Hello, Endpaper Bloggers!
My name is Robyn and I help to write many of these Endpaper Blog posts. I don’t usually use the first person in my writing for Paperblanks®, but for the beginning of this 10-Year Journal project I thought it would be best to introduce myself before walking you through my journal.
Paperblanks® 10-Year Journals have really been a passion project for us to produce, and as someone who loves guided journals, I especially have been looking forward to their release. Because this is such a new concept for us (and maybe for you, too!), I volunteered to test out one of these memory books and see what sorts of best practices and tips I may pick up along the way. To help you get the most out of your 10-Year Journal experience, I’ll be continuing to write in my work journal for at least the next year, and will check in now and then with advice on compiling memories, filling out the Milestone Booklets and staying motivated for a decade of journalling.
Filling Out the Family Tree and Nameplate
There’s nothing like filling out the ex libris in a new book. Endless, untapped potential awaits as hundreds of blank pages lie ahead. Of course, that first pen stroke is permanent and, with the subtly textured background of the nameplate being softly golden, using white-out is not a possibility here. With that in mind, I’d say plan out ahead of time what you write. If I could go back, I might have spaced out my letters and words a little more nicely so that I didn’t have to go back and add some awkward serifs to make my letters seem more impressive.
As for the Family Tree, this again seems easy enough but in reality requires some planning. You’ll notice that when you get to the fourth generation (great-grandparents) there are only four blank spaces. This means you either need to save room for two names in each box or simply put the family name (as I did) in that set instead.
Filling Out the Booklet and Folio
Immediately, you’ll likely notice what a nice, snug fit the slip case is around your 10-Year Journal and Decorative Folio. This means it’s extra safe during shipping and nothing will get crushed. However, that also means it’s a bit tougher to be taking your journal in and out of it every day. What I’ve decided to do is store important yet bulky memories (e.g., wedding invitations, ticket stubs, photos) in the slip case and folio, while keeping my journal loose on my desk.
The black decorative folio that comes with every 10-Year Journal already has thirty blank pages on which you can write notes and longer stories. I began mine by writing a headline for a “Highlights of 2015” list. The intention here is to add another headline for each passing year, and see what really stood out for me. For now, I’ve already added two entries (both family events) that I already know I’ll always remember. And, since I began my 10-Year Journal at the end of February, I’m just going to pretend that this year is really February–December, and start off 2016 correctly.
The Milestone Booklet we currently have online is designed for parents and children. It’s an amazing way to track transitions and important developmental events from year to year, but as I don’t have children I’ve decided to wait for our Adult Milestone Booklet to be ready to share with you. Next month, I’ll have a full set of links to both booklets to post and they will be available to download in English, German, French, Italian, Russian or Spanish!
While it may seem overwhelming to write an entry every day, the nice thing about a decade on each page is that there’s no pressure (or room) to write a long entry each time. To help get as much information as possible into one place, I’ve begun by adding a little symbol for the weather that day and also made a note of the day of the week. From there, it’s so far been pretty easy to write down the event or feeling that most stood out, especially when waiting until the next day to write!
As you can see, this is easier said than done as I’ve already messed up my Tuesdays and Wednesdays! I’ve also begun writing in all caps, which I think saves space, but may prove to be illegible in the future. Which leads me to another piece of advice: Take the time to print or write neatly!
Let Me Know Your Thoughts!
Do you have any questions to ask or tips to share? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get back to you. Best of luck with your 10-Year odyssey!
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.