It is really easy to overthink this puzzle, which is good at getting you to start thinking in the 'puzzle style of the author'. Below are some graded hints leading to the solution.
starting at the 'e' where the arrow says 'a way in???', travel in a straight line downward noting the sequence of letters as you do. You will find they spell the word 'eight'.
Moving on from 'eight', the next e leads you to the right (across the bottom row), making the word 'eleven'. Continue counterclockwise around the grid of letters, spiraling in as you go toward the center. You'll find 8 numbers represented by the letters.
Below is the answer to the puzzle. DO NOT CLICK IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER!!!
Use the QR code to go to http://journal29.com/5/ on a web browser. In the black box on the page, type in:
It will then give you the key word for the puzzle.