Monday, August 11, 2008

5 Minute Journaling

Greeting Cards

Come birthday time, you are sure to receive many cards with sentiments from friends and family. Nothing accompanies a picture of you blowing out your candles better than the well wishes of others. Scan the cards, or type the messages onto your page.


Dictionary or thesaurus

Definitions can be used for quick, no-nonsense journaling and a thesaurus is helpful when seeking different words to describe an event. I’ve bookmarked Web sites such as and because I use them often. Also consider recording the meaning of names as Nasilele Holland did on a page about her son, above.

Newspaper articles and reviews

Find your journaling in the local paper. Articles and reviews contain descriptive information about things you may have overlooked. Did the restaurant where you had dinner get a five-star rating? What did the reviewer say about last night’s movie? Just scan and print.


Whenever you travel, take home brochures from the hotel lobby. They offer a wealth of information about your vacation destination and can make journaling a breeze. Use the pamphlets directly on your page or retype a few descriptive lines.


I often write e-mails to my out-of-state family to keep them updated. These notes can be directly transferred to a layout by copying and pasting them into your word-processing program. Consider transferring Instant Messenger conversations from your friends and family as well.


Your child’s homework tells a story. Scan it and include it on your page. Add your child’s name, age, and a short explanation of the assignment. You also can include comments from a teacher in this way.

Free Writting

Speed up the process by freewriting. See what happens when you give your internal editor a night off.

Preprinted materials

Manufacturers have done their best to help us journal quickly by offering quotes, definitions, and more. Look for a variety of themes, fonts, and sizes.

Book excerpts

Sometimes a passage from a book will set the perfect mood for your photo. I love to use classic children’s books for this, as I know they will be meaningful for my kids to look back on. A Bible verse also can establish a tone.

Internet research

The Internet is a great resource for facts on a variety of subjects. Last year, when scrapbooking about my son and his cicadas, I included information on the insects that I found online, printing directly from an online FAQ section. Try online encyclopedias as well.

Day planners and journals:
A photocopy of a page from your day planner is sure to provide the perfect journaling for a layout about your busy lifestyle. Also look to diary entries or your online blog to transfer to a page. Keeping a daily journal is a great way to cut your scrapbooking time later.

Direct quotes

Quoting someone is always a great way to journal. This is especially true when the quote comes from your kids.

These suggestions will make you faster at recording memories (without sacrificing meaning), giving you more time to make memories in the first place.

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