Marriage and Mental Illness, Parenting and Potty Humor

How to Start a Family Journal This Year (and Why)



Have you ever spent the day with your kids and loved when this sweet thing happened, but they remembered that sweet thing? And loved it more? Starting a family journal is a beautiful way to record those special moments, even the ones you didn’t realize were so special at the time.

Family Journal from Minted

Choose your family journal.

I really love this journal from Minted (pictured above on the right) because it’s minimalistic and can be personalized, but any of these options would be perfect, too. Choose a family journal that fits your family’s style. You can even select a design that signals an intention.

Decluttering your home? Choose a minimalist styled journal. Focusing on creating more quality family time? A journal that can be personalized with your family photo is ideal.

Choose a location.

Designate a central location for the journal to be placed. In our home, a hutch with a built-in desk serves as our command center. This is where the family laptop lives and where we store mail and school papers.

Attach a pen to the inside cover or binding of your new family journal with a generous piece of string. This ensures that you always have a writing instrument when inspiration strikes.

Start the tradition with one entry.

Every tradition has a starting point, and your family journal tradition is no different. Start by passing the journal around to each family member. Talk about what should be written in the journal: happy times, moments to be remembered, questions, daily struggles, and more. Your family journal will be a beautiful mess and reflect the ups and downs of your life together.

Then take turns writing in it for the first time. Some ideas for your first entry:

  • What you want this family journal to be
  • Your favorite family memory
  • Something unique about your family
  • A family introduction

Fill it in.

Now it’s time to decide how you want to fill it in. Do you want to designate a time to take turns writing in your family journal? Or would you rather everyone add entries more organically? This is also a good time to decide how you want to review the entries.

Our family decided to contribute as thoughts popped into our heads or after events we wanted to recount. We also chose not to read each others’ entries until the pages were filled. The idea is to make this review a special time to come together as a family. It’s also a way to see others’ perspectives and better understand what is important to them.


12 thoughts on “How to Start a Family Journal This Year (and Why)

  1. I’m definitely going to have to remember this for when my kid(s) are older! I should actually start doing one for myself to remember all of our special family memories for the time being. And I love the idea to keep it in a very accessible spot so that everyone can get to it whenever they want.

  2. Great idea! I have scrolled back on my fb page to laugh at things long gone. A journal would be so much better! Not only do you keep everything- you also get other member’s perspectives!

  3. Such an awesome idea! I do a lot of scrap-booking, so that’s kinda our family journal, but I like the idea of having a notebook or something to write things down in, besides the pictures I have taken.

  4. I LOVE this idea!! So simple and such a perfect way to capture family memories. I write journals to my kids and it can be time consuming at times, but this gets everyone in on the action. Absolutely love it!

  5. I love this idea. I find it fascinating to see how the kids grow. Their wants are simple when they are young. Then they start to change and thinking more of others. It’s a beautiful growth. This journal is a perfect way to track it.

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