wanichan's English blog

Just blogging in English from Osaka, Japan. Technology, Diary and Life Style.

When do you start your journal / diary?

First, I am still confused about the difference between a "diary" and a "journal". Different people have different definitions of each. Could you please explain the difference to me?

Right now, I'm desperately keeping my diary in a Muji one-page-a-day notebook.

Currently, I have already adjusted to use up the notebook on December 31 of this year at the rate of one page per day.

However, based on various annual patterns of behavior, I am beginning to wonder if it is appropriate for me to switch notes on New Year's Day. The New Year's holiday in Japan is a kind of busy time, isn't it? The family gathers to eat osechi (New Year's food) and pay New Year's visits to shrines, but it is not a situation in which I can calmly write a journal.

So I googled about when to start writing a journal or a diary.

The best timing is as follows;

  • New Year's Day
  • At the beginning of a new school year, or when you start a new job.
  • When you start dating someone.
  • When you have a child (as a childcare journal)
  • Your birthday

If so, I guess it would be a good thing for me to switch to a new notebook starting on my birthday.

I don't feel comfortable with ready-made journals. It is as if we are forced to write this content in this frame. Don't you think something like "Let me do whatever I want!", do you?

The journal, so to speak, is an informational tool for your future self.
I recently realized that it is useful to record facts in a weekly organizer on a daily basis to see what I did and when.

For example, you could write down when you switched to new running shoes in the organizer.

In my case, I use each of the journals and organizers in the following ways

  • Organizers: a recording tool to write down facts (major events)
  • Journals: a tool to provide useful information for your future self

How we use organizers, journals and diaries is unique to each of us. Because each person is different, you need to find a style and usage that suits you.

My understanding is that a journal is defined as writing only "facts" that one does not mind people seeing, while a diary is defined as writing down inner feelings and secrets that one would be embarrassed to have people see. However, for North Americans, I think they tend to use the word "journal" instead of "diary". When I was a homestay student in Vancouver many years ago, I said to a local, "I have to keep a diary in English," but he didn't know what a diary was. So I explained it to him and he told me it was called a journal.