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Diary vs Journal: Similarities & Differences

05/25/2023 industry_insights

If you have a conference, tradeshow, or corporate event coming up on the calendar, you may already be brainstorming which branded items to have on hand for freebies or swag. Diaries and journals are both practical options that allow attendees to write about their personal journey or keep track of their career goals, but how do you know which item is best?

Diaries and journals are valuable writing tools that have been used to record everything from historical events to personal experiences and while both share many similarities, there are also some slight differences between them. Today, we’re going to dive into those differences to ensure you pick a promotional product that every customer, client or employee uses and appreciates.

Journal vs Diary: What’s the Same?

There are several similarities between diaries and journals, the first being their versatility. Whether you decide to jot down your deepest, darkest secrets, or simply scribble today’s grocery list, both mediums offer the same blank page and endless opportunities for written content.

Additionally, you can find a variety of journals and diaries that are formatted to suit your particular writing style and preferences. Some formats leave room to incorporate images, have side bars for creating lists, or even come with writing prompts at the top of the page.

Another similarity between diaries and journals is that both include the practice of jotting down your personal thoughts, experiences, and emotions. From recounting the details of your day to reflecting on the feelings you have about a certain situation, keeping a journal or diary can be a very therapeutic process that reduces anxiety, regulates emotions, and improves your mental health.

This offers the opportunity to build critical thinking skills and increase emotional intelligence through meaningful writing. Beyond being used as a coping mechanism or method of self-reflection, both journals and diaries can also be used in the workplace.

Despite living in a digital-forward working world, about 1 in 6 people still use diaries and journals on a regular basis, most likely because of the benefits it has on the brain. Physically taking notes in meetings and writing down other work-related things is proven to help with memory, organization and goal-setting, as your brain encodes every detail as you write.

Last but not least, you have the opportunity to customize both diaries and journals. Since they’re so widely used both at home and in the office, personalizing diaries and journals with your logo or brand colors are a great way to spread the word about your company.

They’re also a swag item that people will actually use, and are perfect for passing out at tradeshows, corporate events or conferences. Plus, you can pair them with other promotional products, such as customized pens.

Difference Between Journal and Diary

With so many similarities between the two, you may be wondering if there are any differences left to cover. Although it ultimately comes down to small details and personal preference, there are a few distinctions between the two.

First, the main differences between diaries and journals is the frequency of writing. According to its definition, a diary is a book in which one keeps a daily record of events and experiences, which means the writer should be recording events and experiences as they occur. Because of this, diaries often offer a greater level of detail since they’re written in real time.

Additionally, diaries may also be formatted with dates and calendars to keep track of each entry. On the other hand, journal entries have no set frequency to follow, and may be written more sporadically. This may be because journal entries also tend to be longer, with the writer taking more time to reflect on their experiences and thoughts before recording them in the journal.

Writing styles and formats can also differ slightly between the two, with diaries typically having a more conversational style than journals. Since diary entries are being written on a daily basis, writers tend to quickly and casually recollect events from the day.

However, journal entries may cover a couple of days or week's worth of content, leading them to be longer and more formally written out. Journal formats can also be divided up into multiple sections on a page to keep content organized.

Shop Our Branded Journals

From making daily goals for work to recounting personal memories, branded journals have the opportunity to make a statement both in and out of the office. Shop our collection of custom journals to have on hand for swag at our next event.

If you need help with finding the right item that matches your budget or your company’s branding, the Staples Promotional Products team can help you along the way!

Diary vs Journal