People often refer to journals as vessels. Vessels for words, ideas, thoughts, sketches, etc. But sometimes they can actually be vessels, the kind that hold things. I’m talking about journals, books, sketchbooks that are designed to hold things like photos, paper ephemera, ticket stubs and other collected (flat) tidbits.
However, not all journals are designed for this and there is a trick to recognize a journal that is meant to hold things and one that is meant to hold only your brushstrokes or pen scribbles. The secret lies in the difference between the spine thickness and the thickness of the pages/text block. The difference between the two indicates the thickness of flat items (stacked) your book can house.
For example, if the spine totals 1″ thick, and the pages total 1/2″ thick, then you can potentially add 1/2″ worth of photos/other paper ephemera. It’s good practice to add items at intervals throughout your book, rather than all in one spot. If you put all your photos in one section of your book (or you put too many photos in your book) you’re likely to get the dreaded costanza-effect. (This is when you cram too many things into your journal/wallet, making it impossible to close properly and the source of much ridicule and many jokes . . . If this makes no sense to you then you probably didn’t watch tv sitcoms in the 90’s. My apologies). Basically, don’t add so many things to your journal that it no longer lies flat when closed.
Anyways, that’s about it; put paper ephemera into your journals and write or sketch about it! Maybe you did some sketching while at an outdoor concert (and saved the ticket stub). Maybe you were inspired to write poetry while at a live reading event (and snapped a selfie with the author!) Incorporating ticket stubs and collected items adds new elements and textures to your journal pages and makes for great memory books and albums.
Pro tip: you can even apply this theory to guest books at milestone events!!