One of the most common questions I hear sound something like,
From day one of using the bullet journal several years ago, I have always used a digital calendar, my trusty Google Cal, as my planning companion. No matter how many different methods I tried, the G-Cal has been constant, probably since I was in late high school. Instead of saying that it’s cheating to use one, I think it is an amazing tool to leverage if that is within your habits.
For context, I use two Google Calendars for personal and work purposes – my whole office runs on Google Calendar and we heavily rely on it to schedule meetings to do our very collaborative work. We share them and use them to find open time for meetings of two to 18 people within our staff, the whole University, and with our students as well, so our culture reinforces my use of the digital. That might not be the case for you, so keep that in mind!
Today I walk through how I complement my bullet journal with my Google Calendar, encouraging you that you can be BOTH digital and analog.
On Sundays, I draw out my weekly calendar – I use the 5-day weekly that mirrors that of the vertical Google Calendar. It’s been the easiest for my brain to use, so I’m running with it.
I scan my Google Calendar for upcoming events – my anchors for the week – and write them into my weekly. From there I can add in tasks that prepare for those appointments and meetings, and set my priorities for each day.
Throughout the day I do what Laura from Get Your Shit Together calls a Mind-Sweep, adding in tasks as I think of them. I think in week-timespans, so I put the tasks in throughout the week.
For upcoming tasks, I have seen folks use an “Upcoming” section of their weekly, but I will typically put future tasks in an email or in my Google Calendar in the future.
Side tip: If you want to send emails later, I integrated the “Boomerang” app on my Gmail to schedule when emails can send. Working on email can be SUCH a time suck so instead of replying piece by piece, I’ll sit down for a session to crank out a batch of them, scheduling them to when they would be relevant. If I’m ever working outside of typical work hours (which doesn’t happen that often anymore!), I make sure to schedule my emails during the work day, so I don’t add to a culture of overwork to my colleagues and students.
As things change, I can quickly cross out things that get canceled, write in the new things – I am not really bothered by the mess, as you might know 🙂
That’s just a bit about how I merge digital and analog planning – I’d love to hear what works for you in the comments below!
Hi Jessica, Thank you for a great post. I use a digital calendar along with BuJo and already do a lot of what you write about. I am going to try adding a weekly calendar to my planning sessions and see if that helps me. I checked out the GYST site and it looks useful so I signed up. Thank you for that as well. I really appreciate the time you take to put together these posts. You rock.
I definitely use Google Calendar for scheduling with my husband. That way we’re always on the same page!
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Thank you for this, Jessica. I’m a BuJo newbie, and the calendaring has been killing me, and making me feel like I’m failing at it. Part of my reason for going BuJo was helping myself to get screen breaks, and I was thinking that using Google Calendar would be cheating.
So thanks for giving me permission to try a combined approach. It’s easier to give others permission than yourself, isn’t it?! And your approach of reproducing key to-dos in a double-page weekly spread is really great, and should still give me a bit of a break from the screen. Wish me luck!
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