Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Let's Talk Tuesday: 7 Tips for Easy Journaling

 Happy Tuesday! I'm so excited about today's topic. Journaling, not because journaling is my favorite thing. It's not. It's something that I work at and something that is almost always that last thing to go on my layouts. I've created a list of 7 tips that I USE to make journaling a little easier and that "change things up a bit" in my albums. Let's get started!

1. Share what the photo doesn't show
This photo was taken on my little man's 5th birthday. We had just finished his birthday party and we were cleaning up a little bit. I was feeling all sentimental because my baby was five and growing up so quickly. I handed the camera to one of my older kids and had them snap a photo of my husband and I with the birthday boy.  All the photo shows is me, my husband, and my little man. It doesn't show that we were celebrating his birthday or how I was feeling at the moment. It doesn't show that even though I was feeling self conscious about not having make-up on or not having my hair fixed I really wanted a photo with my little man because I felt that he was growing up way too fast. See, there's almost always a story hidden behind a photo that isn't told within the image. Tell that story!

2. Kids say the darnedest things...write down what they say.
My husband and my kids will tell you that I have a bit of an addiction to pens and notebooks. You'll find them stashed all over my house; in my purse, in my car, in my desk, in my kitchen, and on my nightstand. I try to keep one central notebook and it just doesn't work so I keep a few in circulation. I use these notebooks to write down ideas, thoughts, lists and funny, interesting, or just cute things my kids say. Then when I'm ready to sit down and scrapbook I can grab a notebook and a lot of the time my journaling is already done, I just have to change the formatting a little bit.

3. Make a list
This is one of the easiest ways for me to journal especially when I'm documenting a milestone. I recently did a layout documenting my son's 5 favorite things at the age of 5. Some other ideas for making lists are:
  • favorite quotes
  • pet peeves
  • recent to do lists
  • favorite books
  • favorite movies
  • favorite TV shows
  • favorite foods
  • grocery lists
  • goals & wishes
  • favorite blogs/websites
The list could go on and on. You get the idea. It's a very easy way to get journaling on the page without wondering how to get your thoughts written out in full sentences.

4. Quizzes
Having your kids or spouse answer questions on "getting to know you" type quizzes can make the most hilarious journaling. You know the ones where the question is "how tall is daddy?" and the kiddo answers "27 feet". Once upon a time there was a magazine out, published by Simple Stories, that was an entire book full of quizzes. I've held onto this magazine for years.
I love to take this magazine with us when we go on road trips or longer drives in the car. I ask the kiddos and my hubby questions and jot down the answers in a notebook and add them to my projects as journaling. I've created a Pinterest board with a few quizzes that I'll print and tuck into this magazine. (I love having my kiddos answer questions to quizzes at back to school time as well.)

5. Tell how the photo makes your feel.
It doesn't have to be your deepest darkest feelings. It can be as simple as saying that the photo makes you feel content or makes you happy.
When I look at this photo I feel so proud. My little man worked so hard to become a pitcher on his little league team and when I see this photo this is the first thing that comes to my mind. 

6. Make your family help out.
Pass out a handful of journaling cards and a stack of photos. Have your family write your journaling. Then, paperclip the photo and the journaling cards together and you're well on your way to completing your next layout.

My daughter wrote the journaling for this layout.

7. Just say it with a title.
I'm not the first person to say it but it's not said very often, "you don't have to journal on every single layout." Sometimes it's okay to create a page just to create something beautiful. Now, with that being said I try to not do this very often. I've noticed that layouts that don't have journaling are the ones that are passed by quickly when my kiddos are looking through their scrapbooks.
Journaling isn't the easiest thing for me, it's almost always the last thing to go on my layouts. I love stories behind the photos and I've made it a personal goal of mine to work on journaling and make it more meaningful.

Have you set any goals regarding journaling? Let me know, I'd love to hear about your goals and how you're going to achieve them.


  1. Great topic. I love the tips. I am certainly have to practice my journaling, and after reading it sure going to get easier for me.

    1. Thank you! I hope journaling does get a little easier for you using these tips. Good luck!

  2. I struggle with journaling. Finding the words or just finding a spot on my layout to write it out! LOL! So I greatly appreciate you writing on this topic and sharing great tips on how to make it easier!