So backstory first:
I’ve been using a variety of dry erase or rip-off page calendars for a few years now to keep track of our daily schedules, meal planning, etc. It might seem redundant in a world of online calendars that sync to our phones (I use and couldn’t breathe without those also) but having something hanging in my kitchen means that the whole family knows what our week looks like and I feel more organized and capable of planning our week when I have it visually hanging.
I tried printed ones first that I’d simply tear off each week and I liked them but felt super wasteful using them both economically and environmentally so eventually I moved to a dry erase board with a monthly template that I’d fill in but having to look at my monthly schedule and feeling compelled to be on top of an entire month’s worth of goings on felt exhausting and stressful. I was menu planning on this thing and I learned awhile ago that monthly menu planning doesn’t work well for my schedule which is too fluid and unpredictable. Weekly just works better for me (sometimes every three or four days-ly even).
So several months ago I replaced the big monthly board with a weekly one and was all “Hallelujah!” Except…. it turns out the board I bought wasn’t actually magnetic for hanging on a fridge, it was magnetic for sticking notes to it. What? How is that useful???
But I was determined to make it work and tried sticking my own magnets on the back of it, but they weren’t strong enough and the board was constantly falling down. At one point my husband may or may not have super glued it to the refrigerator in a fit of irritation. That should have been the end of my story but somehow it fell down again when we were repairing a problem with the fridge and the board had just had it – despite my efforts, I could not revive it into compliance and I decided that clearly this calendar and I just were not meant to be. So I started shopping for it’s replacement.
And found nothing. Seriously. I searched several stores and didn’t find anything I liked. Nothing. I was pretty bent until somehow I had a eureka moment and went home, pulled up Picmonkey and designed my own calendar template. It was fun and easy – once I worked out printable dimensions and figured out how to make all the squares fit in a way that was useful and not hideous. Then all I had to do was pick pretty fonts and add some cute images. I have a premium paid Picmonkey account so there were plenty to choose from, but even the free version of Picmonkey is still pretty darn useful for stuff like this.
Once I was satisfied with my design, I printed it off and laminated it. I bought a desktop laminator many moons ago and it seems to get used in fits and spurts here and there, but I’m always grateful to have it in moments like these. My calendar printed up perfectly on plain old printer paper which fit the laminating sheet perfectly and the best news is : laminated pages work really well with dry erase markers. Over time, it will probably get harder to clean but they make products to give it a good spit shine and when it finally taps out, I can just print a new one.
Don’t have a laminating machine at home? Companies like Staples will do it for you for a pretty reasonable price, especially for quick one off jobs.
Here’s how my weekly calendar turned out:
My husband was massively impressed with the fact that it was FREE and takes up very little space and does not need to be magically glued to the fridge. You could totally stick some magnets on the back, but I’m just hanging mine up with little magnetic clips for now because I’m totally planning to make some seasonal ones for funsies at some point.
Want to borrow / steal mine for yourself? Here’s the JPG image which should print very nicely in landscape mode: