It is important to keep a record of how your action research is going. How you keep a record is your choice; you are more likely to manage your notes and records if you find a way that will suit you best. Below are some suggestions and examples. There are also links to tutorials that may be useful if the software suggested is new to you.

Key points for all journals:

  • Set aside a time daily or weekly to journal
  • Use the time to reflect on action you’ve taken
  • Record action and reaction/result/impact
  • Date each entry
  • Use initials/anonymise learners

Handwritten notes

Use a dedicated notebook to keep all your notes together. You may even want to use this like a scrapbook so you can stick in feedback from students or any other evidence.

Microsoft Word or Pages

You may feel more comfortable typing your notes and ensuring that they are saved digitally. You could keep a folder for your research, having different documents for different dates, students or threads of research. You can also insert images into your documents if necessary, for example if you’ve written some notes by hand.


Padlet has many uses and is very versatile. Using Padlet, you can make notes and reflect in all manner of ways then upload them to Padlet to keep them all in the same place. You can also type directly into Padlet.

Click on the image below to see the Padlet in full. Find a tutorial on creating a Padlet here.

Notes on your smartphone

You may find this method helpful if you commute or travel a lot as it means there is nothing extra to carry about. You could also use notes on your smartphone to record your reflections to type up or save in a different way later.

Writing frames

Not sure where to start? Have a look at these writing frames:

Writing frame 1 (table format)

Writing frame 2 (free space format)

Ethics and further guidance (coming soon)