Wow! Can you believe that we are so close to the end of 2016? This year (like the last decade) has gone by like a blink.
That means 2017 is just around the corner and it’s time to change out the smoke alarm batteries, review the annual books for tax time, and update the yearly calendars.
I wish I could tell you that I found a way to make getting ready for tax season as easy as switching out the batteries in the fire alarm, but I have not.
I have, however, found a way to “automate” my yearly calendar, actually making it easier than switching out batteries.
Somewhere around 2013 when I transferred all my family and friends’ information from my old calendar to my new calendar, I ended up messing up all their birthdays and anniversaries. It was a bit of a hassle.
So I did something to make this easier year to year: I improvised and created a simple file using PowerPoint® presentation graphics program.
I call it an every-year calendar. Or any-year calendar, if that floats your boat. You can even call it a lifetime calendar. It’s. A. Calendar.
What is an every-year calendar?
I’m so glad you asked!
It’s a super basic twelve slide presentation and it prints quite easily on 8.5″ x 11″ paper from my little inkjet. Each slide is a month, starting with January on slide 1. Genius, I know.
Each month is a simple, six row, seven column table. The first row is blank (I’ll get to this). The second row begins with the number 1 and goes to 7.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Well, let me show you. Here’s a partial screen shot of January.
As I said, stupid simple.
The first row is blank. And then you fill in the second and subsequent rows with the number of days in that particular month. January has 31 days so there are 31 days here.
When you have completed the months, you have only to add the dates significant to you.
Let’s say you have a nephew who was born on the 3rd of January in 2002. In the box with the 3 you type or write Nephew 1-3-02. You also have friends, Husband and Wife, who got married on January 15, 2002. Enter Husband and Wife 1-15-02 (or you can also choose to enter just the year – it’s up to you!).
And so on and so forth for each entry you wish to make.
It will look like this:
Once I entered all our friends’ and family’s dates, I went back and added holidays because holidays mean time off for us.
Since some holidays are on the fourth Thursday and some are on the Fourth, I entered them into a text box in the bottom of the calendar.
This highlights possibly significant activities for the month in a simple, quick reference text box.
How can you reuse this year to year?
After you enter all your dates in your calendar, protect the calendars with document protectors or clear vinyl.
This is for a couple reasons:
- using water-soluble markers, you can write “perishable” information, such as appointments or the last day of school, on the document protector/vinyl and use the paper and document protector again next year; and
- you can pull the month out of the document protector/vinyl and write new significant dates as they happen, such as the birth of a child or a marriage, and keep it for next year.
The Current Month’s Calendar
Now that all your months are filled out and filed in document protectors, we circle back to the blank row at the top of the table.
To make this a real calendar it needs days of the week and a year.
Especially for January 2017, this is the easy part. January 1st, 2017 falls on a Sunday. So in the column heading above the number 1, write Sunday on the document protector/vinyl. The next column heading will be Monday, then Tuesday, etc.
But what about February?
February 1st, 2017 is a Wednesday, so write Wednesday in the column heading above the number 1, Thursday in the column heading above the number 2, etc.
You get the picture. I won’t belabor the point. I could go on and on.
Ooh, but what about February 29th? Don’t leave February 29th out! It is printed, but if it’s not Leap Year, you just skip it.
As each month approaches, you determine what day of the week the first falls on and write that on the document protector/vinyl above the first column, filling out the remaining columns in sequence.
As an example, take a look at June, July and August of 2017. June 1st was a Thursday, July 1st a Saturday, and August 1st a Tuesday.
As for the year, it can go anywhere in the header. But I usually give up on the year by June, because by then I’ve stopped writing the previous year on my checks (remember when?).
At the end of the month, you wipe away the information you don’t need anymore, update your digital file and print a new month if necessary or desired, and file the month away to be used again next year.
I keep mine filed chronologically in a three-ring binder I use for household planning as well as in the kitchen on the bulletin boards you see above.
I have the calendars filed in the bulletin boards in chronological order left to right so I can display three months at a time.
[January is in the left bulletin, February is in the middle bulletin, and March is in the right bulletin, April left, May middle, June right, and so on. When the month passes, I pull the expired month out, and file it in the back. The month that follows is then the third month. So, when I move January to the back, the month that comes up next is April. February and March are already displayed in the other two bulletins.]
When I put up a new month, I add the days of the week, our recycling pick up dates, any holidays and days off, and appointments as they come up.
How does this save time?
When I first did this, it didn’t.
I had to ask several of my family and friends their anniversary and birth dates. It was embarrassing. And time consuming.
Then I had to enter that information into the calendar and double triple check everything. But when that was done, it was done.
And now I never have to do it again because I have this saved on my computer, backed up to a hard drive, and printed in duplicate. Not even kidding.
Don’t get me wrong, we still have calendars all over the house (and as a stay/work-at-home-mom I still never know what day it is!), but this is the one that rules them all.
This is the one we use for planning and this is the one on which we write all our appointments.
Where can you get one?
Funny you should ask.
I’ve provided two files. Again, it’s super basic but you can download the editable PowerPoint® presentation graphics program file here (literally, the word “here” is hyperlinked directly to the file) or the printable Adobe® PDF file here (same “here” here).
You must already have these programs installed on your computer for this to work but you don’t need to subscribe to download my templates! Go ahead and church them up with some pretty graphics.
Or, subscribe in the box to your left to receive our newsletter, and receive access to our free resource library where you can download a prettified .pdf or PowerPoint® presentation graphics program file!
Let me know what you think!
How do you keep track of your family and friends’ special dates?