Difference between Diary and Journal

Key difference: A diary and journal both are record keeping booklets, but they differ in many contexts, that is, a diary is a self-opinionated record in which we write in our desired time. On the other hand, a journal is a record booklet which is to be done prior to the required given time.

The word Diary comes from diarium, which means daily-allowance.

A diary is a report in which we include all the things which we had done in the entire day. It’s up to us what all things we include in the diary. People most probably include their tragic experiences which they face in the entire day, and diary is something which consists of feelings wrapped in words. The entire time-table of the things which we do is included while writing a diary.

It is a record of personal experiences which we face in our daily routine life.

Diary-writing is followed strictly by the writers. While writing a diary the things to be considered are date, time, and place. It is a focused booklet. It is more often always a personal booklet which includes some specific records which are to be considered as confidential. Diaries are considered as quick ways of putting our thoughts and views into the text format.

The meaning of journal means an account of day-to-day events.

Journal is a general record booklet which includes some specific aspects according to which it is to be written. Journal includes the document type formats. Journal is a sort of diary. Journal in a broad sense is a regular record of experiences and studies, in a systematic manner. It includes all the contents in a detailed format. The overview of any information is written in the specific format while writing a journal.

Journal includes the daily news and events. Journaling means writing down thoughts into words. They are progressive reports about any content. Often journals are informative booklets.

Journals consist of focused topics. Journals can be of any type comprising of academic journal, daily journals like magazines, public journals, and business journals. It is a report which consists of facts. Nowadays, journals are used at many levels, such as in schools, colleges, business forums, and many others.

Comparison between Diary and Journal:




General definition

A booklet where one keeps their daily record of events and experiences.

A record of news and events of a personal nature.


Diary is a personal memo which can be written in any form according to the desire.

Journal has a specific format which includes all the specific aspects.


Diary writing is a focused type of writing.

Journal writing is a content-oriented type of writing.


A diary has a log type of format with external events and factors.

A journal is more feeling oriented in approach.


A diary does not include a specific type of thoughts.

Here the thoughts are generalized and are more reflective in nature.

Image Courtesy: my-diary.org, blogs.mcgill.ca

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Diaries are more private compared to journals

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