Tip Tuesday

Tip Tuesday - Journaling

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello all! We are back from summer holidays! We took a little trip out of town and had a little bit of down time at home - the perfect combination! In fact, I got so relaxed that I forgot to post yesterday - so sorry!

Anyway...this week we're talkin' journaling! OK, OK...I heard the collective "Oh no!" from all of you who HATE journaling, and I promise that I am not going to try to convert you all into journalers! BUT, I do want to give you some tips to make the journaling you do a little easier.

So imagine this scenario...you are visiting with a friend and they pull out and show you a beautiful scrapbook they have just made. They are obviously so proud of it and can't wait to share it with you. You are looking forward to sitting with your friend to go through the scrapbook when the phone rings. Your friend says to go ahead and look at it while she answers the phone. So you pick it up and start flipping through it. The work is meticulous, the photos and supplies used are perfect together and the whole book has a lovely cohesive feel to it. But you realize as you look through it that you don't know who is in the photos, when or where they taken, what the stories are behind them or why they are so important to your friend because there is nothing written on the pages except for some beautiful and decorative titles. In fact, without your friend sitting beside you, you have NO IDEA the relevance of this beautiful book. And when she returns from answering the phone and asks you what you think, you really don't know what to say.

Ok, this scenario is a little extreme, but how many photo albums or boxes of photos have you come across that have no information attached? It happens, and sadly, quite often. So I wanted to prompt you to think about your own scrapbooks or photo albums. If you aren't sitting right next to the person looking at them, would they know the stories behind the photos? Would they know who is in them and why the people, places or things pictured are important to you? You are not alone if you answered "no"! I'm guilty too! In my early scrapbooks I focused so much on the papers and embellishments and overall design that I sometimes forgot the importance of documenting the stories behind the photos. Now I really try to incorporate some form of journaling into every layout I do.

If you already write or journal on your scrapbook pages, then hopefully this week's tips and ideas will help you continue to document your stories. If you don't write or journal on your pages, perhaps this week will help you at least try it out! And if you are a little scared of journaling, you may want to also read this article to get your started!

So today I want to give you a selection of journaling styles that might assist you in telling your story. Some you may use on a regular basis, some might not be as familiar to you. After reading them why not choose one or two to try?


  • Be a reporter and use the 5 w's: Who ( is in the photos), What (is going on/being showcased), When (it happened), Where (it happened) and Why (it is important or why it matters to you). Technically you could also write the "How" if that is applicable!

  • Make a list ie: "10 things I love about you" or "Our Top 5 Vacation Activities". On this layout I wrote a list of words that described my son at 8 months of age.


Too Cute for Words

  • Repeat a sentence starter over and over, ie: "Today you/we..."  or "I am...".

  • Journal on a tag and slide it into a pocket if you want to conceal private journaling, such as correspondance or a story about a difficult subject matter. This way only yourself or people who are invited can read it. On this layout the journaling is tucked behind the picture and can pulled out by the orange ribbon.


Lil Cowpoke

  • Include an email or postcard that might document the event.

  • Use a dictionary definition to "define" the story.

  • Use a quote as just the title or as the entire journaling. For this section page in our "People We Love" album, I used a quote to show the importance of our extended family and friends.


People We Love

  • Use captions underneath photos.

  • Write point form journaling or "jot notes" down the side of a layout.

  • Record a snippet of a conversation (real or imaginary!) between the parties shown in the photos.

  • Use a timeline to show growth and change.

  • Create a chart or use two columns to compare and contrast.

  • Interview the subject and record their answers.

  • Have someone else write the story from their point of view - it's fun to see what your kids or partner were thinking!


Can you think of some more journaling styles? Please share them in the comments below! And if you try one of these jouranling ideas in a layout, please let us know!

See you back tomorrow for Watch 'n Learn Wednesday!

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