6 Awesome Ways to Use A Monthly Calendar
The humble monthly calendar is one of the most popular planners out there - most people have them and use them all the time. They're easy to use, and give you a place to jot down all those birthdays and events so you can see what you have on in a single glance. But monthly calendars can be used for so much more than that. They're brilliant tools for mapping where you're going, and where you've been.
So here are 5 awesome ways to use a monthly calendar you probably haven't thought of before - and if you don't have a spare monthly calendar lying around, you can always download one of mine for free!
1. As a health planner
A monthly calendar is a great way to track your health - and it'll give you a really great overview so you can see patterns over time. Depending on what you're tracking, if you make a colour coded key (like on a map) and add symbols for each item, you'll be able to track things quickly each day.
This is a great solution if you suffer allergies and intolerances, and allows you to record symptoms and possible triggers - something that will help you feel better, quicker.
It's also great to track your moods, sleep habits, medication if you take quite a bit, and your mental/emotional state. These are all really important things to track if you suffer from depression, PTSD and a range of other illnesses.
You can also use a health planner if you're trying to get pregnant. It's an easy way to track your cycles and record whether they are regular or sporadic, your ovulation dates, body temperatures and the days you had sex.
2. As a habit tracker
It's normally recommended that you focus on one habit every month, which makes a Monthly Planner the perfect way to track your habits. You can add your habit details in the notes section each month, and add a quote or reward at the end to keep you motivated. Add a big fat tick to each day you completed your task, or a cross when you skipped it, and you'll be able to see at a glance how you're going.
This also works well if you're tracking more habits - many people continue to track recently begun habits a few months after they started. Just add a coloured key (like on a map) to the notes section, and add coloured dots or squares each each day, and tick them off as you complete them.
3. As a project planner
Do you have a big project on the go? A monthly calendar is a great way to plan out your project it's completed on time and on budget. This is great for launching a blog or business, working on a thesis, renovations, or planning out a big work project.
I'm beginning to do this more for the blog, and I find the best way is to begin with the major dates - the ones set in stone that you can't move, then fill it in with the details, and bring it down to weekly goals.
This isn't really a calendar you fill in daily, more something to refer to to keep you on track and going where you need to. And after doing this, you're going to have a really good idea of how much you need to be doing each week to get the project completed on time.
4. As a fitness planner
A monthly calendar is a really easy way to track your fitness stats - it doesn't matter whether you're looking to loose a few kilos or you're training for a triathlon or marathon - you can easily keep a record of your vital stats and pick up on any patterns.
Track your workouts, weight, measurements, training sessions, water intake, mood, calories burned etc. Whatever you need to record to achieve your goal, a monthly calendar is really useful.
And not only will it show you how far you have to go, it'll also show you how far you've come - which is some of the greatest fitness inspiration!
5. As an editorial and campaign calendar
Consistency is one of the most important factors to achieving a really great online presence (it's also something I'm utterly hopeless at!), and having a monthly editorial or campaign calendar is really important.
As an editorial calendar, you can plan your content creation, plan your publishing schedule and map out exactly what needs to be up and when. This can be really useful, because you'll be able to see which tasks you can batch together to save time, and you'll also be able to make sure your content is ready for big events like Easter and Christmas. You can also track your metrics - views, shares etc - across the week or month.
A campaign calendar is very similar, but more often used for specific marketing projects on social networks - e.g. new product launches, Black Friday sales etc. I find it most useful to combine general marketing along with specific campaigns into the one calendar, just to make sure I'm not over-saturating any channels - something that is very easy to do when you have a lot going on! Again, you can easily track your metrics here too.