My 2018 Memory Keeping Plans

My 2018 Memory Keeping Plans | Nicole Reaves

Even though 2018 is halfway over, I wanted to share the projects that I’m giving my attention to this year, as well as the thought process I'm using to keep me from over-committing, making all the things (hello unfinished projects!) and avoiding overwhelm. 

I’ve mentioned in places like my email newsletter and my about page my struggle with having too much, like too many supplies and too many half-hearted projects. They’ve been big contributors to feelings of blah, not knowing where to start and the endless cycle of more. Well, I’m done with more.

I’m in the middle of a shift where not only have I purged over half of my stash, but I’m really thinking about what scrapbooking projects I enjoy creating. The ones that get me super excited to sit down and play. The ones my kids always ask to look through. The ones I continue to make year after year.

This shift also made me realize that my time and my physical space is limited. While I know more than anything that this is a fun creative hobby, I want to use my resources to create meaningful projects that I love.

To get a better idea of what I’m about right now, check out my personal manifesto.

As I scanned my shelves (and drawers of unfinished projects), I saw several albums that not only do I love to make, but have become a tradition as I've continued to create new ones regularly over the years. I’m calling these my baseline projects as they represent the minimum amount of scrapbooking I’d like to accomplish in any given year.

These feel like enough. If I get nothing else done but these projects, I’ll be happy.

My Baseline Projects :

It didn’t take long for me to notice that these albums are clearly centered around my kids and family, so each year I’d like to fit a personal project or two in there too. I like that the dates for each project above are spread out throughout the year - April, June, fall, December - so there are several little gaps in there I can add in something for me as I feel the desire.

My 2018 Memory Keeping Plans | Nicole Reaves

Other than these baseline projects, I have a handful of unfinished projects and loose ends I want to tie up in 2018. I found some journaling I wrote back in January and part of it said,

"I don't want to start any new projects this year. I want to finish what I’ve started and really think about what I love to do." 

Now that we’re midway through the year, that’s a hard statement to stick with. Really hard. I’ve already started a grief art journal. And I’m thinking about creating a camping mini for our trips this summer.

But I know the reason I wrote that statement above was because I want to focus on finishing what I’ve started first.

My 2018 Memory Keeping Plans | Nicole Reaves

With 2018 + my focus on finishing in mind, I began filling in a few categories :

TO FINISH : projects that I’ve started but have yet to complete

  • Summer 2017 Project Life Album (work in progress)

  • Project Life 2015 closing page (this shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes)
  • disassemble Project Life 2016 album (I only completed two months and won’t be making any plans to fill in and complete it. So I’m going to take apart what I did do and save the album for something else.)
  • art journal (a project I began in 2016 that is nearly done but I want to add a couple more pages to.)

TO UPDATE : long-term projects that I add a little bit to every year

TO START : projects I’d like to work on this year

  • grief art journal
  • 100 Day Project, #100NatureWalks - April 3 - July 11
  • Camping Adventures 2018 Mini Book
  • December Daily 2018 Album

When making plans and determining what comes first, I like to start by looking at my calendar for the year. I don’t plan that far ahead, but I do have a general idea of what occupies my time and energy each month of the year. 

As I consider how much I can dedicate to my memory keeping projects, overall I want to do two things :

  1. prioritize a project that needs to be finished (rather than starting something new) during the slower/quieter months, and
  2. only work on/have one big project on my desk at a time and give it my all until it’s done.

At the moment, this is an example of how I could roughly plan out the rest of the year :

JUNE

  • summer vacation begins
  • work on Summer 2017 album
  • update 20 Questions books

JULY

  • summer vacation
  • finish Summer 2017 album
  • 100 Day Project over

AUGUST

  • summer vacation, get ready for back to school
  • go through last years school papers (purge and organize)

SEPTEMBER

  • school resumes/back to fall routine
  • update kids albums with 2017-18 school year
  • think about December Daily plans

OCTOBER

  • open / overflow

NOVEMBER

  • Thanksgiving / holiday activities
  • make a plan and collect all December Daily supplies

DECEMBER

  • Christmas / holiday activities
  • December Daily


I’m intentionally leaving a lot of margin
For projects that take longer than I think they will. 
And so I’m not always working on something.

And I haven’t filled in when I’ll do every project. I plan to review what I want to work on each month so I make sure I’m not trying to do too much. That will just lead to burnout and frustration because I’m not getting as much done as I thought I could. Been there, done that.

What memory keeping projects are you making time for this year?


Did you know I started a bi-weekly newsletter? Back in March I began writing there to share personal stories, as well as topics like my planning process, my journey to less and making what’s truly important to me. If that interests you, click the button below to join the list!

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