Now that we’ve talked about the benefit and process of creating layouts with meaningful journaling, let’s talk about how we design around that. You might be wondering how it is you will fit in all that journaling and how time consuming it may be. Just as getting in the habit and practicing of writing your journaling, it will also take practice of how it will fit best onto your page. This has definitely been a work in progress for me! But again, well worth it in the end when your story is finished.
Pick A Helpful Design
There are times I might have to cut down my journaling a bit. If it gets to the point that I have to cut so much out that it is no longer the story I want to tell then I go a different route of design. When I know it’s a story that is going to be longer than normal then I will usually design around the journaling instead of designing around the photo(s).
That’s what I did on this particular layout:
This was a page that I knew I would have a lot to say and picked a design that would allow me to do just that. I have made pages with the strip of patterned paper on it many times, but normally it’s filled with embellishments and photos. This time I typed out my journaling using a text box in Word, then printed it out on plain typing paper. After I laid everything out where I figured I wanted it I tweaked the journaling until it all fit, along with the photo and embellishments. To me, this was a story I didn’t want to cut down too much because it was important to tell in entirety.
Amy Sorenson did something similar on her layout as well. She had lots of journaling to include and designed around that, adding that adorable photo and her title work to it.
Nancy took a different approach to fit her journaling in this layout:
Nancy also had a lot to say regarding her bumpy summer. In order to get all of it to fit she created a soft, yet dramatic circle with stitched butterflies, then fit her journaling strips within the circle. I’m a huge fan of journaling strips and use them all the time. Nancy uses them on many of her layouts as well and I absolutely love them on here; and the entire story was still told. Journaling strips are a great way to still let yourself write freely. I normally leave an extra space between sentences, making it easier to cut the strips apart when printed.
Use a Fine Tip Pen
Raise your fine tip pen if you’re afraid of using your own writing on your pages…..Yep, I get nervous too and still prefer typed journaling, but Donna shows us a great way to incorporate your meaningful journaling on your layout with *gasp* your very own handwriting:
I set out to document a family tradition - our weekly visit to In-N-Out Burger. Typically, I use journaling strips on my layouts; they have just become a part of my process now. But sometimes I know that I will have a long story to tell and will need to include more journaling. As I'm creating my layout I keep this in mind and I try to plan ahead by leaving enough room for the story on my page. Sometimes I still revert to journaling strips but sometimes I know I will still need more space. In those cases, I use my handwriting and I also tend to use lined or grid paper in my design too. I do like a certain order in my pages and this is the easiest way to make sure that my journaling looks neat and legible.
Although I make light of using your handwriting, and while I still prefer computer generated journaling, I think it’s important to write your own from time to time. Your family will enjoy seeing your very own writing on a page and even compare their writing to yours!
Melissa Elsner reiterates this sentiment in her words about this layout:
Because I use scrapbooking for my creative journaling process, I approach it in a very similar way as a regular journal. I begin with a subject or topic. For this layout my focus was on a recent change with my job. I write everything out on some paper. I don't pay attention to grammar or punctuation. It's basically a "spew fest" as I like to call it. After getting it all out, I go back and reread. Then, I grab photos and papers and such that I feel will compliment what my journaling is about.
I tend to hand-write my journaling as well. I overcame my fear of using my own writing was realizing these pages are for me. And I asked myself the question, "If these were pages created by my grandma, would I want to see her own handwriting?" And the answer was "YES!" There's something special and personal about recording YOUR voice in YOUR handwriting.
I always like the way Stacey always uses her handwriting too. Many times she draws lines and journals on those lines, ensuring that everything is straight and orderly:
Another way I like to add my meaningful journaling to my pages is through a pocket, or hidden journaling. Sometimes I use this because I have several photos and not enough room for all of it, and other times I use it because the journaling is not something I want shared with all of the world wide web! I used a pocket for this layout because there were several photos I wanted to use and also because it’s personal journaling about my daughter’s struggles and while she may not care now, she may not be so happy with me later in life!
Journal the Edges
One other “trick” I like to use to spice things up or make room for journaling is to journal around my layout, as in this one:
It is deceiving though when doing this because the first time I wrote my journaling this way I thought I would have tons of space to write and it turns out that space gets taken up very quickly by the 3rd side! However, it allows more space in the center for photos and embellishments. I use this method when I have a shorter amount of journaling I want to include.
Hopefully this helps give you some starting points on how you can design your layout in order to fit in your meaningful journaling. As you can see it doesn't have to be paragraphs upon paragraphs of journaling, although it can be, but as long as it is the story you want to tell then short or long is great! Do you have some tricks you use to fit your journaling on your layouts?