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How To Use A Bullet Journal As A Scrapbook

Confession: I am a very sentimental person. Back in the day, I used to keep mementos and Polaroids of my friends and me in a scrapbook. I didn’t have specific layouts then; just the usual stuff in smash books where you glue trinkets, glittered papers, and stickers to frame the photos. Over time, I slowly grew out of this hobby. The next thing I knew, I was working a nine-to-five job that sucked out the creativity in me.

Where did all the days go? It’s like time passes by. And before we know it, all that’s left are memories. So why not relive your scrapbooking days through your bullet journal, even as a grown-up co-ed or a professional?

In this article, I want to share how I successfully infused scrapbook elements into my otherwise “boring” bullet journal. Specifically, I will discuss:

Scrapbook with floral designs drawn on it and a bunch of flowers on top of it.

What Is A Scrapbook? 📔

At the risk of sounding basic, I think we should differentiate a “scrapbook” from the usual “bullet journal” notebook, as these terms confuse those newbies to the craft. I’ve seen Tiktok videos and IG reels dedicated to these hashtags, and the more I watched, the more blurred the line appears between these two.

To clarify, a scrapbook is an album dedicated to journal entries that feature memorabilia. The act of preserving mementos is itself a form of journaling, although it seems more extensive and personal than bullet journaling. Think of it as a photo album, only with notes added to describe particular events you want to remember. 

A scrapbook has no standard format. You can cut and paste random things such as a movie ticket, an old newspaper clipping, a dried flower stem, and other items that serve as keepsakes. 

The main difference between a bullet journal and a scrapbook is conciseness. A bullet journal only documents day-to-day agendas and future logs, while a scrapbook is often a look-back of past events and milestones. Additionally, a bullet journal is more geared toward productivity than serving as a trip down memory lane.

Still, you can add scrapbooking elements into your bullet journal in the form of collections. These can be anything from weekly recaps, year at a glance, and book/movie reviews. We’ll discuss more of these collections in the succeeding sections. 

How Scrapbook Helps in Personal Reflection 💭

According to a study, mementos collectively serve as a visualization tool for reminiscing that influences a person’s self-reflection and motivation 1. More than taking us back to the good ol’ days, scrapbooking helps us reflect on our lives and the experiences we shared with other people. As a result, we draw inspiration from these past events to make more meaning to life moving forward.

Personally, I love scrapbooking because it’s the closest thing to a time capsule for me. As a sentimental person, I value souvenirs and keepsakes from my travels and friends that made a significant impact on my life. Whenever I thumb through the bulky pages of my scrapbook, I would be a bit reflective and carry the happy thoughts of the past into my present to inspire myself.

How to Keep Mementos in Your Bullet Journal 💙

A few tweaks here and there can make your bullet journal a venue for your keepsakes, too! This way, you won’t need to keep a separate scrapbook and a bujo that could make journaling a more time-consuming task than it actually is. 

Let’s say you created a collection spread dedicated to movies you’ve seen at the theater. You can glue the tickets to your “Movies I’ve Seen” and indicate your reviews or rating of the films. You may even add a caption describing who you went to the theater with and if it’s a date.

Another way to incorporate mementos into your bujo is to print photos from film or your digital device. It easily gives off vintage vibes or that old-school scrapbooking feel. Polaroids are still fashionable, so take snaps as much as you want to!

The photographs don’t need to take up much space in your bullet journal. You just need them in 3R or 4R dimensions, which are smaller than a wallet-sized. You can always trim the edges to fit into dedicated boxes in your collections, such as the daily wrap-ups and holiday spreads.

The only thing you’ll need to consider is the bulkiness of the items you’re planning to add to your bujo. If possible, pick keepsakes that are flat or two-dimensional, such as paper ephemera, bookmarks, magazine clippings, and postcards.

Still, you can manage bulkiness by choosing a notebook with an elastic band closure. This way, no matter how bulky the memento spreads could get, the items remain safe and secured in place.

Scrapbook Ideas For Your Bullet Journal

I’ve scoured the internet for the most favorite and unique scrapbook ideas, and I discovered a handful that you can also use in your bullet journaling. Here are my top picks:

  • Movie review spread – Here, you can add a line or two of your personal thoughts regarding the movie you’ve watched recently. Simply glue your theater tickets next to the space for your movie ratings to commemorate the visual experience.
  • Monthly recaps – These are bujo spreads where you can expand on your experiences through photos and memorabilia, which you’ve collected in the last 30 days. You can use a reel design to tell a story in chronological order. 
  • Year at a glance – This is a year-end review of how you spent the last 365 days but in photos and mementos. You can add captions that can serve as reminders of the most memorable experiences you’ve had from the year that has passed.

Suggestions for Maximizing Scrapbooking Habits ✍🏻

Sometimes, due to a hectic schedule, even bullet journaling may seem an afterthought to the point where we miss doing it altogether. Such forgetfulness makes scrapbooking even more difficult to turn into a habit. But I’ve got a hack for when you feel like scrapbooking but don’t want to spend much time on it.

Before you hit the sack at night, review your day’s agendas and add interesting notes next to the to-dos you’ve completed within the day. Come the weekend, or during your leisure time, you can check back your bujo and add relevant mementos to accompany the highlights of your week.

Alternatively, you may keep the memorabilia or items you want to commemorate in the inside pockets of your bujo notebook or just between the pages. The next time you open your notebook, you’ll remember to sort them out in order of events that happened within the week or month.

Conclusion

Indeed, it’s easy to add scrapbook elements to your bullet journal by making a few tweaks to your collection spreads. The fact that they help you document your life from the past to the present makes these journaling habits a fun activity for reminiscing and future motivation.

In this article, you have learned why keepsakes inspire personal reflection, as well as how to infuse scrapbooking vibes into your bullet journal and maximize the time spent documenting your significant life events.

Do you have unique scrapbooking ideas that would also be great for bullet journaling? Share it in the comments!

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Sources

  1. Thudt, A. et al. 2016. Visual Mementos: Reflecting Memories with Personal Data[]