Journaling is a useful learning tool. It lets you keep track of your thoughts, ideas, what you learned, what you need to learn, etc. Students and self-learners can share their opinions about their learning, the problems they encounter, and their progress. For example, I am learning how to teach children English as a Second Language. My teaching experience is with adults. I need to learn new concepts. My journal provides me with a record of what I am doing right and what still challenges me. Reading the entries reminds me of the progress I've made and the journey I still need to travel.
A journal can also be a nice alternative to a Knowledge, Wonder, and Learned (KWL) chart. A KWL chart lets you use words, images, links, audio, and video to reflect what you need to do to complete a new subject, process, or project. It's a nice way to reflect and learn. However, some may enjoy recording their thoughts using pen and paper.
Teachers use journaling to help students improve their writing. Students write whatever they want and the teacher provides guidance. These journals are usually private between the teacher and student unless the student chooses to share his or her writing with the class.
I use journaling as a way to think and relax. When I am tense or nervous, I write about what bothers me. Once my thoughts are on paper, I don't have to worry about them and I can reread and resolve them later.
I also love philosophy and found two interesting philosophy-related journals. The Daily Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman provides daily prompts to write about. Some prompts include:
The Philosopher's Notebook by Mark Stephens offers philosophical essays for you to reflect on. Some of these essays include:
These are more intellectual and the reflections are longer. I enjoy them because it gives me time to think in length in contrast to our 140 character text messages.