I’m sure there are apps galore for tracking birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days. But, I have found that the only tried and true way for me to remember them, especially the birthdays of my many nieces and nephews, is to use a perpetual calendar.
A perpetual calendar lists the days of each month in a vertical list, so it doesn’t matter what day the special day falls on or what year you’re in, you just know the month and date year after year. When I saw a pattern on Etsy by Patricia Zapata, a graphic designer, for making one that’s both practical and attractive, I had to make a new calendar.
I bought an assortment of cardstock in neutral colors and then printed out the template for all of the months — 2 months per 8 x 10 page. You can see the dotted outline for the first letter of each month and then the row of dates underneath.
Then, I cut out all of the letters with an x-acto knife.
I found a stack of origami paper to glue behind the letters so a colorful pattern peeks through.
I used a small hole punch to create two holes at the top so I could add a hanger.
I wrote in a few birthdays. Here’s August:
The designer Patricia gave a good tip, which is to mark the months that start with the same letter but have a different number of days on the back. So, for example, January has 31 days but June has 30. I made sure to have the months in the correct order on my calendar.
And finally cut a bit of wire (you can use a wire hanger too) to use as a hanger. You can use something besides a hanger or even, as Katie suggested, mount them to display as art. The idea is to be able to pull the months off and on the hanger easily when you want to write in a date, or change to a new month. Here’s how it looks on the wall of my home office for the current month.
At a quick glance, I see what’s coming up: my 12-year wedding anniversary and my nephew Ryan’s birthday. This year, Ryan will get more than a quick mention on his Facebook wall. Thanks to the perpetual calendar, he’ll get an actual card in the mail from his Aunt Leslie.