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13 Dec 2018
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NCTE 2018

I attended NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) for the first time a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. There were clearly two topics that I felt drawn to. The first… visual literacy and the second…females and their identities in literature.

I should also mention the phrase “mirrors and windows and sliding glass doors” that I consistently heard throughout the conference. Mirrors…the idea of someone like you being reflected in the book and knowing that your narrative matters and windows…exploring and seeing other people, cultures, and lifestyles. It was nice to be reminded that in addition to reading for pleasure, books can be vehicles for change, empathy, social justice, and exploring alternate world views. This Scholastic article goes a little deeper into the topic.

When I do one of these recaps, I am seeking to do two things, 1) organize and reflect on all of the ideas and resources AND 2) create a resource that is easy to navigate for others that may not have attended these sessions or NCTE at all. 

Rather than going session by session and transcribing my notes, I have decided to include the best ideas, resources, and books shared from the event. Enjoy. ūüėČ

Ideas and Instructional Practices

  1. 4 Quadrants: Harvey Daniels @smokeylit talked about looking at each quadrant of an image or piece of art and noting what you see, think, wonder, and infer. 
  2. Visual KWLs: Tanny McGregor @TannyMcG shared a KWL and noted examples of visual KWL’s which I loved. She has multiple examples linked here. And her new book Ink and Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension, and Thinking is available as well. 
  3. Gender in Art: This was probably my favorite. Nancy Steineke @nsteineke primed us with the question, “How does this art define women and men? Who they are? What they do? And the implied gender expectations? She then had us divide a sheet of paper into 2 columns: Men in Art (1200-1530) and Women in Art (1270-1519) and began to show us art pieces from that time frame and had us document our noticing. My Men in Art section had words like protector, violent, and active and Women in Art had words like madonna, care-taker, virgin, prim, matriarchal, religious, and passive. A fantastic idea to blend gender norms and visual literacy. (Presentation Linked HERE).


  1. CBLDF’s Using Graphic Novels in Education (lots of resources for using graphic novels in education)
  2. Lion Forge Educator (lots of resources and lesson plans for using comics and graphic novels in the classroom)
  3. Fierce Females: Owning Their Strong Voices and Bodies (a fantastic curated tour through books and current topics like gender roles and strength, standards of beauty, love and relationships across the rainbow, confronting mental health, and much more).
  4. Fierce Females Book List (categorizes books about privilege and intersectionality, mental health and wellness, love and relationships, gender roles, and standards of beauty)
  5. KidLit Women podcast (“A podcast of interviews and essays focusing on women’s and gender issues, including non-binary and gender fluidity, in the children‚Äôs literature community and all its intersectionality!”)
  6. ALA Amelia Bloomer List (“an annual annotated book list of well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18).”.
  7. Lambda Literacy List (largest LGBTQ literary community in the world)

Nonfiction Books and Awesome Authors

  1. Ink and Ideas: Sketchnotes for Engagement, Comprehension, and Thinking by Tanny McGregor
  2. Mental Illness in Young Adult Literature: Exploring Real Struggles though Fictional Characters by Kia Jane Richmond
  3. Taming the Wild Text: Literacy Strategies for Today’s Reader by Pam Allyn and Monica Burns
  4. Worth a Thousand Words: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Visual and Verbal Literacy by Meryl Jaffe and Talia Harwich 
  5. The Write Thing: Kwame Alexander Engages Students in Writing Workshop by Kwame Alexander


Fiction Books and Awesome Authors

  1. Sharon Draper’s Blended and Tears of Tiger (and many more)
  2. Renee Watson’s Piecing Me Together and Watch Us Rise
  3. Brigid Kemmerer Letters to the Lost and More than We Can Tell (and many more)
  4. Gabby Rivera’s Juliet Takes a Breath
  5. Padma Venkataraman’s Climbing the Stairs and The Bridge Home (and many more)
  6. Abbey Lee Nash’s Lifeline
  7. Katherine Locke’s The Girl with the Red Balloon and The Spy with the Red Balloon.
  8. Kim Briggs’s author of Star Fall (and many more)
  9. Jennifer Holm’s Swing it, Sunny¬†(and so many more)¬†
  10. John Hendrix’s The Faithful Spy¬†and Drawing is Magic: Discovering yourself in a Sketchbook (and more)
  11. Nathan Hale’s Lafayette!: a Revolutionary War Tale (and so many more Hazardous Tales)
  12. Lauren Spieller’s Your Destination is on the Left
  13. Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X
  14. Nisha Sharma’s My So-Called Bollywood Life

But Wait… There’s More

If conference recaps and resources or a list of books totally floats your boat the way it does mine, I have a few more links you might like:

13 Nov 2018
Comments: 0

On the Dot 2018 Recap

I have been trying to figure out the best way to encapsulate all of the awesomeness that was jammed into one day of “On the Dot”s inaugural “See it to Be It Success Summit” and I think the best way is a list and a blog post. First, I feel like I should mention what this conference was NOT. It was not a conference designed for educators per se, nor one that directly focused on students or education. What this conference DID HAVE was a gathering of women focused around supporting each other and achieving success.

As I work at a high school that is focused on CASEL’s Social Emotional Learning skills and partners with Stanford’s Challenge Success program AND I spend a fair amount of time supporting students in our CTE (Career and Technology Education) courses like Mentorship and the Incubator, I felt like this conference had some answers to questions that we might be asking in education… but may not find in traditional events designed by educators and geared solely to educators. That is not to say that I don’t attend educational conferences. I do and I thoroughly enjoy them and learn so much from them. I have posted links to many of my recaps of those events here. What I am saying is that broadening our scope and connecting with businesses and entrepreneurs allows us to interact with people and ideas that we may not have been able to glean otherwise.

What follows is a little inspiration, a little instruction, and a little insight from some of the amazing women I connected with. And so, Lisa’s Listicle of Lovely Learning commences… ūüėČ

On The Dot

First and foremost… you have to visit On the Dot’s site. They have amazing blog posts with tips on a variety of topics ranging from entrepreneurship and STEM to Health/Wellness and Politics and Activism. They also have two kick butt podcasts. “Four Minutes with On the Dot”¬†and “On the Spot with Melinda Garvey”. Both highlight successful and inspiring women and provide a large range of topics to binge on. If you are social, follow On the Dot on Instagram and Twitter.

