Memory keeping

In Inspiration, Instant Film, Memory-keeping
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A couple of years ago I was searching for a way to organize my instant film photos. I have Polaroids and Instax prints tucked away in containers all over my home. But I wanted to do something more with them, while documenting my weeks, too.

The solution for me was a Traveler’s notebook. You’ve no doubt seen these all over Instagram and Pinterest: a modular solution that can be used as a bullet journal, art journal, travel journal. When a friend introduced me to this concept, I was intrigued.

I’ve always been a sucker for journals, calendars and office supplies of all kinds. So I started my first journal in the middle of 2015. It took a while to hit my stride, but after a time I established a rhythm with this method of journal keeping. I don’t write lengthy entries, but simply make notes about day-to-day activities and use my instant film photos to complete the story. I often include ephemera, too: ticket stubs, business cards, dried flowers and so on.As this year is wrapping up, I’m preparing to begin another year of journals. And I’m sharing this because you may want to embark on a new project, too. Maybe you want to get photos off your phone or hard drive so you can see and enjoy them. Or maybe, like me, you have piles of instant prints just waiting for a home. No matter what, there’s great satisfaction in having actual prints and being able to reflect on your days, weeks (and years) with a visual journal.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into parts of my year. May you and yours enjoy making–and possibly documenting–wonderful memories this holiday season!









  1. What a cool idea. I have every intention of keeping a journal and never get to it. Maybe this will be the year!

    • Lucy, I’ve never been good at keeping a written journal! This format seems to be easier to maintain for me 🙂

    • Thanks, Michelle! It’s so fun to flip back through the finished journals.

  2. Like you, I am a lover of journals, and calendars, and office supplies. And I have this notion that some sort of journal or diary would help me to quiet my mind and focus on gratitude. But, I know myself well, and it is not likely I would sustain such an effort. But, you’ve given me an idea. Perhaps I could manage a simple diary of images, polaroids snapped of the day with a sentence or two. I’ll give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration, Leslie.

    • Donna, I am the same! I think I’ll keep a written journal but it doesn’t last long. For me, the simple notes and images makes the process more enjoyable (and sustainable). Go for it!

    • Kirstin, it’s cool that Ella has already developed this habit!

    • Awesome! I hope you enjoy the process. 🙂

  3. So good. I do my own little modified bullet journaling, and have lots of intentions like this. Gives me inspiration to really just go for the adding of photos and ephemera and all. Thank you!!

    • Alison, I so enjoy having the images to reflect upon and to jog my memory about things I’ve seen and done throughout the year!

  4. What a wonderful journal! I keep one, although I’m not as good with entries these past years. I love how simple yours are. Thank you for sharing!

    • Holly, there are days when I tire of doing this…and then I look back and the pages and I’m so glad I kept going!

  5. Thanks for sharing Leslie, inspired by the simplicity of this. Beautiful.

    • Thank you, Audrey! Simple is what keeps it manageable for me. 🙂

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