memory mixer. i loved this program. it was easy to figure out, offered the option to flourish your page as much or little as you desired, and you could ultimately design the layout, picture size, and amount of journaling. i saved my pages to jpeg on my jump drive and took to my local copy center where i printed full color pages and then placed in my clear page protectors as before. if doing something of this sort, it is easier to go print a stockpile of pages and wait the 30 minutes or so for a bunch of pages opposed to just printing a few at a time, but you have to be ready for a hefty bill. i found a printer for .22 per page plus a discount if i printed over 100 pages. most printers are more in the .40 per page range but their are constantly discounts if you keep your ears open.
another great way to keep record of your life and especially the little details which are the most important to me, is to keep the pages or print outs of your calendar in the front of your photo album. we have a lot more going on now than we did back in 2009 as you can tell from this calendar, and so it's fun to flip through the pages and see what we were up to. when a month ends, i simply put that months page in my binder and then staple them all together at the end of the year.
blog2print that allowed me to with a click of a button, load desired pages onto their site and print into a hard bound or soft bound book which was mailed to me. it was only a little bit more than my old copy center printing process and was much less work on my part. not to mention, if you follow their facebook page or sign up for their emails, they often send out discount codes for 10-20% off your order. i saved my book in their system and then as soon as a discount code became available, i pushed print!
picasa and post all pictures in one jpeg on a blog post. you can see what the collage jpeg's look like above. on my review of my blog2print book, the collages didn't look so small but when i received the book, i was greatly disappointed that many of the pictures are almost too small to see. the book did arrive quickly and was well done, but i'm pretty keen on my collage pictures and so i plan to continue documenting through my blog and printing like i did before at my local copy center. the latter printing route also allows me to print as i go instead of waiting until the end of the year to create a book. the worrier in me can't wait that long, i'm too afraid of a computer or hard drive crashing and losing all my pictures.
after all the posting of pictures is said and done, the preserving of photos comes up. i simply save my photos in dated/titled folders on my hard drive and at the end of the year, i burn those folders to cd. because i often go back looking for photos for this or that, i have found it easier to label the cd's in detail up front opposed to just labeling with the year. i get overwhelmed by too many cd cases hanging around and so i store all of the cd's in a small cd book.
depending on how many pictures you take in a week, determine a time each week or every other week or every month to upload your photos & post [to your blog, or into a photo program, or send directly to a printer] and then organize them into dated folders. this seems like a lot of work but just do it! if you wait until you have tons and tons of pictures, you won't remember the correct date or even have the energy to begin.
this also applies to journaling. journal while the memory is fresh. if i even wait a couple of weeks after an event, i don't really have much desire left to explain what happened. i don't normally write too much either, anywhere from a sentence to a couple of paragraphs. a couple of times a month for my daughter, i post several pictures and then write 1-10 depending on the number of pictures and then attach a title or description with the number and photo.
videos can get quite out of order and make the dvd process difficult if you don't rename them with a date or letter or number that automatically organizes them in dated order. i just went through this process and it was a headache going through all the videos and figuring out the correct order.
other good photo book options are, blurb, mix book, and shutterfly.
martawrites.com creates a great journaling on the go book here.
when it comes right down to it, this can be a trial and error process but find how much or how little works for you and enjoy it. i sometimes wonder why i invest time in documenting our experiences but then when we sit down and flip through our albums or watch one of our dvd's, i am reminded why i do it. i can only imagine how much my children will love them in the future.
hopefully this inspires you to document your life and track the details for the future. i'd love to hear how you have begun or simplified your documenting process.