Calendar Tutorial

Anyone else do a lot of calendars at this time of year? It’s the sort of thing that only comes in at the end of the year and they can be time consuming to do.

I have been doing calendars for many years and I have developed a system which allows me to prepare a new calendar in minutes. I have a set of templates for different formats. I only need to change January 1st and move a few holidays around and its done.

If you have a similar system or would like to hear more, please post here. If there is any interest I could lay out my method for everyone to use / adapt in their own calendars.


Sure, post away. I don’t do calendars but I’m always interested to learn :slight_smile:

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Hello, yes I will do calendar designs. I would like to share my various calendar design works from my portfolio here for your feedback and also having interest to know your techniques in calendar designs.

These are really nice designs. They could be used as a template for another customer, or the same customer the next year. What I am going to explain is the different ways you can make this easy for yourself. Changing this years calendar for use next year, the easy way.

Each year January 1st falls on a different day. It would be good if you could easily change the dates for a different year. You can set it up so you only have to change January 1st, and the rest of the year reflows.

The way you do this depends on which type of calendar you are doing. Do the days of the week change, or the dates?

In your example, you would change the days of the week for next year’s calendar.

In this example, the days of the week stay static and the numbers change;

You can use linked text boxes to make all the days (or dates) change throughout the year. In InDesign you can link text boxes from one page to the next.

So depending on which type of calendar you are doing, you either change the day of the week on January 1st, or you change the date to another day;


There is one text box per date and you move the 1st using Enter (force to top of next text box). Here you change where the 1st falls.

Here you would use Return before Friday and add Thursday; here the days of the week move. The three columns are linked text boxes.

This example is effectively like Swarne’s second pic.

When you have all the text boxes linked you will see something like this;

Once you have a few different templates set, you can adapt them to fit different layouts.

There are a few things left to do;

  • add a date for Feb 29th on a leap year
  • move the holidays

Again, there are 3 kinds of holiday;

  • the ones that are on the same date each year (like Christmas Day)
  • The ones that are on the same day of the week each year (like Thanksgiving)
  • and the ones that move around (like Easter).

So if your dates move, Christmas Day will move. Thanksgiving is the last Thursday in November so that will stay put if the days of the week don’t move.

You can arrange it so that the holidays that move will move with the dates or days of the week, and the ones that don’t move stay put. The only holiday you need to move by hand is Easter.

I’ve designed exactly one calendar. I’ve always wanted to do more, but whenever the subject has come up with clients, it always gets back to “nobody uses calendars any longer” and “everyone has their calendars on their smart phones.” :frowning_face:

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