My first thought about the journal stuff ....
When we first started talking about PEP four years ago, a lot of people were emphatic that it should include proof that people read certain books or that they received certain formal training. That there should be standardized tests on each topic. For a while I bought into that, and then changed my mind. While I agree that testing and getting verification that something has passed through one's brain is important, I think that is a function for something other than PEP.
So when I started reading about the journal stuff here, my knee-jerk reaction was "no."
If you don't keep a journal, then you are dependent on the notes from other books and videos and classes and stuff. And efficacy will change DRAMATICALLY depending on location grown, variety, irrigation habits, fertilization, etc. It is a bit like the landrace stuff in that regard.
Efficacy is critical. And no book or course is going to tell you the efficacy of the stuff on your land. It's like studying the weather in florida and then using that information in montana: what is this white stuff that keeps falling from the sky? Why do my orange trees keep dying?
So dosage on one property could be quite different from dosage on a property a hundred miles away. You MUST learn the efficacy for your property.
Next comes the question of whether a digital journal is allowed. I like what Carla said: "Herbology is a discipline and like a habit requires repetition. Write it down, write it down, write it down." --- so, paper. If you go digital, it is far too tempting to copy and paste. At the same time, digital has a lot of other perks.
As I wrote here
, PEP is for learning, but not for learning. It is framework in which to record what you have learned, thus helping you to learn. It is not the lessons. So PEP is not about how you got it done, PEP is about recording that you got it done.
Therefore, I think that while "write it down, write it down, write it down" works ten times better on paper for learning this stuff, that's not my problem. I need to show Otis that you have a journal and have recorded efficacy. That can be pictures of the paper or it can be a link to a google doc.
Last note: I can already hear the people that love the other badges insisting that they should have a journal too. I'm open to hearing the argument for it, but it is unlikely I will approve it.
Grand summary: journal is required. Digital is okay.