Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Journal and Diary

Journal vs Diary

The difference between a journal and a diary can be explained by saying that a journal is a book of poems expressing one’s feelings, emotions, fears, and most intimate thoughts; whereas a diary is like a news report about you. Anyone can understand the difference between reading a newspaper and reading poetry.

In a diary you write about what you did the whole day since you got up in the morning, your routine, your “to do” list. In a journal you write about how you felt about the whole day, or about a particular person, or just one thing that happened to you and how it made you feel and react, how it affected you emotionally. It helps in the personal growth of a person. Journals provide an insight into the person writing it.

Take up a pen and start writing. This is how journals are written. No editing, no thinking, just continuous thoughts pouring out on the paper. A diary, on the other hand, is more of a disciplined writing. You pick it up at the end of the day and log the events that happened throughout the day, your assessment, your goals, your achievements, your failures, your targets. It’s about life happening everyday as a routine.

A diary is a diary. Meaning it has to be a notebook of some kind, spiral or regular; whereas a journal can be anything portable. It can be many loose papers bound together; it can be a regular notebook, or it can be one’s computer.
Journals don’t necessarily have to contain written words. It can be a compilation of your favorite photos, sketches, poems, articles, and sometimes your thoughts to go with them; how those things make you feel, why you like them, why you keep them. A diary, on the other hand, basically contains written work, things written about you by yourself.

Journal writing is taught by many coaches, and it can be learned. A diary doesn’t need to be learned to write. It is like writing a timetable or reporting about yourself.


1.In a journal you write about your feelings, your emotions towards something, somebody; in a diary you write about what happened throughout the day, and it’s like a logbook.
2.It is not necessary that you write a journal every day. You can write when you want and about things you like to write about. Diaries are written every day, mostly at the end of the day, about everything good, bad, ugly, pretty; things you liked or did not like.
3.A diary contains written words about your daily routine; a journal can contain anything which expresses your feelings in the best way. They could be sketches, drawings, or words.
4.A diary is a notebook; a journal can be anything ranging from a notebook to a pack of index cards.
Journal writing classes can be taken, and one can learn to write about their feelings in a beautiful and expressive way. 5.Diaries don’t need to be learned to write.

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1 Comment

  1. Best explanation I have seen.

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