Paper calendars can be wonderful organization tools. But a single calendar can easily become cluttered with so much information that you’d rather ignore it than experience the stress of looking at it! Then it becomes useless. Let’s talk about a better plan.
In this blog post, I want to share with you 10 ways to organize your life with paper calendars. The goal here is that when you look at a calendar, you don’t want it to create stress. You want it to create a sense of order, calm, and organization. That way, the calendar becomes the tool it should be, rather than you becoming a slave to it.
The problem is that there are so many things to add to a calendar. The secret to having a stress-free calendar is to avoid cluttering it with too much information. But how can you possibly have an uncluttered calendar with so many things you want to add to it?
Instead of using one calendar for everything, print multiple calendars for different areas of your life. Then display them in creative ways in the locations that would serve you best. (Find out how you can print more and still save money on printer ink in my post here).
10 Ways to Organize with Paper Calendars
1. Appointments and events calendar.
This covers the things in your life that are away from home. It includes appointments, ball games, weekly grocery shopping trip, errand time, etc. Display it prominently in a family command center, on an office bulletin board, or on the fridge. Remind your family to check it before they ask you about when events are taking place.
2. Bill-paying and financial goals calendar.
At a glance, you will be able to see when every bill for the month is due. Display it on your desk bulletin board, in a budget binder, or wherever you sit down to pay your bills. You can find one of these inside my free Budget Notebook here.
3. Meal planning calendar.
Hang this one on the refrigerator, and you’ll have no more questions from the family about what’s for dinner! Plus, when I plan meals and display on a calendar, I find that my children are better able to get things started and be a true help in the kitchen. I also keep a different version in my meal planning binder.
4. Cleaning calendar.
Create your own personalized system of cleaning your home by assigning cleaning tasks to specific days. When you do the tasks listed each day, you don’t have to feel guilty about the rest of the house because you know it’s on the calendar. Schedule a block of time each day to do the tasks on your cleaning calendar, even if it’s only 15 minutes!
5. Exercise and fitness calendar.
Keep track of fitness goals as well as your exercise schedule. I keep this one on my shelf in the bedroom and pull it out as I need it. And yes, sometimes it sits there for days because I don’t exercise every single day. But hey, it’s ready for me to pull out when I do, right?!
6. Prayer calendar.
There is so much to pray about! More than we even realize. If you don’t write prayer items down, you will forget. Don’t miss out on the privilege of praying about the important things. I keep this one inside my Bible.
7. Personal reading goals/log calendar.
This year I set a few new goals to read more books. Having these goals on a calendar reminds me and keeps me motivated. I’m also in a book reading club that is on a schedule.
8. Declutter calendar.
If you want to declutter your home, but you don’t have huge blocks of time to get it done, try assigning one small zone per day to your calendar. Display it near the cleaning calendar. I hang mine on the inside of the cabinet doors in our laundry room.
9. Homeschooling assignment calendar.
In addition to having your own calendar with a system for when you are working with each child, help your children learn to stay organized and responsible with a calendar of their own for their school assignments. They can display their assignment calendar on a bulletin board in their room or in a school work binder.
10. Projects calendar.
Plan creative project goals of all kinds from DIY to crafts to gardening. Be realistic about what you think you can accomplish. For example, you could set a goal of one project per month. Use your calendar to break down the project into weekly goals and daily bite-size steps. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.
Instead of creating stress by cluttering up one single calendar with everything, consider creating multiple paper calendars in the areas of your life that you feel will benefit you. Place each one in a strategic area of your home where it will serve you best.
Printable paper calendars can be your first step to getting organized for the day, the month, or the year. Why not print yours today, and get started?
YOUR TURN: Is your calendar overly-cluttered? Do you struggle to maintain an effective calendar? What is your favorite way to organize with a paper calendar? Share with us in the comments below.