Software

Calendar options for 2009

Whether you build your own or download one of Microsoft's gazillion Office templates, you can easily produce simple appointment calendars to manage your activities for the coming year.

Like to-do lists, calendars help provide the illusion of organization and control over tasks and commitments. But not just any calendar will do. At least it's my theory that if you don't care about the style and layout of the calendaring software or calendar format you use to track events, you probably don't need a calendar at all. Maybe it's a matter of taste or aesthetics, maybe it's a touch of OCD. But if you're a calendar sort of person, you have some decent options heading into the new year.

Homemade

Word has always been deficient in offering useful built-in calendar templates -- heavy on ugly design elements and light on functionality. So I built this little bare-bones template that automatically inserts the dates for you depending on the number of days you specify. There's room to jot down tasks, activities, or milestones for some temporary assignment or short-term project -- situations where you don't want to plod through a wizard, choosing between art deco and Danish modern design elements before Word spits out a quasi-usable calendar. This one is plain but practical. (You can stick a little clipart in there, if you feel the urge. Snowflake for January, whatever.)

Prefab

You also have plenty of slicker choices, courtesy of Microsoft Office Online. These are fully assembled calendar templates for various applications and purposes. NINETY-SIX of them altogether, for 2009. Plus 54 templates for the 2008-2009 academic year. There are calendars in Visio, Excel, Publisher, OneNote, and Word format, along with a few predictably ugly PowerPoint templates. Calendars by the month, year, and multiyear. Portrait, landscape, five days, seven. Lunar calendars for different time zones, photo calendars, postcard calendars, Julian calendars. And if you look hard enough, you'll even spot a basic 12-month calendar for Word 2003 and later without a single scrap of art deco design nonsense on it. If your taste runs that way.

Happy calendaring!

About

Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

9 comments
N4AOF
N4AOF

"You also have plenty of slicker choices, courtesy of Microsoft Office Online" unless you are in a corporate environment that blocks users from letting Explorer install each and every ActiveX control that happens to wander by. Microsoft has taken the Windows Genuine DISadvantage crud to yet another level by forcing the installation of an ActiveX Control so that it can check to see if it likes your copy of Microsoft Office before you can download the templates (or just about anything else)

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

My company has gone to calendar sharing this year which is available in Office 07, I find it trouble free and highly useful and without major incident so far aside from user created problems. The only real problem I have is an additional password for live ID.

skiddo24
skiddo24

I still find Office 2000's calendar wizard the easiest and fastest way to make my desired style. Too bad Office 2007 lacks this handy tool.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Outlook's got built-in calendars. How many people who have Word don't also have Outlook? Is Word still available as a stand-alone purchase outside of Office?

billy8b8
billy8b8

The template works fine for creating a calendar for one month, but can it be modified to create a 12-month calendar? If I copy and paste the table to create a subsequent month, the date fields continue the numbering from the previous month. Otherwise, a handy tool. Cheers, Bill

draack
draack

If only our company would network for calendar sharing; alas we have only 6 employees, so that's unlikely. I currently keep no less than three calendars on which I keep all planned absences and appointments (except for after-hours stuff) ... one on Outlook that I print off for the other two people who answer phones, one in Lacerte that everyone's supposed to have access to, but hardly anyone uses (like they should ... like if they would actually schedule their own appt. their and just let me know), and a paper calendar for the tech challenged. There are days when it's a real challenge to keep all three syched, especially during Tax Season! ARGH!

N4AOF
N4AOF

1. Yes, Word is still available as a separate product. 2. Many people who use Word, CHOOSE not to use Outlook. 3. Outlook can produce a basic calendar - if you want to print a bunch of boxes to write on -- but Outlook has only a limited selection of templates and does not provide any decent formatting tools. Text to go in an Outlook calendar must BE in Outlook and then you are limited to what Outlook thinks that text ought to look like in the calendar. Word provides much greater flexibility.

MJGunther
MJGunther

Outlook is most common in networked corporate installations. Like many other stand-alone users, I have MS Home & Student Office 7, with Word, Excel, PowerPoint -- and no Outlook.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I haven't seen the Home or Student versions, and I can't keep track of what's included in each version without a spreadsheet. Thanks for the enlightenment.