Pocket Planners as Memory Keepers
Some years back I lamented how, after laughing at yet another adorable thing my child said, my memory of the event would soon be lost forever. If you’re a parent, you’ve probably experienced something similar. Poor sleep habits can lead to diminished memory and, let’s face it, submariners get better sleep than parents do, especially in the beginning. Even when they’re sleeping through the night, the average wake-up time is pretty early even if you don’t have an early riser. Add another puppy or two to the litter and you’ve got 10 years of potentially terrible sleep ahead of you during some of the most precious years of your life (I’m not saying these things to discourage anyone from parenthood. Parents just need a few helpers).
Pocket planners are designed to keep track of your schedule on the go, but I have found other tools that work better for me there. This doesn’t mean they won’t work for you. Personally, I prefer the calendar on my cell for appointments and I definitely need more space for my to-do lists. Even so, I make sure I buy one of these every year. I have been using pocket planners to record quotes for four years now, and they work very well for us. My husband saw the value of having a quote book almost immediately, and regularly adds to it. These little planners are a perfect way for the busy person to save important moments that they never want to forget, but don’t have time to document “properly” (journal, scrapbook, baby book, etc). Events only take a moment to record in one of these, you can buy relatively attractive ones for very little money, and they take almost no room to store. So now, whenever someone in the family says something that makes me laugh, smile, or drop my jaw, I add it to the calendar.
Pocket Planners Have Many Possible Uses
I only use these little planners for recording family quotes (and sometimes events), but I imagine they could be used for much more. I would have liked to use pocket calendars as substitute baby books when my children were young. I wanted to like baby books, but never really added anything to them while I could remember the moment mostly because chaos was all around me. You can document weigh-ins, doctor’s visits, first words, first steps, first everything very easily and without the added pressure of making it perfect in one of these. Additionally, having one spot for all of the moments can serve as an excellent reference for a scrapbook later if you chose to put one together when you’re not as overwhelmed.
I suspect that having a small, attractive spot to keep important memories is not just for parents, though. We don’t all have the time or patience to keep a journal, but we all have moments we’d like to remember. I would have enjoyed looking back on more everyday moments and thoughts from childhood and early adulthood, not just the big events. I know that the few times I’ve found an old calendar, note, or entry in an almost empty diary, (mostly good) memories have flooded back. I will definitely encourage my kids to write a few things down when they’re a little older.
In addition to having an easy way to store and look back on past moments, I use these memory keepers as reference for a calendar I put together every year. One year I decided that our relatives might also get a kick out of hearing some of the beautiful and ridiculous things their young family members said, so I added them. They loved it. You really get a better sense of who the kids are (rather than just the idealized versions of them represented in photos). Having the year’s quotes written in one easy place makes that task even possible.
Pocket Planners Can Be Found Just About Everywhere
I’ve gotten mine from various craft stores, but I’ve also seen them in office supply, book, online, big-box, and dollar stores. You may have even gotten some for free as marketing giveaways from realtors, banks, or others. These aren’t always the most attractive calendars, but simple works for many people. Personally, I prefer more decorative planners. I will probably check what my favorite craft stores have in inventory in December for next year, but I’ve also found quite a few online that I like. When searching in stores or online, make sure that you’ve found one that is not merely a pocket calendar with monthly grids, but one that is more of a daily or weekly planner. These tend to have more space for writing. Also, there are plenty of beautiful planners out there, but you want something small and uncomplicated in this case. If it’s around 5″ x 7″ or more, then it’s a traditional planner and not what you want for this purpose. Lastly, I prefer hardcovers because they feel more durable and permanent. Here is a good example from Orange Circle Studio on Amazon.
I don’t remember the moment I began using these for writing down memories. I probably needed to consolidate all of the quotes I’d written on random bits of paper and had an unused pocket planner my possession. I’m so glad I did. I don’t recommend taking these with you, especially if you’re prone to losing things. If we’re out and I hear something I love, I will still write it down on a random piece of paper. Now I have a place to keep it when I get home.
Without a quote book, this gem of an exchange between my boys might be lost forever…
Oldest Boy at 8 (exasperated): How am I going remember all the laws not to break?
Younger Boy at 6: Go read the Declaration of Independence.
Oldest Boy: But that’s in Pennsylvania!
or this one from my then 4-year-old girl…
Mom, did you know that in school ‘sadness’ is called ‘pouting?’