Ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of videos, pictures, and unforgettable memories of your children's youth? Before you know it, the weeks and months pile up and those photos and videos on your camera or smartphone are destined for the delete bin or relegated to the nether reaches of your computer, rarely to be seen again.
Keeping up with all the magical moments that you've captured is a full-time job. It requires patience, planning, and organization. However, there are a few simple things you can do to preserve your child's special moments and leave him a lasting legacy of his favorite childhood activities.
Make it a New Year's resolution to get more organized with your family's media. Here are a few ideas to preserve your child's youth - without losing your sanity in the process.
1. Keep a journal.
That hysterical thing that your daughter said at dinner the other night might be long forgotten in a few months. But if it is recorded in a journal, it will be a family memory forever. At the end of a long day, most of us barely have energy to read a few pages in a book or do a single chore. Finding the time and motivation to write will be a challenge but it will pay off handsomely with years of cherished memories. One option — take a journal with you to work so you can write in it during down time.
2. Be a blogger.
If pen and paper aren't your thing, Wordpress, Blogspot, and Tumblr are there to help. Let's face it, in your downtime you're probably online anyway, so create a blog and put those photos and videos to good use. Plus, you can share it with family and friends who will love keeping up with your children's antics.
3. Invest in hardware.
You will quickly run out of space on your smartphone for pictures and videos. Then you will quickly run out of space on your laptop or PC. The best thing to do is invest in a hard drive of at least half a terabyte. The cost should be less than $100 and it will take you years to fill it up.
4. Organize photos often.
Organizing your photos into albums is key. Trying to sort through thumbnails of thousands of photos is the photographic equivalent of searching for a needle in a haystack. Transfer your photos from your camera or phone to a computer or hard drive often. Print your favorite photos every few weeks or months, rather than being overwhelmed by hundreds of photos. It's inexpensive and you can pick and choose by using an online photo printing option at many major pharmacies and well-known stores.
5. Make your video stand out.
It's all about video these days. Anyone who's anyone has a YouTube channel, right? If you want to get those rad shots of Tyler on his skateboard or Emma on the slopes, go pro. Make that GoPro. They are the makers of a high quality but relatively low-cost ($200-300) HD video camera that you can attach to stuff and use to shoot crazy good video.
6. Learn to edit.
It could not be easier to edit these days with user-friendly video editing systems available on most computers. In 5 years, you will much prefer watching a 5-minute video of your trip to Disney rather than 2 hours of raw, unedited video.
7. Use the family village.
This is almost too much work for one mere mortal so get the spouse and kids involved, too. Make sure everyone is pitching in with ideas for journals, blogs and videos. After all, you're leaving this legacy for them.
How do you preserve memories for your children? Come chat with us tomorrow, November 29, 2012 for our weekly #pschat on Twitter at 2:00 EST to chime in on this topic with other parents. Make sure you're following us @parentingsquad.