Can You Have Too Many Calendars?

I’m just 1 person with a whole lot of calendars. Maybe you can relate? There is the calendar I create in my bullet journal. There are the ones I got as Christmas gifts. There is a calendar I saw in the store and just had to have. And there are a handful I received in the mail as freebie promotions from companies or organizations. 

In an increasingly digital world, it can feel like you have too many calendars. My advice is: use them, but use them wisely!

Use a Master Calendar

Choose just 1 calendar to keep track of events, appointments, chores, birthdays, etc. Putting information in multiple places increases the chance that you’ll miss something important. Maybe that master calendar lives on only your phone or in the cloud. Or maybe it’s a planner you always carry in your bag/purse or it’s the blotter on your desk. Make sure your choice is accessible and the right size for your needs. Sit down with last year’s calendar(s), your email, your texts, and your dozens of sticky notes to consolidate everything into one place.

Use Other Calendars for Specific Reasons

So now you’ve got your one calendar chosen and ready for the year ahead. But your other calendars all cry out for your attention. 

A calendar hanging on the wall

  • Wall calendars – use these for reference. They hang in places where you might need to frequently reference the date or look ahead. Glancing at the wall is faster than opening up a calendar app on your phone or computer. I keep one by each of my two desks and one in the kitchen so that I can take note of it in the morning when I start a new day. These calendars stay up on the walls instead of being written on because I know that if I take one down, I might forget to put it back up, and it will get mixed up in a stack of papers and lost for a period of time. 
  • Something-a-day calendars – use these for fun. When you tear off a page, it is gone, so these calendars are not good for planning or reference. Physically tearing off one page a day can be enjoyable. It can give a great sense of progress or help you count down to a special day. Personally, I find them difficult to keep up with. I will forget to tear off a day’s page and get confused. Or I will go out of town for a week and fall out of the habit only to find I’m three months behind. It’s okay if you fall behind. Remind yourself that they’re intended for fun, so don’t rush through them to catch up; enjoy every page.
  • Special purpose calendars – use these for dedicated reasons or for finite times. When I’m doing a monthly challenge, I might use a calendar to keep track of my challenge progress such as giving myself a sticker on a square for each day I cleaned or adding my word count on the days I wrote. I might use one for crossing off the days until an upcoming event or trip, because physically writing in Xes feels satisfying. Or I might use a calendar for organizing my blog and social media schedule. Just make sure that anything that belongs on your master calendar gets to your master calendar instead of your special purpose calendar. 
  • Small one-page calendars – use these in your journal. I love those small, one-page overviews of the year and tape one into my bullet journal’s front cover. It saves me the time of drawing out the months by hand or making a mistake  in my numbering (I’m that person who accidentally gave February 31 days one year). 

Don’t Use Them as Calendars

You’ve got your important master calendar. You’ve got your reference and special purpose calendars. But you still have a stack of too many calendars in front of you. 

A box wrapped in a calendar page

  • Reuse – Calendar pages make excellent wrapping paper and gift tags, which gives some unexpected pizzazz to a present. I keep my favorites in the closet by my wrapping paper so that I can remember to use them.  
  • Create art –  Calendar pages are usually thick enough to be made into homemade envelopes or greeting cards. They could be used in mixed media collages or decoupage projects. I have even been known to frame my favorite page or two and hang them as art around the house.
  • Inspire yourself – Maybe a calendar has an image of a place you want to visit or a quote you find inspiring. Cut it out of the calendar and add it to your vision board. Or maybe there’s a photo of an adorable animal that makes you smile. Post that on your fridge to give future-you a treat.
  • Recycle – Remove the staples then put them in the recycling bin. Don’t feel bad about getting rid of freebie calendars as you didn’t spend money on them. They might be gorgeous, but not actively using a thing turns it into clutter. Having them around and not using them will just confuse you.

How many calendars will you be using this year, and how do you plan to use them?

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