Win a special tool for audio journaling

by | Sponsors & Giveaways | 35 comments

Before the holidays, I was contacted by the PR firm for Franklin Electronic Publishers and asked if I would like to review their AnyBook Reader for use in memory keeping. Knowing how much I treasure the audio recordings from my grandparents, I jumped at the chance to see what this device could offer my scrapbooking process.

The AnyBook Reader is a 6.5″ wand that allows recording and playback of messages, each attached to a special electronic sticker. The reader comes with 20 different pre-recorded sounds (and 5 stickers of each sound), but these are more meant to accompany children’s books. Blank stickers are used to record personalized messages.

My Experience

Packaging – While the AnyBook Reader is encased in plastic, there is no cumbersome clamshell to figure out how to open. The two pieces of plastic slip apart easily.

Assembly – I needed a small phillips screwdriver to open the battery compartment, a nice child safety and durability feature. Except for the batteries, the AnyBook Reader is ready to go straight out of the box.

Usage – The AnyBook Reader is one of the simplest gadgets I’ve ever operated. It does one thing and does it very well. The instructions for recording and playback were perfectly clear.

Overall Thoughts

This device holds a lot of possibilities for scrapbookers and their families. It can serve as a unique way to hide additional journaling or to extend the story further. Because of the ease of use, the biggest opportunity I see for the AnyBook Reader is engaging children and grandparents to tell their own stories and link them with your photos and scrapbook pages. I can even see scrapbookers designing pages with inclusion of the small AnyBook stickers in mind.

Your Chance to Win

One lucky Simple Scrapper reader will win their very own AnyBook Reader. Simply leave a comment before noon CST on Wednesday, February 2 sharing your very best tip for scrapbook journaling. Entries that do not follow the instructions will be deleted.

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  1. Stacia

    Oh! Oh! I would *love* this tool! Let’s see…my best tip for scrapbook journaling is to jot down your ideas the MINUTE you have them – on a post-it, in an email to yourself, on a napkin, wherever you are. Then as soon as it’s feasible (e.g. when you’re not at a stoplight anymore or it’s not the middle of the night :P), transfer them to a central “collection” place. I keep a “notebook” in OneNote of to-do scrapbook pages WITH the journaling notes included. Just whatever I’ve come up with so far, whatever inspired me to think this would be a good page (or pages) (or even mini-album) to have for our family history or my own delight.

    So right now, for example, I have OneNote pages in this folder about my son’s experience getting his driver’s permit and then license (you would not BELIEVE what we went through at the Dept of Licensing! This has to be recorded for posterity :-); a story from my childhood about why we moved to live on an island (my dad told me this in passing during a car ride, and I jotted down some quick notes, then typed them up into OneNote later); a list of my dad’s first jobs (which has a tangential list of MY first jobs as well now); a little writeup about my grandfather’s last day with us, in the hospital together; and a list of book series’ that my sons have loved over the years (with a note to also write about our tradition of reading aloud every night).

    That’s just an example – but it gives me one place where I store these ideas together with whatever journaling or notes I have so far, and is also a “tickler” that prompts me to think of other stories I want to save.

  2. Teresa

    My best tip is actually very simple…I just keep a google document open on my computer/phone and update when I want to remember a little story/project/etc. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Karen G

    My best tip is to write it down immediately so find a notebook or electronic devise that you can write it down when you think of it or it doesn’t get written down.

  4. Wendy N

    If my son tells me something funny or I hear a family member or friend tell me something funny I write it down with the date. I have a small pad of paper in my purse, if I’m at home I immediately put it on word on the computer or one of the small notebooks I have stashed all over the house. I make sure I have the date with the memory. All my photos are saved by date and I add the story or saying to that folder on my Hard drive. So for future reference I have the correct date for each story and photo and it makes it easy to scrap and I’m not searching for a date to put on the layout. I love scrapping but I love to tell a story to go along with the photos, it makes it more interesting. This is a really nifty tool and looks like something I could slip right into my purse for recording conversations.

  5. Vickie

    Besides writing things down as soon as you can, I also suggest talking it out loud before you start writing. That way your journaling will sound more natural and more like you.

