Ready or Not #189: Handy Calendar

I suspect that many of you are as busy as I am and have to keep a calendar handy to be prepared and keep track of it all. I don’t keep track of my appointments electronically because I need to be able to keep records of doctor visits and such and so in preparation for the coming year I went out looking for a calendar for next year. The problem started when I looked at the cost of the calendars. All of the ones that I could adapt to what I needed were between $17.00 and $25.00 dollars and that was just too rich for my blood. That and I needed more storage pockets than what was offered.

The calendars all looked nice, but I decided that I would be better served if I just created my own – and it would be cheaper too. Of course I immediately thought of Excel and how I could use it to make updating the calendar each year easy to do. After playing around with it for awhile, I actually came up with two different versions that I would be able to update easily for future years. And just because I’m nice, I’m going to share it with you.

Remember that these calendars are not fancy and they don’t have any holidays written on them because I didn’t know who around the world would use them. They are very basic and utilitarian, but accurate.

The first spreadsheet, the Annual Calendar has each month that can be printed off and each month fits neatly onto one sheet of paper leaving plenty of room on each day to pencil in appointments; you can use the blank backside for notes. The second spreadsheet, the Large Annual Calendar, is for those who have the need for even more space. Each month prints off on two pieces of paper to give you more space for your important appointments and notes.

Because I need to keep track of lab tests, appointment reminder cards and such, I also needed to have pockets to store this information for each month. What I decided to do was to buy manila folders and adapt them by cutting them to size and taping the ends with clear packing tape so that it made a nice, easy pocket for all of the odds and ends. (See pictures below.)  I made and labeled one pocket for each month and one “Miscellaneous” pocket just because. Then with each calendar between each of the labeled pockets, I bound them all together. I now have the perfect calendar – for me. With a little thinking about your needs you can also make the perfect calendar for you and your family.

You can either go have your calendar bound together for a nominal fee at a copy store or you can use a small 3-ring binder and just keep re-using it each year. I bound mine together the way I did because it doesn’t weigh much and I carry it with me all the time in my purse. It is working out really well, even better than I expected.

Each year I will take my calendar apart and staple the past year’s calendar together and then file it for reference. I will then add my new updated calendar and re-use the pockets and re-bind it. It’s just that simple AND that much cheaper. Because it is an Excel spreadsheet you can change the appearance and colors and add pictures, holidays, birthdays and things you celebrate each year before printing it out – you can make it your own. I didn’t make a calendar cover sheet for you because I figured that you would be able to design your own calendar cover and make it a lot more fun than the one I used.

I made the Larger Annual Calendar because some people just have a lot of kids with lessons and activities or you might just have a very busy social calendar and need more space. It will print out so that when you bind it or put it in the folder, you can lay it out flat and see the whole month. Just make sure that you punch the holes out so that the top part of the calendar has the punches at the bottom and the bottom part of the calendar has the punches at the top.

These calendars will help as you create a prepared home for you and your family AND keep you organized!

Now that you have your own personalized and easy-to-make inexpensive calendar, you can pencil in a lunch with a friend and use the money that you would have spent buying the cute, non-personalized, calendar!


Leave a Reply