A Journey into Journaling


Journaling. It’s a word that strikes fear into most new scrapbookers, and some veterans, too. You get a page all designed…pictures, paper, a few embellishments. It looks great! And then you realize…you need to ‘say’ something about these pictures. What do you say? Is a simple “who, what, when, where” enough? Did you want to lay out all of the emotions you were feeling when you took the pictures? Do you want the pictures to speak for themselves, or do you have a mini-novel inside of you waiting to get out? Handwritten or computer journaling? Some of these concepts may be old hat to you, and some you may have never tried. Today, I would like to get the journaling ball rolling with a few basic concepts. In the weeks ahead, we’ll delve deeper and see if we can’t stretch your journaling into new territory.

We’ll start simple. The “who, what, when, where” journaling. There are no rules anywhere that say this kind of journaling is wrong. Sometimes it is all that is called for. For example, this page of my boys having a front yard picnic. The journaling is in the big dots on the patterned paper. I wrote, “April 2008,” “Tyler, Avery, and Benji,” and “our yard.” It was just a little picnic in our yard, and I didn’t want the journaling to overpower the cute pictures, so I chose the simplest of journaling.

Even more simple, let someone else journal for you! Here I found stickers that talked about snow and winter. I used them as the only journaling on this page.

Say the next pictures you want to scrap have a little more of a story behind them. Or you need to explain to your son in the future why you had to take so many pictures of him eating an apple when he was two. This is my favorite type of journaling. You don’t need a page and a half of writing to get your point across, but the story is too good not to be told. Focus on that story. Choose your words wisely. And you can get that story on the page in a minimal amount of space.

But what about the times when you do have a big story to tell. A birth story, or a “why we had to move across the country” story, or maybe even a made up story. All of that journaling can take up a lot of space. We can talk more about how to include these big stories on your page in another installment, but for now, know that is is OK to include long stories in your scrapbooks. Don’t be afraid. Let loose and write every once in a while. This page I did in response to a challenge to write a fictional story. My fictional story was based on the facts of my life and the birth of my three boys, but I wrote it in the form of a fairy tale. It was so much fun!

So, you’ve decided how much you want to journal. Now it is time to decide how. Handwritten or computer journaling. Both have their advantages and their disadvantages, and you must weigh those before deciding which to do. I want to give you a sample of each, but I won’t go into much detail about them in this post. I must save a little for next time, you know! All of the above samples have shown handwritten journaling. Here is an example of what you can do with a computer.

So tell me…which would you like to hear about next time on our journaling journey? Handwritten or computer journaling? Leave me a comment here, and I’ll get that ready for next time. Also, if there is a technique in this post that you try for the first time, leave me a comment and let me know how it goes for you. I would love to hear your stories!



2 Responses to “A Journey into Journaling”

  1. June Campbell Says:

    Journaling is the hardest component for so many of us. I often do scrapbooks for other people, sometimes using pictures they have sent me. I do not necessarily know much of anything about the scene in the picture. I may not even know who the people are. When that happens, I run a Google search for “scrapbook quotes” or just “quotes” and usually find sites with tons of celebrity quotes or quotes from the Bible or whatever. This becomes my journaling for the page.

  2. Denise W. Says:

    I’d be interested in learning more about readable cute solutions for handwritten journaling. Most of mine end up in blocks on the page and that gets boring after awhile!

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