7 Habits to Jazz Up Your Journaling

by | Storytelling Ideas | 4 comments

This is a guest post from guest team member Kelly Sroka.

Do you ever find that you journal the same way on every layout you do? Or do you stare at your layout for hours wondering what to write? Or do you wish you could make your journaling a little more interesting? I find myself answering “yes” to all of these questions much too often. So I came up with seven new habits that I can practice in order to add some jazz to my journaling. Pick one or two (or all seven!) of these habits to develop for yourself.

#1 Journal Every Day

Writing every day has never been easier. If you like to put pencil (or pen) to paper, there are scores of beautiful journals around to inspire you. Pick one and keep it in a place where you will remember to write a little something each day. Two of my favorites are the pocket-size Moleskine Volant in emerald green and the bright dots hardcover journal (customizable!) from Paper Coterie. If you prefer to go the technological route, find an app or program that will notify you when it is time to record your thoughts. Day One and Oh Life are two that I recommend.


personalized journal from Paper Coterie

#2 Journal Outside the Box

Instead of journaling in a traditional paragraph format, try using numbered lists, bullet points, phrases, quotations, graphs, or speech bubbles. Any of these techniques can add pizzazz to your page.


journal with a list — layout by Arielle H. Gordon

#3 Journal Out Loud

Telling stories began as an oral tradition. Societies passed stories down through generations by reciting them aloud to one another. If you are having trouble getting your thoughts on paper, tell your story out loud to someone else (even if it is just yourself!) to help you organize your thoughts.

#4 Journal on a Blog

Writing stories on a blog is an excellent way to hone your journaling skills. Simply recording your story in a public forum will push you to write in a more interesting fashion. (You can always make your post private if you do not wish to share it.)


turn your blog post into a finished page – layout by Sara Case Strickland

#5 Journal Off the Page

If you constantly find yourself running out of room for your journaling on your layouts, go ahead and finish your layout without the journaling. Include your journaling on a smaller page such as in an 8×8 or 6×12 size.


use a 6×12 page protector for your journaling – layout by Kelly Sroka

#6 Read Someone Else’s Journaling

Scrapbookers often look to other scrappers’ pages for design or color inspiration. So why not be inspired from others’ journaling? Read the stories on other scrappers’ layouts and take notes on what you find interesting.

#7 Journal Using a Thesaurus

I must admit that this habit came from homeschooling my children. One writing curriculum we use prompts students to avoid dull verbs and adjectives like “said” and “good” and replace them with more descriptive words such as “exclaimed” and “spectacular.” I have found this to be an excellent habit for me as a scrapbooker. The next time you sit down to journal, try using a thesaurus to replace some of those more boring verbs and adjectives with ones that will add more excitement to your story.

So if you feel like you are in a writing rut, start one or more of these habits and jazz up your journaling!

Do you have any habits that help you jazz up your journaling? We would love for you to share them!

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Becca

    I cannot lie–I hate journaling! Love photography, love scrapbooking, multi media and art…hate to journal. I usually write something (type it actually, since I also hate my handwriting) and tuck it in something on the page or behind something. However, now that my children are teenagers, I am using song lyrics on their pages with the date. Free, no stress journaling–always a good thing.

    Have a great day everyone!

    • Lois

      When I was in my late teens, I had a photo album with a song title on each picture. It was interesting when I came to scrapbook them, how few of the songs I remembered!

  2. Daniella Alencar

    I really like the idea of Oh Life and I started today. Hopefully it’s gonna help me to get into Project Life again. 😉 Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lisa J

    I love my thesaurus, but it never thought of taking to the scraproom. I also like the idea of using speech bubbles and quotes. They might help me to find the words I can use in my traditional journaling. Thank you for these ideas.


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