Special journals are individual journals used to record specific transaction in that special journal. For example to record all sales transaction the organization can maintain a sales journal and for all purchase transactions a purchase journal. Similarly, cash receipt and payment journal can be used to maintain record of all transactions made with cash.
On the other hand, general journal is used to record miscellaneous transactions which does not fit in any of the special journal maintained by the organization. Also general journal is used to record non-routine transactions like sale of a tangible asset, sale of property, bad debts, depreciation etc.
Example of Cash Receipt Journal
Following image is given to show you how a special journal (Cash receipt journal) is look like in real.