Recently, I updated my portfolio for an internship. In doing that, a tricky thing was creating a documentation of my projects. This is most important part of a portfolio. Of course, the final product’s quality itself is also important. But well-organized documentation helps visitors understand and immerse my project better. However, if I didn’t take pictures and write up the minutes of a meeting when I worked on a project, it is impossible to make a good documentation even though final product was great.
There was a project I spent a lot of time. There were many sketches, plenty of meetings, lots of interviews and a large number of iteration. However, the only things left now are a few pictures of final product. Those pictures cannot say everything. My passion, my concerns and trial and error are all omitted. Just because I did not write down that’s going on. What a terrible situation!
Through this experience, I learned that the final step of the project should be documentation, not a final object itself. So I try to take pictures of process as often as possible this semester for better documentation.
But at this point, I’m faced with a curious question.
What’s the state of the documentation of my life?
I believe the most important project that I have to make more successful is my LIFE. Everyday, I meet someone, talk something and do something. And new information I get everyday occupy my memory, and this makes my old memory disappear. I remember when I was teenager, I had favorite musicians, movies and values that I thought were important that time. Over time, however, my memory has become hazy about my past preferences. I don’t remember how I was in the past.
Memories are our history: it is part of who I am and how I got to be the person I am today. If there are records, there’s no “lost time.” Records raise old memories and old memories help us to re-check who we are, where we are and we can go forward.
So I just looked back the state of the documentation of my life.
First of all, Blog or social network services like Facebook and Instagram were coming up to my mind. My past pictures and memos can help me to recall big and small events and feeling at that moment. Diary and photo album are definitely perfect methods to record personal life. Although it is little old fashioned, it reminds me of past time more detailedly.
But I feel that even though I wrote journal regularly, all recorded events are dispersed so it is hard to track correlation with each other when I revisit past memory. Think of a daily journal, it become 365 pages per year. After 10 years, it will be 3,650 pages. How could you track them? Are there any ways to reorganize the memory?
A resume was crossed my mind at this point. We can see what school we graduated from, what we’ve done at the organization and achievements we’ve got on one page. Resume is the best form of showing backgrounds and skills relating to own area of expertise. In other words, it is a specialized documentation of past memory about the job and education. Then, what about other than that? Hobbies, relationship, belief, emotion, etc. There are many things can be important part of our life other than job. How and where these things can be documented?
Return to project documentation perspective, daily journal and posting on the web is just a raw material like pictures and notes of the project. What if I can well-organize those records in order to track specific theme easily when I revisit old memories like a resume?
- How about writing journal for 10 years on a same date and a same page in order to see how my thoughts and behaviors are changed and evolved?
- How about writing annual one sheet report about myself including new habit, favorite restaurants and movies in that year so that I can collect and track each year’s report?
- How about writing diary based on emotion basis? Not a time basis, so that I can understand my tendencies deeply over time: When I was/am happy, how I overcome past challenges, etc.
Now I’m going to play with this idea on my Kickstarter project. I don’t know how this theme can be evolved, but it sure is, it will be a great help to me, if you can share your own way to record your life or revisit your past memory efficiently. Do you write a daily journal? Or use specific service for records? How do you document your life and why you record it?
All kinds of comments about life documentation are always welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org