If you made a resolution to get more organized this year, you may want to think about how you’re going to organize important dates. You know, all those birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. How are you going to keep track of them all?
I know in the past, those important dates had a habit of sneaking up on me. I’d be going about life, doing my thing, then all of a sudden realize I had a family member’s birthday in a few days and I had nothing prepared. This led to scrambling to pick out a gift, write a card and rearrange my schedule to attend a birthday dinner. This disorganization and panic wasn’t limited to birthdays, and would happen with any major dates. Christmas even surprises me year after year!
This year I decided to do something about it. These important dates happen the same day, year after year. There is absolutely no need to be caught by surprise when one pops up! I thought I’d share with you a few of the tips and projects I’ve implemented in my life for organizing important dates.
The first thing I made was a ‘year at a glance’ page to include in my planner. You guys may remember seeing this page when I shared it here and here. I’m loving having this handy page available in my everyday planner. At the beginning of the month, I can flip to this page and add any important dates into the upcoming month’s calendar.
To make this page for yourself, start by cutting down a piece of heavy cardstock to the size that will fit in your planner (I did 5.5×8.5″). Then stamp 12 decorative circles down the page, in four rows of three. Finally label each of your 12 circles using months of the year stamps. Finish things off by filling in your important dates into the appropriate monthly circle. (Both stamps I used were bought at Michael’s)
Next I wanted to have an important dates ‘reference guide’ easily available outside of my planner. This is a great option if you want the other members of your house to be able to see important dates coming up as well.
To make this important dates keychain, start by cutting out 12 squares (2.5×2.5″) of heavy cardstock (I used index cards). Next line the top of your squares with colorful washi tape, and write in the months of the year. I use Sharpie ultra fine point markers to write on washi tape, because it won’t smear. Finish it off by stamping a checklist onto each card (I used this one) for the area where you will write the number and short description of each important date that occurs that month.
Now that you have a couple of full year references for important dates, you also need to include them in your regular planning. Like I said above, at the beginning of each month I look at my important dates reference guides, and fill in any upcoming important dates into my monthly calendar.
There are many ways to help these important dates stand out, so they don’t blend into the rest of your regular plans. I outlined a few of my favorite ways to make important dates ‘pop’ below.
Recently, my favorite form of planner decoration is stamping. The nice clean lines a stamp offers allows you to fill up your planner, and still have things look neat and uniform. I also find that my eye is naturally drawn to the colorful ink and cute little icons, over plain handwriting. (I used stamps from here, here and here).
Another option for emphasizing an important date is a little page flag. These are another favorite of mine, I think they just add so much cuteness to your monthly layout. To make this little flag, I used the free printable provided here, and punched a heart out of plain white cardstock. The beauty with these flags is that they can be customized to fit any number of occasions.
Another way to help an important date stand out is by using planner stickers. Planner stickers have become a super popular way to organize in the planner community recently. You can find absolutely tons of options on Etsy, or by searching around Pinterest for free options. The sticker I used above is a freebie found here.
Finally, an oldie but a goodie, you can always use washi tape to help those important dates stand out. Washi has been my default planning tool forever. It is a great way to add color and draw attention to any plans your may have. With the infinite number of washi tape designs available, you’ll have no problem finding one that suits your needs and tastes!
I’m hoping with these tools, I will never again be caught by surprise when an important date starts creeping up. And hopefully neither will you! Do you have any tips to share for staying on top of important dates? How do you remember things like birthdays, and anniversaries?