Favorite Things: Post It Calendar

I love a pretty calendar in my office, but for the last 7 years or so, our main family calendar has been built each month on the kitchen bulletin board. We use post-its if we have them. Or cut squares from colored paper if we don’t. We staple the squares directly to the bulletin board.

I created the first one when Ralph was very young and couldn’t comprehend how many days it was until Halloween. The distinct squares helped him understand — and we crossed out each day as we went along. But it ended up being so functional and helpful, that we’ve made it a permanent fixture in our dining area.

Thumbs up:
It’s a nice monthly ritual. My kids help. Maude likes to remove last month’s staples. Ralph likes to pick out colors for the new month — typically based on any applicable holidays (Red or Green during December, Orange during October. On the calendar above the colors aren’t significant of anything in particular. Ralph just collected an assortment of post-its that he said “felt like January”). It helps everyone understand the different number of days in each month.

Also, it’s big. So we have plenty of room to write our daily activities. In fact, on the months I cut out my own squares, we can even go bigger or smaller as we see fit. I like that kind of flexibility and control.

Thumbs down:
There’s only room for one month at time on our board. So thinking ahead to next month gets tricky.

I’m considering moving away from this method and keeping a family binder instead. Maybe something with a calendar, sections for each child, and pockets for invitations or notes from school. But I’m afraid I would miss the big visual reminder. How do you handle the family calendar?

Want to see more of my favorites? Amanda posted some of them here.

38 thoughts on “Favorite Things: Post It Calendar”

  1. The post-t style calendar is definetly an attractive option, though too big for my kitchen. I might try it in the office, because I've been thinking that I'd like having an additional calendar in there as well for working at the computer.

    I've been using this one in my kitchen for the past couple years.



    I like it because there are several lines (as seen in additional image) so each family member can have their own spot on each day. It helps me keep organized better instead of just one blank square. There are also lots of different designs to choose, but I really like this one.

  2. Love your idea!

    When I lived at home, I was second eldest of 5. To day my mother needed to stay organized would be a HUGE understatement. Her solution? A HUGE calendar from Office Depot. Each day is nearly as big as a post it note, and she could plan out her entire year. It had a Spot of Honor on the kitchen desk. Bonus – there was so much information on the calendar, she could hole up in her bedroom with it every Sunday and write her journal entry for the week, without fear of forgetting anything important! Oh, and another plus – the calendar runs less than $5, so it’s really affordable! (I’m not seeing it online, so maybe it’s only available in stores.)

  3. I use a large desk calendar (the kind that was always on my teachers’ desks). It sits on the kitchen counter next to the microwave. I love it much more than the typical wall calendars that we used to use.

  4. Why make it an Either / Or scenario?

    Keep your post it calendar for the visual, ad then keep a binder to contain a printout of future months to jot down future doctor’s appointments, birthdays, vacation dates, visitors etc.

    Include tabs in the binders for each child for sign-up sheets, newsletters you may need to reference, invitations, etc. If you also include one of those plastic sleeves, you can also keep mementos (tickets, little bits of art, notes they have written, etc, until you can file or scrap them.)

    I think it would very much be a win/win situation and one I think I will employ myself!

  5. A friend of mine uses the post-it calendar, as well. I like that one can save events that repeat and re-use them from month to month. It’s also super-cute.

    We use Google Calendar in our family. I love that each person can have their own color, and I love that it’s paperless. To store documents/etc. that need to be readily accessible, I have a little portable file box utilizing the “Getting Things Done” 43 folder system. Each permission slip/theater ticket/etc. can be slipped into the appropriate folder corresponding to its due date. It works great for us.

  6. I started a new system last year and it has saved our family! It involves one binder and one homework file. Details…

    I keep a binder which has a monthly calendar at the front and then several sections including one for my immediate “to do”, school volunteer work, church volunteer work and the children’s activities. Each section has several plastic sheet protectors in it so that I can actually see the birthday card that I need to write on, the soccer schedule, the church roster and the receipts that need to be turned in. My binder goes everywhere with me so I always have it to work on things when I have a minute to spare and so that my coupons and things are always with me.

    I keep a small desktop stand up file for hanging folders. Each child has two folders in their hanging folder. One folder has this weeks homework and the other folder is a place to store important school info, study sheets, project info etc… The children are in charge of making sure their hw is always stored in the folders and their papers never get lost anymore.

  7. I love your idea and wanted to let you know what works for our family. As our 3 boys have gotten older, our commitments have multiplied. I now keep a Paper-Source spiral bound calendar (beautiful colors!) on the kitchen counter. Each morning I transfer the places we need to be on our chalkboard. I have the daily calendar from Mary Engelbreit and tear off the page and attach it to the board with a magnet. That provides the current date and a cheerful message. Each morning I erase and start over! It works great, we all use it as a reminder. Love your blog!

