I used to sit down with my morning cup of coffee and keep a detailed journal, sometimes pages and pages. After I had my first baby, I did my best to record milestones but that was about it. And somewhere after having my 2nd and then 3rd child, I stopped making time for it. I didn’t know how to start journaling again without committing so much time. But something in me was really sad that I’d forget huge chunks of time or cute things my kids said. But the thought of journaling again just seemed too overwhelming, until a friend told me how excited she was about her “One Line A Day 5 year Memory Journal”. It’s the perfect journal for busy moms, and an excellent gift under $10. I quickly ordered it on Amazon and in about 2 minutes each day now record highlights from that day.
This post contains affiliate links, to products that I use and love.
How to start journaling when you are short on time
This book was perfect for me because it got me journaling again! The trick is, you have to do it every day. Because I’ve found it’s impossible to remember what I ate for lunch yesterday let alone remembering details from 3 days ago.
I’m not exactly sure why it’s called “one line a day” because each day you are given 5 lines, and for me that fit’s around 4-5 sentences. You could also use bullet points to save space and get more in that day.
If the kids say something cute I want to remember, then I write it down for part of that day’s entry right then and there. Otherwise, I just keep it by my bed or the couch and do it at the end of the day.
Each entry you list the year, and the fun part is the next year you will easily see the post from the year before on that same page.
When I miss a day, no worries. I use that space later on to write down funny things the kids said. I know that looking back it’s the phrases I’ll laugh at, with no thought to the exact date. The dates are just there to help me (attempt to) write something every day and to get a general idea of what’s going on during that season of life.
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A 3 year journal for asking kids questions
I also ordered this book as a fun way to record my kid’s answers over 3 years. I record each of their answers in the same book, as there’s enough room to write answers from 2 kids no problem. Three kids would probably work too, if they give one line answers.
There are 365 different questions, and they will answer one a day. The point is that at the end of 3 years you will see how their answers have changed, as well as just enjoy rereading what their little brains were thinking at each age.
To be honest, I think my kids are a tad young at age 3 and 4.5, as a lot of the questions don’t pertain to them about school, or some questions are over their heads. This would probably be ideal for ages 5 and older, or whenever your child starts school as there are quite a few school questions.
If I find a dumb question or one I don’t care to write down answers to, I’ll just cross it out and write my own question. Like, “What’s your favorite game to play with your sister?” Or, “What’s your favorite book right now?” If I’d like to see the answers to any question down the road, then it’s a good one, even if I make it up.
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Other ideas for starting a mom journal
After asking other moms how they journal to keep track of memories (and many don’t), I learned a few other great options:
- One mama buys a blank journal for each of her kids, and uses that for writing milestones, funny things they said, and moments she wants to remember for that kid. Not an every day journal, just when things come up. She also keeps another daily journal for herself of thoughts and happenings. To me that is like “goals”, but I don’t know if I’ll actually follow through with it.
- Bullet journals, which are more of a journal/planner/to do list/milestones list/everything all in one place journal. Google it, I dare you, but you could get very overwhelmed! I’d like to experiment with this at some point.
- One blank journal for anything and everything. I used to do this and date it whenever I sat down to journal. This was nice because skipping days was fine, and I could write whatever. You could even dedicate the back few pages for milestones or important dates to remember.
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If you like the idea of writing just a few lines/day, but would rather have a question prompted, then this journal looked awesome. I almost bought it, except, I wanted the freedom to write whatever came to my mind about the kids that day or what I did, rather than answer random questions.
This type of journal would be perfect for you if:
- You want random thought provoking questions.
- If you want a small time capsule of how your answers to those same questions change over 5 years.
- You don’t like the idea of a blank journal and feel clueless what to write.
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Just pick a journal, and start journaling
Sometimes waiting for the perfect journal will mean that you miss out on years of keeping track of memories. I’d like to keep an even more detailed account of each of my growing kids than the one line a day journal or the Kids Q&A journal, but for now this is manageable for me and will be fun to read over later!
Whatever you do, just start. You can always switch it up, but if you wait to find something that seems perfect, then you could end up missing years, like I did. With the one line a day journal, you can write your thoughts one day, cute things your kids said another day, or just happenings of the day. It’s short, flexible, and it’s daily.
What do you use or have you used in the past? Please let me know in the comments!