A Simple Journaling Tool to Help You … Simplify

Do you know anyone with a tendency to make things … complicated?

Need to plan a menu? Not without making sure every single day for the next month has every food group represented in the appropriate portions AND includes several new and untested recipes just to make sure we don’t bore anyone with the same old (edible) food.

Time to get more exercise? Better make sure we have every piece of equipment that could possibly be necessary and wait until our schedule will permit a consistent one-hour block of uninterrupted time exactly every other day and only when the outside temperature falls within a designated range.

Want to get that home improvement project finished? First we must spend at least several days researching every possible design possibility to ensure we get the BEST one and then collect every single tool, material and snack needed to ensure completion of the task during the next available weekend, which must be child-free, obligation-free and preferably stress-free.


Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit, but it’s only because I know a person like that … me. And if you share this amazing ability to complicate your life, you know what often happens … nothing. The result of all this over-planning, over-thinking and over-complicating is the tendency to make things so overwhelming that it’s easier just to avoid them altogether.

Unfortunately, that’s where many of us tend to get bogged down in our efforts at memory keeping. We create these huge expectations for ourselves… scrap every photo, journal every story, do it all chronologically and in a timely manner so we never, ever get behind. (HA!) We tend to create a lot of rules (AKA “barriers”) to what is generally supposed to be an enjoyable hobby and then we’re surprised when our mojo takes a hike. We insist on planning out our entire albums before we even start. Our worries about creating showpieces begin before we even choose our page topics. And journaling? Well, you probably already know all the hangups that come along with that…

In my own quest for simplification, I came across a little project that I just love … so much so that I turned it into a gift download for everyone who contributes to our Celebrating Real Life fund-raising project this week.

It’s called a Journal Jar and the concept is very, very simple.

All it requires is a jar or other container plus a handful of pieces of paper, each containing a journaling prompt. To use it, simply draw out a question whenever you need a topic to scrap or feel the urge to journal. It’s a simple tool for yourself and also makes a great gift for others with an interest in documenting their own real life stories.

Every person who makes a donation of any size this week will receive a free Journal Jar download, which includes 24 ready-to-print journaling prompts on the topic of “A Little Bit About Me” plus a set of instructions to help you pull it all together quickly and easily.

Journal Jar

I hope you will consider making a small donation this week … we are less than two weeks away from our project deadline and getting very close to our $1,000 goal. To make a donation, simply click the button on the red “Celebrating Real Life” box in the top right corner of the blog. Your gift download will be delivered by email soon after your donation is received.

Every little bit helps … and as an added bonus, we have an extra special gift from one of my favorite scrappers next week to be shared with everyone who has contributed to this project. Stay tuned … and please help spread the word through your blogs and other social networks.

"Simplify" Sign

Two Simple Steps for Today…

1. Make a small donation to our Celebrating Real Life project and get the Journal Jar project download in return.

2. Answer this question through a comment below … What is one thing you could do to simplify your own memory-keeping efforts?

Get a sneak peek at what’s to come in the 2011 Memory Logbook product line & pre-order your LIMITED EDITION 2011 Memory Logbook Wall Calendar before they’re all gone! Click HERE for details…


  1. What a great question! But one with so many answers that it’s really difficult to select the BIG solution.

    The one thing I WILL DO is to cure the “Complicating Every Single Thing I Do” syndrome that you described so perfectly in your post. Our brains must function in the same way. It’s exhausting, and sometimes I wonder if, for me, it’s a way to not do ANYTHING.

    I will be honest here and tell you that I have purchased ALL the Log Your Memory products ~ with great plans and ideas to fully participate. However….. I have not LOGGED ONE MEMORY yet…and I’ve been a member of your group since you put your fantastic program into action one year ago.

    I will write the words on the black sign above and try to absorb them into my heart and soul.
    Thank you, Kristin, for the whole program. What a terrific concept. I just wish I could know and understand how the rest of the members do all they accomplish.

    I also hope you far exceed your monetary goal for your brother, but more importantly, I will pray for his full recovery.

    • Thanks for your contribution as well as your prayers, Madelyn… both are very much appreciated! 🙂

      And you’ll be happy to know I have some plans for 2011 that should help folks actually USE their Logbooks!! More info soon…

  2. Madelyn, you are soooooo NOT alone! I reiterate everything you said – and like you, I have found so many barriers that I haven’t used my logbook either. But I’m so looking forward to your new plans kristin as i love what this is all about and I’m determined to get into gear for next year. So the best thing I can do is to TRY to get some practice in with this years book. Thanks for all your efforts Kristin

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