Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cool Calendars

I admit, I'm a calendar junkie. Every year I go out and buy a year's supply (I wait until after January 1st so I can get them at a discount) for the entire family. They are not as vigilant as I am about keeping them updated -- the slackers -- but it satisfies my ever-constant need for organization. If you're going to the brick and mortars, BAM and B&N always seem to have a nice selection, and Borders usually offers theirs with excellent discounts after January 1st.

I have found if I get calendars with themes that appeals to my victims loved ones, they are more apt to use them. So I look for nature or beach scenes for my guy, puppies for my daughter and anything Asian for the college kid. For myself I buy some type of quilt-themed wall calendar -- this because they almost always come with free patterns -- a purse-size pocket planner and a lay-flat, desk-size notebook type for my office desk.

I've never before made my own calendar, though, so in keeping with my "try new things" outlook for 2011 I decided to see how hard it was to put one together. Not difficult at all, as it turns out. Microsoft Word 2007 allows me to access and download online templates from their site, so I found a simple one to use. I inserted a blank page between each month and on those inserted an interesting photo from my collection.

The whole thing took about thirty minutes, and the resulting calendar came out great, as you can see here. I was just playing, but I think doing something like this for readers would be an excellent New Year's gift from an author, especially those of you who do a lot of booksignings, conferences and that kind of thing (I'm thinking you could also mark upcoming release dates with a cover thumbnail inserted into the appropriate calendar date block, although I haven't tried that myself.)

One suggestion: I didn't resize the photos I used for the example calendar, so most of them are really too hi-rez for printing (they also make the file over 4 MB in size; rather huge for a 25-page document.) If you're going to use digital or scanned photos for a calendar you want folks to print out, resize them first to an easily-printable resolution before you insert them in your doc.

Other calendar resources:

The simple but wonderful Chaos Manager freeware designed by Martin Bresson was such a huge help to me in 2010 I'm going to keep using it as my virtual calendar/reminder program for 2011. I've got my guy hooked on it now, too.

Veranda Magazine's February 2011 issue comes with a lovely free calendar featuring their amazing photography; I'm putting this one in the kitchen because it's attractive, not too big and yet it has decent-size blocks to write on.

Calendar Freeware fom the Freebies page: 1 year * Calendar.exe * Calendar Magic * Calendars & Planners * Chandler * Easy HR Popup Calendar * MiniMinder * Multi-Reminders * Rainlendar Lite Remind Me Please * Sunbird * TaskPrompt * TKexe Kalendar


  1. Great use for those lovely photos.
    (from a fellow calendar junkie).

  2. I need to check out Chaos Manager. Love your calendar, especially the pumpkin head for October!

  3. I love the Sierra Club calendars; beautiful photos and supporting a good cause.
    I've also had calendars printed from a variety of photo companies, including Shutterfly, Kodak, Photoworks, etc. because I'm never happy with home printing. I like Photoworks the best because they have the widest variety of nice designs, and most importantly, the highest quality printing both in terms of photo quality and materials. They also often have sales, which is nice, since they can be a bit pricey. It's not at all realistic if you're giving them away, but just for the family they're a nice treat.

  4. What a wonderful calendar you made! You take some really pretty photos. I must admit, I'm a major calendar fan myself. I like feeling up-to-date and organized. :)


  5. Wonderful calendar, Lynn. Love April's big dramatic sky and September's magnificent mansion (that's you're house right? ;) )

    And, receiving a calendar designed by my fav author... now that would be cool.