Journaling Creatively

Journaling is important and when adding it to a layout I like to think creatively and outside the “text” box.  Everyone has their own reasons for scrapbooking but I believe most of us would list memory keeping as the primary reason.  Sure we want to get all those great photos and sometimes photos go a long way toward telling the story but journaling answers the questions that will undoubtedly come up at some time in the future.  I keep the 5-W’s of writing in mind when I’m journaling.  I imagine you’re familiar with the 5-W’s of writing but if not they are Who, What, When, Where and Why.  It’s easy to answer those questions now but years from now, when you’re looking back, you’ll be glad if you’ve taken the time to record the pertinent information. When I’m journaling I don’t tend to put all the information in a tidy little box unless I’m using a block style or pocket style layout.  If that’s the case text boxes are perfect but if not I like to spread information around the page a little more creatively. As you’ll see, I prefer to tuck it in here and there. I want to encourage everyone to make journaling a priority and I want to share a few ideas I use to get the information on the page but not necessarily in a box.

Journaling in a Text Box – Sometimes Necessary to Tell the Story


Journaling in a text box is super easy when creating a block style layout.  In the example below, I’ve told the “What” & “Why” using a text box.  To give the edges a clean look, I justified the text using Crtl+Shift+J (see How to Justify Text in PSE below).  I added the “Who” in the XO tag in the upper right corner. The “When” is on the heart tag.  Without journaling the photos, although cute, would definitely not tell the story.






As a grandmother, I love journaling about various stages of my grandchildren’s lives.  I will either do this in a list form of all their favorite things or, as in this example, my observations about them.  Again I’ve used a text box with justified text. Justifying text in Photoshop Elements is a hidden option, see “How to Justify Text in PSE” below for instructions. I’ve dated it, put there names on the tabs on the left, the photos reflect something that I’ve journaled about, and I’ve signed it to let the viewer know it’s from my perspective. Just like the example above, the story would be lost without journaling.


Tip: You may want to zoom in to get an idea of the actual font size. Sometimes the journaling looks quite small on our screen but we’re looking at a very small rendering on the screen not what it will look like printed at 100%.



grands are grand


How to Justify Text in Photoshop Elements



justify text pse


Journaling on a Shape


Journaling on a shape is an interesting way to journal one or two sentences.




After drawing the shape when you begin to type the cursor changes.  It will look like the example below.


text on a shape


In this layout, the photo & the title really say it all but I added one sentence to tell who the story is about plus the date.


not good



Journaling with Word Art


Sometimes word art can tell a lot about the story.  In this layout, the word art sets the tone for summer days at the beach.  I think the left justification added to the overall design. The fun photos of the kids burying each other in the sand are perfect for the word art too.  I only added names and the date. Another idea for this layout would be to text on a path around the circular stitching.


summer days


Journaling Using a Title, Sub-title, and Tabs


Sometimes, many times, a title, sub-title, and a couple of tabs or a tag is all you need.  I find myself in this position quite often.  Unless there is a particularly cute story to tell, I tend to use this method of journaling.


this is summer


This is one of my favorite layouts using mainly the title and tabs to tell the story. But it was such a cute story I added a bit more journaling.




I hope some of these layouts might give you some different ideas to use.  Whatever you style, try to get the pages done and record the information while you remember it.  I can tell you from personal experience that most of the stories from my childhood and even my sons have been lost.  Be the hero memory keeper in your family.  You and your family will be glad you did.



Credits for products used in the layouts:

  1. Champ – Kit: Cherish; Designer: Akizo Designs; Font: Existence Light
  2. What I Like About You – Kit: What I Like About You; Designer: Kimeric Kreations; Fonts: Ravie & Smell the Roses
  3. NOT Good! – Kit: Blue Jeans and Lemonade; Designer: Kimeric Kreations; Fonts: KG Summer Sunshine Shadow & KG Dark Side
  4. Summer Days – Kit: Summer Skies; Designer: Kimeric Kreations; Font: DJB Baby Bump Bold
  5. This is Summer – Kit: Ocean Breeze; Designer: Alexis Design Studio; Font: DJB Room Mother
  6. Epic! – Kit: Creative; Designer: Kimeric Kreations; Font: DJB Sandra Dee











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One comment

  • Christa File April 25, 2017   Reply →

    Love all the different journaling techniques Yobeth. I love creative journaling!

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