ideas banner

One Little Word


Life + Learning

  • olw

Dawn, Clemens Mill | March 1, 2018

One Little Word, a single guiding term to encourage reflection and focus for the coming year. A single word can have a straight forward and completely literal meaning, or perhaps be of more personal importance. Back in 2006, scrapbook industry veteran and product designer Ali Edwards (@aliedwards) created the One Little Word (OLW) project to inspire people to follow along on a yearlong journey in reflection and memory keeping. As part of this process Edwards chooses, “a word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to reflect upon as I go about my daily life.”

The goal? Choosing one word, making it visible, reflecting on its meaning(s), and focusing on making it part of your daily life. Adding a creative component in the form of journaling, photography or scrapbooking can help make the project even more of a creative endeavor.

In 2016, taking a cue from Edwards herself, I committed to taking one photograph every day for the entire month of December and documented thirty-one straight days of my life. Some days included exciting holiday events while others were much more mundane, but looking back on the completed project I am so glad that I took the time and made the effort to capture and record such memories. Further inspired by the positive feedback I received from those who have looked at my scrapbook, I decided to give OLW a try – and I hope you might too!

This year I am choosing the word ‘nurture’ for its diverse applications to different aspects of my life. To nurture is the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something. For 2018, I plan to scrapbook monthly about my OLW and focus on how I can better ‘nurture’ my life as a whole. This list will surely include things that nourish me physically like my diet, and emotionally, including my friendships. As well as incorporate things that I take pride in nourishing, like my career and family life with my husband and son.  

So, what is your One Little Word? Feeling inspired? Check out the following books to help start your creative memory keeping journey:

That's LifeNo Excuses Art JournalingWhat About the Words?