I don’t know about you, but I think journaling is the most important element on a scrapbook layout – next to the photos of course!  Here are some things I’ve learned about journaling and just random thoughts about the subject:

Please handwrite at least some of your journaling – others will thank you.  I know like most of you, I agonize over my handwriting.  On a good day and if I’m not writing in a hurry, I like it okay.  I can write pretty decently in caps, in lowercase, in italics or a more cartoon-y style.  But I’m no professional and sometimes my handwriting ends up being my least favorite thing about a layout.  However, I’m still glad I did it.  Let’s keep this in perspective, shall we?  The important people, my friends and family, don’t care if my handwriting is perfect or publishing-worthy.  They care that it’s MY handwriting.  My kids do (or will someday!) appreciate that I took the time and my own hand/heart to write down my thoughts and feelings.  My own father has passed away and I have to say, what I still cherish all these years later are the things in his handwriting – notes, cards, letters, even articles and papers he wrote for work (back in the day, before computers were the norm).  I also love to look at the things in my Grandma’s writing (she died about 10 years ago).  Even seeing the writing of those still with me – my mom, my husband, my kids – brings me joy.  Please don’t underestimate the importance of your handwriting.  It is a part of you.  It IS you…

I do use computer journaling sometimes, usually for one of two reasons:  space or theme.  Sometimes I have a lot to say on something and limited space.  For example, in my albums (yes, albumS) about my trip to Europe, I consider them to be like my travel journal.  Since I will probably never take a trip like that again, I want to write down and remember every detail.  The journaling is extensive, so I’ve been computer journaling throughout the entire project.  Other times, I think the font style adds to the theme of the page.  For example, I’ve used a western font on a Pony Pictures page and a Mickey font in my Disneyland album.  There are times when computer journaling is definitely the way to go.

I’ve read the tip many times to “Just write down the Who, What, When, Where and Why” but, to me, that is the absolute minimum of what should be journaled.  I also like to include the other things, like the feelings of the day, favorite things about the event or person featured, or messages to my family who will be reading the journaling.  I heard someone at a crop recently say that they don’t journal on their pages at all beyond the title and date, and that made me really sad.  I guess it’s better than a plain photo album, and the scrapper is getting an artistic release from doing the scrapbooking, but where is the meaning to the album after album that she is quickly completing?

What are your thoughts about computer vs. handwritten journaling?  Do you go crazy with all the font possiblities, good or bad?  Do you keep it simple or go more elaborate with the details like I do?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. avatar

    I prefer to use my handwriting. Mostly because I already take two plus hours to make a layout, I don’t want to have to jump onto the computer and start typing and designing journaling. So I just write. I tend to agonize over my handwriting though. I can’t print to save my life. And if I don’t plan what I’m going to write, I just know I’ll mess it up.

  2. avatar

    I handwrite more, now that my son is in the world. Before baby I really had not thought too much about how deeply personal writing by hand is. That has changed and, legible or not, my handwriting on layouts will be more visible from now on.

  3. avatar

    Check out this entry when you have time!

    I do handwritten journaling but am pondering computer at this point

    They say handwritten is more personal and historic…

  4. […] the album, and I hope my kids will cherish mine someday too. One point which kind of relates to THIS post I made the other day: Becky insists that you do all the journaling in your own […]

  5. avatar

    THanks for the reminder Erika. I tend to avoid using my own handwriting too.

  6. avatar

    I have really, really, really bad handwriting. Even when I take excruciating care when journaling, I’m not at all happy with my handwriting. May try it again soon though … we’ll see how it goes.

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