Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Memory Keeping for the Rest of Us: New Writing Prompts from Katie of Gadanke

She: Me, My Life, My Days- a new writing prompt journal

 I was lucky enough to e-meet my friend Katie a few years ago when I was working at another magazine (sidebar: got a fancy new makeover- go check it out!) and I've really enjoyed keeping tabs on what she's up to. She just started a creative side business that I am a big fan of—she's found an easy way to help us all record the tidbits that made us who we are, as a way to preserve and pass on memories. I like to think of it as StoryCorps for writers who like visually pleasing paper! Awesome, right? Here's more from Katie...

I'm Katie, the designer behind Gadanke. I'm American; my husband is German. We split our time between a 480 square foot apartment in Berlin, Germany and—get this—a house made out of hundreds of recycled tires in the Rocky Mountains. We ride our bikes just about anywhere we can, eat our vegetables, and have an enormous passion for seizing life.
  My husband and I were visiting my hometown to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday. NPR's StoryCorp was in town to invite people to share their stories while a loved one interviewed. My dad and I thought it could be a really beautiful opportunity for my grandma to share some of her stories.  

I created a list of prompts and questions for my grandma - much like the tricks I had learned for my own journaling. My grandma and I practiced a little over a bowl of ice cream, then stepped into the recording bus.
Love Where We Live: a mini home book

The problem was my grandma couldn't remember it all.

Later she tried writing her story about college and meeting my grandfather. You can imagine how much she struggled. Too much time had gone by.

 My dad turned to me and said, “Katie, I need you to write about what life is like for you today.”

I know he was wishing he could read more about his own parents' views of the world. You can look back on times and read history books, but you cannot do it through the lens of someone in your family… unless she or he wrote it down.  That's when I realized I needed to take my approach to successful personal journaling and start helping other people bring out their stories, their memories, and their passions for life.
Love Letter: A mini love book for someone close to your heart
 My goal is simple: I want to help you create the type of journal you'll treasure—whether it's about you, where you live, or someone you love. We all have stories. My journaling products—filled with writing prompts and quotations—can help make your writing process more enjoyable and meaningful. You'll really dive into the ideas that give you a zest for life. It's more interesting and fun to write about who you are than about what you ate for dinner.

Click here to see the full range of journals from Katie.


  1. Hi Katie,
    What beautiful journals!I also tried questioning my gran a few years back to no avail she also has no recollection of certain events. I think you might find these journaling prompts a source of inspiration at

  2. Oh what a sweet surprise, Amy. Thank you! I'm so touched.

    Thanks for the link, too, Debbie. I'm off to check it out..