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Such a great system for easily getting your memories saved for years to come - love it!

My Simple Plan for Saving Our Memories This Year

We’re talking memories today as part of our month long mission to find ways to eat better, parent better, organize better and just generally live better this year. 

Before S arrived, I was actually pretty good about recording memories for our little family.  At the end of each month I would use the photos we’d taken to create 2 – 4 new pages in an iphoto book, along with a few paragraphs with family anecdotes, accomplishments, etc.  The idea being that at the end of the year I would have a complete book that I could print as a Christmas present to myself.

I kept this up for nearly 2 1/2 years until our second child was born – at which point I totally fell of the wagon.  But, hey, at least I knew I had all of C’s baby stuff organized and I told myself that someday I would get to S too… then my computer crashed and I lost all 3 of the books I’d created before I ever got them printed!

Needless to say, that was a bit disheartening. So I kind of gave up on the memory keeping in exchange for keeping up with my two kiddos day in and day out.

But now, with baby #3’s impending arrival, I’m feeling all kinds of guilty about not having a system to make sure that our photos and memories are doing more than just filling up my hard-drive. So I went on a search for a super simple system (one I could actually manage with 3 kids) and found this Vintage Postcard Calendar Journal from Design Sponge.

I knew with a few tweaks I could make this idea into just the system I was searching for – and I did!

The basic idea here is to have an index card for every day of the year.  At the top of each card, place a piece of colorful washi tape with the day of the month written on it. Then on the lined side, write the year and something memorable that happened that day.  This could be an adventure you went on, a funny quote, or a milestone one of your kids hit that day. On the back of the same card, place a photo from that day.

Here’s what I love about my new DIY Memory Box:

  • There’s little to no prep to get started – Once I got a box and made 12 monthly dividers, I filled the box with empty index cards and was ready to go.
  • It’s super quick & easy – All it takes is 90 seconds or less to print out a photo or write down a sentence on the index cards that are there waiting at my finger tips each day.
  • It’s a long-term project that shows off how much our family has grown year after year – The point here is to keep this box for years – decades even.
  • There’s no pressure – While this system easily lends itself to being used daily, it doesn’t have to be.  If nothing special happened that day and no adorable photos were taken, no problem – maybe something worthy of being recorded will happen on this day next year.  For now, just don’t make a card for this date yet and move on.

Ready to make a memory box of your own?  Read on for the fully DIY…


Step 1: Find and Decorate Your Box

I found everything I needed, including my simple cardboard box, at my local craft store.  While there I also found a scrapbooking sticker page full of instagram stickers and monthly date stickers that were perfect for this project and only $1.99.  I used a few of the bigger stickers to decorate the box and set the rest aside for the monthly dividers.

Such a great system for easily getting your memories saved for years to come - love it!

Step 2: Make Monthly Dividers

I found some textured gray cardstock and cut twelve rectangles that were the same width and slightly taller than the index cards.  Then I labeled each piece with the date stickers (January through December).

Such a great system for easily getting your memories saved for years to come - love it!

Step 3: Start Recording Your Memories

To do this, keep some pretty washi tape and a pen near your memory box.

Each day that you have something to record, label a new index card with the washi tape and write down your memory or affix your photo.  The big idea here is that you’ll put another photo/memory on this card next year and the year after, etc. one the same date. Ultimately this will give you a great snapshot of how your life and family are growing and changing year after year.

Step 4: a Zink hAppy Wireless Smart App Printer

There are several ways you can go about getting your instagram and smartphone photos onto your memory box cards but, I gotta say, these handy little printers are probably just about the easiest.

Zink wireless smart app printer

The wireless, app-based, mobile, and (get this) ink free printer uses rolls of adhesive backed paper that are 19 feet long and available in 3/8”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”, 2” widths. So basically you can keep these little guys anywhere (in your pantry, your car, or even your purse) and use your smart phone or tablet to instantly print up labels, business cards, or photo stickers for your memory box.

The ZINK hAppy allows you to wirelessly print content from your apps, as well as create and design from several ZINK apps using:

  • iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • Amazon Kindle Fire tablets

It retails for $199 .

More Helpful MPMK How-Tos from this month:

Oh, and speaking of phots, did you hear?

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachelle January 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

This is such a good idea, and most parents I know fall off the memory-keeping pretty quickly. Who really has the time? I NEED one of these printers :) What a time saver!!


Steph (MPMK Founder) January 20, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I totally agree Rachelle – but I have high hopes this is a system I can stick too!


Jenny Hostetler January 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for sharing —- Love the idea!


rbjd January 21, 2014 at 3:35 am

Thank you. This seems easy, quick and we can keep other ephemera in the box, plus that printer is perfect.


Melodie January 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Thank you, love this idea I also have 3 small toddles and need a new idea for saving photos as I have filled up every hard drive in my house. I really could use this printer


jessica January 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm

This is a really great idea. I love that it is so simple. It would make a great gift for grandparents!


