Genealogy: Tips for Keeping a Journal

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Genealogy is often associated with filling in your family tree. But, other tasks, like keeping a journal is an important part of genealogy, as it is one of the best ways to capture and share your and your family's life story. Not a journal writer? Need some inspiration? Look no further. All you need is a few tips for keeping a journal and you'll be on your way in no time.

We all have our own story. We write it ourselves everyday virtually as we live out our lives. Our story, including the ups and downs of our lives, deserves to be recorded. Even when we feel as if nothing eventful has happened in our lives or as if we haven’t accomplished anything worth sharing, it's the little things that make the greatest memories.

Journal writting, ticket stubs and phototaking are ways you can document and record your history.

Eight Tips for Keeping a Journal

My family has recently been discussing how to connect with our ancestors and how to fill in more branches on our family tree. Through this process, I've realized that what is of most interest to me in finding out about my grandparents or ancestors is the simple things: what they did for entertainment or who their first crush was. These are the same questions your prosperity will be asking you.

Here are some tips for keeping a journal to get you thinking about how you are going to preserve your story.

  1. Keep a journal. Make a goal to write in it every day, week or month. No need to write a lot, you can even come up with themes such as what you are grateful for that day and why, or how far you traveled that day and where to.
  2. Keep a blog. Blogs are a great way to get what you want to say down in a quick, organized fashion. Plus you can share it with friends and family.
  3. Take pictures. Not every document needs to be words. In fact, images are worth 1,000 words, right? Take a picture everyday. Then pull a scrapbook together with your favorite pics.
  4. Take Video. You can get so creative with video recording. Film mini segments of what you do during the day such as kids eating breakfast. Add commentary with thoughts and feelings.
  5. Keep your ticket stubs. Every time you go to an event, keep your ticket stubs, wristbands, programs or take a picture of your hand stamp. Quickly scribble on your keepsake the names of the people you went with, a date if one is not included and just a fragment explaining it: “Time of my life” or “Not worth the money." Then, throw them into a jar or put them in a scrapbook.
  6. Calendar. Keep a hand-written calendar, including the events you attend. Go back and write about them in your journal afterward.
  7. Keep your to-do lists. A simple to-do lit can bring back floods of memories. If it’s unclear, go back and write an explanation as to why that was on your to-do list. Keep your kid’s Christmas lists year after year! Paste your to-do list into a journal or use the things on the lists to spark ideas for writing in your journal.
  8. Create a journal mural. Keep a large sheet of parchment paper hanging on the wall. Whenever someone in the family does something they'd like to share, have them write it on the paper. Keep markers and pens nearby and frame the paper to make it look nice. Change the paper every month or year and keep the old ones to look at years down the road!

However you do it, make the journal writing process fun for your family. Your prosperity will thank you for it!

Check out our other posts on how to work on your genealogy.

 How do you preserve your memories?

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

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Cambria VandeMerwe

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