I’m… discriminating… with my family calendar. I mean, in the grand scheme of life which calendar I have is no big deal, but in the day-to-day it can be annoying. After all, if I have a calendar that I don’t like or that doesn’t meet my family’s needs, it’s going to be something that bugs me literally every day. Therefore, I’ve created some criteria or must haves for my family calendar.
Calendars vs Planners
Both calendars and planners have a place in my home (and in my heart).
I use a large family calendar in the kitchen, near my command center, for all the activities that apply to my family. If we’ve got an event, it goes on the calendar. It’s hung in the kitchen for all to see and it doesn’t move until the end of the year when I unceremoniously drop it into the recycling bin.
My planner, however, is mostly just for me. I include family events such as practices and activities, but I also include events and details that are just for me. For instance, if I schedule a grocery pick up, I write that in my planner so I don’t forget, but it’s not something I clog up the family calendar with.
My planner usually sits on the counter, but I can easily take it with me for the day if I need to. As I sometimes write important family notes or events I’d like to remember in my planners, I save them from years past.
So, planner is for me, and the calendar is for the family. It may seem redundant to you, but it works for us!
Family Calendar Essentials
Here are five must-haves for my family calendar.
1. Simple, Aesthetically Pleasing Design
I like to keep my home simple and minimal. My calendar is out at all times, and therefore, it needs to match my home.
I don’t need colorful birds, funny sayings, cartoon characters, or cute kittens hanging out in my kitchen — it’s chaotic enough in there! Simple designs that add a pop of color but don’t contribute to the visual clutter are exactly my jam.
While I like my calendars simple, I also don’t want them to be too plain or utilitarian.
Side note: If pretty birds are your jam and make you happy — GO FOR IT!
2. Easy to See and Read
Besides being simple, I want my calendar to be easy to see — that means larger writing and clear fonts. Since my calendar is in my kitchen, I’m often looking at it from a few feet away. Clear fonts allow me to identify the date or see if the day has anything written on it.
3. Large Boxes
We are a family of five, so sometimes I need a lot of room to write. Between activities for five people, garbage days, holidays, family parties, etc., I sometimes fill an entire box. Sometimes (my favorite times) those boxes stay empty and there’s just beautiful blank space.
I usually opt for a calendar that has boxes on both the top and bottom half, rather than calendars with a picture on the top and boxes on the bottom. Give me function, not country garden scenes!
4. Thick Paper
Thick paper is ESSENTIAL for my family calendar for a few reasons.
First, if the paper isn’t thick enough, the writing will sometimes bleed right through the paper, making a mess of the other months before I even get to them.
Second, I HATE when those little calendar holes for hanging rip. Then the page you’re on flops down, or you have to MacGyver it with some tape and a hole punch. No thanks. Strong paper, please!
5. Listed Holidays
Some calendar companies leave all the holidays off the calendar to be culturally sensitive. While I love this idea for my planner, I don’t love it for my calendar. I enjoy knowing when the holidays are just by flipping around. It’s great for future planning for holidays such as Easter and Father’s Day.
If the holidays weren’t listed, I’d have to google them and then cross-reference them with my family calendar to check the dates and see what else we have going on. Or, I suppose I could sit down at the beginning of the year and add all the holidays — but I’d prefer they just be included, especially because I probably wouldn’t write holidays we didn’t celebrate and knowing they exist broadens my horizons.
My 2022 Family Calendar
With these criteria in mind, I headed to amazon to find my perfect calendar. After looking at several options, I decided on this Big Print 2022 Calendar. I don’t need the big print, but I need the big boxes and I loved the simplicity and colors of this calendar.
While I rarely like pictures on my calendar, I also don’t want plain white pages. These bold colors are the perfect middle ground for me. They offer a fun pop of color without being a source of visual clutter. I especially love the yellow below and am looking forward to April!
One aspect of this calendar I like is the lines where most calendars add empty boxes. This wasn’t something I was looking for, but I love the added function. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll use the lines yet, but I’m thinking of listing upcoming birthdays in this section.
Another bonus of this calendar that I wasn’t looking for is the stickers it comes with. I’m not sure if I’ll use them, but the 8-year-old girl in me is excited to have them. I mean, who can resist a sticker?
Family Calendar Must Haves
When I’m going to be using a calendar every day for an entire year, it’s got to be just right. By identifying what I like and don’t like, I can make sure I get a calendar that meets my needs.
Do you have specifics for calendars? I’d love to hear! Drop a note below and let me know!