At the end of last year, I had the idea to replace Project Life with monthly journals. I received the Cocoa Daisy standard Daisy Dori traveler's notebook inserts every month and thought that bringing it down to a smaller scale would be much easier to do. So I started with the January Journal and really enjoyed working in it. The first half I filled with lots of intentions and goals for 2017, the second with all of our January memories. I used lots of small 2x2 photos on my spreads and also chose one specific stamp set that I used throughout the month. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #03.
In February I was more adventurous and started to look at the whole double spread instead of treating it like a book with left and right pages. Again, I created a kit from the Cocoa Daisy Planner kit and added in a stamp set and different papers and stickers. I quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to finish the monthly journals in one month. I was way too precise, too (I don't even have a word for it) uneasy to just journal as I go. What if I had too little stories and the book wouldn't fill up? What if I spread out too much in the beginning of the month and the book wouldn't last? When I started I thought, I wouldn't get hung up on those questions, but I was sliding right into this very narrow frame of mind. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #08.
Come April I was already one month behind in my monthly journals and was just starting on March. Here is one of my March spreads. I'm still using one alpha stamp set for the insert. It is such an easy way to make a whole insert look cohesive. I also start to incorporate more and more ephemera. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #11.
In May I participated in Doris Sanders' #CDjournaleverydayinmay challenge. This meant, I completely skipped April and started on May 1 with the May journal. This was such a great feeling "being caught up", journaling on something that just happened. And also having a prompt to write about. It meant narrowing it down to one story or journal entry per day. Something that I really struggled with in the previous month, where I was way too detailed. I took the journal with me to my sons' Baseball game and it was a very successful journaling month for me.
June was going to be different: we would have visitors from Germany, summer break and no daily plans. So I decided to not use a separate planner and "plan" in my monthly journal. This lead to weekly spreads like the one in the photo. I really enjoyed doing these, so I decided to incorporate them into my journals. However, I quickly fell back on the journaling again.
In July I started getting back to scrapbooking more and enjoying branching out more. This meant, that I wasn't able to spend my free time exclusively on my journaling and that's when it all started going downhill. Not in a bad way, more in a slow process of realizing that this monthly journaling project might not be the right fit for me. I finished the July Daisy Dori in August again being "behind". Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #18.
In August, I really really enjoyed the weekly spreads but dreaded the rest of the journaling. This is the first insert that I haven't finished to date. Because I decided instead of falling further and further behind I would be ok with what I have when the new month starts and maybe come back to it later. That's when I rediscovered my Project Life Journal from 2016. It is a small lined journal where I simply noted prompts for the Project Life spreads each week to spark my memory. It was a great help for Project Life and why couldn't this help with my journaling as well? I wrote down the stories I wanted to write about at a later date and also sketched out the pages, chose photos, printed them and preplanned the journal.
In September I followed some prompts from the Cocoa Daisy Planner Challenge and did my weekly spreads in my journal. I also followed the same concept as in August: preplanned the pages in my Project Life notebook and moved on once October came around. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #22.
Then October came around and I was traveling in the beginning of the month. So I decided to use my journal as a travel journal and tell one story per day. I set up my journal in advance giving each day one page. If I had more to tell I would need to use tip ins. This new approach has helped me tremendously: I haven't finished any of the journals yet, but for me limiting the space and the story (one story per day) was actually the thing I needed. I allowed myself to tell a story in a short sentence, to let go of all the other little details. And I also started printing my pictures in a larger format thus taking up more space thus filling up a journal a lot quicker. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #23.
Since the October layout was such a revelation to my journaling, I kept on going the same way. I journaled when I had time. I made sure to pick a story and photo for each day, took note of it in my Project Life notebook, made sure I printed the pictures frequently. When I had two stories for one day, I just moved one of them to a day where I didn't really have a story to tell. Since I make the rules I can bend them as much as I want. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #25.
Then December came. And I again decided to change it a little: instead of using a standard Daisy Dori from Cocoa Daisy, I created a junk journal and used this as my journal. The rest of the setup stayed the same: one story per day. Since some of the pages are a little busy, I gave more space on some days, but the general idea still stayed the same. And again: I am taking notes, choosing and printing photos as the month progresses and journaling as much as I can. Here is the video for this spread: Journal with me #27.
So what am I going to do with all those unfinished journals? And am I continuing with this project in 2018? Yes. I am going to continue with my 2017 journals in 2018. I have my journals ready to go, I have all of my little kits that I created while working on the journals ready to go. Instead of continuing in the same way in 2018, I'm hoping to complete my 2017 journals. However, I do want to memory keep in 2018, I already have some ideas and I'm going to share those in January on my blog and youtube channel.
Your next stop on this hop is Shelly. And here is a list of all the participants.