Hello, Emily here! Today's post is a result of my checking out the Scrapbook & Cards Today Facebook page. Have you been recently? It's a great place to engage in conversation, get inspired, and share ideas!

There was this one post that caught my eye. Jen, our social media co-ordinator (and Director of Customer Happiness!) had asked the question:

I would like to learn how to _____________________.

The responses were varied, but my brain started spinning with all the things I could talk about when I had a contributing blog post assignment to do. So for the next few times you see me, I'll be sharing ideas on some of the things YOU wanted to learn about.

Today we're going to look at a few ideas about journaling and a little at titles, I think they work hand in hand.

PROBLEM: I can't think of what to say

Often I'll design a whole layout without thinking about specifically about the journaling. Then I get to that last step and freeze. And everything I can think of to say sounds cheesy and forced.


SOLUTION: Talk to yourself out loud or tell someone else the story of this page. 

Something magical can happen when you verbalize. I had this picture of my daughter floating around my scrapbook area and finally decided to scrap it. I had a lovely time designing the page, but the journaling just wasn't coming (not having a place specifically set aside for journaling didn't help my case either). So I started talking about the photo. Out loud. I pointed out the date and realized it was soon after I'd been diagnosed with heart failure. Suddenly it wasn't about teaching my child the value of work by washing a car (my initial possible journaling bent). The focus turned to how.  

PROBLEM: My journaling all sounds the same

It's really easy to get in a rut and tell the story from your point of view every time. This is fine, but it does get boring. 


SOLUTION #1: Record a conversation 

I made this page years ago, so long ago that this doesn't happen very much anymore. But I have it here, just a short little conversation between my son and myself. It's precious because he's way too old to say, "goodie" anymore. I don't stress if I don't remember word for word how the conversation went, it's the idea that's really important to me. 


SOLUTION #2: Make a list or bullet points

You don't even have to really journal to get the story across on a page. Making lists is a great way to share ideas. I came up with five random things about myself. They aren't earth shattering, but it's fun to look back and remember that I forgot how to spell BALLOON. This page spawned a few further pages, where I explained more in depth some of the items listed.


SOLUTION #3: Pick a phrase and repeat it often.

This gives your journaling a sing songy feel. I documented how my husband proposed and used the phrase, "being that she was his sweetheart" over and over to move the story along. It was a fun exercise to tell a story in kind of a fairy tale style. 


SOLUTION #4: Just write and write and write until a story comes out
When my grandmother died, I knew I wanted to document her role as a Pink Lady. So I just started writing about memories I had, memories my dad had shared, stories she had shared. It isn't the most cohesive sounding story, but I got a lot of memories on the page, and that's what's important to me. You could just write on the computer and then edit if you want a clearer picture. I had to search the internet for this photo, I'm pretty lucky I found it. 🙂


SOLUTION #5: Don't worry about grammar

I didn't have a picture to play off of. So I just wrote. I hardly punctuated this. It was really fun. I didn't even say who he was in the journaling because I knew. I did add it to the details, but in a different way. 

PROBLEM: I can't think of a good title

There are some popular, often used titles out there and we've all used at least one of them because they are easy. But are they really GOOD? 


SOLUTION #1: Pull your title out of your journaling.

This is one of my favorite ways to find a title. I'll write out my journaling on the computer or a scrap of paper and then search for a word or phrase IN the journaling to pull out. This way the title is directly related to what my page is about. You can even design your page so the journaling feeds into the title and out again. 

Enter spray paint

SOLUTION #2: Make your journaling your title

I like to do this a lot because it's just kind of fun! There are so many kinds of alphas out there today that this is pretty easy to do. One word of caution, don't mix TOO many alphas. Pick at the most five and try to keep some of them similar, like on my example. 

I hope that helps address some journaling concerns with ideas that inspire you!

~  Emily Pitts