Junk Journal: The Whys & the Many Uses

Junk journaling seems quite a natural occurence from the order of consumerism: the more we acquire, the more junk we have.

Incidentally, (or is it just me?), many of the lovely ladies I encounter doing junk journals must be mothers (or maybe, I am just assuming they are, but they feel so motherly! There is something about us, believe me). It could be that mothers are really like nature: she finds ways to lessen the burden that humans produce, like wastes.

But then, there's also the affinity of journaljunkies for flat things, like print, paper, fabric. Or the attraction to pretty printed matter or pretty flat things... Or then again, maybe, it is just me. But paper has always been my favorite things to recycle/upcycle/reuse... I have paper addiction: from printed magazines, to packaging boards, and most importantly, books.

But before I proceed with my pseudo-academic post, let me share to you first the many uses of a junk journal:

1. As a Personal Museum. It is kind of flat (ooooops! there are chunky junk journals!)and easier to maintain unlike an actual collection of things (you'd put up an antiques/vintage/thrift shop with those!)

Image may contain: food and indoor 
A junk journal by Iza Sprycha.

2. A Travel Journal - where to place bits of ephemera on vacations, from tickets, menu from a restaurant, photos brochures, or hotel stationery.  Envelope tuck spots and pockets are the perfect place for these!

 3. A Gratitude Log. One of our favorite motto despite all odds and workloads: Be grateful!

4. Daily Planner
 For planning daily, or ahead for a week, a month, a year. With calendars to include or built in, or as a custom daily planner.

5. Goal Tracker - yes, use yor arrows, and numbers, and go on and log! Customize with lots of stickers, motivational tags/quotes and so on!

6. Memory Scrapbook. Keep. It. From invitations, to photos, keepsakes, anniversary or birthday party  giveaways, tags, etcetera!

7.  Art Journal. Doodle on, paint, water color, pour all your artistic skills and nobody will mind nor bash you for it. You can actually share it at the various facebook journal groups (one of the fastest growing species I've ever seen on socmed)!

8.  Scripture Diary. Here's a real dialogue with my mom:
Me: I so admire you for patiently re-writing / copying the scriptures! (she has loads of journals, notebooks of various sizes and make!)
Ma: No, I am not copying them! Those are my reflections. You're not the first writer around here!

9. Baby Book. My babies are already crawling out of my house, so...

10. Wedding Guest Registry. I'd probably want to get married again to make one and actually make my guests sign!  For vintage, rustic, or shabby chick  weddings for a treasured keepsake.

 12. Shelf Art. They say it makes for a gorgeous home decor Lined up by theme, color or style or size. 

13. Coffee Table Book. Without the need for the tedious, challenging, ardous, and  many turndowns of real publishing! Create your own books by compiling some favorite topics in junk journals!
Brag it to visitors to look through, and the let them explore tucks and pockets and lots of surprises! One good thing about this, NO PLAGIARISM, and you can place your own details without fearing critics!

14. Planner. Have I not written this earlier? Go on, map your life! Use events to collect printed inspiration, ideas, lists, invitation, and so on. The planner can then become a keepsake  and a memory book!

15. Sketchbook. The good thing about creating your own journal is that you can customize it to fit your wants, needs, urges like drawing or doodling, or planning for the next she-shed, or mobile home!

16. Daily Memory Log. A small upcycled notebook pages will do for this. Great to keep in pockets, or get one like this. Saw a quote, or while having a short convo at the meeting with the client and she provided a great quote? Get your keychain, and write on!
If you want, you can have a bigger diary to document your daily life. Add lots of ephemera from your day to delight you once you want to backread!

17. A Yearbook. Make it for someone, or for yourself, your kids, your neighbor, your favorite things... Paper copies of memories always look better than digital.

18. Letter Keeper if you are into writing. But are there still letter writers, really? I do. It is nice to compile them in a junk journal.

19. Business Planner. If you have your own business or are in the process of creating one, this can help keep track of everything.

20. As a Calendar. Create some pretty calendars for the wall or your desk  junk journal fashion.

21. Dream Journal. I used to record all and everything in one bound construction paper pad I liked - as diary/journal/ ephemera / sticker collection back in the early 90s! And it includes dreams, but now, be generous and use all those junk black notebook pages, and fill 'em up with dream images! And words! And your reflection of what they may mean.

22. Movie or TV Journal. Well, why not? Some of us will only be wishing to be print-published, or make a video, and publish your own, but this one, you can keep and be the world's best or most sarcastic critic, ever.

23. Habit Tracker. This might include collecting tea / tisane / herb drink varities, just like what I did! But this should help you either do something you have been putting off, or avoid some things you should have stopped. Or something like that.

24. Glue Book. A collage of photos, book illustrations, magazine ads, ephemera, images, and quotes you find.

25. Letterboxing Logbook. Letterboxing is - hobbiests combine elements of orienteering, art, and puzzle solving and hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly accessible places (like parks) and distribute clues to finding the box in printed catalogs, on one of several web sites, or by word of mouth (ex: geocaching). Then, there's a log of visitors who can write their presence, message, post something: an image, an illustration - for the owner.

26. Costume Prop for school plays, events like Halloween, Christmas carolling,fiesta, or any event where you'd want to bring a journal as a show.

27. Doodle Diary. Similar to a sketchbook or an art journal.

28. Garden Planner. Starting a garden or improving one? Add a plan, your own garden photos, graph paper to plan out garden plots, chart of the growing season, post photos of growth and progress, or list of plants in your garden. And create seed packets for heirloom seeds from your garden  to send out later (I work with Gulayan sa Paaralan or school gardens in the Philippines!).
pressed grass from my garden. Look good in vintage junk pages or tags!

29. Wish List Keeper. Now, this one should be a hoot: why not compile a journal of the things you covet so those catalogs are put to good use? Add lots of notes! Places to go to, living rooms and kitchens to fill and what to fill it in, notes for your interior designer or tour provider!

30. As a form therapy. As if I need to say this, but if it is the last resort, it overshadows the rest for its uses. Just when you think you'd ran out of sane things to do, junk journal it! Works all the time!