Journaling Recipes

Want your pages to record more than just the standard “name, date, place” style of journaling? Can’t think of what you want to say on your page, or how you want to say it?

My friend Trisha just started scrapbooking a few months ago. She says: “Very few of my pages have writing. If anything, I just jot down the name and date—nothing more. Yet I know journaling is important. I just don’t have any ideas about telling the stories.”

“I never know what to write or how to say it,” agrees my friend Kate. “Yet I look back on my older scrapbook pages and regret not writing the story that goes behind the photo.”

Both Kate and Trisha told me they wanted some sort of inspiration for telling the stories, capturing the memories and making their scrapbooks more than just a decorated photo album. “I know there’s much more to say than just ‘name, date, place’,” says Trisha. “I need some tricks to keep up my sleeve!”

Here’s where to start
The “who, what, where, why and when” details are basic journaling guidelines. But what else happened when that photo was taken? Imagine you are showing the photos to a friend—what stories or anecdotes would you tell?

Journaling recipes
Sometimes you’ll know exactly what you want to say, and exactly how you’ll say it. Other times, you need a bit of help. What about a Journaling Recipe? You know, a formula you can use for just about any page theme? I’m a firm believer in recipes and formulas—in fact, I’ve got my top 5 journaling recipes below!

Top 5 Favorite Journaling Recipes
Recipe #1. Facts: Recording facts is probably one of the easiest ways to journal—and once you start researching, you might discover a few surprises!

scrapbook project
scrapbook project
scrapbook project

Recipe #2: File a report: Create a mock police report on how that vase was broken or write a “newspaper” story on the winning game or noting a person’s achievement. Or try an “Extra! Extra!” edition describing the family’s reaction to news of a new baby or marriage announcement.

Recipe #3: List of Words: Include a list of words that describes something or someplace in the photo. These can be physical traits, character traits, or words that go with a certain activity.

Recipe #4: Receipts: Typical trip to the grocery store, the receipt from your first car purchase, the obstetrician’s bill.

Recipe #5: Using Numbers: Incorporate numbers into your journaling for easy lists. A Top 10 list is a great place to start.

My biggest tip? You don’t have to be a great writer to include your family stories. No critics will grade your storytelling style (or your handwriting, spelling, punctuation or grammar). The truth is, your grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and other descendants will be grateful for any glimpse into your life.

I think about photos I have of my mother and grandmother and how much I would love to have read their stories. Information and the personality that shines through is the most important thing.

So have fun, tell your stories, and let these journaling recipes help jump-start your creativity!

For more journaling recipes, be sure to check out the latest idea book: Scrapbook Recipes for Journaling. LeNae Gerig and 4 other designers cooked up their favorite shortcuts for fabulous journaling—all you have to do is open it up and choose a scraplift-able recipe. You’ll find 51 different recipes, 159 album pages and tons of journaling tips and techniques Available at Paper Wishes for $17.99.

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