Episode 47: Love it and List it: Why Lists are Great for Scrapbooking

Alice Boll
Alice Boll

Show Notes

Lists can make your scrapbook journaling so easy!

Benefits of Lists:

  1. Great way to organize information.
  2. Simple structure.
  3. Easy to read and write.
  4. Allows you to arrange things in order.
  5. Fun!

How a Scrapbooker Can Use Lists Creatively:

  1. Favourite Lists and Top 10 Lists
  2. Photo Lists
  3. Timelines (they’re a type of list)
  4. Currently lists
  5. Highlights and Best of lists.

What’s your favourite kind of list layout?

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Welcome to the ScrapHappier podcast, where we share quick tips, tricks, and techniques to help you create scrapbooks you love and be happier while doing it. I’m your host, Alice Boll.

I’m so glad that you’ve joined me for this episode. This is something that is so useful for when we’re trying to do our journaling on our scrapbook pages. And that means we’re talking about lists. Now, obviously one of the first lists that come to mind, when I think about them, are to do lists. We’re always chasing that forever “to do” list. And sometimes it’s actually more like a “to don’t” list, but let’s not go down that road yet.

What I really think of is my childhood and listening to the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown. Now I’ll confess I didn’t get to listen to it nearly as much as I would have liked to, but when I did it sure made an impact. And that’s just one of the cool things you can do with a list. You can make a big impact. Now it’s easy to think about how a list format would be useful when we want to talk about our favorite books, movies, foods, or any other kind of item that lends itself to putting into a list.

But first, let’s talk for a second about why lists are so great. We know that a list can help us remember things. That’s why we make to-do lists or shopping lists, but did you know that a list actually reduces your cognitive load? Okay, what is cognitive load and why is that important to us? It turns out our brain only has a certain amount of working memory. Information gets stored in your long-term memory after first being attended to and processed by your working memory. However, working memory is extremely limited in both capacity and duration.

If you’re in a situation where you have too much information coming at you, or you have too many tasks that you have to do simultaneously, then this can result in you being unable to process this information. This is known as cognitive overload, or you’ve reached your cognitive limit. This is why our brains really like to group things together to make associations and they like it when things are nice and organized, like in a list.

Using a list can allow you to think about more details and not worry that you’ve missed out on something important. This is one of the reasons that pilots use a checklist. Now that we’ve talked about some of the science behind this here are five quick benefits of using a list.

Number one: lists are a great way to organize information. You can break down something really complicated and make it really easy to understand by using a list.

Number two: they have a simple structure. When you create a list, it’s easy to see what comes next. But not only that, it also helps you know how far along you are in a certain process. When we’re looking at a list and we stop on number two to explain a little bit more information; that’s okay if we know that there’s five things on the list, we still know what’s coming up. Similarly, a computer will have a progress bar that shows how much progress it’s made on a certain task that you’ve asked it to do. By being able to see how much work is left on that progress bar, it gives you a good estimation of how long you’re going to be waiting. Whether you realize it or not. Any time you’re reading a list, you’re evaluating that same thing.

Number three: lists are easy to read and write. Because so many lists are short, now they don’t have to be short, but many of them are, they’re easy to write and they’re easy to read.

Number four: a list will help you arrange things in order. My grocery list has most of the items that we buy frequently from the store. They’re listed in an order that allows us to go around the store in the way that you walk and pick up the items as you encounter them. Obviously I don’t need to buy every single item on every single trip. So we just check mark the ones that we need on that specific trip. By arranging the items on our list, according to the layout of the store, it makes shopping trips so much quicker and easier.

Number five: lists can be fun! Think back to that rick Dees Weekly, Top 40, that was a pretty fun list. Now let’s talk about some great lists that we can use for our scrapbooking. And I have a couple of fun twists on the traditional list that I think make our scrapbooking an even better experience.

One great way to create a list page is to actually just put a list on it, like a Top 5 or a Top 10 kind of list. These ones are the pretty obvious ones that most of us think of it. Maybe it’s our favorite food or favorite movie or favorite books, but you can really play with it and get creative. I made one page that I told a whole bunch of random facts about myself. A list format was a great way to bring all of these random pieces together to make a cohesive list for my page.

This second idea involves thinking of your photos as a list. Instead of using words as a scrapbooker, we have the opportunity to bring photos into our list making. One great page that I made showcased my ever-changing hairstyles. I showcased the transition from short hair to curly hair, to long hair, to almost no hair, to red hair, to brown hair, back to blond hair and all of the lengths in between.

When I went in to create a layout that showcased the different things I dreamed of becoming when I grew up, I turned to a photo list. I was able to show myself at different ages and list the different things that I wanted to be when I was that age.

On a third page, when I wanted to showcase the different animals and pets that we had when I was a child, I remembered one of the toys I had as a kid. It had all of the animals around it and you pull a string and it would point to an animal and say, the cow says, Moo. And I could remember playing with that forever as a child. So I decided to recreate that and turn it into a list of all of my animals and pets.

If you’d like to see the layouts that I mentioned during this episode, you can find them in the show notes linked below.

A third way that you might want to create a list on a page is to think of a timeline as a list, because really that’s what they are. If you think about a timeline, like a list, then it makes it so much easier to break your day down if you’re doing a day in the life. Or to break your trip down, if you’re doing a holiday or vacation.

A fourth way to use a list is to use a currently list. We talked with Are You Kristin, Kristin Tweedale back in episode 29 of this podcast.

So if you want to hear more details about currently lists, please go listen to episode 29. But for a short form, a currently list is a great way to talk about the things that are currently happening in your life right now. One of the great things that Kristin says is that you can do these on a regular basis. And that allows you to kind of see the incremental changes in your life and document the things that are currently happening.

And my fifth and final way of incorporating lists into your scrapbooks is to create a compilation or look back page. I often do these at the end of a year, so I can look back at the year that has just passed. It’s great to look back at your year and pick the Top 10 photos of 2012 or the Top 14 photos of 2014. Not only does this list help you review all of the fun things that you did that year, while you’re trying hard to pick and narrow down your photo options, but it’s a great way to really appreciate the life that you had. And yes, I even did one for 2020, and you can hear more about that in episode 20, which was the 20 for 2020.

My one hope is that by looking at lists and thinking of how you can use them in creative ways on your scrapbook pages is that it will give you an easy approach to journaling that feels really manageable. And now it’s time to go and reduce your cognitive load. You can add items to your to-do list. You can add something to your grocery list. You can even make yourself a checklist that will help you simplify a complex task that you have to do regularly. You can add something to your scrapbooking bucket list. Don’t forget to listen to episode 27. If you want to know more about the scrapbooking bucket list. And of course you can also sign up for emails so that you get some really great information about scrapbooking from time to time and not to often by signing up at scraphappy.org/subscribe.

I hope that today’s episode makes you look at lists in a whole new way and helps you make scrapbook pages that you love and be happier while doing it. Happy scrapping!


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