The calendar is an essential part of any household. If you use it properly, it can make your life a lot less stressful... I have had many different types of calendars over the years, really any calendar works - the main thing is that it has nice big boxes to write in, so that you have plenty of space to record your upcoming events.
My gorgeous sister, Nicole, made our entire family fantastic 2011 calendars for Christmas last year, with lots of wonderful photos to decorate each month of the year. I love the brown tones of the calendar, and the boxes for each date are nice and large. Hey - check out the stunning matching twins on their birthday month - yes, matching runs in our blood ;)
At the start of every new year, I transfer all of the birthdays and anniversaries from my old calendar to my new one. This is something that I learnt off my Mum, I remember every January Mum would have a calendar day and create her new calendar. She is the queen of remembering everyone's birthday (she has 19 nieces & nephews and 30+ great nieces & nephews!). There is no doubt about it, by writing it down, you simply can't forget.
Each morning, the first thing I do is check the calendar. I circle the current date, so that I remember the date for when I need to write it later on in the day. Some people put a cross on their calendar when a day is done, I don't like this personally, but obviously you should just use whatever works for you to keep current :)
Every Sunday, I check the calendar for the week ahead. I remind my husband of any upcoming events or appointments, and generally get the 'feel' for the coming week. Towards the end of the month, I spend some time planning for the upcoming month. This afternoon, I did my August calendar planning. We have lots of birthdays and events in August, so it is nice to get your head around what is coming up. I try to write down events and appointments as they come into the house, that way we can avoid double-booking ourselves. But usually when I do my month-ahead planning, I check my phone for messages with dates, and the mail file for invitations and the like. Then, if I have missed writing something down when it was planned, I can now transfer the info onto the calendar.
Then, Monday night is my 'Cards & Presents' planning night, which I will dedicate an entire post to one day soon. By checking the calendar on Sunday, I can double check that I have prepared all that I need for that week - cards, presents, paperwork, etc.
I make using a calendar fun by using a range of stickers to remind us of events. Flylady has these great stickers, which are useful for appointments.
I also love using them for showing which cleaning Zone of the house is being focussed on each week.
Stickers make it easy to see 'at a glance' exactly what is happening. They save space on the calendar, and they also save time, as it is so quick to pop on a sticker, rather than write on the calendar. And they make it fun - we all know the saying, 'Make it fun & it will get done!'
I always keep my old calendars too. They are great for photos/scrapbooking, as it holds all of the dates and events that you have experienced.
Flylady has some great calendar tips here. And her stickers can be ordered here. I have picked up different types of calendar stickers at newsagents or calendar stalls, but lately I haven't seen any so I am just using Flylady's. Currently, I am keeping my eye out for some cute stickers to put on my calendar for every second Friday to remind us when it is the day for our Recycling Bin to be collected... Make sure you let me know if you see any mini-bin stickers ;) I use a Desk Day sticker on my fortnightly pay days, to remind me to do the banking, etc.
So, while the calendar can not only help you to remember birthdays, anniversaries and special events, it can also be a useful tool for keeping up with household routines too!