The Bullet Journal is a system developed by Ryder Carroll and blends tasks, notes or thoughts, events, and more into one single notebook. It’s an “analog productivity system for the digital age”. It’s basically a mindfulness practice disguised as a productivity system and the goal is to help you find the sweet spot between what you do and why you’re doing it to cut the fat and focus on what truly matters in your life.
Embracing simplicity in the digital age
In an era saturated with productivity apps and specialized tools, the simplicity and convenience of managing your life in a single place can be quite appealing. However, I tried this, and didn’t like how I couldn’t search my data or organize and filter it since it was on paper.
I will forever use and love paper, but Google Workspace has been my go-to managing my schedule, taking notes and journaling my thoughts, setting up and knocking down tasks, and much more. Through a creative twist, these tools can become something used to replace or compliment your Bullet Journal. While I won’t be covering all of the details on how to do this effectively today (trust me, I have a whole series where I’ll be teaching this!) I did want to talk about one way you can make Google’s apps feel more like home – emoji.
Adding a touch of personalization
You probably didn’t expect me to say this (unless you read the title, of course), but hear me out. By incorporating emoji into your Google Calendar event titles, Google Tasks, Keep notes, YouTube playlist names, Google Collection titles, Google Shopping lists, and more, you can leverage Google’s minimalist approach and eliminate the need for multiple third-party services. We’re so accustomed to seeking out feature-rich, complex tools that we often forget the simplicity of a pencil and a piece of paper – or in this case, a suite of services.
I’ve found that using emoji allows me to replicate this simplicity while streamlining and personalizing my routines and goals across Google apps and services. Again, I’ll be further covering the idea of the digital bullet journal as a replacement for fitness apps, habit trackers, and more in future articles, but let’s add a little flair to those boring walls of text today.
Here are some ways to use emoji in Google apps
Specific emoji act as visual cues for, well, everything, allowing you to quickly identify them at a glance. Quite frankly, I’m shocked that Google doesn’t make it a default feature for each of its apps and any data you put into each of them. I get that for some, this could come off as less professional, especially in corporate settings, but for an individual, these can add a lot of glanceability across the board!
In Google Calendar, creating a Food calendar and placing everything you eat on it as you consume it, and then placing an emoji next to it that best represents that food helps you remain mindful of how much and what you’re eating throughout the day. Placing an emoji before each YouTube playlist name allows you to quickly add new videos at a glance since Google still refuses to alphabetize it.
Additionally, adding emoji to your Google Collections list names or even the lists you have in Google Shopping as seen below can make collecting things more fun and personal. These are also not alphabetized, so instead of just thinking of this whole process as silly or artistic, you could say it’s pretty essential if you want to speed up your workflow.
Trust me – once you do this, you’ll also see that you prefer having those cute little images next to everything, and will likely come back stating how you don’t know why you went so long without doing this to begin with. It’s worth noting that any emoji you place on anything will show up across devices, though some may not translate perfectly depending on the encoding or support for that device. However, this does mean you’ll have improved visibility for playlists on YouTube via your television, laptop, phone, and tablet!
At the end of the day, the power of using emoji across Google’s apps lies in their ability to consolidate and personalize various aspects of your digital life and make them easier to sift through visually. It also lends a touch of creativity and fun to your everyday tasks and goals. While a simple tweak, I hope you’ll agree it’s powerful or at the very least useful enough to try out! There are numerous other ways to leverage Google’s services to create a comprehensive, glanceable, and highly efficient system to track and manage your life. I’ll be writing more articles in the future that delve deeper into this, so stay tuned!