As baby and I officially hit the 34 week mark, I finally sat down to layout the pregnancy diary I’ve been putting together. When I posted the results, I was asked to release it as a template, and happily—I obliged! The result is this 86 page template for a 7×7 hardcover (image wrap) Blurb Book. Here are the key features:
- Totally editable! Add/subtract pages, edit fonts/colors/layouts—whatever!
- Don’t want to use Blurb? Just adjust the specs to fit whatever vendor you want and get to it already!
- 86 drool-worthy pages including an intro/outro, birthday spread, and a full-spread per week (x 40 weeks)—but don’t feel like you have to fill in every week! Feel free to edit as needed! (See tip #1 below.)
- THIS IS AN INDESIGN TEMPLATE. It is saved as an .idml file, so it can be opened with versions as far back as InDesign CS4. (If you’re looking for a Photoshop template, stop and ask yourself, “Why would I design an 86 page document in Photoshop? That’d be crazy! I should know better than to even consider that!” Then, return to your senses and proceed with InDesign. Please don’t ask me about creating a PS template for you—it’s not the way these things are properly done. Check out this free 30-day trial of InDesign to get you started.)
- With purchase, you also receive an InDesign Library file with all the icons for each week making it super easy to rearrange/add/remove pages and drag-and-drop design elements as needed. (Instructions included!)
Tips for Super Crazy Easy (NO STRESS) Diary Keeping:
- Write as much (or as little) and as often (or as infrequently) as You Feel Like. Just because a template (this template) includes a spread for each of 40 weeks—doesn’t mean you have to make an entry every week! I found pregnancy to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever put myself through, and as such, if I had tried to force myself to journal every week, it would’ve been a recipe for failure. I didn’t even make my first journal entry until week 13 after we heard the heart beat, and that’s totally ok. From that point on, I only made entries when I felt like I had something worth sharing with baby. Sometimes that was several times per week, other times there were 4 or 5 weeks between entries. Do what works for you and add/subtract pages as needed. (My diary actually only mentions 13 weeks so far, and I’m 34 weeks along…)
- Keep it Real. You don’t have to fill the diary with flowery prose about rainbows, unicorns, and perceived pregnancy bliss (because let’s face it, pregnancy can be hard). Write about the day-to-day happenings, how the plans for the nursery are coming along, or even current events that are on your mind. (In my pregnancy diary, I filled two spreads with current events that will make for fascinating reading material when baby gets older.) Sometimes I wrote a lot (if we had a particularly productive weekend assembling IKEA furniture for the nursery, for example), and other times my entries were short but sweet, “You got your first piece of mail today—baby booties from Michelle!”
- Use Tools That Make it Easy. Maybe you’ll want to make your entries directly into the template in InDesign. Or maybe you want to get it out first, before worrying about making it pretty (that’s what I did). I used Google Docs to make my entries (even adding small images to remind me what images I wanted to include), letting them pile up for months before I transferred (copy and pasted) everything to InDesign.
And that’s it. Keep it simple, pregnancy can be hard enough on its own. Hang in there mama!