The modding community for The Sims 4 never fails to impress us. Ravasheen has once again blown us away with a new mod called the Ink For Yourself Memory Keeper & Custom Journal mod! Some players might not know that The Sims 4 does technically have a memory system tied into the Screenshot Manager. You can assign emotions to pictures that you’ve taken in the game and have your Sims reminisce about that memory, taking on the emotion attached to the photo.
However, players were quick to point out that this memory system is clunky to use, not intuitive at all, and really out of the way to get to. So much so that most people don’t even know the feature exists. Ravasheen has taken the basic concept of this feature and integrated it into gameplay in a way that’s more intuitive and easy to access. We were very impressed with how clever this mod is!
So let’s get into how the mod works!
Of course, you will have to install the mod, first. You can get it from Ravasheen’s website. The current version is free to the public but you can also follow Ravasheen on Patreon (no subscription needed to follow Patreon creators) to find out more about future early access versions if you’re interested. If you need help with installing mods, check out our article Getting Started With Mods and CC.
Once the mod is installed correctly, all you have to do is load up the game and go into Build/Buy. Searching the term “diary” in the search bar will bring the journal right up. The journal comes in several different swatches; some from the Parenthood journals and some plain variants. The mod does not require Parenthood to work, however. Everything in the mod is base game compatible.
Pick the journal swatch you like best and place it down on any surface. Click on the journal to bring up multiple options. You can choose an author for the journal, edit the journal title and description, and add new entries to the journal. For this example, I used Bella Goth and decided to make a journal detailing the secret true story of exactly what happened to her back in Pleasantview in The Sims 2.
When you add a new entry to the journal, you’ll have to choose an icon from it from a popup list. Ravasheen’s done a good job of providing some icons that relate to many milestones and events in a Sim’s life, such as engagements, weddings, breakups, new babies, and school memories, among some others. Pick the icon that most closely relates to the kind of entry you want to add to the journal.
Once you’ve picked the icon, you can now customize the entry! Give it a title and a description. Below, I’ve picked out a gloomy icon to describe Bella’s account of being abducted in the middle of the night by aliens. When you add a new entry to the journal, the active Sim will do a quick writing animation wherever they’re currently standing. They don’t need to go to the journal to write down their thoughts which is really handy for when you want to jot down a new memory on the go and don’t want to bother carving out time for them to sit down and write a big long entry about it.
After the new journal entry has been created, the journal’s inventory will open, showing you the entry with your chosen icon inside it. You can then hover over it to get a tooltip of the title and description you gave it. You can also choose to read it which will bring up a larger notification of the entry. Whichever Sim wrote the entry will automatically be assigned as the author of that entry but you can change this at any time. In fact, you can go back and edit everything related to this mod. You can change authors, titles, descriptions, icons, and moodlets on both the journal and individual entries whenever you want!
Which brings us to moodlets! After creating a new journal entry, you can click on it in the journal inventory to assign a moodlet to it. You can choose between every emotion in the game. I chose to add a scared moodlet to Bella’s account of being abducted. Once you’ve assigned a moodlet to a journal entry, the entry will have an emotional label attached to it, like “Happy Memory” or “Sad Memory” or “Embarrassed Memory.” Bella’s entry is now a “Scary Memory.” Click any journal entry with a moodlet attached to it to recall the memory. I can now click on this entry to have Bella “Recall a Scary Moment.”
Recalling a particular moment will cause the Sim to do an animation related to that emotion and they’ll gain a small emotional moodlet related to the memory for 4 hours. This is much the same feature as what The Sims 4 added to the Screenshot Manager but much more intuitive and better integrated into gameplay. You don’t have to go searching through a bunch of menus to get to it. It’s always right there in your Sim’s journal you can take anywhere or display anywhere on a surface in your home.
The journal is not the only thing that can be displayed in the home, however! The entries themselves can be dragged onto a wall and displayed like pinned up post-it notes or individual pages ripped out of a notebook. The entries can be read while they’re displayed on the wall, too. Ravasheen even took the time to create many different swatches for the journal entry notes that are related to the icons you pick for your entry. For example, the icons related to kids have child’s scribblings on the note, and the fight icon has big angry letters with lots of underlining and exclamation points! If you decide you don’t like the original icon you picked for your entry or if you want it to have a different appearance displayed on the wall, you can just change the swatch in Build/Buy the same way you’d change the swatch of any other item. Be aware that changing the swatch in Build/Buy will also change the icon it displays when it’s dragged back into the journal. The swatches are linked to the icons.
Your Sims can own as many journals as they want so they can organize different aspects of their lives into each journal. For example, your Sim could have a personal diary of their day-to-day affairs, plus a gardening book to keep track of all their gardening achievements. You could even use the books for weddings and funerals as guest books! Being able to own many different journals that have separate entries attached to them and can be written in by anyone opens up almost endless ways to use the journals.
Some limitations Ravasheen goes over in her livestream walkthrough:
- Currently, the journals are not locked to the author like the Parenthood journals are. This is because she wanted the journals to be passed down from generation to generation and if the original author dies, then no one else in the future can look back on all those memories.
- The journals do not have any Parenthood features, like being able to hide them under the mattress or snooping. This is because she wants to keep the mod base game compatible, but she said she’s open to perhaps integrating those features as add-ons.
- The only way to change the icon of an entry is in Build/Buy by changing the swatch on the entry while it’s displayed on a wall.
- The journals cannot be deleted or sold. This is by design to ensure that your memories stay safe. It would be heartbreaking to lose generations and generations of memories just because you accidentally deleted or sold your journal while clearing out your inventory or redecorating. Individual entries within the journal can be deleted, though.
- You cannot open the journal to see the entries inside it while it’s in your Sim’s inventory. This can only be done while the journal is displayed somewhere on the lot. This is a game limitation; you cannot open an inventory inside of another inventory. It would be very difficult to change this without getting into script modding.
So what are our final thoughts on this mod? Well, it’s a really clever way to take an existing game feature that’s pretty useless the way it is, to be honest, and turn it into something that’s actually useful and immersive for gameplay enthusiasts. I loved the concept of memories that The Sims 4 introduced but it was such a hassle to get to and navigate that I never really bothered with it. Having Ravasheen’s journal right there in my game that I can access easily whenever I want and customize to my exact liking is so helpful and fun to play with!
Definitely check out this mod if you’re a gameplay enthusiast, guys. It’s for sure staying in my Mods folder and I can’t wait to start preserving more of the important milestones in my Sims’ lives.