  6. Rebecca

    I’ve found that the best thing I can do is freewrite at the end of the day. Anything that comes into my head about what happened that day. With three little ones on my own during the week I’m finding I don’t often have time to even jot a note down.

    But since I carry my phone with me wherever I go in the house, I can take a picture at any moment (even though the camera is not quite as good) and if it is something I don’t mind posting on Facebook sometimes it gets posted there and then I can go back to write it down and scrap about it later.

  7. Jennifer E.

    What a cool little tool! My journaling tip would be to use LISTS. I love to have at least some journaling on every page I create (although I’m not always successful) and I often list things. Bullet points make writing and reading easier.

  8. Mel H

    I keep a word document on my computer for notes and journaling, and also a small notebook in my purse for quick notes.

  9. Shannon

    I use cozi and write down the date and what my kids said in there. This way I can remember it when it comes time to scrap it.

  10. rags

    Would love this little gadget, though my concern for scrapbooking is the availability of the device way in the future I guess. Would love to use it to add a bit of spice to the abc book I’m making for my daughter :))

    The best tip I have for journalling would be to work out what fits with your lifestyle and use them. I am not a notetaker, and can’t keep a diary (tried countless times) so I use what works for me and what I have to hand. I use social media when things are so funny or nostalgic I want to share with family (but remember to note them down regularly at a later date or they may disappear into cyber space). This saves time and the date is recorded. My camera is always at hand so I take extra pictures of objects or reactions etc to tell a story more fully when I look back. And on longer trips with family I simply put my mp3 on voice record and let it run for the entire trip – its amazing some of the stories that come out and you can edit it later into little snippets of audio treasure.

    Great thread too – looking forward to reading more of your tips guys!

  11. pip

    1. Just write – then edit it later to get it right.
    2. Remember Who, What, How, Why,When, Where and Which!
    3. Something written is better than nothing
    4. Leave a secret pocket where you can add a pull-out tab for journalling if you get stuck. Then you can come back to it and add more detail, private thoughts, rewrite it all

  12. Rebecca

    My very best tip for scrapbook journaling is to write it down immediately. I have so many albums where my intent was to go back to them and add the journaling later. When later comes, I have forgotten many of the small details that are fun to go back and read later. I also journal now on my pda as the event happens…. I keep notes to myself that I can add to my albums, once created.

  13. Marg VP

    My best journaling tip is: write in “your voice”. Tell the story in your own words, using your own quips, expressions, and dialect.
    I like to talk to the subject in the photos. For instance: I’ll tell my grandson what we were doing at the time, mention something funny or special he said, and always end the story by telling him how our time together means to me.
    My objective is to have my grandson read these entries years form now and be able to “hear” me speaking.

    Wow, I would soooo love to win this really cool tool! Anybook Reader would add a whole new dimension to my pages! Thanks for the chance to win one of these.

  14. HeidiY

    I try to use a small spiral notebook to record journaling notes, funny kids’ sayings, or scrapbook ideas. Any $1 notebook is great, especially since you can put it in your purse. I also divide some sections of the notebook by adding post-it notes as tabs for funny stuff/ scrap ideas/ etc.

  15. Norma

    Wow! Sounds like an awesome little gadget- I’d love to try it!
    My tip is simply to just do it. Just write something- don’t worry about getting it exactly “right”- just get the story down. Write it the way you would verbally tell it.

  16. Becky

    Write whatever it is down as soon as possible. This year (after not writing anything down myself) I have a calender that I can write down what we are doing. I have already captured some great conversations for my next page!

  17. Dale T.

    Write from the heart. It will be more natural and will more easily convey what you feel than something that is preconceived.
    Let ticket stubs or memorabilia do some of the work for you.

  18. Catherine

    make notes to go with a picture or two as soon as you can. delay and you risk doing it at all or forgetting the ‘nitch’ that both photos and stories share

  19. Meagan

    I echo what others have said as far as write it down fairly soon and write in your natural voice. One other tip to help me do that though is that I’ve started writing the story in the metadata of the picture if there is one to go with the story. That way it’s always with my picture and I have the story recorded. If there isn’t a specific picture, I put the story on my blog or in my notes app on my itouch.

