Daily Learning Journal

Guide to the Lifelong Learner’s Journal in Notion

My desire to make learning a daily practice began in 2019.
But it wasn’t until January 2021 that I’d figure out how to make this a sustainable habit.
Notion was a big part of this.
With it, I’d create a journal that made the habit easy to keep, the entries organized, and everything easy to review.
This was the start of my Lifelong Learner’s Journal, which is available as a free template in Notion for anyone to view, duplicate, and make their own.

Here, I’ll quickly walk you through the features of the journal.


In the “Lifelong Learning Page,” you have three tools at your disposal: 

1. Lifelong Learner’s Journal
2. The Library
3. The Notebook


Lifelong Learner’s Journal


Entries

This is where you’ll be recording what you learn.

I create at least one new entry every day. You’ll want to make them as short and comprehensive as possible to make reviewing them later easier for yourself. 
Here’s an example of what one of my entries looks like:

I keep the question displayed, and the answer within the toggle. It’s more effective to review what I’ve learned later on when I have the option to use active recall rather than passively re-reading.



Entry Properties

The options you’ll see at the top of each entry.
I’ll explain how filling each one in benefits you:

Title Line: Keep track of the your daily streak + the date of entry

Topic: Makes your entry more searchable within the table.

Date: Keeps your table organized chronologically

Find in Library: Adds your entry to “The Library” (more on that below)

Need to Review?: Adds your entry to a view dedicated for subjects you’d like to review later, called “Study View”

Last Reviewed: Keeps your entries in the Study View organized by the date they were last reviewed

Backed Up?: Lets you know which entries you’ve backed up outside Notion, if you choose to do so.


View Options

The different options for viewing your entries.

ALL entries (Gallery and Table): Both of these show every entry you’ve entered into the journal (so long that they’re dated)

1 Month View: Shows only entries you’ve added within the last 30 days.

•📝Study View: Shows the entries you’ve checked in the “Need to Review” box. These are sorted by the date they were last reviewed, so be sure to refresh that “Last Reviewed” date in the entries when you study!

Missing Date: to find entries missing a date. 

Double-Check Date: to check that the dates are entered correctly.

To Back Up: Displays all the entries you haven’t yet checked as having been backed up


The Library

This is a linked database which will contain all your Lifelong Learner’s entries, organized into your custom genres.

When you click on a topic, you’ll see every entry you’ve written for that topic gathered there, organized chronologically.
No sifting through months’ worth of random entries. It’s all neatly stacked here, like an organized bookshelf. 

You’ll see in the image below what shows up when I click on the topic “Dutch Vocabulary” in my own Library.

And if one entry belongs to multiple categories, that’s no problem! You can tag it with as many topics as you want, and it will show up in each page. 


The Notebook

In the Notebook, you’ll find 3 pages: 

My Knowledge Gaps, where you can record what you’d like to learn and write about in your journal

Quick Entry Ideas, where you can record topics you know you can learn fast and easily. This is handy if you’d like to make this journal a daily habit, and will need some quick learning options for days you don’t have much time to write. 

Study Notes, where you can take notes for things you’re not quite ready to add to an entry yet.


And now you’re ready to start your own Lifelong Learner’s Journal!

What do you want to learn today, and remember tomorrow?

Daily Learning Journal

Remembering What I’ve Learned with the Lifelong Learner’s Journal

Learning something every day has been a beloved habit of mine for the past two years. And although not every single day is worth a revisit, there are many things I’d like to upgrade from “learned once” to “long-term memory”.
Here, I’ll show you a couple things I’ve done to do this with my Lifelong Learner’s Journal in Notion.


If you’re new to this blog:
The Lifelong Learner’s Journal is a project I started to learn something new every day, and record it.
It’s a way to keep my memories safe and easily-accessible. This way, if I’m struck with forgetfulness, I have at least one memory from every day stored safely and organized by category in the journal.
I created a digital version of the Lifelong Learner’s Journal in Notion as a free template. Feel free to use it and make it your own!


How I Remember What I’ve Learned

Active Recall

Write Entries Using the Toggle Tool
This is how I set up most my entries. It’s like using flashcards.
You use the toggle to ask the question, and hide your answer within the toggle. This makes your entries look cleaner and more organized. It also makes it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for if you have a lot of information packed into one page.

Review your Entry by Thinking of the Answer Before Revealing It
This is active recall. Putting in the mental effort to find that answer in your brain, rather than passively reading it. It’s the only way I set up and review my entries, because I’ve found it to be the most effective in improving my memory!


Review Regularly

When you review your entries regularly, you’re giving yourself a better chance to refresh what you’ve learned and actually remember it. This is a vital step (in my experience) to ensure that what you’ve learned makes it to long-term memory. Otherwise, this would be a “write and forget” journal.

Use the “Study View” in Your Lifelong Learner’s Journal

If you want to review an entry for later, click on its “Need to Review?” checkbox on the top of the page.

All the entries with this checked box will end up in the “Study View”.


Here, your entries are organized by the date you last reviewed them. So when you revisit an entry, be update the “Last Reviewed” box so it can be sorted to the back of the pile.

Decide on When to Regularly Review Your Entries.
This could be:
• right when you wake up
• before you go to sleep
• while waiting in line or on the bus
• or any moment that you would ordinarily check social media, if you’re looking for a healthier substitute

Gradually, you’ll feel confident in your memory of an entry, and can uncheck the “Need to Review” checkbox, giving you more space in the “Study View” for new entries.


If you have any ideas or questions on how to make the most of the Lifelong Learning Journal, feel free to share in the comments!

What do you want to learn today, and remember tomorrow?