To provide two separate definitions, however, a diary is a summary of daily activities. It is a factual timeline of life. A diary is typically in chronological order. Today I woke then this happened….
A journal, on the other hand, includes thoughts, feelings, and emotions. While I may summarize the day in a journal, I also delve into how I responded to those events. What did I feel? What lessons did I learn?
While my journal entries often have no correlation with the day’s events, I love the idea of using a journal as a diary.
How I wish I could look back at my life as a teenager or new mother and read the history of my life. What was my perspective at the time? How has that perspective changed?
Here are a few suggestions when writing a diary entry:
- Date the page. The date provides context. When you re-read the entry in the future, the date can help trigger other events at the time of the writing. Sometimes the date can provide another prompt for a future journal entry.
- Touch upon backstory. What you write today may not be clear ten years from today. Jot a few notes that will help in the future as you remember the event.
- Be sure to use full names at least once. I’m always amazed at how fuzzy my memory becomes over time. Close co-workers today can slip into anonymity if we don’t document.
Diary entries give us the opportunity to look back and reflect. They also reveal how things have changed over the years… and how they have stayed the same.
(Photo credit: 4956365 from pixabay)