Earlier this week, I wrote about documenting the real you no matter what the crowd might be doing differently. There are tons of ways you can include more of your true self within the pages of your scrapbooks, Project Life pages, and journals. Some of the more obvious ways include making sure you are in the photographs by handing the camera off to someone else or making friends with the self-timer feature on your camera, and using blank journal cards to share the stories that go along with those photos. But what about all those little stories inside of you that might not have a photo to go along with them? How else can you put a little more YOU into your memory preservation?
Another fantastic way to include your voice, your perspective, and your stories that don’t have accompanying photos is through the use of lists and writing prompts. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes preparing a HUGE collection of printable journal cards to help you share the details of who you are, what you love, and how you think and feel at this point on your journey through life. Here’s just a tiny glimpse of the much (much!) larger collection:
I’m SO excited to share this collection with you! And you can ask my mom, I don’t get excited easily. She always says “I could give you a Ferrari for Christmas and I’d be met with little more than a polite smile and a quiet “Thanks!” (I’m not the jumping-up-and-down type!) Why am I so excited? Because I’ve been using these journal cards myself as a bit of a test drive lately, and I find I’ve been looking forward to responding to all of the prompts in my own memory keeping! I love that the prompts allow for as much or as little elaboration as you feel like giving! For instance, in the card shown on the sneak peek above that prompts you to decide whether you’d rather have to give up books or music, you could simply answer the question (“…to give up books”), or you can go on to explain why you feel you could never live without music and share a story about a time music made a difference in your life. The prompts are intentionally open-ended to allow YOU, the storyteller, to decide just how much story to tell!
While they’ve been designed with the most common pocket page sizes in mind so they can be used with Project Life, there are plenty of other ways these cards can be used as well. Here are just a few I’ve been playing around with:
Multiple-Perspectives Scrapbook Layout:
Choose one prompt card and gather responses from your family members, significant other, or a close friend and do a comparison layout. I did this sample page digitally and used a clipping mask in Photoshop to clip the journal cards inside a thought bubble. This type of comparison is a great way to show all the different personalities in your household or circle of friends!
Do you keep an art journal? There’s no rule saying that these list and journal prompts have to be addressed using only writing. Doodle out your responses, grab your colored pencils, get creative. Then cut it out and paste it in your journal! For my sample artsy card (forgive my doodles, I swear I used to be able to draw!), I decided that when it comes to pets, all I do is sneeze, so that wouldn’t require a lengthy narrative to get my point across. (Fun fact: as I was jotting down notes in my editorial calendar, the idea for this card prompted me to write the phrase “sneeze doodle” for the first, and hopefully the last, time in my life!)
Use photos instead of journaling:
Sometimes pictures speak for themselves. I could have listed out my favorite current TV shows, but I thought it would be much more visually interesting to see them in pictures! If you work digitally, just add your photos to the card files right in Photoshop/Elements/Gimp/whatever software you use. If you prefer to print out the cards and work physically, you could cut up some magazines and make a collage!
Other potential uses for these journal cards:
- Fill out one card each day for a year and share on Instagram to help your followers get to know you better. (If you do, use #MMdailyjournal so we can all find each other’s posts!)
- Having a get-together? Need an ice-breaker? Choose a few prompts, print enough copies of each prompt for everyone to fill out anonymously, and then try to guess who said what!
- Use the prompts to start the wheels of thought in motion for a good old fashioned private journal entry.
- Do you have a SmashBook? Print out some prompts that go along with a particular page and Smash them in!
- Browse through the prompt list index spreadsheet and highlight the ones that inspire future blog post ideas.
- Trade filled-out cards with a loved one to get to know each other in more detail.
This printable card collection includes:
- 405 separate .jpg card files (57 vertical 3×4″ cards with list prompts and 348 open-ended journal prompt 6×4″ cards. Of course, if you have photo-editing software, these can easily be resized if you’d prefer to work with larger or smaller cards).
- A spreadsheet index of the prompts, sizes, and file numbers so you can quickly and easily find the card you’re looking for in the folder. (There’s even a column you can use to mark off which cards you’ve already used so you don’t accidentally repeat the same prompt later in your album like I’ve been guilty of in the past!)
- A bonus set of digital number stamps (numbers 1-10) as .png files for if you want to make numbered lists on some cards.
If you’re ready to grab your own copy of this collection, you can get it here! I’d love to see what you create with them! Drop me a line on Twitter, comment on this post, or share on Instagram using #MMdailyjournal and tag me so I can see your creations! Happy journaling!