If you’re relatively new to vision boards, you may well be under the impression that there’s only one way to make them. It’s true that the conventional combination of card, scissors, glue and magazines is the best-known variation, but it’s far from the only one. Nevertheless, it remains popular and is just as valid a choice as any other.

I personally view the act of putting the board together as being the most critical aspect of all, so anything that draws the process out and has the creator thinking about what they’re doing gets a big thumbs up from me!

Now, magazines aren’t as readily available as they once were. You can still get them, of course, but it’s not as easy as it once was to ask around for old ones. The internet, iPads and mobile phones took care of that. However, that doesn’t have to render the traditional way of creating a vision board impossible by any means – you just have to think about harder about how to make a vision board without magazines. Fortunately, it’s far from impossible, and I’ve put together my five top tips to do precisely that.

1. Print Your Own Pictures

Magazines are great, but there’s only a certain kind of pictures in each one. If you love biking and buy a copy of Bike Magazine, you’re bound to find some interesting content and plenty of images. However, how much of your vision board will really depend on these kinds of pictures? From an entire magazine, you’ll probably find one that works for you, or two at most.

On the internet, you can find all the bike pictures you want, together with images of just about anything else that comes to mind. Google Image Search is your friend here, and if you plan to keep your vision board private and personal, you’ll have no issues with copyright. Of course, if you plan to share your board or publish it publicly, you should think about using royalty-free images to avoid any problems down the line. Sites like Pixabay and Unsplash are great for this.

From there, you just have to size up your image appropriately with something like the tool at ResizeImage.net, and you’re ready to print.

2. Ignore Pictures Altogether

We published an article recently on whether a vision board can be just words. The answer was an emphatic ‘yes’, and if you don’t mind a combination of quotes, phrases and your own sentences, there’s no reason why such a vision board can’t work just as well as one packed with pictures.

You have plenty of options here once again. You might opt to repeat the first tip and find vision board quotes that you can print out and stick down, or you could potentially write them yourself. Whether you choose to write directly on your vision board or create something to stick down is also completely optional.

3. Draw Your Own

This isn’t a valid vision board tip for me, mainly because I can’t draw to save my life. If you can, however, then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t put your creative skills to the test. The best thing about this is that the contents of your vision board are now limited solely by your imagination. The problem with magazine pictures is that they might not depict exactly what you have in mind. If you create them yourself, you can dictate colours, styles, actions and anything else that your artistic talent can support.

As with the words, you have the choice between drawing directly onto your vision board or creating something separately to stick down. You’ll achieve the same results regardless, and the act of creating inherently means more time thinking about and focusing on your dreams and goals.

4. Create the Entire Vision Board Digitally

If you don’t have magazines, a printer or about as much artistic talent as I do, but do want pictures on your vision board, you might consider doing away with the traditional concept and creating your entire vision board online. It all starts with a blank canvas, but instead of a large piece of card, it’s a large, empty screen on which you can put anything you want.

Most programs make it possible to create a vision board, although you’ll experience varying degrees of success depending on your approach. Even Microsoft Word handles images, but you won’t have the kind of precise control over sizes and positioning that you can enjoy elsewhere. I’d recommend using either Canva or PhotoPea as the canvas, and you can head back to the sites mentioned above to find all the images you could possibly need to fill that space.

Once you’re happy with your creation, you then have two further options. You can print it out and stick it on the wall as you would with a vision board made with magazine clips. Alternatively, you can position it digitally. Desktop backgrounds, phone wallpapers and anywhere else you view regularly can represent the perfect place to keep your goals and ambitions at the forefront of your mind.

5. Make a Vision Board Without Magazines with General Items

Vision boards are perfect for metaphors and indirect depictions. This can be extra useful if you associate an item with a goal rather than a specific picture or phrase. It’s also perfect if you don’t want your vision board to make sense to anyone else that sees it.

The idea behind it is to stick something other than pictures to a vision board. If it’s light enough and will stick, it’s valid for inclusion. If you want to become a master baker, you could stick a cupcake case to your board. If you want to quit smoking, you could tear off part of a cigarette packet, daub a big, red ‘X’ on it and stick that to your board. Essentially, you’re using lightweight items with obvious relevance to fill your vision board with goals and plans. As I always say, there’s no reason why they should be any less effective than words and pictures.

Make a Vision Board Without Magazines – In Summary

Vision boards and magazines go hand in hand and have done for many years. However, I’m a firm believer in the benefits of digital vision boards, and would heartily recommend anyone to get more creative with what they put on their vision board. Remember, the importance of a vision board comes from thinking, making and viewing, and as long as the contents mean something to you and adequately represent what you’d like to achieve in the future, the sky really is the limit!