doing this for the past three months and have been loving it! It’s our unique way of staying in touch and I can’t wait to see what memories we create and share with one another in the months to come!”

With a memory journal as a gift, you can still be in each other's lives, even when you’re physically far away.

Nature themed polaroids scattered on a wooden desk

Choose your perfect memory journal: