Journaling Exercises: Journaling Ideas for Your Scrapbook

Author: Melanie Hansen

Does your mind go blank when it's time to add journaling to your scrapbook pages? You're not alone. Learning some simple journaling exercises can get that pen moving. Many consider journaling their least favorite part of scrapbooking. Don't let journaling get you down, it is a vital part of our scrapbook page layouts.

Journaling adds depth and meaning to our layouts. It captures so much more about the stories behind the photos. There are many ways to include journaling in our scrapbooks, and lots of places to look for inspiration. Let's take a look at some journaling ideas for your scrapbook.

Divide and Conquer -- Why do we have a difficult time journaling on the scrapbook pages we just created? Creating the scrapbook page layouts is a right brain activity, while journaling on those pages is a left brain activity. Some may find it difficult to switch gears easily. Try creating page layouts and journaling at separate times.

Write a letter -- Journaling in your scrapbook may feel awkward. Try journaling as if you were writing a letter to someone. Who will be looking at your scrapbooks? Write as if you were speaking to them. Most of us will be sharing our scrapbooks with good friends and family.

Spur of the moment -- Jot down poems, quotes, phrases and other journaling ideas right when the inspiration hits. If you wait until you have time to scrapbook, you may forget. Carry a small notebook with you to write in. Keep one in your purse or in the car.

Resource File -- Create a resource file to organize and store information that you may want to include in your scrapbooks. Use a binder or find some space in a filing cabinet. An expandable file or a storage container might do the trick. Some items you may consider storing for future use are...

Email -- Save or print emails from your family and friends. These may contain some real treasures; remarks, sayings and stories to use in your scrapbooks.

Lists and bullet points -- Using lists and bullet points can keep information clear and to the point. This is a great technique for organizing a lot of information in a small amount of space.

How to get started

Handwritten journaling is a great method for traditional scrapbooking. Your handwriting leaves your personal touch on the page, becoming a legacy for future generations. What if you don't like your handwriting? Here are some alternatives

Computer generated - Using a computer to generate your journaling gives you many choices of fonts, sizes and colors, but you lose the personal quality of handwriting. Be sure to print your journaling on acid free paper.

Handwriting font - Turn your handwriting into a font. This allows you to print your journaling from your computer, but still maintains some of the personal element of your handwriting.

Combination - Add your handwriting in small areas such as dates and photo labels, while printing the journaling from your computer. This will keep the personal element of your writing on the page.

Your families memories are important. Regardless of the method you choose, just make sure you journal on your scrapbook pages.

What to write on a page

We've looked at some ways to add journaling to the page. Are you wondering what to journal about? Here are some important items to include.

Scrapbooking page title - A title let's others know what the page is about. It can also help set the mood for the page. A title can be added in handwriting, with stencils, stickers or pre-made titles.

The five W's - The basics of each layout should be the five W's; who, what, when, where and why. Write the names of the people in the photos. List full names, not everyone know who Uncle Jim is. Include the dates the photos were taken. As time passes it will be harder to remember. Don't forget where you were and what you were doing, why the photos were taken. You may also want to include the funny stories and memorable events not shown in the photos. Include your thoughts and feelings.

Poems and quotes - Not sure you can find just the right words? Still have a bit of space you want to fill? Try adding a poem or quote to the page. Lyrics from your favorite song are another great idea. Poems and quotes also help set the mood for your layout.

Make it interesting

The information journaling adds to the page is important, but let's look at how journaling can add interest to your page as well.

Outline your journaling -Draw an outline around your journaling with one of your permanent acid-free pens. This will make your journaling stand out on the page. You can also add a frame around it.

Journaling box - Write in a journaling box. Many companies offer journaling boxes you can make your own by matting lined paper with a coordinating color paper. Add a sticker to spice up the journaling box.

Monogram - Use a larger size for the beginning letter in the first word of your title or journaling to add some interest.

What are you waiting for? Let's get writing on those pages. Put these journaling exercises to work. Your scrapbook albums will be cherished for generations to come.

About the Author:

About the Author

Melanie Hansen

Melanie Hansen is an avid scrapbooker. She loves to share the ideas, tips and techniques she has learned.

Visit to stay up-to-date with ideas, tips and tutorials on traditional and digital scrapbooking.

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