Jan 132013

2013 Calendar by MeinLilaParkThere are lots of great free printable 2013 calendars available right now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of electronic calendars, like the Google Calendar that I use for my weekly and monthly calendars, but there’s no question that actual, paper calendars are really handy as well. Every year I print out a 1-page yearly calendar to put near my desk, as well as a 12-page monthly calendar for my daughter to use.

MeinLilaPark has compiled a list of over 50 free printable calendars, including 12 month calendars, 1-page yearly calendars, mini calendars, and more.  Here are some of the best free printable 2013 calendars out there (and check out MeinLilaPark for more):

12 Month 2013 Calendars (12 pages)

If you’re a fan of cutesy teddy bears, GraphicGarden offers this one:

If you’re more into country charm, GraphicGarden‘s got you covered:

If you’re looking for something simple, try this one from Botanical Paperworks:

And here’s a cute calendar for kids from HelloCuteness:

2013 Yearly Calendars

Here’s a vintage illustration on a simple yearly calendar from CallMeVictorian:

Here’s a more whimsical one from MeinLilaPark:

Or, you can keep it simple with this one from BelievingBoldly:

2013 Mini Monthly Calendars

The illustrations on this mini calendar from Creative Mama are too cute:

Or if you’re into something more edgy, try this one from Smam (the download buttons are the “1,2,3″ links at the bottom of the text):

Jul 272012

[Expired] Home Cleaning Shortcuts: Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for a Fast and Lasting Clean by Heather Lane is free right now on Amazon.  It’s an Amazon Kindle ebook, but even if you don’t own a Kindle you can still enjoy it by downloading it for free to your computer (PC or Mac), iPhone, or iPad. The instructions for doing so are included under the “Buy Now With 1 Click” button. PLEASE BE AWARE that the price is currently $0.00 but that could change at any time, so always check the price before clicking Buy Now.

Let me know what you thought of this book!

May 042012

Tired of rushing about in the mornings, trying to get yourself presentable and your kids to school on time?  A morning routine is helpful, but I’ve found that the real secret to a stress-free morning if found in what you do the night before- a good evening routine sets you up for success the next day.  Imagine it:

  • Instead of shoveling down your oatmeal so that you have time to make your kids’ lunches, the lunch is already prepared, waiting in the fridge for your child to grab it off the shelf and stick it in their lunch bag. 
  • Instead of tearing through your closet trying to find the right clothes for your meeting at work, your outfit is already picked out, just hanging there waiting to be put on.
  • Instead of arguing with your kids about what they’re going to wear to school, they put on what they already picked out the night before.
  • Instead of forgetting to load the extra car seat that was supposed to be dropped off at school so that the babysitter could pick your kid up, the car seat is already loaded into your car.

You may have already implemented some of these strategies from time-to-time, but if you found that they just didn’t stick- that too many tasks are still being left to the morning- then a checklist is critical to getting your household running smoothly.  A “routine” is a concept, but a “checklist” is the way to put the routine into action.  When my husband and I were both working full-time, and our daughter was in day care full-time, I created an evening routine checklist for us to follow and it really helped make our weekday mornings less hectic. I’m providing it here, for free- download and print the checklist out, and put it on the kitchen counter for everyone to refer to after dinner.  You could laminate it so that everyone can check off their tasks each night, or you could print out a new one each night.  (If find that you only need to do the actual “checking off” for about 3 days- after that, people can just look at the checklist for reminders.)

Using a checklist results in fewer forgotten items, less hurrying, and more time to interact in a positive way with each other.  Not only does it help your household run smoothly, it’s a great way to model efficiency for your children.

All of The Daily Citron’s downloads and printables are available for free to all subscribers of The Daily Citron Weekly Newsletter (which is also free!). To access downloads immediately, use the form below to confirm you are already a subscriber, or to sign up. Your email is never shared, and you can unsubscribe from the Newsletter at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email (but of course, I hope you’ll stay subscribed because I do try to fill it with useful money-saving tips!).

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Apr 022012

We probably all agree that using calendars effectively can result in less time “lost” during the day, which means more time to do the things we want to do.  Managing your time effectively can result in saving money, too- if you’ve calendared your friends’ birthdays, you can buy presents well ahead of time when you see good sales, instead of waiting until the last minute and paying full price.  But even though we might agree that calendaring is worthwhile, we might not be using the best calendars for our own particular styles and preferences.

Here’s a list of some of the best electronic and paper calendars around- take a look and see if one might be the right fit for you:

  • Microsoft Outlook: This is a very “feature-rich” calendaring system that you can buy and install on your computer.  It does a great job handling recurring events (like scheduling your kid’s swim lessons every Tuesday) and multiple calendars (you can create separate calendars for appointments, birthdays, and even separate family members).  However, its main drawback for families is that you can’t sync your Outlook calendar onto your smartphone or other device (iPad, husband’s computer, your office computer) without an expensive business syncing account.  So, you won’t have your calendar with you when you’re out and about, and your spouse won’t know what’s on your calendar.  Which is why you might consider…
  • Cozi: Cozi is a free, web-based calendar system that is specifically designed for families.  Each family member is assigned a color, so it’s easy to see, with just a glance, who is supposed to be doing what at any given time.  You can program the calendar to send text messages to remind family members of their appointments, and every Sunday evening Cozi sends users a nice color-coded list of the upcoming week’s events.  There are even custom calendars you can add to Cozi- if you’re a fan of FlyLady’s cleaning system, you can add FlyLady’s Cozi calendar to yours so that your housecleaning tasks will be scheduled for you.  Even more fun, Cozi has a grocery list function- if you type in “Zuc” into the grocery list, it will automatically pull up “Zucchini.”  Check boxes next to the items make it easy to cross items off your list once you purchase them.  Cozi also has smartphone apps so that you can easily pull up your calendar and grocery lists when you’re on-the-go.  And if you don’t have a smartphone, Cozi has a toll-free phone number you can call anytime to hear your upcoming appointments or grocery lists.  Cozi is so fun to use that it would be my number one recommended calendar if it weren’t for the fact that it has ads flashing at you in both the browser version and the smartphone apps.  I used to have fun using Cozi on my iPhone, but I got sick of seeing ads all the time, which is why I switched to…
  • Google Calendar Unlike Outlook, Google Calendar is free, and because it’s web-based, you can view it from any device.  So, you can enter an appointment from your home computer, and your spouse can view or edit that appointment from their smart phone or work computer.  However, being web-based is also a drawback: if the internet goes down at your house, you won’t be able to view your appointments.  To get around this you can set up Google Calendar to automatically download into your Outlook calendar or your smartphone’s calendar app so that you at least have something to look at until your internet connection is re-established.  A lot of people love Google Calendar for its sophisticated functions like recurring appointments and color-coding, as well as its ability to handle multiple calendars and multiple users.  Now it might be that fiddling around with electronic calendars is just not your thing, in which case you might want to stick with…
  • Paper Calendars: These have been tried and true for generations.  You might have heard about Day Runner and Franklin Covey calendars, but it’s worth checking out some very creative paper calendars by lesser known brands, such as WeekDate, that feature fold out pages that allow you to schedule recurring appointments without having to write them down every week.  And  Family Calendars give you a column for each family member’s appointments.  Or, if you don’t want to buy a calendar, try free printable calendars, such as this one.

What type of calendar do you use?