Top 10 Reasons to Use a Learning Journal

A learning journal is nothing more than a collection of notes, thoughts, drawings, sketches, observations and information which comes your way. It is kept in a collected space (such as a notebook) to enhance your learning, make connections and build upon prior knowledge. DaVinci kept beautiful learning journals!

Da Vinci created the most beautiful journals filled with pictures, texts, inventions and his everyday thoughts! What a great heritage he left for all of us.

Top 10 Reasons to use a Learning JournalI have a learning journal of everyday experiences and notes from books I am reading.I have repeatedly admonished others -students, family and friends -to maintain a learning journal. I keep several for many different reasons, and I love them. (Oh, let’s be honest. I simply have a love affair with journaling!) However, the most common question I receive is: Why? Why keep one? So here it is …

Top Ten Reasons to Keep a Learning Journal:

  1. Develops self-directed learning characteristics.
  2. Demonstrates learning progress.
  3. Helps the individual learn about themselves as a learner and t
    The Art of Learning Journals
    Click on image for The Art of Learning Journals.

    heir learning characteristics.

  4. Works to develop solutions to problems.
  5. Stores thoughts, ideas and knowledge to ensure retention.
  6. Can be passed on to your posterity.
  7. Provides a reflective learning process.
  8. Helps to sharpen observations for the learner.
  9. Identifies gaps in knowledge.
  10. Advances critical thinking skills.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good place to start. How have you used your learning journals? In what ways have they helped you in your life?

A page from my learning journal.

I noted several years ago a time when I felt particularly frustrated. I felt stagnate as if I had not learned anything or progressed. I sat in front of my shelves and pulled open an old learning journal from my undergraduate degree. What a wonderful experience! I read for a long time as if time stood still. When I rose from the floor, I immediately felt inspired. I felt better. I knew I had grown, learned and changed. I made a renewed commitment to continue with my learning journals and even opted to separate a few into more specialized areas.

So, why do I promote the use of learning journals? For the simple betterment of one’s self.

By Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, a master’s in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson

Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the mid-west with her husband. She loved storytelling and sharing her stories with her children. As they grew, she started writing her stories down for them. She is a teacher, having taught from elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education, masters in higher education and continued on to a PhD in curriculum design. Her husband, Kerry and Tracy breed miniature dachshunds and love to spend time with their growing family. She has published several books including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel's 8 and Securing Your Tent.