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Journaling in Scrapbooking

Journaling in Scrapbooking - What is it?

The Importance of Journaling

Journaling is as important to the page as the photos. The pictures show what was going on and the words (or journaling) tell the story. There are many ways to add journaling to the page.

  • Type it on the computer and print on photo-safe paper
  • Handwrite it on photo-safe paper and place it on the layout
  • Using alpha stamps to write it out on the page
  • Adding a quote or poem to depict the mood or theme

What is Journaling?

Journaling in scrapbooking pages is NOT about all of the tiny details. It is not documenting everything said, or everywhere you went or every person you came in contact with. That is just way too much! If that much detail is fun for you, go for it! However, most people just don’t have the time or desire. Mostly it’s about answering Who, What, When, Where, and Why – and often the WHY is in the Title of the page!

An Easy Way To Know What To Journal (Write)

WHO – Who is in the photo(s)? State full names, especially for girls, as their names may change over time. If a distant relative or someone not often in the pictures a short description might be added: Sharon Smith (Grandma’s best friend for over 30 years).

WHAT – What is going on in the pictures? Is it a celebration, a casual day at the park, or a special occasion? Often the what is answered in the title of the layout.

WHEN – This could be answered with the title if the “when” is a birthday, Christmas, or other easily recognized dates. If not, be sure to include it. Dates are great, but if unknown is the season and year known? Fall of 1960 or Spring early 1989’s is better than no date at all.

WHERE – This isn’t always needed. If in the yard or at a local park, this could be left out. If someplace special though, it might be fun to know later on. A good idea is to look at the photo from the eyes of someone three or four generations removed. Will they know what’s going on in the picture and where it’s taking place? Are there interesting points like Great Grandma’s house (9780 Amber Lane, Hometown, USA) where Grandma Tammey spent her summers.

WHY – The why is the story behind the photos. Ryan’s 6th Birthday as the title answers why, but are there other fun things that could be included? Did the birthday boy request his favorite place to eat? Is there a fun story to where it took place? Were there special people there? What did he ask for? Maybe list a few of the favorite gifts received. Again, think of someone three or four generations removed and tell the story to them!

Photos are great, but the magic in scrapbooking is in the story (or journaling), behind the photos. I have several boxes of photos of people I can't identify and have no way of knowing when they were taken. I hold onto them because I'm sure they are probably people I'm related to, but without the story, I have no way of knowing. WRITE YOUR STORY 🙂

Simple Formula for a GREAT Layout!

Adding three 2-page layouts a year to an album is great! If they are a summer baby, make sure you do a birthday, first or last day of school and Christmas. That way you are getting a really good picture of their year. Three layouts a year – that’s it!


  • Title (usually the event – (for example, 3rd Birthday, Jakie turns 2 or 1st Day of School)
  • Photos (1-6 to a page)
  • Journaling – write a little paragraph or two describing the layout (pages) to someone three or four generations from now

That’s it. That is the formula for a great layout. Everything else is just frosting.

Title+Photos+Journaling=Captured Memory

Yes, it IS as simple as that! The layout does not have to be perfect to be fantastic. In fact, not perfect IS perfect!

Even advanced scrappers don’t achieve that every time, or even try to. The important part is preserving the memory. If after that you want to add the fun stuff, go for it. The same formula works for digital scrapbooking.

Here is a quick kit that shows you how to get two full layouts with minimal paper waste. Remember, journaling in scrapbooking is simply the story behind the photos. Everything else is a little bit of love and a little bit of you!

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