Using Google Calendar as a Journal

I love Timehop. It travels a year into the past, diligently collects all your past check-ins, shared photos, and witty status updates, and sends them to you in a daily email. Often, it’s the best email of my day. It’s cool to peer into your past and see how much your life has changed (or hasn’t). Some days I’ll wake up to a kickass email and I’ll remember how awesome I am.

In a sense, it’s a daily diary. But instead of making you go out of your way each day to sit down and write a block of text, Timehop collects digital detritus from your networks. But it’s too limited for me. I want to know what happened more than a year ago, and for specific dates.

My Google Calendar

Surprisingly, Google Calendar is an awesome journal. Here’s what I was doing July 17th:

Berkeley with Jeesoo

Sometimes I want to leave a little more detail, so I leave it in the event description:

Detailed description

I never get too detailed, because there’s no need to — usually an event description is enough of a memory trigger that I can recall smells, sounds, the temperature, everything.

I already spend tons of time on Google Calendar to organize my day-to-day life, so adding events and places to be never feels like journaling. Like Timehop, it just feels so cool to travel into your past and see what you were doing.

P.S. If you use ifttt, Dennis Crowley (founder of Foursquare) made this awesome task that automatically adds your check-ins to Google Calendar. Once you set it up, you don’t have to deal with it again.