I recently started bullet journaling to plan my life, and I love it! (If you’d like to read more about this then please click here).
As well as using a bullet journal, I also use Google Calendar to plan out my days. However, lately I’ve been wondering if I really need to use both.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that I do need to use both, as they each assist me in different ways.
Here’s how each planning tool plays its part in planning my life:
Prior to starting a bullet journal I used Google Calendar to remind me of everything. This included birthdays, events, to dos, and shopping lists.
As a result my phone was constantly going off to remind me of something. In addition, I deleted entries once they were completed, so I never had a record of anything.
Since starting a bullet journal I’ve changed the way I use Google Calendar. My phone is always with me, my bullet journal isn’t. Therefore, I still have a need to use Google Calendar, I just don’t rely on it like I previously did.
Instead, I now use Google Calendar as follows:
1. To provide location information
Birthdays, appointments, or anything my sister needs to attend are recorded in my Google Calendar along with their location. These items are also in my bullet journal, minus the location. Once the event has passed I delete it from my Google Calendar, but keep it in my bullet journal.
2. To make appointments on the go
I put any appointments made whilst out straight into Google Calendar, and then copy them into my bullet journal once I’m home. I keep them in my Google Calendar until they’ve been completed.
3. To remind me of out of the house to dos
If there’s something in my bullet journal that needs to be done out of the house I’ll put it in my Google Calendar and delete it once done. For example, any groceries I need on a particular day are written in my bullet journal. Once that day comes I’ll put the items into my Google Calendar to remind me to get them when I’m out.
These are the only things I use Google Calendar for. I no longer put every to do, every reminder, or every thought into Google Calendar, that’s what my bullet journal’s for. In doing so, I’ve minimised the amount of disruption my phone has on my day.
Any date related items are in my Google Calendar and bullet journal, and that’s where the relationship ends.
My bullet journal goes beyond listing date related events. It also keeps information on anything I’m thinking about, goals I’m working towards, and most importantly lists yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily to dos.
An example of some of these items include:
- To watch, read, and buy lists
- Moving list
- Holiday packing list
- Weekly chores
- Yearly schedules
- Ryan’s baby book to dos
- Blog post ideas
- Blog content plan
The biggest chunk of my bullet journal is dedicated to planning out my days.
Every Sunday night I plan for the week ahead. I list any to dos that need to be done, and then go to my Google Calendar and enter any events that are happening that week.
During the week I’ll add to dos or events that arise into my bullet journal. I also make notes of conversations I’ve had with suppliers, or record anything else I need to remember. My bullet journal has much greater detail in it than my Google Calendar ever will.
I love using my bullet journal to plan my days. I like the physicality of crossing something off once it’s done. Plus, I have everything recorded, so if I need to refer back to a conversation I’ve had, or find out when I purchased something, it’s there.
Google Calendar, for me, is used as a reminder tool. It reminds me of an event and gives me the location. Or it reminds me to put something into my bullet journal.
My bullet journal has the same date specific information in it as my Google Calendar, but records all my thoughts, and plans out my year, months, weeks, and days. It handles the bulk of my planning needs.
Both of these tools assist me with my planning needs, but in different ways. And I’m happy with that.
Do you have a preference on whether you use analogue or digital tools to plan?