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Personal Project 2017/18: Process Journal

Important points

The process journal is the most important part of your entire personal project. If your process journal is thorough and well-organized, it will make it easier for you to write the final report.

  • Document your thinking, ideas and the development of the project 

  • It is a working document, it does not need to be neat and well presented

  • Show your supervisor evidence of the process documented in the journal at every meeting or by providing digital access

  • It can be written, visual, audio or a combination of these and might include both paper and electronic formats.

  • Each entry in your process journal should be clearly dated to show progression

  • It contributes to assessment through the 10 extracts you include as appendices at the back of your report, but you must refer to these extracts/appendices in your report with explanations about what they demonstrate

  • The journal will be submitted for display purposes at the Presentation Evening. 



Possible things to include in your process journal

Helpful headings

you could use to provide a structure to your journal, ensuring you make best use of the journaling process

Work completed this week

this section should detail all aspects of work completed on the personal project in the week

Resources consulted

you can record bibliographical details in this section. You should also record details of any conversations that took place with sources relating to the project

Challenges or difficulties faced

you should detail obstacles and indicate how you did or intended to deal with them

Evaluation of progress

this is where you should refer to your initial goals and indicate whether or not you are achieving them. You may also identify any areas that need improvement at this stage

Planning: tips and Hints

  • begin the process journal immediately
  • start recording your initial thoughts and considerations
  • the more you add to your journal the easier it will be to write your report

Process Journal Templates

Divide your journal into four sections: Investigating, Planning, Taking Action and Reflecting. Print off each of these four templates and paste them at the beginning of each of the corresponding sections.

They will remind you of what criteria you need to address in each of the four sections.


  • The process journal is not submitted for assessment as a whole but contributes to the overall assessment by the addition of carefully chosen journal extracts (max 10) included as appendices
  • You are required to submit up to 10 extracts (A4 photocopies) as appendices, at the end of your report
  • These appendices must be numbered and contain evidence of the ATL skills
  • The journal will be displayed at the Presentation Night

How to select the extracts

  • All extracts must show evidence of the five ATL skills; research, thinking, self-management, communication and social 
  • They must demonstrate development in all the criteria: investigating, planning, taking action and reflection
  • The extracts should be numbered as appendices and arranged in number order at the end of your report
  • Throughout your report you should discuss the ATL skills you used and refer to the appropriate appendix to show such evidence
  • Visit the Appendix/Extract Tab of the Guide for more information

Possible demonstration of ATL skills: Planning

Possible demonstration of ATL skills: Self-management skills

Objective A: Planning

Challenge level

  • Set goals
  • Keep a basic log or timeline planning for the project
  • Manage time and effort for short periods of time
  • Set goals that are challenging and realistic
  • Plan short- and long- term milestones; meet deadlines
  • Keep an organised and logical system of information
  • Practise strategies to overcome distractions
  • Practise dealing with disappointment and unmet expectations
  • Organise time and energy for a sustained period of time
  • Keep and use a weekly planner for milestones
  • Practise strategies to develop mental focus
  • Practise analysing and attributing causes of failure
  • Practise managing self-talk and positive thinking
  • Practise dealing with change throughout the project
  • Make plans that are logically sequential and efficient
  • Demonstrate persistence and perseverance
  • Use appropriate strategies for organising complex information
  • Select and use technology effectively and productively
  • Practise “bouncing back” after adversity, mistakes and failures