We all probably have access to a hundred and one different calendar and organization apps in our smartphones, but there is certainly something to be said for using the most under-rated creativity and productivity tool – the pen and paper.
While you can go out and buy a pretty cool organizer or moleskine notepad to keep all your thoughts, appointments and more, down on pen and paper in front of you, you can just as easily make one yourself. You won’t need more than a printer, or in some cases, a little bit of creativity on your part.
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The list below has a little something for everyone, and can be adapted to suit your own skills. You can print out the calendars on regular paper or card stock, attach the calendar to a pretty clipboard, or create a magnetic calendar which you can keep on your fridge. We’ve put together a list of 10 creative options to get you organized in style in 2012.
Owl Lover Calendar
With some pretty cool artwork available to print for free, My Owl Barn‘s annual offering is a great 3 page calendar to mark important dates for the coming year. With 45 original works of art to choose from, you can customize your calendar, choosing which image goes with each month. Nothing could be easier than just printing off the 3 pages.
Available as a free PDF download from Alice Cantrell’s blog, this 2012 calendar is going to appeal to all of the nature lovers out there. Created by Cantrell and her 14 year old daughter, Anna, each month is represented by a herb. Cantrell recommends printing it on card stock for best results.
If you prefer function over form, David Sheah’s Compact Calendar is a great way to keep you organized using nothing more than one page of A4 paper. That said, there’s no reason you can’t have the calendar printed on card stock as well. There are several different PDFs available for free download, with national holidays for various countries including the US, France and Brazil, and you can also edit the calendar to include your national holidays, or any other significant dates, if you want.
Etsy has a great selection of printable calendars. All you have to do is make the purchase on Etsy, and the seller will send you the PDF file to print out yourself. Like the other options, you can simply print it out on regular A4 paper or have it printed on stock paper. There’s everything from one page calendars to popup calendars to monthly planners. One of our favourites available on Etsy right now has to be the $10 Keep Calm and Carry On calendar.
Clovered Popup Calendar
Vietnamese blog Clovered has a great free popup calendar for 2012 but it will take a little bit of effort on your part to put it together. Luckily the blog post contains all the instructions you’ll need to get your calendar looking as pretty as in the picture below.
Motivate Me Calendar
The 2012 Motivate Me Calendar is available as a free PDF download. Each month in the mini-calendar is accompanied by a motivational quote, starting with January’s Art Linkletter quote, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”
Paper Source DIY Calendar
Paper Source provides a DIY kit for just $8.95 and you can get as creative as you want with the design. The kit includes the calendar sheets, a rubber stamp and a clear stand to prop up your calendar.
Photojojo Fridge Calendar
Last year Photojojo shared a great post on how to turn your photos into re-usable magnetic notes, and we thought this is the ideal time to remind you about it. You can use the method outlined in the post to create 31 photos to place on your fridge (or any other magnetic surface for that matter) and make daily notes for that day.
The best thing about this option is that you can turn it into a Perpetual Calendar, made out of photos of numbers or any photos of your choice, which can be used for any month of any year, over and over again, so it couldn’t be more environmentally friendly. Not sure where to get the cards printed, Moo Cards has some suggestions on which of its services to use.
If you’re not a photography buff but like the fridge magnet idea, you could use nothing more than magnets of numbers. Serhiy Chebatryov’s Magnetic Calendar made up of numbers and icons that turn the surface of your fridge into a productivity tool unto itself. The design is a couple of years old, but like the Photojojo calendar, it doesn’t matter since you can keep using the magnets over and over again.
Dry-erase or post-it-note calendars
Going out and buying yourself a dry-erase, chalkboard or cork board and using it as a calendar might seem like a pretty simple idea but you can make it as elaborate as you want. With the readymade product running for as much as $99, why not just buy a plain board of your choice and do it yourself. Draw out the lines, or get some inspiration from Photojojo’s Perpetual Calendar and decorate your board with photos, post-it notes, and anything else you see fit.
You can even buy 7 or 12 individual tiles made of the material of your choice, and create a weekly or monthly calendar to hang on your wall.
Alternatively, you can create a calendar made entirely out of post-it-notes.
If you’d rather buy something ready-made, Etsy seller Simple Shapes has some of the coolest black chalkboard vinyl options we’ve seen, which will, no doubt, look great hanging on the wall of your office or home.
Create a custom calendar using your own images
Want a professionally printed calendar with your images? Head over to Zazzle where you can create a 12 page calendar for $17.95, with the images of your choice. The service is also provided by Lulu for $12.49. While Moo doesn’t provide DIY calendars, you can use the service to print out the calendars that you design yourself on cute little wallet-sized cards.
Taking a cue from Paper Source, you can print out monthly calendars on card stock and decorate them exactly the way you want to, printing out your own photos, or doodling or drawing on the card yourself. There’s really no limit to how creative you can get with your calendars. For the less artistically inclined among us, you can design a calendar using software like iPhoto, or Flickr users can use a free service like Big Huge Labs. If you’re an avid Instagram user you can use the free iPhone app Calendagram, which we reviewed here, to create a wall calendar of your photos for $24.99.
Do you have any tips on how to put together a cool DIY calendar for 2012? Let us know in the comments.