Andrea January 22, 2014 at 7:23 pm

amazing idea!!


Diana January 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm

What an amazing idea!


Hilary January 22, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Such a great idea! I’ve never heard of that printer, it looks perfect! I would certainly put it to use.


Rachelle January 22, 2014 at 8:05 pm

This is an AWESOME idea!! I think I will be implementing it immediately and I totally want one of those printers. It would be great to help me with my preschool portfolios at school too!!!!


Rachelle January 22, 2014 at 8:08 pm

About how many photos can you get printed from one of the 2 inch zrolls?


Steph (MPMK Founder) January 26, 2014 at 7:54 am

They’re 19 feet long so if you’re printing a square photo – then 114 (If you were using the 1″ wide strip and printing square photos, you’d get 228 and etc.)


Sara January 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I love this idea. I have fallen way off the record keeping track and have been wanting to get back on. What a great idea that I think I can handle. :) The printer is amazing too….on my wish list for sure!


Roseabelle January 23, 2014 at 12:14 am

Love it! Neat way to keep a record of memories over the years, simple and yet very valuable. :) can’t wait to start one!


Adriana January 23, 2014 at 5:59 am

Love this! Such a great idea to look back at simple daily things that make for great memories. I joined the list to win! (crosses fingers)


keli January 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

I actually think I can do this! I just signed up for your newsletter, too!! (i saw that zink thing at joanns and wondered what it was!! Now I know 😉


V Ward January 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I signed up for the newsletter! Thanks for the great idea!!


Karen January 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm

What a great idea! Love that it can be, but doesn’t have to be every day… Makes it feel more doable. Would love that printer to make it a reality. Keeping track of my girls memories could become a reality! Thanks for the inspiration!


Jen Woodman January 24, 2014 at 7:21 pm

I signed up


David January 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

This is a simple but very nice idea to remember beautiful memories. I am very inpatient and I lose interest immediately, I hope if I decide to do this later on I maybe be able to stick with it. I like your idea of getting the box pumped up and decorated, mine will be wonderful. Hopefully. Thanks for sharing


Stephanie January 25, 2014 at 4:39 am

Amazing ideas!


Morgan January 26, 2014 at 5:16 am

I’m in love with the idea of this little printer!!! The ability to print pics from my iPhone would make memory keeping so much easier. I really want to try out your system, it seems totally do-able with 2 little ones! Thanks for sharing!


Jennifer January 26, 2014 at 5:48 am

Great idea! I signed up for newsletter.


Beth January 27, 2014 at 7:46 pm

This would be wonderful! Having 5 kids, this would be a gamechanger.


Jenna January 27, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Never heard of this printer. My youngest is 6 years old and it have an 11 and 14 year old. I know I was awful at documenting but it’s never too late. Right ;). I would love this.


KBaker January 28, 2014 at 8:34 am

love your newsletter. love this idea. love this giveaway. { thanks! }


Ashley January 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

I love this idea and am going to the store now! The printer would be so perfect! Love your newsletter


Malissa January 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Love this idea! Would love that printer too!


lisa howell January 28, 2014 at 4:05 pm

i dont have a camera for my class this would be a great prize to take pictuers of them at play!!!!


Lisi January 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Such a cute idea! I really have to make Memories Box! Thx for this idea!


Cat January 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm

LOVE THIS IDEA! Making it easy to remember and record these moments is key…and fun! Would love to own one of these printers 😉


Clare January 30, 2014 at 1:48 am

I can’t believe I’d forgotten about this! It was an idea I saw way before I had children and thought it was a great way of capturing memories – and then my kiddos arrived (now 13 months old) and I completely forgot about it! Thanks for the reminder :)
P.S. Are you using a plugin to have that Recommended Pinner box pop up?


Terri January 30, 2014 at 7:32 am

I have entered! Thanks for the idea! I have about 20 ‘sisters’ who will love this too!


Amber January 31, 2014 at 4:08 am

I entered my email for a chance to win the little printer!! This is such a fantastic idea – I plan to make one for my SIL who just had her first a few weeks ago :-) I’d love to include the printer, so I really hope I win!! Thanks for such a great gift idea!!!


Staci January 31, 2014 at 4:17 am

Love this idea and I signed up!


Gail January 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

I entered too. What a great idea and what a neat little product!


Janine Adams January 31, 2014 at 11:24 am

I love this idea for its simplicity. And the wireless smart app printer makes it so viable!


Lisha January 31, 2014 at 9:30 pm

So excited about starting this memory box with my grand kids. Would be wonderful to win the printer to be able to print their pics. I love scrap booking but there is so much going on that it’s hard to do it the other way. Love Love Love this!


Laetitia February 3, 2014 at 3:15 am

This is amazing! I signed up for awesome tips and cute mails, and of course for my own little ZINK hAppy… in need of some serious organising! Thanks MPMK. hugs and kisses!


