• Betta

The difference between journal and diary

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

They are different ways of journaling, from bullet journals, pocket art journals, gratitude journals to dream journals to name few. What suits the best to each person, depends on writer's circumstances and lifestyle. Diaries are sometimes mentioned in connection to journaling, but do you know that there is a huge difference between writing diary and journaling?




Diary is more about free recollection of the day and writing in the diary has little structure. On the other hand, journaling is more organised and usually uses specific prompts or exercises. Where in the diary writer describes events that happened that day or week, in journals and especially that goes for wellbeing journaling writers are encouraged to analyse emotions and feelings about the event. It is beneficial to keep 5-10 mins before/after writing into journal for reflection. What did go well this week? How your mood and energy had changed during the week and what event caused that? What can you learn from your mistakes?


It is a good idea to set up a purpose and create goals to accomplish the purpose even before starting journaling. What do you want to achieve in 3 months, in a year and how? According to the Dr Matthew's study at Dominican University of California people who wrote their goals down achieved their goals significantly more likely then those who were merely thinking about them without writing them down. 62% of participants who finished the study and wrote the goals down, set actions and shared them with friends achieved their goals or were at least half way through in comparison to 43% who did not write them down. Interestingly, this number goes even higher to 75% for those who had friend they weekly reported their progress to.


By dating the pages in your journal, going back through the pages regularly and even using habit tracker, it's then easier to see milestones and progress in your life. By writing honestly in your journal, you can gain more control over your emotions, experiences and be more in control of your life.




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