Using the calendar as a journaling tool

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Want to know a secret resource for finding great journaling material? Look to your calendar! Whether it’s a paper calendar hanging on a wall, a magnetic calendar on your refrigerator, or an electronic calendar on your computer (see Steph’s post about Google Calendar), it’s a great place to find information to use on scrapbook layouts. I’ve used calendars as a journaling tool for more than a decade now so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for calendar-based journaling.

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BASIC CALENDAR

Take a look at the calendar at the end of each month and see what you had scheduled. Even if you didn’t make any journaling notes on the calendar, it can still act as a memory jogger to remind you of what you did that month and what should be scrapped. I highly recommend keeping a copy of your calendar to use for your scrapping inspiration. If it’s a paper calendar you could keep the physical copy, or scan and save it on your computer. If it’s a whiteboard type of calendar that gets erased or changed each month, take a photograph of it before changing it so you have a copy of the information. The beauty of computer calendars is that they are easily saved. Google calendar keeps the information on your calendar and does not delete it. Some programs such as Outlook have archive features that allow you to file older calendars for reference so you don’t slow down your computer, but are still able to access older material.  I use Microsoft Outlook 2010 so I went to Calendar – Folder – Calendar Properties and adjusted the archive settings for my calendar to keep 18 months of data. If that slows my computer down too much, I will change that. You could also just access the past calendars through the archived folders.

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CALENDAR WITH JOURNALING DETAILS

It’s really easy to jot down a few quick memories on a calendar you are already using. If your baby takes their first steps, make a note on the date the milestone happens. If you go out to dinner with a friend, write down the details of where you went and what you ate right on the calendar date. By the end of the month you will have a mini-journal full of great material for your pages! This is easy to do on a handwritten or electronic calendar, it’s just a matter of establishing the habit. I recently found a free online calendar that encourages you to do this type of journaling – it was my pick of the week on the latest Paperclipping Digi Show podcast (#30 Stories from Our Lives). The calendar service can be found for free at Cozi.com and the family journal features are really great for memory keepers. This approach could also be used with other calendar systems if you take the initiative to add this type of documentation on your own.

Calendar journaling notes can be added to scrapbook pages about individual events, or you could do calendar style scrapbook pages and include the journaling in that format. This is a fun way to scrap everyday memories!

Layout by Katie. Template by Ali Edwards. Paper by Gina Cabrera. Doodles by Kate Hadfield. Alpha by Dani Mogstad. Font is Century Gothic.

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LONG TERM CALENDAR-BASED PROJECTS

If you are doing a Photo-a-day project (365), or a 52 week challenge, you will find that the calendar can be a great way to keep track of your project and document the journaling details that go along with it. When I did Project 365 in 2008, I relied heavily on my calendar notes to help me keep track of the journaling that went along with the photos I had taken. Then I added those details as journaling on the P365 layouts.

Layout by Katie, supplies: Project 365 Quick.ish page by Something Blue Studios (TDF11). Fonts are Fontologie Textura Traced and calibri

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Calendars are great for scheduling and organization, but don’t forget to let your calendar also do journaling work for you. It will make scrapbooking so much more fun and meaningful!

katie big