I’ve been obsessed with calendars for most of my life. I can easily buy and fill out three or four a year. They are never entirely satisfactory. So I have set about making my own calendars.
In order to plan my year, I find it helpful to be able to actually see the entire year at once. In the past I have purchased pre-printed calendars and then written my information in. But they’re never quite right. There are always holidays listed that I don’t celebrate. There are days with five things to put down, but not enough space to write it all. So this year I have made myself a spreadsheet, which I am sharing with you. I made two versions, both with US holidays, one secular and the other Episcopalian. Choose the one that you prefer, and then follow the instructions below.
After downloading and opening the file, take time to review what is already there and delete anything that is not relevant to you. I have some things that are only applicable to people who live in Houston, or in Texas, or in the US. So delete away.
Put in religious holidays that are relevant to you. Catholics will be able to use the Episcopal version with very little modification. Orthodox Christians will probably have more work to do; I am not very familiar with their calendar. People from other religions will likely want to choose the secular version and then add in their own religious celebrations. Maybe next year I will have more versions.
Put in civic holidays that are relevant to you. Start with national holidays, then state or province holidays, and finally local holidays. Don’t forget things like tax due dates, voting days, and work or school schedules. I’ve placed many of these for Houston, but your dates may vary, so move things around as needed.
Put in family celebrations, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Also consider travel schedules for work. I don’t put things that happen every month on this calendar to prevent it from becoming cluttered, but if doing so helps you visualize your year better then go for it.
Now the fun part! Choose vacation, travel, and play time. I’ve shaded weekends and typical days off for US office workers. Change the shading to suit your own devices.
Review your work, checking that you’ve included all the major things for the year. It’s ok to write on it after you print, too, so don’t get caught up in perfectionism. You rule the tool, not the other way around.
Step 7: ~NEW INSTRUCTIONS~
Now it’s time to print. I printed in four sections on letter paper in landscape view. Select the entire calendar area, open the print dialog box, and choose ‘Print Selection.’ You’ll have to tell the computer to scale the selection to the page at 39%. On my system, that meant going to print preview and then choosing page setup, where I could choose the print size. Print to a PDF to check that everything is correct before you waste paper and ink.
I ended up with four pages. The top is in two sections of Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec, and the side is in two sections top to Day 16 and Day 17 to bottom.
If you have printed on four pieces of paper like this, you now get to do a cutting and pasting activity. If you have a good print shop, you may be able to print all at once on a larger paper.
Anyways, I hope this inspires you to plan out your year. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions in the comments section. And have a Happy New Year!