Melissa Carlin February 4, 2014 at 12:31 am

I signed up for your newsletter & am off to check out your organization book printable ideas! I’ve been looking at many options and think I found the jackpot here! Oh, winning a ZINK would be absolutely fantastic as well! Thank you ever so much for the chance!


Jackie February 6, 2014 at 8:01 am

Signed Up for the MPMK Newsletter.


Jenna February 6, 2014 at 11:27 am

Can you tell me what craft store you got your supplies at? I’m loving those stickers! Wish I could find the same ones :)


Steph (MPMK Founder) February 6, 2014 at 11:28 am

Aren’t they cute? I found them at my local Benjamin Franklin craft store – hopefully you have one in your area too.


Stina February 7, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Signed up for the newsletter. love the idea!


Eileen February 14, 2014 at 6:59 am

Great idea. I am going to set this up for my daughter.


Antigone February 14, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Great idea. I am thinking I have some paper scrap paper of about the right size that would be quite pretty. Thanks for the suggestion.


Debbie February 16, 2014 at 1:44 am

I fell off the memory keeping after my first two and now that I’m pregnant with #6 my pictures and memories are an unorganized mess. This idea is so simple, I love it and can’t wait to give it a try. Signed up for your newsletter.


Nicola February 16, 2014 at 2:31 am

What kind of quality does the little printer print?
Will the pictures fade?


Kristin February 16, 2014 at 5:00 am

Great idea! My daughter is five and I started a quote book years ago, but don’t always remember to write everything down, this seems easier! Thanks for the giveaway too!


Christine February 16, 2014 at 5:24 am

Great idea!! I have all kinds of little papers lying around with things my little one says, texts I send to myself so I don’t forget. I honestly didn’t know there was such a thing to print Instagram pics and things! Awesome! Entered and hope I win!


Kathy February 16, 2014 at 6:30 am

Love this idea. Great gift idea for baby showers. My son is 4 but I hope to start it and also go back through calendars and write on cards. Make it easier when I get the time to scrapbook again. Thank you


Stacey Shuback Diaz February 16, 2014 at 8:38 am

Thank you so much for this lovely and non time consuming way to make memories last :)


Ann Galassi February 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Thanks so much for this tip. I always have good intentions of journaling those big amd little moments with my son but never seem to find time then the moment seems to slip from my memory. This is a great way to remember!


Kate February 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Love this idea! It can be hard to keep up and this makes it way easier. Loving the printer aswell, might have to grab one of those if I don’t win!!! 😀


Sherlyn February 22, 2014 at 4:29 am

I am from singapore. I am guilty of storing photos in my phone and PC, and has trouble creating memories out of them since I do not scrap. This idea s quick and easy, more so with this printer! Love it!


Heather February 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

Wow! I agree! Great idea! With being in school, I am 3 years behind in pictures/baby book. (my son is 3 1/2). This printer is a wonderful idea and I would not longer have to store tons of photos on my iphone…..leading to no room to take more;)


amber March 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Hi! I wondered if you have selected a winner! I am visiting my sister in law at the end of this month, and I would really love to bring a memory box to her! Thanks in advance for the information :-)


Sherlyn March 4, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Is the winner informed by email yet? Many thanks.


Steph (MPMK Founder) March 4, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi Sherlyn,

Yes, the winner was emailed – her name is also in the rafflecopter above.



Bobbi Schmidt March 7, 2014 at 10:30 am

How many pictures are you able to fit on each card? I love this idea!!
Thank you:)


maria May 1, 2014 at 3:28 pm

am i too late for this giveaway?? :-(


Chris May 23, 2014 at 9:51 am

I love this idea. I have been scrapbooking for over 16 years, but don’t get much done since the kids have come along. I have some success in at least burning my photos to CD’s and printing contact sheets for them. Also keeping all the ‘stuff’ that a paper scrapper might use in files by month. But, when I do get around to scrapping what is now 5 years ago, remembering the things the kids said, or what the crazy weather ended up being like, or what any of us as a family liked/disliked ends up missing from most of the pages. I love this idea to keep right on the end table in the family room where I sit each night to take a few minutes to write down the actual events of the day and any of those cute things the kids say that I don’t think I will ever forget, but sadly do. I am glad I found this on Pinterest today.


Fenella August 6, 2014 at 7:50 am

Wow, love this printer, such a great idea!

I’m a subscriber!


Jennifer January 16, 2015 at 11:28 am

I feel like this could work with those groovebooks too! Take a picture every day and when you get your monthly pics put them in the box. Awesome idea!


Steph (MPMK Founder) January 16, 2015 at 11:41 am

That’s a great idea Jennifer. The nice thing about this system too is that you don’t have to take a picture every day. You can just write down your memory for the days that month and when you get you photos, file them behind the cards.


Ms Cox from photogrpahy ratings March 31, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Love the idea of keeping memories in a box. Would be fun to go over the whole box at the end of the year to reminisce the times.


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