Starting 2016 in a minimalist way

We’re nearing the end of the year. At the start of 2015, I had resolved to design a minimalist calendar all by myself and use it for the year. However, procrastination and perfectionism clenched me hard and I kept waiting for tomorrows. Occasionally I sifted through links online on DIY calendars, tutorials on using Excel to create one, etc.

Today however, I decided to make one for 2016. The thing that actually pushed me to do it is the calendar I currently have. It’s a little less than standard A4, but being a free one ( distributed freely with newspapers at the beginning of the year ) it has a lot of advertisements at the top, bottom and the right. If I cut these advertisements and place them on top of a month, they occupy half the space. Here’s a snapshot.

Calendars with Advertisements

If I chose to go with a branded one, it was almost the same, except that instead of ads, everyday was marked with events and was so colorful that it was almost impossible to put a note on a particular date. Well in India, you really have limited options for Calendars, there’s a couple of companies manufacturing the old-fashioned ones, and then there are calendars that depict celebrities that seduce you into an entirely new world that I’m least bothered to talk about here. I don’t like either of them.

Calendars with ads are more of a visual distraction, a nuisance. Most of the ads don’t even relate to my needs, Construction contractors, Courier companies that are far away from where I live, Solar Panel Manufacturers etc.

Every time I look at the calendar, I’m distracted or rather bored by these badly colored ads that shout for attention, so I go look for my mobile instead. In the digital age, its quite uncommon to use a hard-copy calendar, but the thing is, its just near my work desk and I only carry my mobile when I go out somewhere. At other times, its lying in some corner. Its not a part of my body ;)

The Process

I started with A4 sheets and after experimenting with December 2015, I finalized on this design for 2016

January 2016 - DIY minimalist calendar leaf

It’s a good project if you’ve kids at home and you want to give them a constructive assignment. Good for even adults who wish to satiate their creative urge.

After framing it whith a 1cm margin on all sides, I went for a portrait layout that I could hang on the wall. I then drew a horizontal line 2.5cm from the top margin line. Drew a vertical line 2cm from the left margin line to write the day name in short and divided the rest of the middle area into 5 columns and 7 rows. The columns and rows being 3.5cm in width and height. I then used my mobile phone’s calendar to look up the day of the week January 1 begins and wrote day numbers top to bottom, left to right. I continued writing days month after month. I prepared six months and the rest I could do some other day when I feel an urge to make something. After the writing work was done, I lightly folded the A4 vertically on to top to find the center a punched a hole with a punching machine to thread it and hang it. You could use paper clips to secure the 4 corners from playing mischief when you turn on the fan or when it’s windy.


It certainly takes time to do it, so if you’re a really busy person, I’d suggest getting a print from It has a calendar generator, on the homepage, in the Navigation area, go for Calendar — >Monthly Calendar and you can customize how you want the layout and whether you want moon-phases, public holidays etc to show up. A quick google for Calendar Generator shall also provide plentiful options to choose from.

I’ve my own basic and functional calendar for 2016 and from now onwards, if someone happens to gift me a calendar with ads, I shall quietly pass it on to other people. ;)

PS: Just came across this link It allows you to download weekly and monthly calendars. It was recommended by Smashing Magazine and they said we could re-print existing waste office paper that’s blank on one side for printing calendars. A clever idea.

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