I freely admit that journaling is perhaps my least favorite part of scrapbooking. (Cleaning up afterwards is up there on that list too!) It’s not that I don’t want to record or document the memories… I DO! Of course I do! But I don’t love writing and to be honest… sometimes I feel like getting the info, the who-what-when-where-why of a photo, event, or moment onto the page, gets a little dull. Now, don’t get me wrong – I think any journaling we do as scrapbookers is fantastic and will be much appreciated by our families as the years go by. However, if you’re wanting to try something a little different from the norm, here are 12 ideas to get your writing wheels spinning. I know I’ll be referencing this list from time to time!
- Use a quote. I love using quotes as my journaling! I do it often when I have a “moment” type photo that doesn’t really need a lot of explanation. Or when I find a quote that I think really embodies something I’d like my children to remember or learn. Sometimes I might add a few lines of my own thoughts to go with the quote, but often I just leave the quote to do the talking.
- Question & Answer. Let someone else be the voice in your scrapbook for a change and record them in their own words. This is a great way to document your child’s thoughts. (You could ask them the same questions each year on their birthday or the first day of school and see how they change through the years. Check out Nicole Reaves’ 20 Questions blurb book or PDF to see how cool this can be!) It would also work well for heritage scrapbooking when you are documenting photos and recording memories second hand.
- Share Events in a Timeline. This is a great way to document a road trip, first year milestones, or even sports achievements. I used a timeline in the page below to highlight the big events of each year of our marriage.
- Use numbers. You can create a numbered list (like “10 favorites at age 10”, “5 things I love about you”) or use numbers to tell your story. For example give the stats of a trip (miles traveled, nights on the road, meals out, money spent, etc) to document a different side of the vacation.
- Use humor. Poke fun. Share a little bit of real life. I made up names for each of my little “monsters” on this layout, writing about some of their best monster traits. 😉
- Share your (or someone else’s) “currents”. This is a popular journaling prompt and fast and easy to fill out. It’s great because it captures a snapshot of the present day. What you’re doing NOW, what you’re reading, eating, thinking, etc. Check out these 3×4 printable cards from LifeLovePaper that make it easy to incorporate this style of journaling into your Project Life album or traditional scrapbooking layout.
- Comparison List. Great for then vs. now layouts. Old vs. new (home, car, job). Your life before you became a mom compared to your life as a mother. Your child’s interests at age 4 compared to age 3. There’s lots of ways to use this type of journaling when you just want to highlight how things have changed. A two column list and you’re done!
- Let your child write the story. You can have your child write down the answer to a question you ask. Or maybe incorporate a paper they wrote at school. But let THEIR handwriting be on the page. It’s so neat to see how their handwriting changes over the years. And the spelling? Love the sounded out words in those early years!
- Let a newspaper article tell the story. If you have a layout about a community event that you attended, clip out a newspaper article about it and use that as your journaling. Maybe it’s a race, a local election, a parade, or a school event. Whatever the event, it would be fun to include the “news” with your photos.
- Use word art. I’ve done this a lot and it’s a great way to give the overall feeling of a moment/event. Create die cut word art with your Silhouette, use letter stickers, or even try websites that create word collage for you. Wordle.net and Tagxedo.com both let you enter in text (or link up to an article or blog post etc) and then create for you a fun collage of the most used words. You can then print it out on some cardstock and incorporate it onto your page!
- Let the product guide you. There’s so many products out there now that make it easy to find something to journal about! Cards designed for Project Life, die cuts, stickers, etc. Follow the prompt on the product and go with it for your journaling. Fill in the blanks… it doesn’t get any easier than that! Both of these examples feature rub-ons that left room for more journaling on the lines.
- Get fancy with some poetry! I don’t have an ability AT ALL for writing poetry. But I can create a list of descriptive words all starting with the same letter! And I could maybe rhyme a line or two of silly prose. Maybe even let the kids help you with that one!
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. Thanks for stopping by!