Quips, Tips, and Quotes

There were so many great tips, lessons learned, and quotes and I have been struggling to find the best way to share those out in a meaningful way. Recently, I started playing with Adobe Spark Post to highlight some of my favorite quotes from the books I have read this year. This seemed like a great way to share out some of my favorite quips, tips, and quotes as well. And it gives you a broad range of people and ideas to connect with. Feel free to share these quotes and images on social media or print them and post them around your classroom or campus to brighten someone’s day. The link to all of these graphics is here.

I am also including their social media info if you would like to connect with them that way too and/or to support women owned businesses:

Own Every Room

Lisa Mitchell did a fantastic workshop. She is a Body Language and Communication expert as well as a Certified Forensics Interviewer. You can connect with her on Instagram and Twitter and find her website here. She shared a couple of tips for interacting with people (versus transacting). While they were mostly geared towards businesswomen, I think there are some take-aways that could be meaningful to our educational practice:

  • Be Intentional: Set Your Intention – If I were to meet you in 30 seconds, what 3 words would you want me to use to describe you. For me, it might be competent, trustworthy, and creativity or kind. Lisa also mentioned that there might be 3 different words if you were walking into work vs. your house. Her tip was to set these 3 words before you walk into a room and think about what those mean for your interactions.
  • Take Control of Your First Impression and Gain Their Trust – Within 7 seconds of being seen, a first impression is made. Are you a threat? A friend? Neutral? Would someone have confidence in you? Something as simple as smiling, acknowledging others, keeping your head high, and not being on your phone when you walk into a room (or a classroom) are simple ways to gain trust.¬†And speaking of trust… Lisa talked about keeping your hands visible (as opposed to behind your back). These seem obvious but I work in a support role with students and staff so these were a nice reminder.

Millennials and The Future

The year you were born corresponds to a label. For me, I am smack dab in the edge of ¬†two of these labels… Gen X and Millennial. Perhaps I am a Xennial… who knows? I digress (if you want to fall deeper down this rabbit hole, here is an article that delineates this better). Millennials are very much in the work force and in education. Generation Z would basically be one of my children (the one in middle school) and the younger… Gen Alpha (the children of millennials)… which are in our classrooms as well… though mostly in elementary. I swear I am getting to a point. Deloitte did a survey of 10,000 millennials across 36 countries and 1,800 generation Z’ers from 6 countries.

  • Parents Shape Students: The students in our classrooms (elementary and middle school) are the parents of these Gen Z and Millenials and we all know that parents help to shape the values of their children so I think at the very least an awareness of what those values is important.
  • Importance of Flexibility and Business Ethics:¬†Some of the findings brought to light that these generations are more concerned with the ethics of businesses and flexibility within the workplace than in previous generations.
  • Lack of Soft Skills Preparation: They also feel less prepared for work in Industry 4.0 and are looking to businesses to develop soft skills like creativity and interpersonal skills.

Their quick video does a better job of describing these findings (linked here) and embedded below. This will come as no surprise to any of you that incorporate social emotional learning skills, flexible seating, problem based learning, or design thinking into your classroom BUT it is a helpful reminder nonetheless.

I am fairly certain this won’t be the last time you hear me talk about On The Dot, soft skills, or college and career readiness skills. I hope this post inspires you to connect with these amazing women, ideas, and resources. And please feel free to reach out to me¬†¬†if there are additional topics you would like me to dig deeper into or share more of on

But Wait… There’s More…

If you are interested in additional conference recaps, I have provided some links below:


If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ

08 Aug 2018
Comments: 0

Values and Goal-setting

If you just want the FREE Values activity and tutorial, skip the first 3 paragraphs. I won’t be offended. ūüėČ BUT… if you would like a little more background to the activity, the next 3 paragraphs provide some context.

Context and Clarification to the Values and Goal-Setting Activities

I work at a High School so naturally college and career readiness skills are at the heart of what I do and at the forefront of my mind. The need for these skills blended with Social Emotional Learning skills was the reason I set out to write my first book, “Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students”. Flash forward a year or so, and I wanted to drill down into another section of college and career readiness skills that focused on self-management skills…which can be broken down into topics like stress-management, self-discipline, self-motivation, and goal-setting. These types of skills are at the heart of de-stressing and being successful in learning and in life. My second book (and much of my Instagram account) will focus on these timeless topics of goal-setting, time management, and reflection with practical tactics and will be released towards the end of 2018 via Dave Burgess publishing.

That being said… I also love deep dives into research. As such I like to read a variety of books from a variety of authors (if you are curious, I have a post on some of the ones I read in 2018 entitled “18 Books Everyone Should Read in 2018”).¬†Some write for an audience of educators and some write for CEO’s. Some books were brimming with productivity hacks and others are designed to provide strategies to achieve wellness in an unbalanced digital world. What I found so intriguing about all of these authors and topics is that each one started with values and goal-setting in some way or another no matter the audience.

Last school year, we adapted an exercise from this Taproot article and Ana Homayoun’s book “Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World”¬†(full disclosure… I got a pre-release copy of this book and had the opportunity to read it in depth. I highly recommend it and would not include it if I didn’t think it offered valuable insight and instructional best practices).¬†We had students essentially choose values that were important to them from the list offered and then put those values in categories with overarching themes. From there they could come up with a values statement (almost like a mission statement) or answer the question that was posed in Ana’s book, “How does your _____________ contribute to or hinder your ability to live up to the values you identified as personally important?‚ÄĚ. Last year this was done in analog and I have been searching my brain and the edusphere for a way to do it digitally. I have been enamored with the idea of Poetry Magnets so at first I thought I would create this activity in Google Slides. The downside is that while it played beautifully in Google Slides on a computer, it was a nightmare using the app on the iPad. It wasn’t till the Apple Distinguished Educators workshop that I attended a few weeks ago (full blog post with links and resources from this event linked here) that I was able to find the solution. In one of the workshops, they used a Numbers document, the shapes and icons within the spreadsheet, and locked certain pieces of the document so others could move over them… much like you can do with a SMARTboard.

Explanation of Values Activity and Document

With this idea in mind, I sought out to revamp our values activity with Numbers. The document below was created in Numbers on my Mac AND can be opened on any device (iPhone, iPad, Mac, iMac) that has the FREE Numbers app. I originally posted the idea on my Facebook page to see if there would be an interest in a longer blog post and as there was… I hope this post and the video are helpful. ¬†And I want to mention that¬†the document is fully editable (once you unlock certain pieces of media) so feel free to use and adapt it as you see fit.