  8. Love the calendar! Could you perhaps do two months at a time and put the second month on first then staple the first month on top? I guess that would solve your problem every other month, though!

  9. I love a visual calendar, but we’re virtual peeps. We use a shared Google Calendar for everything. I input new items on the spot using my G1 phone or by calling Jott. All the calendars in our house are mostly decorative.

  10. I love your idea, especially that your whole family participates and learns some great math concepts like sequencing, counting, and patterning. Very cool from an educator’s perspective.

    I have a spiral bound calendar posted on my fridge that actually has three years in it. It allows to plan for Dr.s appointments,etc. that sometimes are planned a year ahead.

  11. When us kids were in school (high school particularly), my mom was able to find a dry erase calendar that was about 3’x2′ that had two months on it. It was great, but UGLY.

    I found out while working in a graphic design office that companies like Ferrari Color (based in SLC, UT and SF, CA) can print your own designs on a white erase surface for $5-$10 a square foot. Wouldn’t a customized white erase calendar be so nice??! Maybe one of these days I’ll make one for my family.

  12. That’s such a cute idea. I’ve been wanting a new “fashionable” calendar to hang on my wall, but instead I think I might just get out the scrapbook paper. :)

  13. I like to use a dry erase board calendar in our kitchen. That way I can erase and change things as necessary. Also, I am able to keep it going from one month to the next.

    It has worked really well so far. If I add to it, I will find one that also has a cork board attached or buy one separate for all the papers that need to stay close.

    I also keep a calendar with ical on my computer. Then I transfer the info onto the big one as needed.

  14. I have six kiddos and we MUST be organized (I am sure you can relate). I use a HUGE calendar – no cute pictures – called THE MONSTER GRID – what a name, right?

    It’s so great because once a week we write a family journal and we can see what we did. We can also plan for the future (let’s try to get choir/wrestling/football/scout camp for a different weekend because it conflicts with girls camp/EFY/family reunion/more scouts (four boys) etc.).

    Best of all, I keep them in a portfolio box and when I need to see something or confirm a date – what was the date so and so was baptized? Did we really go to the ER on this date? (looking at a bill) I can just go look it up.

    I LOVE this system. You can see a sample of it in action here :


    I love your blog, I’ve been lurking for awhile now :).

  15. I just saw a Post it note calendar at Walmart and thought of you. Pages for each month of the year. STicky notes to put on the calendar. I’m wondering if this would be good for your fam since you’re into the stickies. You get stickies and can see future months.

  16. We use the flylady calendar, and that has really big squares–not quite as big as the post it, but not too far off. I like that I can plan out my whole year and still have really big squares.

  17. I don’t have a store bought calendar this year (so far) I made one – funny, I made it from

    but opposite. I miss not having a calendar on the fridge, though.

    The worst thing is that I don't have a page-a-day calendar on my desk and I cannot figure out what day it is without it. I'm going to have to break down and buy one I guess.

    I absolutely LOVE your idea, but I would not like not being able to look backwards or forwards. I need to remember bdays & such.

  18. Seriously, this is an answer to my prayers! I’ve got 5 busy kids (3 teenagers) and only one car so planning is key . We’ve tried a family calendar before but they were always too small. I’ve tried the white board kind and someone always “forgets” to use the dry erase markers and they get ruined. This is so simply and so ingenius! Thanks!

  19. I’ve been using iCal monthly view for about 2 years now. Everyone has their own specific color, so it’s easy to see who has what and when. At the start of the month I print it out and post it. I’m at my computer enough that I can update on the fly and re-print if needed. There’s always room to hand-write in things as well, if needed. Also, it is handy when trying to remember a year later when we had doctors appointments etc. Plus I can export it to update my husband’s calendar.

  20. I love my system that I implemented last year. We bought one of those Real Simple calendars that has color coded (and removable!) stickers for each family member. It lets us easily see what’s coming up for each person. It is hung on the front of the pantry door in the kitchen. On the back of the pantry door, I have a hanging multip pocket organizer for invitations, forms, phone lists, take out menus, whatever. It works great and my kids love filling in their own stickers and putting them on the calendar.

  21. I like big, visual calendars in the kitchen. I usually buy a big office desk calendar every year and hang it in the kitchen, but I think this year I’m going to try your post-it calendar! I’ve tried binders and google calendar, but if it’s not staring me in the face at 7am while I’m making the kids’ breakfasts and packing lunches, I tend to forget about it until I’m in the car…(oh, yeah, I forgot to check the calendar…)

  22. Like Melanie O, my parents used the big desk calendar and bolted it to a corkboard each year to hang in the kitchen. Not as cute as your post-it note creation, but you can definitely see ahead to the whole year. A must for me.

  23. Pingback: >Preschool Hack: Lesson Plans | a few good things

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