Internet Productivity

How to Use Google Calendar as a Personal Journal From Today

Sandy Writtenhouse 05-02-2018

We all use some form of a calendar to plan our lives. From birthdays and holidays to meetings and appointments to classes and events, we can keep track of everything we schedule. Digital options like Google Calendar have been a huge help because we can see what’s coming up online or on-the-go. But Google Calendar can do more for us than assist in planning.


Have you ever considered using Google Calendar to go back in time rather than forward?

Google Calendar has wonderful features to help you see what’s ahead. You can use those same features to see what’s happened over time. Just like a journal, think about looking back at a calendar with convenient views, color-coding, and memorable dates at a glance. Goals you achieve, moods you experience, foods you eat, and even bucket list items you complete can all be tracked easily with Google Calendar.

Create a New Calendar

While you can certainly use your main Google Calendar, creating a new one specifically for your journal items is a great option. This lets you see just that calendar when you want to or include it in your list of calendars for viewing all the time.

google calendar personal journal

To quickly create a new calendar, click the Plus Sign on the left of your main screen and select New Calendar from the list. Then just give it a name, add a description, and include your time zone.


google calendar personal journal

You can give your calendar its own unique color after you create it. On your main page, click the More (three-dot) button next to your new calendar and select a color. This will automatically color items you add, but you can still change the color for specific entries when you create them.

If you would like to see additional options for your new calendar, access your settings by clicking the Gear Icon at the top. Within the Settings page, select your calendar. There, you can share it with someone specific or obtain links to integrate it along with many other options.

google calendar personal journal


Creating a new calendar is just one option. If you would rather not do that and simply use your main calendar instead, you can take advantage of the following event features for tracking.

Insert Entries as Events

To add a new item from the main Google Calendar screen, you can click the date for a quick entry. Then, if you want to add details, select More Options from the popup window. You can also click the red Plus Icon on the bottom right to go directly to the event details page.

google calendar personal journal

Say you want to track your exercise routines after you complete them. You may not need a bunch of details, so a quick entry would work fine. Click the date for your workout, give it a title, and then uncheck the All Day option so that you can add the duration of your session. Then, hit Save.


google calendar personal journal

Now, maybe you perform different types of workouts and want to list out the details. Either double-click the date or the red Plus Icon to open the event detail page. You will enter the same basic information as with the quick entry, but now you can include a description.

You can use a bulleted or numbered list in the description area to track the exercises you did during your session. This is also a convenient spot to include notes about that specific workout. When you finish, click the blue Save button at the top.

google calendar personal journal


Add Memorable Attachments

Let’s say you are using Google Calendar for your bucket list and you are ready to cross one item off it (good for you!). Wouldn’t it be awesome to include a photo or document of that momentous occasion?

Just access the event detail page as described above and scroll down to the Description area. Click the File Attachment button and then grab your file from Google Drive or upload one.

Maybe you were finally able to swim in the ocean and your friend snapped a picture of you doing it. Or maybe you took that Alaskan cruise and would like to add a handful of photos from your trip. The handy file attachment feature lets you look back on what you have accomplished with more than just words. Pop in those pictures for fond remembrances.

google calendar personal journal

Going back to school to obtain your degree or taking an online course to further your education might be other items on your bucket list. If you complete one of those, you can easily attach a scan of your degree on your graduation date or the certificate of completion you received via email.

Include Details as Descriptions

Using the description area within the event page is a terrific spot to include all of the details for your entry. And Google Calendar gives you formatting options for that little extra.

As mentioned above with the workout scenario, you can add a bulleted or numbered list. So if you are creating a food diary to keep an eye on what you eat, you can add your meals each day and include a list of what you ate for each one.

google calendar personal journal

Maybe you would like to track specific health conditions. For instance, if you suffer from migraines, you can include details of your day in the description. Then, when you look back through those days where you suffered from the headaches, you could more easily spot trigger patterns.

Another ideal situation for using the description is if you use Google Calendar as your daily journal. Write your thoughts, use font formatting to make words pop out, include links, and add images. This area is perfect to quickly jot down what you would in an official digital diary.

google calendar personal journal

What’s great about the description area is that when you want a quick view of your entry, those details are included. On your main calendar page, just click your event once and you will see everything just as you entered it, formatting and all.

google calendar personal journal

Use Color for Quick Viewing

The color-coding feature in Google Calendar is convenient for spotting things at a glance. You might use one color for your business events and another for personal ones. For journaling, you can also use the colors in a variety of ways.

For instance, maybe keeping track of your moods is important to your mental health. You can select colors for your entries so that when you view your mood tracking, it’s easy to tell at a glance how your week, month, or year went.

