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Memory Keeping By Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

At the end of every month, for almost 4 years now, I blog a summary of the last 30+ days using numbers as a way to tie all my experiences and moments together. And the life-documenting philosophy behind my Month in Numbers posts goes hand in hand with scrapbooking. But to anyone recoiling in fear at the thought of mixing creativity with numbers, then you’re not alone. People often tell me they’d like to try this method but that they’re ‘not a number person’, which is when I let them in on the big My Month in Numbers secret: it’s not really about numbers! Who knew?!
The numbers are there purely as a handy hook on to which you hang all the stories and details of the previous 4 weeks. Think of it like unlocking a chain from around a bike wheel: the numbers you enter into the combination lock don’t make the ride itself any more beautiful or invigorating… but they’re pretty useful for getting the wheels turning on your journey!

Let me dissect a recent Month in Numbers layout of mine to show you what I mean.

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Look back through all the photos you’ve taken over the month, select the ones with stories you really want to document, then pull out a number that really help you illustrate the story.
I managed to capture a shot of the International Space Station (it’s the tiny white speck amidst the black) as it passed over my back garden and it was definitely a moment to record. A quick look online gave me the altitude which made the perfect numerical detail.

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Where possible take photos of signs, boards, screens, etc, which display the numbers involved in the story of your month. They make great memory aids at the end of the month when it comes to summarizing everything.

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A scrapbook tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Record the fabulous ‘out of the ordinary’ events, even if there are no obvious numbers related to them!
There was no way I wasn’t going to record how my favorite author sent me a signed book and with a little thought I realized that as I now had ’2 copies’ of the novel I had a perfect number to begin the tale!

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

But don’t forget to count up some of those more ‘ordinary’ routine things too, things that might not make it into full layouts of their own.
These routines, like my morning walks around my neighborhood, make up a big part of our everyday lives and are worth remembering too. If, even a few months down the line, our so-called ‘routines’ change then these numbers will tell a bigger story than we thought at the time.

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Keep track of a specific topic each month. Then at the end of the year you can calculate and reflect upon the total number. I made a concerted effort to start visiting my local libraries more often and so my monthly numbers this year always include how many books I’ve read.
You could use this to track numbers relating to all kinds of things for instance: a child’s height; cinema visits; sports team scores; the number of layouts made and so on, the list is endless!

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Find a home for all those random-yet-noteworthy moments of your month by pinning a number to them. Using simple things like the time or the date is an easy way to record those odd moments, which, while not a huge part of your month, do help give a fuller picture.
And if you get completely stuck for ideas you can always try one of the prompts available in my Printable Month in Numbers Cards, or just jump in with whatever numerical idea strikes your fancy.

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

Join in the Communal Count on my blog where I issue a pair of number-themed prompts on the first day of the month. All you have to do is share your responses at the end of that month. This is a really fun way to compare and contrast your vital-statistics with those of bloggers from around the world!

Memory Keeping by Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk @

I do hope you’ll give memory-keeping-by-numbers a try as it fits in so harmoniously with the ethos of scrapbooking. Additionally it opens up so many opportunities to jot down quick lines of journaling and lists making it ideal for incorporating into split-pocket memory keeping such as Project Life. For lots more tips and ideas on where to look for numbers and how to keep them organised each month then visit the Month in Numbers page of my blog. And while you’re there, if you’d like to begin your number-crunching in good company, then you’ll also find details on how you can join in the wider Month in Numbers community of bloggers too.

Julie Kirk is a blogger, papercraft magazine contributor and Etsy shop owner from North East England. She hosts My Month in Numbers on the last day of each month at notes on paper where the rest of the month she blogs tutorials and ideas on topics ranging from using vintage supplies to art journaling and blogging while also seeking ways to find, and share, the humour and delight in everyday life.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Etsy

01 October 2013

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6 Comments for Memory Keeping By Numbers:: A Scrapbook Tutorial by Julie Kirk

  1. Ladykat Says:

    It’s the first time I read about “a month in numbers”; I like this idea, it’s very original; thanks for inspiration.
    Merci Julie ^^

  2. Crystal Says:

    I love the idea of a summary type layout like this. Maybe I’ll start now taking notes for one to wrap up October. I will have to check out Julie’s blog to see some more examples. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  3. Debbie Says:

    There’s a mistake in your journalling. You had a picture of the sign for 199 steps, you had the number stickers saying 199 but then your journalling says 119. I know, I’m being pedantic, but I’m a perfectionist! Lovely layout :)

  4. alexa Says:

    Such a beautifully put together page, Julie – I love the little up-close sneak peeks on the way through your explanation too.

  5. scrapbooking ideas Says:

    Very creative and unique. Numbers and words are really important in, it’s nice that you have compiled turn into a nice work.

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