  • Link to Document: The Numbers document is linked here.
  • Tutorial: The video (just shy of 5 minutes) is embedded below and linked here for your convenience.
  • Student Uses: I would definitely encourage the use of an activity like this with students before a goal-setting activity. Student’s values should serve as the foundation to their personal and academic goals. If values are not at the foundation, the goals tend to fall by the wayside because they are not intrinsic to who they are and what they value. In the video I have also suggested some additional ideas for how the final visual value statement could be used and stored.
  • Curricular Uses: I absolutely love creative writing SO I wanted to mention that this activity could also be turned into a values audit for a historical figure or a literary figure.
  • It is Yours: My whole philosophy has been around creating, curating, and sharing practical purposeful ideas/recipes with a dash of whimsy that could be easily adapted. So as a reminder… the document is FREE to use and can easily be adapted for other purposes.

If you use this resource and/or adapt it for your students, I would love to hear from you. You can email me¬†¬†or Tweet me @TechChef4u. ūüėČ

But Wait… There’s More…

If you are interested in some of the other activities and sessions we have created for students, I am linking a few more ideas and formats below:


19 Jul 2018
Comments: 1

2018 Worldwide Apple EDU Recap

So much learning is baked into a week of an Apple Distinguished Educator Worldwide Institute. And this year 38 countries assembled in one location… Austin, Texas… my hometown.¬†Cathy Yenca @MathyCathy¬†and I shared a room and it was great getting to catch up (even though we are in the same district… we don’t always get time to hear about the awesome things each is doing at our campuses and beyond) so this was a real treat.

To capture all of the learning from the week, you can sift through the #’s #AppleEDUchat, #ADE2018, and the most recent #EveryoneCanCreate.

Though the #’s are present, they are jam packed with goodies so I really wanted to drill down into some of my faves. I have taken several notes, explored a plethora of tools, and been inspired by innovative ideas that I absolutely plan on sharing back with my campus and district. BUT…As you know, I have always been a proponent of curation and sharing beyond district lines to the greater edusphere so a blog post seemed to make the most sense to collect all of this in one place.


We each attended 3 workshops of our choosing so I am providing my analog notes as well as the links and resources for each below the images (I would normally do that with Thinglink… but it is a long story so this will have to do for now).

“Capture the Moment with Clips”: I am fairly late to the game at perusing the FREE Clips iOS app BUT it really does have some good stuff in it. Picture a simpler iMovie with some graphics, stickers, labels, emoji and a way to do live transcripts on videos. So many classroom applications for this. To see all of them, follow the #classroomclips. To see the first one I created, click here. I have actually wanted to do more personally and professionally with video but wasn’t quite sure what the best tool would be for that. I think I found it though. So stay tuned for a new video series on organization, calendars, time management, goal-setting, bullet journals… via my @NoteChef4u Instagram account.

“Connect Math and Science through Creativity”: This one was excellent as well. Basically, they used a Numbers template to teach students the correlation between reaction time and sleep. The Numbers document had multiple colored tabs (corresponding to each of the numbered activities I mention below) which were useful for easily locating an activity BUT also great if you are using Apple Classroom with students so you can see what part of the project they are on. In addition to the Numbers spreadsheet, they also used the Reaction Timer game app to compose the data and record it in the table in Numbers. They mentioned a few support resources for Numbers that I wanted to share as well… Numbers for iPad Starter Guide AND Numbers for Mac Starter Guide.

“Improving Student Efficiency and Productivity with¬†iPad¬†: Though I had already designed some professional development around iOS 11 updates for my staff this year, I found some new ideas. I really liked the theme and the way they designed activities. They likened iOS updates to the evolution of music (e.g. record to 8 track to cassette to CD) and I found that to be a really nice metaphor. Some of my favorites were:

  • Timer: Do a long press on the timer in the new control center and it pops up this really nice slider so you can easily set a time.
  • Camera: I knew this one but it bears repeating because it is awesome. The camera scans QR codes.
  • Maps: You can see inside buildings, malls, airports, etc…

They have an additional # for their session #iOS11learning.

Wow: Amazing People and Ideas and Updates

The week isn’t just workshops though, there are developers that share updates to some of our favorite apps and fellow Apple Distinguished Educators that do showcases which are short 3 minute presentations “showcasing” an awesome thing they are doing with their students. And then there was the ADE Playground and lots of inspiring informal conversations. So… I scanned through my notes and my noggin and wanted to list out some of the highlights:

  • Stephanie Thompson: I was blown away by Stephanie¬†@traintheteacher and the Equity Maps app. Wow. This app basically helps you see and adjust for gender equity within class conversations by creating a platform to document time spoken, times spoken, directions of conversations, etc… Seriously, I was sold (yes, it is a paid app but technically you would only need one copy for your classroom). AND she even has a video of her students talking about how they use the app and the impact it had on them and their class. AND if that isn’t amazing enough… she has a blog post too!
  • Brendan Kelly: I got to meet Brendan Kelly @MrKelly027 in my homeroom group and absolutely loved hearing about how his students are creating and 3D printing braille puzzles for a fellow student in their class. I am not going to do this story justice but this video he shares does.
  • Rhea Flohr: Rhea @RheaFlohr was also in my homeroom group and seriously she ROYGBIV’s her apps in folders on her iPad so I instantly knew we would be friends. ūüėČ She also built this amazingly color-coded app site to list and categorize and provide info about each one for her teachers. I have been looking at doing something similar and you know I love me some color coding so this was just the inspiration I needed.
  • Joe Welch: Wow! Joe Welch’s @nhsdwelch Middle School Students have published 4 iBooks based on oral history primary research projects. Here is a link to the first book!
  • Sketchnoters: I am constantly in awe of amazing sketch-noters. Some of my favorites from this week were Sharon Drummond¬†@Sharon_Drummond, Ingvi H. Omarsson @IngviOmarsson, Faye Nicole Ellis @fayenicole, and Karen Bosch @karlyb¬†just to name a few.
  • Podcast Mic: I learned about a noise canceling podcast microphone, Samson Meteor, and the podcasting app Anchor¬†from Martin Coutts @mcoutts81 and Rachel Smith @lanclassarach. And Martin recently published a FREE iBook to walk people through the process of starting their own podcast.
  • Merge Cube: Got a Merge Cube from Dr. Theresa Cullen @DrTerriC and couldn’t wait to download the AR Adventure app 57 degrees North.
  • Battle Mania: Shaun Booker @lostarefound created a 5 minute video highlighting some of the best hidden tips and tricks from the iPad Battle Mania and it is most epic indeed! I mean… did you know you could move multiple apps at once?
  • Joy of PL (Professional Learning): I adore Kurt¬†@meesterkurt and Christine Klynen¬†@ckklynen. While I knew they and their team offered all of these awesome FREE iBooks, I had no idea that they also offered a full catalog of analog board and card games too like the Hashtag EDU game, Apple Teacher Dice, Urban Dice, School Character Cards, Team Role Cards, and Teacheropoly just to name a few.
  • Creativity Resources: Apple offers two new iBooks designed to inspire creative projects with video, photography, music, and drawing. The books include¬†“student work samples, learning objectives, and ideas for adapting the activities to subject-specific topics.” Here is the FREE¬†Teacher Guide and the Student Guide.
  • Pages: The Pages app now has SMART Annotation, Audio Recoding, Presenter Mode (which essentially turns your device into a teleprompter).
  • GarageBand: I had no idea about the toy box educational sound effects pack that includes sounds from wild animals, vehicles, soundscapes from outer space, or counting to 10 in a variety of languages.
  • Keynote:¬†As you know, ¬†I love me some keynote BUT wow… the draw and tap to fill and the animated drawings are beyond amazing. And oh the masking live video… I am over the moon. Rather than wait till I get home to create examples of these (as my son has commandeered my iPad Pro which has my iPad Pencil and used it to play Fortnite whilst I was away), I borrowed some from my amazing Apple Distinguished Educators via the thread #EveryoneCanCreate. Seriously, the drawing tools, the live animation, and the magnificent magic move… can’t wait to share these with our students this year!

While this list is in no way comprehensive, I hope it does inspire you to explore some of the updates, links, and resources, and connect with some of the awesome people I have mentioned throughout the post. I have included Twitter handles and direct links to their profiles to encourage the conversations and exchange of ideas beyond this week. I too was inspired to create my own project… a way to really hone in on the instructional design and thought processes that go into designing mass professional development for our students. Here is a link to the infographic I created for that purpose. And linked here is a Clips video I designed to introduce it.

But Wait… There’s More…

If you are interested in my typically interactive notes or additional conference recaps, I have provided some links below:


If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ





















20 Jun 2018
Comments: 0

The Complete Guide to Visual Note-takers, Bullet Journalists, and Inspiring Peeps

The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling, Visual Notes, and Planners for Educators

“Creatively Productive”: People to Follow

So many of these people are mentioned in my second book “Creatively Productive: Essential Skills for Tackling Time Wasters, Clearing the Clutter, and Succeeding in School and Life”. Rather than just listing them in the book, I chose to make this list evergreen and digital for two reasons: 1) now anyone can connect with these awesome people… not just those that have purchased the book (though I very much appreciate my #creativelyproductive PLN) AND 2) the list will be constantly updated and have direct links rather than be a one and done resource.

Throughout the book, I have shared interesting and intriguing people to follow on Instagram. Below is a collection of the ones that I mentioned throughout the book and several more for good measure. As many of these skills and products shared throughout the book are highly visual, it only makes sense that these individuals would choose the most visual social media platform to share their ideas and insights. While the list encompasses Instagrammers, check out their bios. Many of them have YouTube channels, Etsy stores where they offer analog and digital downloads and templates, and websites with blogs where they dig deeper into the ideas and topics from their feed.

I tried to separate these into categories of interest. I will say there is a lot of crossover in this field (e.g., many that use bullet journals also share illustrated notes, and those who share planners also share bullet journals). I tried to add people under the title that best described what they do, but know that many wear multiple hats. If these topics are of interest to you and/or your students, I highly encourage you to follow these people and connect with them. It should also be noted that I curated a longer list of bullet journalists than any other category. The reason being is that I wanted to showcase bullet journalists from a variety of walks of life and careers as well as geographic locations to highlight the massive reach and appeal that bullet journaling has as well as share how each one of these people makes the phenomenon their own.

Bullet Journalists
Student Bullet Journalists
  • @focusign: science student and bullet journalist.
  • @tbhstudying: high school student with amazing bullet journal and illustrated notes
  • @emtudier: teenager who shares her bullet journal and illustrated notes
  • @study.meds: medical school student who shares her bullet journal and illustrated notes.
Digital Bullet Journalists and/or Note-takers (Many Are Students)
Illustrated Notes and Sketch-noters
Journaling Prompts

Okay, perhaps this is not a “complete” list in the sense of “comprehensive” BUT what I can tell you is that if you follow these people, you will surely discover others. And pay attention to the #’s they use. Following those will definitely allow you to really target the specific rabbit hole you want to topple down.



If you want to visit or revisit all things #ScrapNotes or get a feel for some of the ideas and practices that inspired the book, check out these 5 posts and stay tuned for more:


If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio‚Ķ visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ






18 Apr 2018
Comments: 0

8+ Creative Ways to Use to Old Library Cards

As you well know, I love books, art supplies, and journaling. Recently, I started offering a session called “Notable Note-taking”. It is a mash-up of bullet journaling and a reader/writer’s notebook and I blend both analog and digital tools. One of my favorite analog tools is the library card. In the art journaling and mixed media realm and on etsy, this little gem is quite the hot commodity. In fact Heidi Pitri has just published a book entitled “Permanent Record” using this kickstarter campaign¬†that features artfully embellished ones. She refers to these cards as “borrower cards” or “signature cards” and has created original pen and ink drawings on these cards from classic titles and authors. Check her out on Instagram @heidipitreart. Oftentimes these library cards are referred to as ephemera (e.g. collectible memorabilia). And if you have a few hours, search “ephemera” on etsy. You will discover 200,000+ results. And a search on etsy of “library cards” provides well over 7,000 results.

