Janet asked me (Katie) to share my monthly roundup idea with the readers here at The Daily Digi. I came up with the concept of recapping the events of each month back in January of 2006 and I haven’t missed a month since. It is by far my most useful memory keeping tool! The basic idea is to take some time to close out the ending month before you forget the details. If you take time to jot down your memories, you are more likely to remember them and you will have an organized system to refer back to for your scrapbook journaling. I find myself looking back through my past roundups for other reasons also – like to find out when I last went to the doctor, or when did so-and-so get married? I have tweaked this tool a little bit since I started and I have found that by answering these simple questions each month, I’m able to accurately record the daily events of my life.
Here are the roundup questions:
What books and/or magazines did I read this month?
What movies, television shows, plays, etc. did I watch this month?
What fun things did I do with my family and/or friends?
What gifts did I give and/or receive?
What special or unusual purchases did I make?
What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
What were my accomplishments this month?
What were my disappointments this month?
Anything else noteworthy to include?
You can add more questions if you want or you can choose to answer only a few, feel free to customize this tool to best meet your needs. After I answer the questions I just post them to my blog and my roundup is done. If you don’t have a blog, just save them on your hard drive or print them out, just be sure to save them! If you want to see how I do my own roundups you can view all of them by exploring the roundup category on my blog. I post a lot of pictures with mine, but you don’t have to do that. The important thing is to take a few minutes and answer the question prompts to help you record the important everyday details of the past month.
How do I remember everything I’ve done during the month when it comes time to do the roundup? Well, I look back through my personal calendar, my blog posts, and even my email archives. If you post on social sites like facebook or twitter, reviewing your posts can also be a great memory jogging activity. You will be surprised at how much information you can find when you simply review jotted down notes on a calendar. The best part is that you will always have material for journaling! I often refer back to my roundups for scrapbooking ideas and sometimes I create a page based on the actual roundup for a specific month.
I also post a PART 2 for the roundup each month to help with organizational tasks. I admit that I don’t always do all the things on this list, but I still love having the reminders each month so I don’t get too behind on any of these things. I ALWAYS answer the questions, for me that is not optional. The tasks in part 2 are important as well and I always feel so much more organized when I get them done, but I don’t worry too much if I miss a month now and then.
Here are the tasks that I suggest you do at the end of each month to prepare you for an organized and creative month ahead:
- All digital pictures uploaded to my hard drive, uploaded to flickr (or any offsite photo storage site), and backed up to DVD. Ideally, these activities should be done every time you process any pictures through your computer so you don’t lose any precious files.
- Choose photos or digital layouts to be printed out and get it done while you are thinking about it.
- Backup any other documents or files as needed. I use an external hard drive. I use backblaze as an offsite backup, and I also upload many documents to Google docs. I don’t like to lose stuff!
- Backup your blog if you have one. (Typepad backup or blogger backup)
- Clean off work area and empty inbox or clear up papers that have been piling up. I always end up with a messy desk by the end of the month and it feels good to get it under control again, even if it doesn’t last long.
- Clean off your computer desktop as well. Unzip files and put them away. Here’s my digi organization system if you are interested.
- Change desktop background to something new for a fresh start to the month! Free desktop resources right here.
I post the roundup questions and tasks on my blog on the last day of each month so if you want a gentle reminder, I will be glad to help you there. I personally set a goal to have my own roundup by the 4th day of the new month. I have found that the longer I wait, the harder it is to get it done. I share all my roundups on my blog, but don’t feel like you have to do that. It is ok to just keep the records for your own use. If you do have a blog though, it is fun for your readers to see a snapshot of your life and I bet they will soon want to start their own roundup tradition!
When you combine the roundup prompts with a few month end tasks, you will find that you feel ready to begin a new month. Tomorrow is the last day of October so why not end the month in scrapbooking style and get your own roundup done? You will be so glad you did!