Computer Journaling

Computer journaling is great for a three key reasons: First, many of us can’t stand our own handwriting or don’t think it looks nice enough to include on page. The computer fonts eliminate this problem.

Second, the variety of fonts available makes it easy to find one that goes well with the project you’re working on, from playful to elegant. In addition, computer journaling means that correcting any mistakes is pretty easy—all you have to do is fix the error and reprint, rather than having to rewrite an entire piece of journaling. (And the spell-check feature comes in handy, too!)

And best of all, computer journaling makes it so easy that many of us find we do more journaling on our pages!

To do your own computer journaling, all you really need are three basics that you probably already have: the computer, a printer and a word-processing program.

How It’s Done

Planning. The first step is to determine where your journaling will go. Is it going to be a large rectangular journaling block or a simple title? Decide how much space you have for your journaling on your layout or card and measure the space.

Typing. Next, open up your word processing program and start typing. Write what you'd like to say, then pick the font you want to use and select a size that will keep the journaling to the size you need for your project.

Testing. If you're planning on printing on a special paper (like vellum), it's always best to run a test print before you print the real thing. Grab a piece of scratch paper and print your journaling onto it. Check to see that it fits in the space, the font looks as you want and of course, your grammar and spelling are correct.

Preparing your paper. If you're printing onto an 8.5”x11” sheet to use as a background or oversized mat, you can just put your background paper directly into your printer. Be sure to watch when the test print goes through so you know which side of your paper should be face up in your paper tray. If you're doing something larger, you'll likely need to trim your vellum, cardstock or patterned paper to an 8.5” width, unless you have a larger format printer. You can always adjust the orientation of your printing (through the Page Setup area of your document) if you need to print wider than 8 1/2".

Printing on tags and small paper. Want to computer-journal onto a pre-cut piece of paper, like a tag? Print journaling onto regular computer paper to get the correct size and format. You can tell if it will fit by placing the tag behind the computer paper sheet and holding it up to a light. Then, use repositionable adhesive to attach the tag on top of the computer paper, exactly where the typing is, and run it through the printer again.

Journaling on Vellum

Want to computer journal on vellum? First, set your printer on the Transparency Setting, then go to your Print Option selection (where you can change the feed setting and the paper size). You can select from dark, medium and light settings—choose light. Reduce stray smears by going to your Page Setup under File and setting your top margin at 1”. This allows the printer to “grab” the vellum before printing. You’ll want to choose at least a16 point type size, especially for intricate lettering. The larger your font, the crisper the ink will look. And remember to let the ink dry before handling!