Let’s Love on these Library Cards…

So… I thought I would share some ideas for using these library cards in the classroom… The idea would be to let students choose a card that speaks to them by the title alone and then…

  • Compose a Poem
  • Generate a List
  • Create a List of Suggested Books (like Amazon)
  • Compose a Soundtrack for the Book
  • Jot down the first and last Sentence of the book
  • Determine what questions this book Answers
  • Chart out the chapters this book would include
  • Draft the cover of the book
  • Imagine Who would Check Out this book (e.g. current, historical, literary, fictional)

And here are a few examples of how I have used them in the past in my own journal:

Truly, the sky is the limit for these and how they are used. And remember these can be app smashed with pretty much any tool to create something really amazing. Oh wait… I think I gave away the next part…. ūüėČ

Let Me at those Library Cards

Of course the problem with these signature or library cards is that they are indeed ephemera and at some point, they will run out… so I decided to scan 50 or so of my favorites and upload them here. The beauty of making them digital is that we will have them preserved forever AND now they can be mixed with digital elements. They can be annotated in apps like Notability, collaged and embellished in apps like Pic Collage, and augmented in Thinglink. I hope you enjoy. And if you come up with another idea for these and/or would like to share yours or your student’s creations… please email me at or tweet me @TechChef4u.


Literally Ephemera is Legit

I really try. But I am literally incapable of ending a blog post without leaving you with just a bit more… If you like this idea of ephemera and creative writing, let’s take a quick jaunt. I have curated two Pinterest boards of digital ephemera goodies here (Fuzzimo and Ephemera). These should be FREE downloads of digitally scanned in goods and papers. And if you are like me and want to wholeheartedly tumble down the rabbit hole, I will leave you with some other sites to soften the blow. ūüėČ These little analog… now digital gems are perfect for visual research papers and assignments as well as some pretty stellar creative writing projects too.

  • The Ephemera Society: They include an item of the month with a description and sometimes historical relevance.
  • Vintage Images Gallery: There are thousands of images included her and classified by section (e.g. labels, ads, movie posters, fashion, etc…)
  • Inspired Barn: There are many freebies on this site. Some of my favorites are the book covers and vintage mail.
  • Artefacts: This site is a treasure trove.
  • Clearly Vintage: Also fantastic. I love that she shares pictures with descriptions.

Sometimes I share fully baked ideas and sometimes I like to provide all the ingredients and see what you cook up. In this case, I have opted for the latter. Dig into these digital goods and consider how these historical artifacts can and should impact and inform our current art, writing, research, storytelling, and ideas.



If you want to get a head start on all things #ScrapNotes before my next post… check out these 5 posts and stay tuned for more:


If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ





27 Mar 2018
Comments: 0

4 Reasons to Attend .EDU

This past week I had the opportunity to speak and attend .EDU in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The event is held on a university campus Universidad Regiomontana and put on by university students for the 400+ attendees (teachers) and 40+ Apple Distinguished Educators at the two day event. And I just have to give them all a shout-out. They were so kind and supportive of anything we needed. Ana always made sure I had water and enough scissors for my session (so people could cut out the Communication Catchers from my book). And another was kind enough to ferry myself and Michael Cohen (the Tech Rabbi) around Monterrey so he could get kosher tortillas and I could visit a bookstore.


While this post is really a reflection of the .EDU event, it is also my own thoughts about what made this event special and things to consider when selecting a conference to attend. These are my Notes to Self. ūüėČ

University Campus

To my knowledge, I have only attended one other event on a college campus… iPadpalooza OU. And I will tell you that I highly encourage it. After all if you are not a professor and/or a parent to a college student, odds are that you haven’t been on a college campus for awhile. As we are preparing our youth for colleges and careers, I think it is always important to have an idea of what that means. Perhaps, next year, I can actually catch a glimpse of a college class in session… but in the interim I can at least share with you some of the spaces. The ones below are a large learning commons that is divided into 6+ different classrooms that are mobile and are not defined by walls.

Note to Self: Consider attending an event held on a college/university campus.

Language and International Coverage

I did take Spanish in HS and college… most likely 4 or 5 years in total. Yet without opportunities to actually speak it, it largely got packed in a box somewhere in a cobwebbed corner of my brain. The cool thing about this event was it was held in a Spanish-speaking country so I was immersed with language from the people that I interacted with to my surroundings (e.g. visuals, signs, etc…). And I have to tell you that I loved it. I woke up the second day and for some reason, rather than “breakfast”, my mind said “desayuno”. While I am not fluent by any means, the Spanish did come back and I had multiple opportunities to use it. I should clarify, though, the entire event was not in Spanish. My sessions and about half of the others were in English and the others in Spanish. The keynotes were the same way. Some were in Spanish and others in English. They actually had an interpreter during those keynotes that would translate on the fly and those that wanted to listen to the English keynotes in Spanish could with headsets. I even had a moment to explore a bookstore close to the university. And I fell in love with a journal that I will now have to either learn to translate and/or be okay with Google’s Translations. And as it turns out Acarid Portal Arraez is a wildly popular author (she has over 1 million Instagram followers) AND my dear friend Felix Jacomino translated the complete title… “The Diary of an Illusion. This diary is not mine, it’s ours. A timeless agenda.” I mean wow. Check out my Instagram for a few more shots of the book’s pages.

I also found a Spanish version of Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work” book which Felix Jacomino has informed me actually translates to “Learn to Promote Your Work”.

Okay back to things that aren’t books. ūüėČ The .EDU event had teachers from 3 different countries… United States, Mexico, and Colombia. I realize that we can’t all travel to foreign countries BUT we can consider attending conferences that typically boast an international audience. Conferences like ISTE, SXSWEDU, Learning and the Brain, and many of the ETT Summits have people come from all over the globe. The connections and learning from and with these people should not be understated.

Note to Self: Consider attending a conference with an international audience.


When I attended SXSWEDU a few weeks ago (blog post here), I spent a fair amount of time combing through the online schedule. I am happy to say that I didn’t attend one bad session and haven’t in the past 2 years. The reason being… I spend time researching speakers and/or the topic. For example, when I saw the session topic “Human Skills for Digital Natives”, I was intrigued. Then I noticed that one of the speakers was Manoush Zomorodi. Upon further inspection, I realized she was the host of the podcast “Note to Self” which I have listened to and loved so I was sold on this session and it did not disappoint. Additionally, when I saw that Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall were presenting, I know I didn’t even have to read the description because I read their book and knew that their workshop would be amazing! Please know that this is not to say that someone that doesn’t have a speaker bio would put on a bad session and/or that Manoush couldn’t have an off day. It is more to say that when you spend time looking at topics and speakers prior to an event (rather than the morning of), you get a better feel for which sessions and/or speakers will best meet your needs. If it is your first time attending the conference, then I would suggest following the #’s for the conference on Twitter and connecting with educators there and getting tips that way. For my first ISTE, Diane Darrow was absolutely invaluable. I looked at the ISTE catalog of sessions and was completely overwhelmed. As she was more familiar with the event and the speakers, she basically helped navigate me through those first few days and made sure that my time was spent on quality relevant sessions. And yes, I know it is a week away, but I have already started peering at the TLA session guide to see which ones I would like to attend.

