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Storytelling when Journaling is Hard

This is a guest post from team member Aimee Maddern.

If you’re like me, you don’t quite love to journal! I have a few reasons why it’s hard for me:

  1. I hate my hand-writing.
  2. I am not a very good storyteller.
  3. I don’t think people are interested in what I have to say.
  4. Most of my layouts are of my dogs and they can’t read.
  5. Photos tell the story alone, right?
  6. I don’t really have much to say.

To make up for less journaling on my pages, I have a few other ways I incorporate the story into my layouts. My title always seems to tell you what I have done or where I have gone. Also I like to date the layout, particularly the day the photo was taken. It’s very easy to see when the photo was taken, because our phones and digital cameras keep track of that in the metadata.

Here are a few ways you could add more story to your layouts without more journaling:

  1. Choose a creative title.
  2. Make a list.
  3. Add dates to photos.

Every once in awhile I like to add a little story other than my title and date. Often I take photos that no one ever sees except me. This photo of Kevin on Sims Bridge is an example. I thought adding a bit of journaling was appropriate for this layout.

1. I type my journaling in Microsoft Word.

2. I measure a tag.

3. In Word, I go to page set up and either find something close to my tag size or create a new size. In this case the tag is to small to run through the printer itself so I know I will need to adhere it to the paper.

4. I then change the font, size of text and start playing with the margins.

5. I print it out to see if it will fit on the tag.

6. I then attach the tag to the paper with some washi tape, and run it through the printer.



7. You can see its not perfect but I am happy with it. I had some colored bakers twine and slide it into the little pocket on my layout.


My journaling: We weren’t in a hurry to get to the Woodburn race. We had left in plenty of time to get there. We have traveled so much this year, but really haven’t stopped all that much and enjoy it. I was needing to put my toes in the water. As we drove up through Mt. Shasta, I could see the steam and wanted to stop. On our second attempt getting off the freeway to find the stream, we found “Sims Bridge”. It was this quaint little spot of the side of the road. It was exactly what I needed. I walked down to put my toes in the water, Jager followed me and Cassie followed you. After I was done with the freezing water, I came up to find you taking in the View of Mt. Shasta. It was a beautiful day in September. I love when I capture photos of you.

Do you like journaling? If it is hard for you, what is one technique you use to tell the story?

3 Responses to Storytelling when Journaling is Hard

  1. Lisa November 19, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Fun, I remember battling with Word and my printer! That is one of the things that makes me really embrace digital.. Me and my printer were definitely not friends.

  2. Margaret C, Australia October 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Thanks for the tips on storytelling as a means for journalling.
    I always procrastinate and end up with very little. I love the tag idea and will use it on my next layout. I can feel inspiration coming on.

  3. Briony Merrett October 25, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Thanks for sharing how you did this, I’m going to have a try now. I love little pockets and other secret places on pages.

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