“A single word can be a powerful thing.” – Ali Edwards

Ali a designer, blogger, and creator of many popular scrapbooking projects, including One Little Word (OLW).

What is One Little Word?

Interested in participating in the OLW project?  The first step is to choose a word (check out this list of 200 awesome ideas) for the year.

This is a word that you’ll focus on, write about, craft with, and reflect upon.

Choose a word that resonates with you and that you’re interested in investigating.

You can use your chosen word to inspire journaling, blog posts, art, photography, or, of course, scrapbooking.

Why Should I Consider Doing OLW?

“We don’t learn from experiences; we learn from reflecting on experiences.” – John Dewey

How often do we go through life in default mode, just doing the same things over and over again without really thinking about it?

A project like OLW forces us to be more reflective and intentional.

Years later, I might forget many of the things I’m learning now during my thirties.  If I create a OLW album every year, I’ll always have those albums to flip through which will jog my memory.

Organizing Your Album

Ali sells many physical and digital scrapbooking products to help support your One Little Word journey.  She also offers a workshop that includes monthly prompts for your OLW project.

This is the typical format that most scrapbookers follow when doing OLW (dividing the album up by month).

I choose not to do it this way.  I often start the project after January and I don’t necessarily want to commit to working on the OLW project every month.

Even though I’m reflecting on my word all year long, I prefer to work on the project less than once per month.

That’s just my personal preference!  Do whatever works best for you.

For 2020, my word was “growth” and since I didn’t divide up my album by month, I instead divided it by different types of growth.  I have four sections:

  • Career growth
  • Personal growth
  • Emotional growth
  • Spiritual growth

Depending on what word you choose, it might make sense for you to do it this way as well.

You could choose to look at your word through different lenses…for example, how does your focus on this word affect your job?  Your relationships?  Your health?  Your faith?


Here are a couple of tips I learned when completing my OLW album for 2020!

Be intentional with your word choice. 

Pay attention to your life and the themes that keep arising.  I chose the word “growth” for 2020 because it fit that season of life perfectly.  My life had been pretty stagnant for a while, but in 2020, everything changed and it was a time for so much growth…both in ways that I expected and in so many ways I never saw coming.

For 2021, my word is “steady” and I feel like this word chose me more than I chose it.  As 2020 was coming to a close, some unexpected challenges came up and I felt anything but steady.

I realized how much my hurried, impatient, Type A personality was impacting my health and my life in a negative way.

My main goal for 2021 is to live in a more present, less hurried, more “steady” and peaceful way.

If you can’t think of a word to use, check out this list and see if any of these resonate with you.

Keep it simple.

Scrapbooking can feel really overwhelming, so keep it simple!

Don’t go overboard with too many products.  I love chipboard, stickers, embellishments, and everything else, but decision fatigue is a real thing.  Only buy the supplies you love the most.

Having fewer options seems limiting, but it’s actually the exact opposite.  It lessens your decision fatigue and makes the process so much simpler and more fun.

Another way to avoid overwhelm is to use a consistent formula.  If you divide up your album by month, for example, you might choose to use the same type of divider for each month.  Perhaps you’ll put similar embellishments on each divider as well.

Sticking to a formula doesn’t feel overly repetitive – instead, it makes your album feel cohesive and organized.  It also simplifies the process and allows you to make fewer decisions as you create your album.

One Little Word Inspiration 

Here are some pages from my One Little Word album.  I hope this inspires you as you embark on your own journey with your word of the year.