Alas, I digress. What I think is really unique and special about the .EDU event is the fact that there were 40+ Apple Distinguished Educators in attendance. They teach and work at schools all over the globe and bring very unique stories and content to the table and I felt so blessed to connect and learn from all of them. If you are curious what sessions were offered this year, I am including a link to day 1 and day 2. Below is a list of the 2018 speakers. If you click on the image below and/or this link, it will take you to an interactive version of the image below so you can see all of the sessions and descriptions. And can you believe that all of these awesome speaker graphics were created in Keynote too?!

If you are interested in a quick overview of the event, check out this 3 minute video.

Note to Self: Consider attending a conference where you are familiar with a few of the speakers and/or look up speaker bios and session descriptions prior to the day of attending sessions. Another option is to follow the conference # and/or find/make a¬†friend online that is attending and can steer you through it like a conference sherpa. ūüėČ

Session Resources

First, as I mentioned the sessions were amazing. I have shared multiple links above in the Speakers session. Additionally, if you would like to see more about this event and the sessions…follow @EduCongresso on Twitter and/or sift through the #eduerre.

Second, this is more of a personal realization but I liken it to tweaking a lesson after 1st period. I have been speaking for the past 7-8 years and I have session resources all over the internet. Sometimes I build a session in Haiku Deck or Slideshare. Other times a, Smore, Bulb, or Thinglink. And what I started to realize after explaining the convoluted way to get to all of my resources was… there has to be a better way. So I spent the better portion of the weekend (after the kids went to bed) updating my site. It isn’t done yet, BUT I did manage to add all of the resources, links, and decks that correspond to the sessions and workshops I have been delivering recently. So whether you have attended one of my sessions, plan to attend one, and/or are simply intrigued by the topic… they are here for you.

Note to Self: When presenting content, create a central link for each session and a central repository for all session resources. This could be a Weebly site or a Blog. Pollinating the internet with great ideas is good too… just make sure they can get back to the originator. ūüėČ



If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ



21 Mar 2018
Comments: 1

SXSWEDU 2018 Recap and Interactive Notes

I always get questions about SXSWEDU from fellow educators and how it compares to other conferences and events so I wanted to address that in this post.

Background on SXSWEDU

There really is no comparison to TCEA and/or ISTE. While SXSWEDU, TCEA, and ISTE are all essentially conferences for educators, they differ greatly in their scope and focus. TCEA and ISTE are perfect for learning about new tools and fun engaging ways to deliver content. SXSWEDU, however, is one of the only ones that I know that is at the cross section of K-12, higher education, entrepreneurs, and politicians. You won’t find sessions like “How to Use Kahoot” but you will find sessions with overarching big ideas and trending topics organized by track like “Cognitive Process” , “Employability”, “Equity”, “Leadership”, “SEL”, etc… ¬†I don’t think one is better than the other… it is more just choosing the right conference for the right purpose. If I had to choose, I would actually do SXSWEDU and a conference like ISTE or TCEA on a rotating basis so I would get the best of both worlds. I am fortunate that TCEA and SXSWEDU both happen to be (at least for the time being) in Austin, TX, my home town. ūüėČ

So with that said, I wanted to share my SXSWEDU recap for those that either didn’t attend this year and/or didn’t attend the sessions I took notes on.

Background on My Note-Taking

I have been taking notes again in analog for the past 3 years or so. I find it helps me stay focused and not get so distracted. I also tend to remember what I write more and I find I return to the notebooks more often than I did with my digital notes. The downside is that all of the notes are analog and I can’t easily share links to resources. Thinglink has been a godsend for that as it allows me to add pictures, text pop-ups, and links to slide decks, videos, etc…

I will be sharing my process in greater detail in an upcoming post. In the interim. I wanted to share my interactive notes. I should also mention that each note and/or link has a part 2 which can be accessed by clicking on the arrows on each image. Again… All of the images below ARE INTERACTIVE … if you don’t immediately see the interactive nubbins, hover over the image. ūüėČ I wouldn’t want you to miss any of the resources, links, and nuggets.

Balancing Learning with Analog and Digital

So without further ado… Here are my notes. I should also mention… while these aren’t the notes form every session I attended, they were the best and most informative/actionable¬†sessions of the lot:
Schooling and Getting Schooled
Keynote:¬†“Schooling and Getting Schooled”¬†– This was live storytelling from Moth trained educators and was riveting and insightful.

Human Skills for Digital Natives

Human Skills for Digital Natives¬†– This session was downright fantastic. I ended up buying the book. It was about the importance of boredom and how it positively impacts creativity. Very timely and lots of great data and information shared about regulation. Also, the speaker is the host of the podcast “Note to Self”.

Rigorous Whimsy: Understanding Through Creativity

Rigorous Whimsy: Understanding Through Creativity¬†– I read this book last summer. It is written my two of my favorite people Dan Ryder and Amy Burvall. It is chocked full of great ideas to infuse creativity. I have also added it to my “18 Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” list with a slightly more detailed description.

Empathetic By Design

Empathetic By Design РThis session was about designing learning spaces for students with autism AND they have a really interesting eBook on the topic too. Multiple photos are included.

Slam Poetry + Standup Comedy = Engaged Learning

Slam Poetry + Standup Comedy = Engaged Learning Р This session was downright fantastic and it dealt with mental health issues expertly with poetry, comedy, and writing prompts.

Designing Your Life by Stanford’s Life Design Lab

Designing Your Life by Stanford’s Life Design Lab¬†– By far my favorite. 2 hours well worth spent. I have this book in my Amazon cart and this whole session would be fantastic for any Career and Tech courses and/or for any lessons and/or writing projects on colleges and careers.

I hope you enjoyed these notes. If you are interested in seeing more of these interactive notes from other events and conferences, my Thinglink profile is linked here and houses them all.


