Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Do you maintain a journal or diary?

Do you write down your thoughts, or keep a diary of your activities on a regular basis? That’s what we are curious about today.

Here’s a definition of each of these terms we found doing a Google search. We think it’s pretty good. It says:

“A journal and a diary are similar in kind but differ in degree. Both are used to keep personal records, but diaries tend to deal with the day to day, more data collection really, and journals with bigger picture reflection/aspiration.”

Here’s an example, also found with a Google search:

“Regarding work and career, a diary might be about appointments, meetings and tasks completed. A journal, on the other hand, might be about big picture things, like your career goals, dreams and aspirations.”

“In a journal, you might write as if you were writing to a very dear, best friend, with what was on your mind.”

Do you maintain either of these? That’s our question today.


  1. Yes, my wife does a daily journal of our RV trips. We have made three trips to Alaska and her journals have come in handy. Also we often find ourselves on the same route and checking her journals.

  2. I said no to the survey. However, when we go on trips, I will send myself a daily email about campgrounds and our daily activities and what restaurants we went to. When we get home, I copy and paste into a Pages document on our computer, print it out and put in a folder. It’s amazing how many times we are trying to remember something specific about a trip — like why didn’t we see or do that when we were there — and read the blog and find out it rained for two days. We enjoy re-reading them.

    • What a great idea! Thanks. I’ve wanted to journal, but sitting down with pen and paper never seemed to work out. I think I could write myself an e-mail more easily and regularly. I can type a lot faster than I can write.

  3. What ever you choose to call it, I call them logs. I am a lifelong waterman and licensed ship’s personnel and have been more or less forever. I keep a log of where we have been that include starting and ending times miles traveled and weather and anything of interest. This has proved valuable on several occasions. I also keep a maintenance log for our very old coach. That I see as essential.

  4. I’ve kept a travel log/journal since we started RVing 10 years ago. In it I also include a detailed list of the campgrounds we’ve stayed at. When we first started, I also kept a list of expenses, don’t do that anymore, just cg and fuel costs.
    I also keep a journal of my daily physical activity and how I feel, along with AM and PM vitals. I’ve done this since my heart transplant in 2012. I also do a printed list of the meds I take to show my health care team. Life is good, my memory not so much.

  5. I don’t really keep either, but I do keep a log for each trip, campground we are going to, starting and ending mileage and time, fees paid and balances due upon arrival at the campground. I like the idea someone mentioned about daily expenses and will start that on our next trip. If we have any maintenance issues along the way, I will make a note of them. Also, if there are pros or cons about the campground. This started out to only be keeping up with the mileage on the 5th wheel but has now turned into more useful information!

  6. We keep a log similar to a ships log. Date, weather, distance covered, starting point, ending point, operational issues, needed maintenance, and general notes. We are referring to it now as we plan a fall trip similar to one we took several years ago.

  7. I answwered no however, I do keep an expense note book which I transfer to my CPU files. I don’t keep a journal or diary as such – but I do keep a picture history of campgrounds, our activities, guests, etc…. I transfer them to individual trip folders on my computer. The pics bring back a lot of live travel memories since 1989!

  8. I keep a travel journal and since we’re full timers, it gets written in at least every week. I enjoy looking back on our travels from past years.

  9. Being a recovering sailor, I keep a “log” in which I record expenses and mileage daily. I also write up a brief description of the day’s events. I keep it to a page a day in a blank book.

  10. I keep a blog and that for me is the same thing. I used to keep a journal until the internet and blogging found me and then I switched. Since 2002…www.brooker3.blogspot.com.

  11. I did keep a journal during our Alaska trip and it was useful but most days while we travel I don’t have much free time. I did keep a diary at work for many years and it serves as a reference when I get questions from my replacements since retirement.

    I have the diaries my late mother kept from 1945-2012. I’ve read them once and intend to do so again taking notes to share with relatives. I also have a grand-nephew who’s interested in family history and will get all my genealogical materials and family heirlooms.

  12. We write a Journal every month adding photos as we go and send it out to about 25 of our friends. Suppose it may more accurately be called a blog, but we’re too old to understand what exactly that means, so we call it a Journal.

  13. I’ve kept a diary since I was a JR in high school back in 1975 . Organizing my thoughts and then the action of putting it down on paper gives me such pleasure . I’m not Thoreau by any stretch , I do this for myself in the here and now not for posterity. But then looking thru one from 25 years ago can be eye opening “who was I back then “. And yes someone will have to do something with them when I’m gone but that is what incinerators are for.

  14. Does a scrapbook count. I collect patches and business cards where ever we go. I have 5 volumes from 46 states. 8 years of full timing.

    • I keep a journal while traveling and up until covid we were full time. I then take the journal and use it in my scrapbook. I have books and books back 25 years. When we are at our sticks and bricks I put one or two out on the coffee table. This is great fun and conversation starters. I also collect patches and have sewn them on 5×5 squares and made into a couple of quilts. I am having a hard time finding iron on patches at various state parks. We are just completing a 4 month trip and I probably only collected 5 or 6 patches.

  15. Actually, my wife keeps a journal and I don’t know how many times we have been sitting around the campfire talking with other campers and she goes to her journal for the name of a campground or some other information.

  16. I voted ‘No” because I only keep a record of where we stayed, site number, and comments from “Stay here again’ to ‘Never stop here again!’ Occasionally there is a reason as to why the comment.

  17. I voted no to keeping a log, but I do keep one when we use the RV to keep track of miles gas camping fees, for that trip. Mainly to just see what it cost for the trip and where we have been.

  18. I use Word processing on a daily basis. It’s fun to look back and also settles friendly disagreements on what was done where and when!!

  19. Started a small journal, or memory book of my early years. No grandchildren to pass it on. Another life lost in the dustbin of history.

  20. When we bought our first trailer in 96 I was adamant about keeping a journal of our travels. Now? Nope. Too much work. Plus my printing has dropped to the level of Sanscrit.

  21. I’m a no. However in 2020, when things opened up again after months of being closed for COVID, we did some campground hosting. For the 3 months we hosted at 2 parks I did a journal every day. In September we were back home. In October we took 15 days to get to Florida and I started the journal again and it ran through most of May of 2021. Now, anytime we go someplace I haven’t been, the journal comes out again!

  22. I’m a No and that is a darn shame. I am reminded of the benefits of a journal almost daily. Luckily my wife does keep a journal and now that we have traveled to numerous places, it’s mostly a jumble to me. But with her journal and Google Photos, which she labels and keeps in the cloud, I have my very own search engine for personal experiences. She can not only tell me where we’ve been and what we did, she can pull all her photos from the last time we were there.

  23. Keep in mind someone has to dispose of those diaries or journals someday. My father had 30+ years of journals. Mostly weather and a few notes on trips or projects. It was painful to shred all of them. And no, we didn’t read them.

  24. In 97 we retired and went to Alaska, in a pickup camper, as we used the ferry going up. We were gone 80 days and drove 12000 miles, from Illinois and back. All the relatives wanted to know what we were doing so I put out a weekly email newsletter on our adventures. Some days were sparse while other really full.

  25. I enjoy writing notes in the journal about weather, site no., utilities conditions, gas prices, route, our meals, sites, and also, generally add a unique photo to the page.


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