Diary, agenda, planner. What is what?



Hey there planner peeps!

So I was browsing through a FB planner group and someone posted about how it’s dumb that planner addicts don’t know what the difference between a  diary, agenda, and planner is. Well me being one of those dumb planner addicts, I decided to do some research.

According to Webster’s dictionary online, these are the following definitions.


1: a list or outline of things that to be considered or done • agendas of meetings

2: an underlying often ideological idea or program • a political agenda


1: a record of events, transactions or observations kept daily or at a frequent intervals : journal; especially : a daily record of activities, reflections, or feelings,

2: a book intended or used for a diary


1: a drawing or a diagram drawn on a plane: such as

a: a top or horizontal view of an object

b: a large-scale map of a small area

2a: a method for achieving an end

b: an often customary method of doing something :procedure

c: a detailed formulation of a program of action

d: goal, aim

3: an orderly arrangement of part of an overall design or objective

4: a detailed program (as a payment or the provisions of some service)

Did any of that make sense? Do you now know what the difference is? LOL Well, I didn’t! So I asked around. Some unnamed sourced made me realized that the three categories have to do with future, present, and past. Here’s what I gathered.

  • A DIARY is where you write your daily events that have already happened. Usually, you date the page and you describe what you did that day, or what happened.
  • An AGENDA is a plan for the present. It could be a list of activities (to do lists) that will happen that day or series of events.
  • A PLANNER is almost the same as an agenda accept that you are planning for the future.

So basically, none are actually PHYSICAL elements. You could have one notebook for your diary, agenda, and planner or three separate ones. It’s up to YOU!

I hoped this helped!

Happy planning,





One thought on “Diary, agenda, planner. What is what?

  1. I knew the difference with all of them. But I would get confused when an insert or book was advertised as DIARY and the layout is a monthly calender. I thought it was a bit small (daily boxes) for a diary to jott down your thoughts, feelings, or events. I thought I was totally ignorant of these things. Thanks for sharing because now I know I wasn’t.


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