You could add an event and make the name your mood such as happy, sad, or angry. Then use colors like yellow for happy, blue for sad, and red for angry.

google calendar personal journal

Another helpful use for color-coding is to identify entries when you only use one calendar. So, you could use yellow for your mood tracking entries, green for your workout entries, and purple for your bucket list entries.

google calendar personal journal

To color your entries How to Change the Default Event Color in Google Calendar Want to give new events their own color in Google Calendar? Here's how you can change the default event colors quickly. Read More , just head to the event details page and select one from the dropdown box.

Invite or Share With Others

Just like inviting coworkers to meeting events or sharing calendars with them 12 Productive Ideas for a Shared Google Calendar Google Calendar is a phenomenal productivity tool. These 12 ideas should give you some inspiration to start thinking creatively when it comes to Google Calendar. Read More , you can do the same for shared journal items in Google Calendar. So, if you and a pal or your significant other are tracking the same things, sharing makes it super easy.

For example, if you and your buddy perform your workouts together for mutual motivation, inviting them to the entries works great. You can each add items to your calendar like mentioned above for workouts you do separately. But for those you do together, create the event entry like normal and invite your friend so it pops onto their calendar too.

Head to the event details page and on the right side click inside the Add Guests box. You can then either select a contact or type in their email address. Once you send the invitation, your recipient will receive it on their Google Calendar. This makes tracking workouts for both of you a breeze.

google calendar personal journal

Say that you and your spouse are starting a new diet together. You may already share calendars with them, which makes it easy to keep track of what you each eat already. But if not, you can either share a current calendar with them or create a new one specifically for the food diary like described earlier.

When you share a calendar, each of you can track events easily. So, if you have meals separately you can see what each other eats. And, for those you eat together, one person can just add the entry.

google calendar personal journal

To share a calendar How to Share Google Calendar With Others To share Google Calendar, you can either make the calendar public so everyone can see it, or you can share it with a specific person or people. Read More , go to the calendar settings page by clicking the More (three-dot icon) button next to it on your main page. Select Settings and Sharing. Under the calendar on the left, click Share with Specific People. Then, click Add People and select a contact or enter their email address.

Keep in mind that for a shared calendar, you can adjust the other person’s access before you share it. This allows them to only see events or have the ability to make changes.

google calendar personal journal

Are You Ready to Journal With Google Calendar?

As you can see, using Google Calendar as a work journal, personal diary, or simple tracker is easy to do. For health and fitness or lifetime goals and achievements, it’s terrific. Plus, you can even keep track of movies you watch, books you read, friends you meet, or money you spend. If you’d rather use a dedicated journal app than a makeshift one like Google Calendar, try one of these journal apps for web and mobile 6 Digital Journal Apps to Boost Mental Health With a Daily Diary  Want to start journaling to boost your day or just your mental health. Start a daily journal with these free apps today. Read More .

Related topics: Calendar, Google Calendar.

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  1. Maziar
    May 6, 2020 at 4:09 am

    There is one option missing for this great app. I want to enter my diary or daily memo into my calendar. I want to record my voice describing my day and plans... Pity there is no place for it in this app

  2. Ralph
    January 30, 2020 at 10:34 am

    Was looking the for a tool to perform the exact job the whole day. Searched everywhere on internet and finally stumbled upon this article which was the perfect thing for my requirement.
    Thanks a bunch!

  3. Mel
    August 19, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Since Google Calendar will only keep entries up to the past year and not before, it doesn't make a very good traditional journal. Unless I never need to go back and see anything from more than a year ago.

  4. Murali Krishnan
    December 5, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Nice Article. Just Zoom in a tool that we use daily in a special angle. Thank you.

  5. nick
    October 28, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    hi there,

    Great article! I have a question regarding Food journal, Exercise Journal, Lifestyle Journal using Google calendar.

    Is it possible to have a spreadsheet within the description box of an event?

    What would be a good way to collect all the data that is inputted and create a visual graph each week?

    I know you can attach a spreadsheet to the bottom of the Description but is there anyway to keep it within the description without clicking out?

    Thank you,
    Nick F.

  6. Roberto
    October 11, 2018 at 6:27 am

    Nice useof Calendar, except that Google insists on deleting past entries even when in settings I tell it not to. Have lost a lot of journal entries that way. Best to buy a paper and ink calendar at the stationery store.

  7. Tara
    February 6, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    where can you get that "Start Timer" on the calendar event?

    • Sandy Stachowiak
      February 6, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      Hi Tara,
      I assume you're talking about the red button for the timer in my screen shots. That's actually a tool called Toggl - it's a standalone app, mobile app, and browser extension. If you use the extension on Chrome, it integrates with Google Calendar.


  8. Tara
    February 6, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Where can you get that "Start Timer" on the event?

  9. Gazoo
    February 5, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    A Personal Journal tied to a data-mining, data-storing, data-sharing, data-selling company... For real? I don't think I'll makeUseOf this advice.

    • Nunn
      January 29, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, but you forget, what better way to confuse Google! Just input a bunch of crap that you are not interested in so they will target you with ads for things you don't care about. I am impervious to marketing, but for others this is useful.