Welcome back! I hope I didn't scare away too many of you with yesterday's post. I've found that the more thought I put into my process upfront, the more it ends up paying off when I am ready to scrap. So my goal is to get you thinking about some of your processes so you can streamline them to make it work for you.
So let's talk about journaling. In my experience, this is the part many scrappers dread. Some have nothing to say, others have too much to say. Some people hate their handwriting. Some people can't fit in the journaling into their design, etc, etc.
In my experience, having your story ready is a huge time-saver when you're scrapbooking. It gives you an opportunity to integrate it into your page so it flows along with all the other elements on the layout. Like yesterday, I separated today into a few categories, so let's get started.
How to Write
I find that most people either like to write by hand or like to write on the computer exclusively. There are very few people who sometimes type and other times write by hand. A big part of the reason most people prefer the computer is that they don't like the way their handwriting looks on the page or how it doesn't allow them to plan out the size and shape of the journaling.
I used to be an only-on-the-computer journaler. When I decided I wanted to try doing a Layout a Day last year, I knew there was no way I could type journaling each day and, for me, journaling is a crucial part of my layout, so I wasn't willing to give it up. I decided to try journaling by hand. I found a journaling stamp and cut off its frame so all I had was just lines and used that on all the pages I created that month.
Above the frame I cut off from my stamp and below is what I am left with; just a few journaling lines.
The lines in the stamp were close together so I ended up writing pretty small and this made me hate my handwriting less. It also allowed me to integrate the journaling into the design of my page. So if you've always been one type of journaler, it might be worth trying something else just to see if it works for you.
Either way, what matters most is knowing your preference. Alexandra says: "I don't like to see my handwriting on my pages so I keep a journal and other notebooks. When I'm ready to type, all I have to do is go back to my notebook for all the references." This way, when she's ready to journal, she already has her stories ready.
When I used to journal on the computer, I often would sit for an hour and type up a few stories. This way, I had them ready to go when I created the layout. The creative juices don't always flow, so I really didn't want to have to sit and type when I was feeling creative.
Where to Write
There are many different ways to collect and save your stories. Across our team, the most common one is to blog. Many members of our team have personal or family blogs where they write up stories as they happen. Then, when it's time to make a layout, they will print the story from their blog and they are ready to go.
Lisa said that she also uses Facebook to get down the funny little things her kids say. She will sometimes print out a month of status updates and use that as journaling for a page. You can do the same with Twitter or Google Plus or other social networks you use.
Lisa says, "I also keep a little notebook beside my bed. I tend to think a lot as I am going to sleep, and sometimes I will turn on the light to write it all down." I know people who keep little notebooks all over the house so whatever room they happen to be in, they can jot down an idea or a quote.
The most important thing to remember is that our memory is flawed. If you really want to remember the details, you need to preserve them soon after they occur. Amy says "I try to write a lot of my journaling on the day I took the photos, or very soon after. That way, I get down the details while the experience is still fresh." She even does this while on vacation.
Like several others, I also use my blog to record details. I also keep a Book of Stories for my journaling. This is a system I developed for a class but it's basically a way for me to keep track of all the stories I might like to tell so they are not specifically tied to a particular event or series of photos. This way I can match a story I want to tell with a smiling photo of my son and still get those thoughts or feelings down on my page. Amy does something similar, she wrote: "I also sometimes write down some journaling and then go out and take some photos to go with it." There's no rule saying that photos must come first. You can think of the stories you want to tell and take some photos to tell them with.
So think about where you want to store your stories. It can be something simple like a notebook. Or you can use a blog or create files on your computer. You can even use a tape recorder to leave yourself messages throughout the day. There's no wrong way to do this.
Just remember that if you're a computer-journaler and write your stories in a notebook, you will at some point have to type them up, so using the computer from the getgo might save you time. But this will only work if you use it. So if the notebook is more convenient for you and allows you to actually write down ideas, use that even if it means extra steps later. It's better to have stories you have to type up than to have nothing at all!
I had a few other ideas that didn't fall into either category but wanted to mention them anyway.
I really liked Amy's system for storing her journaling alongside the photos so I thought you might, too. Here's what she says: "I keep a folder on my computer for each member of my family and I save the journaling there with the date and a description in the file name. Then, in the directory where the photos are stored, I put a second copy of the journaling document. When I've scrapped those photos, I delete the second copy from the photo directory. This all means that no matter how long it takes me to scrap something, I nearly always have a place to start with my journaling. (I use what I wrote as a starting point and revise from there.)"
Isn't that brilliant?
[screenshot of amy's system]
I also found that if I spend some time thinking of a title or theme that goes along with my photos, it makes it easier for me to come up with the journaling. So I will look at my photos and think about why I want to scrap them. What's the story I want to tell with them? Why am I picking these particular photos to scrap? I will try to come up with one sentence like "You always take the time to help your brother." This way I know what I want the layout to be about and it's easier to come up with the rest of the journaling because I have my theme.
So, now it's your turn. Think about your journaling process. Do you like to write by hand or on the computer? What are ways you can prep your journaling ahead of time so when you sit at your table, you can get right down to scrapping?
Do you have tricks that work for you? Please share them with us in the comments, I'd love to know them!
Thank you for spending another day with me! See you tomorrow when we talk about scrappy supplies and organization!