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Scrapbook vs Journal – What’s the Difference?

scrapbook vs journal

In terms of mental health benefits, there is no comparing scrapbook vs journal. Both of them are good when it comes to keeping you sane in this crazy world. However, if you only have time for just one option, which one should you choose?

If you are confused about what you should choose between the two, here is a short introduction to junk journal vs scrapbook keeping. Hopefully, after you finish reading this, you will be able to choose the right hobby for you, or at the very least, which one you should do first.

What is Scrapbooking?


Scrapbooking is one of the many ways for you to organize, preserve, and present your memories. Although the process is called scrapbooking, the product can take the form of books, boxes of knick-knacks, or cards.

The typical memento used for scrapbooks can include photographs, article clippings, receipts, napkins, and basically anything that can help you remember that day or event. A scrapbook is a book with blank pages where you can stick newspaper clippings, photographs, and other objects.

What is Journaling?

junk journal

A journal is a written record of a person’s intimate thoughts and feelings. There are no set rules for journaling. However, most people consider it a part of their daily routine. They often keep a journal to keep track of their daily lives, thereby helping them figure out just what triggers their emotions and reactions.

When you were a teen, you might have kept a diary of some sort hidden underneath your mattress. You treat it as a way for you to truly express your fears and confess to anything that you might have done during that day.

It can be quite therapeutic to put your thoughts down on paper. It is like you lifted a thick veil and the world just seemed a whole lot clearer. When you are inundated with a lot of problems and they are all causing you a lot of stress, keeping a journal might help you identify the root causes.

After identifying the things that trigger your stress response, it will then allow you to solve your problems and significantly reduce the amount of stress that you experience daily.

Key Differences Between Scrapbook vs Journal

To help you decide between a scrapbook and a journal, you need to learn about what made them different from each other. Here are some of the biggest differences between the two media:

Scrapbook Journal
Main Content Pictures and souvenirs Mainly written words
Size Large format; loose pages Regular notebook
Materials Used Various craft supplies Usually, a regular pen will do, but sometimes color markers are used as well

Main Content

When it comes to content, scrapbooking consists mostly of photos, clippings, and other paraphernalia glued to the page. However, some people do place a small journal entry on every page.
On the other hand, journaling consists mostly of handwriting. There could be a couple of scribbles but most of the contents are handwritten entries. Although there are no set rules about the length of journal entries, they usually end up filling an entire page.


Scrapbooks typically have large pages. The main reason is that you will be gluing large photographs and other mementos, so you will need large pages. Usually, scrapbooks are the size of medium-sized sketchbooks. Meanwhile, journals are usually just the size of regular notebooks.

Materials Used

Scrapbooks are typically full of embellishments, so you will need a lot of craft supplies. The more supplies you have, the more you can let your creativity flow. On the other hand, journaling only requires the use of a pen. However, some people add color to their entries by using color markers.

Uses of Scrapbook

Typically, a scrapbook entry is somewhat heavily embellished and would contain a short journal entry or description of the items stuck on the page. Here are some of the many reasons why people keep scrapbooks:

  • To preserve their precious memories, so they can share those with the younger generations
  • To celebrate and remember a special occasion
  • To commemorate special events or accomplishments
  • To simply catalog their day-to-day dealings
  • To express their creativity without too much effort and not requiring a lot of skill
    Just to pass the time

Another nice thing about keeping a scrapbook is that it is never-ending. You will also be able to exercise your creative muscles in the process.

Uses of a Journal

You might have stopped keeping a diary once you got a bit older, thinking that it is childish but I highly recommend that you revisit the hobby. Instead of calling it a diary, you can call it a journal if it helps you. If you are struggling with some mental health issues, keeping a journal can help you regain control of your thoughts and emotions.

To give you more reasons to start keeping a journal, here are some of the most obvious benefits:

  • Helps manage your anxiety
  • Reduces the amount of stress you experience
  • Helps you cope with the dark thoughts accompanying depression
  • Allows you to prioritize your problems, concerns, and fears
  • Can somewhat help you figure out solutions to your problems
  • Helps track your behavior so you can identify your emotional triggers
  • Provides you with an opportunity to give yourself positive reinforcement

When you have a problem and you are stressed, keeping a journal can help you identify what is causing that stress or anxiety. After identifying your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and reduce your stress.


Whichever medium you choose to index your thoughts and memories, you will still be getting pretty much the same mental health benefits. The biggest thing that you do need to take into consideration when choosing between the two hobbies is the amount of free time that you can set aside for them.

Regardless, I highly suggest that you commit to either one. The mental health benefits are more than worth it. Whichever one you choose between scrapbook vs journal, you can be sure that you will be thanking yourself later for doing so.

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