15 Books for Chronicling Life

by jessicaturner on December 31, 2012

I love books that are “projects” and help you easily document your story. I find myself drawn to them in bookstores and often can’t resist buying one or two a year.

With it being New Year’s Eve, I thought it was the perfect day to share my favorite 15 books to help you chronicle life. Consider ordering one and documenting 2013 in a quick and easy way.

  1. Q and A a Day: 5-Year Journal or the kids version Q & A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal: I just bought the kids version to do with Elias for the next three years. Each day there is a question that you answer (or have your child answer). Inevitably, the answers will change over the course of three years, making for a really fun keepsake.
  2. One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book: This is sort of like a Project Life journal. This book gives you a line for every day of the year for 5 years to record something – totally doable. It’s just one sentence. I think it would make a great addition to any memory keeper’s nightstand.
  3. The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal: A Five-Year Record: This is another version of the aforementioned memory book, only it encourages that your one sentence be about something happy from your day.
  4. Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book: This is similar to the line a day book, but is geared toward documenting stories from your child(ren)’s days.
  5. Carpe Diem Journal: This is a beautiful journal with encouraging words throughout. Love it.
  6. Gratitude: A Journal or for kids My First Gratitude Journal: A Write-in, Draw-in Gratitude Journal for Kids: After reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, the importance of writing down things we are grateful for really stuck with me. I love these two journals – one for adults and one for kids.
  7. Journal of Awesome: This journal looks so fun. It has inspiration prompts and encouraging words about life’s simple joys. Another great gratitude journal option.
  8. Starting Today: A Journal of Intention and Change: This journal encourages you to write down daily intentions through insightful prompts and quotes.
  9. 5: Where Will You Be Five Years from Today?: This is a book I am going to fill out this month. I have had it sitting on my bookshelf, empty, for about 3 years. It’s time!
  10. One Sketch a Day: A Visual Journal: If you or someone you know is a drawer, this journal is perfect.
  11. My Garden: A Five-Year Journal: This is a journal dedicated to documenting your garden – what you plant, how you plant, etc. Perfect if you have a green thumb.
  12. My Quotable Kid: A Parents’ Journal of Unforgetable Quotes: I have blogged about this book several times, but it has to be mentioned. If you are looking for a fun book to record all the funny things your child says, this is it.
  13. Project Life: If you want more than a book to record life’s memories, Project Life is your answer. For more on Project Life, click here.

I should note that many of these books are published by Chronicle Books, one of my favorite publishers. They have no idea I am writing this post, but man, I love their books!!

Disclosure: compensated affiliate links used

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara December 31, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I bought the kids’ Q and A journal about a month ago and meant to tell you about it…it seemed like something you would love:). When I saw this post I thiuggt “I bet the Q and A is on there!”
My four year old LOVES it, and her answers are so fun. My favorite so far is her response to “What will you do when you’re older?” Without missing a beat she said “Do the trapeze. And everyone will come check it out while I swing over 8 parks and 6 houses.” She cracks me up:)


Jen January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm

How are you liking the kids Q&A book so far?


Jen January 8, 2013 at 1:02 am

Normally I come to your blog and feel overwhelmed with your creativity and over-achieving (in a good way!). This post made me pause, though, and I’m thinking about getting the One Line A Day journal. I used to love journaling, and now I can’t even find a pen in my house to write a grocery list down! One line a day sounds doable – and I want to remember and say thank you and be grateful…and this journal sounds like a good start!


jessicaturner January 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

Oh, please don’t feel overwhelmed – ha! (Although most days I am living in some sort of overwhelmed state.) I can so relate to your lack of pens. I threw away five dead ones yesterday. I think you will love the one line a day journal. Also, documenting gratitude is so good for the soul.


kaley January 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I am so glad that I am not the only one with an addiction to these types of books. :) (I had 4 different baby books because I couldn’t choose just one!) We have My Quotable Kid and we love it – my daughter says some crazy stuff. I think I might have to get the Q & A a Day for Kids, too.


Lydia January 17, 2013 at 8:15 am

I currently do nothing like this, but my baby girl is about to turn one, and I really want to document more of my memories of moments with her…
I would also love to do something like this just for myself! I don’t want to overwhelm myself with too much all at once though.
If you could recommend just one of these books to start with, for someone who has never done something like this before (except for a gratitude list, inspired by Ann Voskamp), which would you recommend?


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