If you want to dig deeper into analog note-taking before my next post… check out these 5 posts:



If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio… visit the TechChef4u speaking page for more info or email

And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ

04 Jan 2018
Comments: 0

18 Awesome Analog Things to Try in 2018

We all have a special way of closing out the previous year and ushering in the new one. Carl Hooker posted “A Look Back on Bold Predictions of 2017” and Monica Burns created an EdTech Inspiration calendar with “12 Tips for 2018“. I rounded out 2017 with “Calendexes, Productivity Bingo, and Students! Oh My!” which contains a FREE 2018 Calendex and “18 Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” which includes brief and personal reviews of each of the books listed. I have somewhat lapsed on my #ScrapNotes series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 are linked here) which I initiated in 2017 in favor of my Student Professional Development series. Part 5 of the the #ScrapNotes series was to be “The Complete Guide to People, Ideas, and Inspiration”. So I decided to offer all of the inspiration, people, and ideas… just with a slightly different name, “18 Awesome Analog Things to Try in 2018”. Before we dive right in, I wanted to touch on a few points:

  • ANALOG TECHNOLOGIES: I am by no means touting 2018 as the year of analog, but I do feel that analog still has a very real foundation in our personal and professional world. Furthermore… if you look up the word “technology”… it really boils down to “the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.” Below are simply “technologies”… they are techniques, methods, and processes that are used in accomplishing a variety of personal and professional objectives. The difference is that they are analog, tangible, and IRL (In Real Life) versus digital. I should also mention that only the first 5 on the list focus on materials or products… the next 13 are more strategies and tools so don’t get too hung up on washi tape and acrylic stamps if that isn’t your thing. ūüėČ
  • SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING: And if you are familiar with CASEL’s core SEL (Social Emotional Learning) competencies, many of these analog gems serve the purpose of exploring and fostering these skills (e.g. self-awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making).
  • WHET YOUR PALETTE:¬†I should mention I really could spend an entire blog post on each of these topics but in the interest of brevity and the true art of literary restraint… I am going to showcase all 18 in one post. Now that sounds more like a circus feat than an actual skill. :/ Truly my goal is not to be comprehensive but provide a sound jumping off point for a variety of tools and best practices that might be equal parts timely and equal parts tantalizing. Many of these tools and techniques have multiple examples online. For those, I defer to the adage “a picture is worth a blog post” and include a link to one rather than drowning you with a paragraph or two on each one.
  • UNIVERSAL AUDIENCE: If you have been following my “Students Need Professional Development Too” series, then you know that several of the following 18 ideas, tools, and techniques have been shared with secondary students in a variety of fashions. If you engage in writer or reader’s notebooks with your students, then these are also a great fit. But… these tools are certainly not for students alone. I have explored, utilized, and embraced the vast majority of these tools and techniques. So please know they can be easily integrated with students and staff alike.


