Capturing your thinking

Now that we have considered the value of reflective practice in nursing, we go on to look at possible tools to help you capture your thinking.

You could simply record your log entries in a notebook, however there are many online tools and apps available (some of which are listed below) that you might prefer to use.

By following any of the links below you will be taken to a third party website. On this website you may be asked to submit some information about yourself. Please make sure you are familiar with the terms and conditions and privacy policy of the third party website before submitting your information.

Whether you follow the links below and submit your personal information or not, your course progress will in no way be affected.

Blogging and journaling tools

Blogging and journaling tools such as Blogger, Tumblr, Wix and WordPress are designed to be updated regularly, which makes them an ideal tool for keeping a learning log. You can usually choose to publish them publicly, or keep them private to yourself and anyone you choose to invite. FutureLearn has provided some useful guidance about using blogging tools to support your reflective practice.

Journaling apps

You might find an app useful if you own a smartphone or tablet and prefer to record your thoughts on the go. An example of an extremely simple journaling app is  Day One.

Note-taking tools and apps

Note-taking tools provide digital ‘notebooks’ where you can save and organise your notes and to-do lists. They range in functionality from very simple tools, like notehub, which allow you to save text to the web and share it with a link, to tools with a great deal more features.

Some tools enable you to clip from websites, include images, collaborate with others, and even convert your handwriting to text.

If you are interested in using these features for your learning log you could investigate EverNote or Google Keep.

If you are a registered Coventry University student you have access to Office 365 and you might like to explore using OneNote, which has a lot of additional functionality.

Portfolio tools

Portfolio tools are designed to help you collect and showcase your work. They have lots of functionality, including the ability to upload a variety of file types and multimedia, so it is easy to keep information from lots of different sources in one place.

You can choose to keep your portfolio private, make all or part of it publicly available, or share it with specific people.

There are a number of free portfolio tools available including PortfolioGen, PathBrite and FolioSpaces.

Your task

Why else do you think keeping a learning log or portfolio could be useful?

Have you got experience of using any of the tools that are mentioned? Can you think of any other tools or apps that might help you with this?

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Physical Health Assessment

Coventry University