Background: The current and future workforce is challenged to adapt to changing environments and become lifelong, self-regulated learners. Learning journals can regulate learning processes through scaffolding reflection on rich experiences. However, learning journals are not effective per se. This study investigates the effects of an online learning journal platform, called 'LearnDoc'; that provides scaffolds for learners in their initial vocational education and training. The specific research questions addressed in this paper are what usage patterns emerge from learners' use of the LearnDoc platform, when do learners create their journal entries, and how do usage patterns and procrastination relate to learners'final exam performance. Methods: The LearnDoc platform has been used throughout a 3-year training program by a cohort of Swiss vocational students (N = 132). Different usage patterns (intensity and pacing) and learning strategies (metacognitive and non-metacognitive) were distinguished through a mixed methods approach. Results: Results indicate a significant link between learning journal pacing patterns and learners'final assessment performance. Learners who finished with higher grades tended to start generating their learning journals earlier and made more use of the learning strategies"planning, monitoring, debugging" while weaker students focused more on "evaluation". Findings suggest that students' perceptions of the purpose of learning journals influence their pacing strategies and selection of learning strategies. Conclusions: These results are valuable for the design of effective scaffolds for a better and a more reflective usage of learning journals in vocational education and training.