  20. alison

    COOL TOOL!!! okay – writing this before I read all the others…
    I think the best tip for scrapbook journaling is to just let go and do it! I’d rather have something then nothing at all. I love to use the tiny strips that I cut off to write on. You can add just a little or lots. I always try to include the 5 w’s and/or H as if I am talking to the subject or to myself or make lists from them. I also like interview-type journalling.
    Thanks for the opportunity!

  21. Sheri

    This is way cool! My tip is to jot my notes down about an event on notepad and save it in the same folder with the photos. I can write on my layouts from my notes or even copy and paste into my scrapbook layout.

  22. rose

    This sounds so cool! My kids have the leapfrog reader that works the same way and it reads stories to them, how cool to link it to your photos and use it for memory keeping!

  23. Virginia

    My best journaling comes from either recording (audibly or in writing) what people– especially kids– are saying during an event or exchange, and then using that on the page as the journaling. Alternately, I will interview someone included in the pictures or event to get “their words” to add to the page. These types of journaling pages always turn out to be family favorites… everyone likes to see their words in print! πŸ™‚

  24. Tara

    Thanks for the chance to win! My best advice for journaling is to either write down things in a notebook which I carry with me or make sure to type them up in a Word document. I also have stickies of events and notes as well.

  25. Joan

    This would be very handy to record things that my children say while we are on the go. I often forget the exact wording when I get home. One tip I did when they were young was to buy a calendar every year with big blocks. Then I could fit a few notes if there was something significant that day – or record their size/height if it was doctor visit. Having the whole year together makes scrapping easier now that they are teens.

  26. DoggiNo

    Journaling is not my “forte”. I don’t keep a journal (I even note down my appointments in my dairy after the date they’re on, go figure).
    My tip would be write down what your thinking. Don’t try to do your journaling in your head before you write it down.

  27. Laura S

    I realize that this only applies to a specific type of scrapbooking, but I recently figured out a wonderful way to combine my scrapbooking with my schoolwork. This semester, my classes mostly take place out in the field, and I’ve been taking a ton of pictures to document our excursions (some fun, some to help remember sites). Instead of relying on a chronological memory of the trip, I’ve been typing up my notes from the site to use as journaling. Then I have a lovely way of remembering what it is that is important about the site, and a boatload of journaling per page. It could also work quite well for some vacation photos.

  28. SandyPie

    Nothing original for me, I keep a document that I call “things the boys say” and anytime something happens I put it in there with a little detail like what was happening at the time they said it. Or if we’re talking about something and a story gets told, I put in it there right away too. I haven’t been doing it long, don’t know why, guess I thought I’d remember all this stuff. πŸ™‚ But it’s a great place to go to when I wanna scrap but don’t have anything in mind.

  29. SparrowApril

    I recently picked up a Memory Logbook, I think this is going to help me a lot with journaling since I am writing about things that happen on a daily basis.

    As for advice on what has worked best for me on the past. BLOG! I seem to blog about things with immediacy. When I go to scrapbook those memories, I am able to adapt what I blogged. The journaling comes so easily for those layouts!

  30. Jacque

    I keep a notebook all the time with little stories. I use them for scrapping and for blogging!
    Thanks for this awesome chance!!!

  31. musette

    I have a day planner section for scrapbooking stuff and keep notes as I begin to scrap each page. If I don’t write it down when I think about it… I’ll never remember. It’s also important to be kind to yourself and not feeel bad when you cannot journal much. Doing the best I can and having fun is enough for me.

  32. Jennifer

    The winner is… Vickie. She writes: “Besides writing things down as soon as you can, I also suggest talking it out loud before you start writing. That way your journaling will sound more natural and more like you.”

    • Vickie

      Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try it out. I thought it would be fun to leave secret little messages in my scrapbooks and in other books.

  33. Wendy N

    Congratulations Vickie. Enjoy the new toy and update us as to how it works!

  34. Charlene Reeves

    I would so love to have this tool which is much need for my wrist has carpel tunnel syndrome making it difficult to use them on my computer.


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