  1. Analog Journal: I used to scrapbook and journal back in the day and as of a few years ago, I started that process back up and I have to tell you that I just absolutely love it. It helps me stayed organized, focused, and happy. I will tell you that I am not alone in the process. There are multiple sites devoted to the techniques,¬†several Facebook groups, and a slew of Instagram #’s. I don’t actually full “bujo” as I use both a bullet journal and a planner BUT many people do. If you want to get into this, I suggest checking out, bohoberry,com, and I have also curated a Pinterest board of 300+ examples and inspirations. This topic of analog and bullet journaling is a very deep rabbit hole but totally worth it. The best advice I can give you is take note of the ideas you like and want to try… and just try a few. Don’t become overwhelmed.
  2. Instant Camera: I don’t know if it is the nostalgia or the novelty… but a few months ago I bought a Fujifilm Instax camera. What I love about it boils down to two things… the image you get is instant in a tangible way AND since the film is costly and you only get one photo… there is something special and original about the image… one of a kind. I use these to add a little something special to my journal pages and my boys get a kick out of the “printing” and “developing” phases so there’s that too. Here is an example. I have a few others that are actual pictures of people too.
  3. Washi Tape: I would be remised if I didn’t mention this tool. It is basically pretty painter’s tape (not for painting… that would be wasteful) and you can find it almost anywhere from Wal-Mart and Target to Michael’s and even Office Depot and Dollar Tree. I love it for a variety of reasons. I have used it to organize whiteboards and I have used it to create visual distinctions and spaces on the pages in my journals. It is also great if you make a mistake as you can cover it. That tends to be one of the most difficult things for people embracing the analog journal… handling mistakes. You can’t just delete a typo and tearing out a page out of a nice Moleskine or Leuchtturm1917 isn’t an option everyone relishes. Thus, finding creative ways to embrace your mistakes or turn them into art is a bit of a life lesson… washi tape and stickers do wonders for this. If you are interested in the history of this fanciful masking tape that originated 12 years ago in Japan, this post gives more of an overview. You also know you have gone a little wacky for washi… when you start ordering your washi from places like Singapore… but I would know nothing about that. ūüėČ
  4. Planner Stickers, Labels, and¬†Acrylic¬†Stamps:¬†If you are going to go analog, stickers and labels aren’t necessarily a must but definitely really helpful. One of the biggest questions I get asked is about brands. Honestly, I love me some Michael’s and they carry both Jane Davenport’s (@janedavenport) an Dyan Reaveley’s (@dyanreaveley) lines of stickers and stamps. I should also mention both of them are very active on Instagram so you constantly get to see their inspirations and their tools in action. And Dyan’s has some awesome stickers that are intentionally black and white so you can color them. Labels: Labels are helpful to cover mistakes and to denote order on a page. Stickers: I also love stickers to break up the vastness of a page.¬†And honestly… there are very few people that I have met in my lifetime… man… woman… or child… that don’t appreciate a good sticker. Acrylic (or clear) Stamps: These are similar to rubber stamps but much cheaper and you have the ability to combine multiple stamps to make a unique design as they are essentially reusable stickers that are stamps. I have a few of these and am looking forward to exploring them more this year. I should also mention that you can find these pretty much anywhere… even Dollar Tree. Here is a quick run down on clear stamps.
  5. Ephemera: There are those of us that love antiques and the idea of history. Ephemera is essentially something that is fleeting. People create journals from vintage McCall’s patterns¬†or turn images into witty memes or sayings like the book, “Pattern Behavior: The Seamy Side of Fashion”. Ephemera can be analog… Tim Holtz offers an entire collection of these. It can also be digital and then used in digital art. Mischief Circus offers several of these. It is big in the art journaling world… in fact my sister-in-law has multiple examples on her site¬†and has been published in the Art Journaling magazine (which you can pick up at Barnes and Noble). There are also entire Instagram ( accounts and Etsy sites devoted to ephemera. I have¬†curated 100 or so pieces here that can be printed or used digitally. Truly these can be used in collages or a springboard for poetry and creative writing. The lists goes on and on.
  6. Values Exercises: Before you choose one of the activities or tools, below, a values exercise is helpful. It is like a pre-assessment… it gives you a good idea of what you value and what you don’t which is super helpful in what trackers, prompts, and exercises you want to tackle. has a values exercise activity and has an article with a handout embedded that guides through the exercise.
  7. Mission Statement: Mission statements are similar to a value exercise. They are kind of like a compass for you and your year. Some people choose #oneword to guide them. The mission statement just allows you to take that big idea and break it down into its multiple facets. Here is a mad libs like example.
  8. 6 Month Visual Goals: I love goal-setting and visuals seem to make this easier. It is sometimes more difficult to recall your goals when they are lengthy lists versus a series of images. Here is an example from fellow instagrammer @cardigansandchamomille and mine is shown above and linked here.
  9. 10 Minute Journal: I happed on these a few months ago and absolutely love them. Christie Zimmer offers 8 10 minute journaling prompts which are a fantastic place to start. An open-ended journal can be really daunting so this is an easy way to ease into the process. I also love that she includes multiple prompts that result in lists or images not just paragraph text.
  10. Calendex: If you read my last post, then you may have been intrigued with the idea of a calendex (the mash-up of a calendar and an index). I like these for tracking trends. For example, I have already created one for work. My goal was to get a good idea of how many times a month I did each of the following things (e.g. blogged, created something, had a meeting, offered student, staff, or parent professional development). So I created a symbol and color to represent each of these. Honestly, with the calendex… seeing really is believing so I recommend taking a gander at that post as I have included multiple links and examples.
  11. Mood Tracker: Mood trackers tend to be very popular in the analog and bullet journal world. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Since there are so many examples and varieties, I thought it best just to link to a few examples… @organizatecreando, @theblueplanner, @buujoo, @andreasbujo, and¬†@creapassionink.
  12. Doodle a Day: There are several doodle-a-day challenges. I have decided to take a slightly different spin on these. I use a Doodle-a-Day when I am on break for an extended period of time (e.g. medical leave, Christmas, Spring Break, summer) and I draw one image each day to represent what I did that day or perhaps the most memorable event from that day. It is a great way to be reflective and it is so easy to account for your time off in a way that is meaningful. I have included an example of the one I did when I was out in November and the one I am still working on for holiday break (see below).
  13. Productivity Bingo: I totally “borrowed” this idea from @lalalauren.creates on Instagram. The idea is basically creating a to do list as a bingo board and gamifying it. I include more information on this topic and additional examples in my previous post. And there are Productivity Meters too… thanks @the.petite.planner for this one. ūüėČ
  14. Self Care Bingo: If you are focused on mindfulness, this is a great exercise. Basically, it is Productivity Bingo but with ideas that are personal to you to rejuvenate or refresh. I have included an example from @lalalauren.creates, one I developed, and a self care tracker from @kb.creative_.
  15. Year in Pixels: I have seen this idea for 2-3 years and while I absolutely love it, I can’t seem to embrace the habit. The idea is really cool though. It is basically a year’s worth of mood trackers all in one. And it kind of looks like a really haphazard and poorly played game of tetris when you complete it… but it really is such an amazing visual history. Here are two example setups¬†@lalalauren.creates¬†and¬†@alexanndoodles¬†and here is a completed one ala @greenishplanning.
  16. Habit Tracker: Ah the habit tracker. This one is probably as common in the bullet journal realm as the mood tracker. If you want to start doing something or stop doing something, this is a great tool. Recently, I came across this explanation from @decadethirty and I think it is exceptionally valuable no matter what habit you are trying to form and/or what habit tracker tool you are using. Here are two additional examples @buujooo¬†and¬†¬†and a template from Passion Planner’s site.
  17. Sleep Tracker: With all of the research on sleep, it is wise and helpful to actually track it. Yes, there are digital tools that do this. Honestly, there are digital tools for many of these… but too often these tools can be an additional distraction. They may also not include a journaling component and/or they may not track or display the specific or general data that you seek. Here are four analog examples @j.creas,¬†@bulletbyjulia, @kb.creative_, and @rainbowbulletjournal.
  18. H20 Tracker: This is another big one for both students and adults. I can tell you for a fact that I don’t drink enough water. There are a variety of ways to track this. Here is a template from Passion Planner’s site.


You know me… I always like to leave you with a few more nuggets. If you are intrigued or inspired by any of the 18 above, I wanted to share some additional support resources…

  • Research Mindfulness and Journaling:¬†I think the coolest thing about analog journaling, reflection, and habit tracking is how much research is there to support it and how many books I find that tout it. I recently wrote a blog post for the counseling department of our high school that aggregated several bits of research on the impact of journaling which is linked here. There are also multiple books on my “18+ Books Everyone Should Read in 2018” that touch on some of these topics directly and/or indirectly. I have also curated multiple examples and articles on this Pinterest board.
  • Join a FB Group or Check out an Instagram #: Facebook Groups and Instagram #’s happen to be one of the best ways to not only learn more about these “analog” topics and tools but to also connect with others that are trying them. I am seasoning the end of this post with a few of each.
    • Facebook Groups: Bullet Journal School Edition,¬†Bullet Journal Share, Bullet Journaling Tips and Tricks. There is even a Bullet Journal Writers group too!
    • Instagram #’s: In addition to all of the Instagrammers I have highlighted throughout this post, there are some #’s that will lead you closer to the prize: #bulletjournal, #bujo, #bulletjournaljunkies, #journaling, #creativejournaling, #loveforanalogue. I really only use these to find people that share awesome ideas I want to emulate and then after I follow them, I start seeing these people in my feed.



If you are interested in booking Lisa Johnson and/or would like to know more about her speaking history or professional development portfolio‚Ķ visit the¬†TechChef4u speaking page¬†for more info or email¬† And‚Ķ Check out her latest creation‚Ķ the book ‚ÄúCultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students.‚ÄĚ SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave SaveSave SaveSave