One thing I’m working on this year is to be more consistent in my journaling. This is important to me because journaling is a fun way to capture memories from significant, or even daily, events. Journaling also creates great triggers that help me recall memories when I read an entry months or years later.
I’ve recently started adding a mind-mapping technique to my journaling to help capture more memories. Here’s how it works.
In the horizontal and vertical center of the page write down the event you want to remember. It might be something like “Vacation to Disneyland”, “Kids first day of school”, “Family Reunion”, First day on the new job”. You get the idea.
Next, start writing down words and phrases about that event. Don’t write sentences, just write down the things that come to your mind when you think of the event. Maybe it’s a place, people, an activity, a verb, and adjective… just write whatever comes to mind.
Write these words around the event you wrote in the middle of the page. I find it fun to write words at different angles and in different spots on the page. As I run out of space, I start squeezing words in to blank spaces in between words I’ve already written.
Here’s an example of my entry for the mission trip I wrote about last week.
It would take a while to write a few sentences about every item on this page. However, in this format I can fill a page with several words about the trip that will instantly trigger my memory when I read them.
For this trip I also wrote some daily entries in sentence form for specific elements of the trip I wanted to capture in greater detail. This, coupled with the mind-mapping technique, provided a great way for me to thoroughly journal the important memories from this trip.
Give this journaling method a try and see if it works for you. You have nothing to lose and memories to gain.