A super fun way to create a journal is to "repurpose" or "alter" an existing book. Choose a hard back book that has thick pages. My sister-in-law gave me a four one-volume encyclopedias: the year of my birth, the year I graduated from high school, the year I married her brother, and the year our son was bon. I'd had them tucked away in the back corner of the closet in the spare bedroom when I realized they would be wonderful recepticles for altered book journals. In the same closet I had 15-20 three-ring binder photo albums from childhood to the present. I began this (massive) project by going through all the photo albums and organizing them by the timeline categories that matched the one-volume encyclopedias. I also sorted through all the childhood memorabilia that I had stashed in another corner of the same closet. I integrated the photos with the scrapbook material.
The actual altered book process requires tearing out pages throughout the book to allow room for the extra art, photos, and memorbilia that you will add. The encyclopedias were a bit big for a first project and the pages were too thin. (I had to use an "ATG" tape gun to "glue" several pages together so they were strong enough to support the materials added to the pages.)
Sometimes I left words, phrases, and/or photos exposed from the text; other pages are entirely covered with scrapbook items and photos. I have completed the first round of this four-volume project--but it will be easy to keep revisiting the journals to add more artful reflection as time allows.