If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a Long Term Penpal Relationship with someone, then you already know how quickly the outgoing and incoming letters can accumulate.
After many years of sending out letters into the world, I realized I wanted a tracking system. A personal record of my activities that I could refer to when the mood strikes and as a way of monitoring mini-milestones/achievements/sheer volume of letters leaving my hands etc, etc…
I keep a couple of different record logs these days. Logs that are specific to special penpals and one that just keeps track of letters I occasionally send to family & friends. I only number the letters on the outside of the envelopes to my penpals, and likewise, they do the same.
The truth of the matter is no one in the world but myself will ever care about the logs I keep, but I’m sharing this idea because I very much appreciate having this ‘proof’ or ‘record’ of all the letters I send out.
When you write as many letters as I do, you certainly forget what you’ve written and since my personally written letters are my memories, my stories, my life, all sent to another for safekeeping, a record log is a great way for me to keep connected.
In a way, keeping a letter log is like micro-chipping your words and a quick browse through your log can reconnect you with long since sent correspondence. For example:
A Random Peek at my Correspondence Records:
You can see I first put down the number of the letter, then the date, then a brief note about what my letter was about…It looks like back in October of 2006 I was having some issues! But the point here is, I know what I’ve sent out via the written mail and in a way, I’ve also created myself a micro-journal of what I was up to during that time of my life.
I could even write my penpal and ask her to pull letter #342 and tell me what sort of “Inspire Extraordinary” I was thinking on October 20th 2006.
And likewise, my penpal can look at her records and ask me to pull any letter she’s sent based on it’s number.
I personally use a Sketchbook Moleskine for my letter records, but any notebook would work just fine as long as it’s sturdy. It takes A LOT of letters to fill up one notebook (1,000’s) which means it will be opened and closed, wrote on and tossed around for a long time. For me, the Sketchbook Moleskine is about as tough as they come (thick pages) when you need sturdy in a notebook.
Start a Letter Log today and in the future, you’ll appreciate that you can reconnect with your old letters.