Making Memories Stick: One Sentence Daily Journal


My memory stinks. And I’m not even forty. Perhaps that is why I am so interested in simple ways to record the cool stuff that happens in my life. Then when I’m old I can actually have some idea of what I spent my life doing.

I like making memory lists for vacations and special days.

I have a specific Twitter account to record funny stuff Lucy says.

This memory jar is a cool way to keep track of the things that happen over the course of a year.

And I also love the idea of one sentence daily journals. It’s as easy as it gets, and it’s amazing how one sentence can bring back a flood of memories. Basically, at the end of each day, you just write one sentence about it. Something you did, how you feel, whatever. I’ve been using a sweet iPhone app called Day One to record my tiny journals. (I’ll admit, sometimes they are two or three sentences long.) Since my phone is always nearby and the app has a built-in reminder feature, it’s a handy way to keep track of those little moments that make life special, memories of which often disappear into the ether when life is busy. Here are some highlights from the past half-year:

July 31: Today I caught little Lucy as she jumped into the hotel pool, and later watched Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian in history.

August 3: Hot hot HOT day at the St. Louis Zoo, but the orange slush was heaven.

August 25: The EA Summit was a home run. It was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my life.

October 4: Today I played glow-in-the dark bocce and ate s’mores with some cool YMCA peeps in Virginia #ilovemyjob

October 21: My dad has cancer. Not for long.

November 3: Ben took a few tentative steps today :)

December 10: Spent all day waiting. Praise the Lord that my Dad’s surgery was a success and that a full recovery looks likely!

December 29: Went to see Monsters Inc 3D with Lucy. She was pretty much expressionless through the whole thing, but I could tell she loved it.

calendarjournalFinally, this perpetual calendar idea from Design Sponge is a beautiful low-tech take on the one sentence journal. The concept is simple — flip to the current date and at the end of the day, write down something that happened. I can only imagine how cool it would be to have a decade’s worth of entries recorded. Talk about a prized possession!

DIY types will be thrilled to know that step-by-step instructions are available here. No doubt it would make a thoughtful gift, too.

We’re making memories every day. Some are good, some not so much. But even the sad ones serve a purpose in that they make the happy ones all the more special. Recording them is a pretty effective way to add richness to life.

What are your favorite ways to keep track of your memories?

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