Organizing

DIY AT-A-GLANCE HOME OFFICE CALENDAR

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

A new machine has been added to my office, and I’m kind of thrilled about it. Okay, very thrilled…

The Silhouette Cameo. If you have one, or have a friend that has one, you already know the awesomeness of this machine. The day it came in the mail, I unboxed it (while still standing by the front door!) and sat it on the dining table and just stared at it. Really, I did. Greg, who at the time didn’t get the gist of what a Silhouette actually did, was passing through the dining area on his way to the kitchen and asked what I was doing. I tried to explain it to him, but it was hard to filter through my excitement to explain what it can do. I just ended up saying something along the lines of, “It does everything…?” I then spent the rest of the night watching Silhouette tutorials on YouTube.

Silhouette Projects // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Here’s the thing… I’m not a crafty person. I don’t own 50 kinds of card stock, I don’t scrapbook, and I don’t have baskets full of glitter and embellishments. A few tubes of craft paint and maybe a glue gun is about as crafty as I get, but I love this machine. What I am is a homeowner who loves organizing – which makes this machine enormously exciting for me. The thing I’m most excited about: labels. Tons and tons of different types of labels. Above pictured projects from hereherehere and here.

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

To break in my new machine, I got to work on this wipe-off calendar in my office. I bought it from Pottery Barn a few years ago, making plans to “use it aaaaall the time”. Well, it has been hanging on the wall in my office for almost 2 years, and I think I’ve used it four times out of those 24 months.

My new goal was to turn it into an “at-a-glance” wall calendar that I could use in my day to day “office stuff” (blog, graphic design clients and writing gigs). Blog posts, giveaways, appointment details, birthdays, events are all in what I call my “Make It Happen Binder”, but I wanted this calendar to be something I could glance at and get a simplified idea of my week.

To spruce up the calendar (and make it functional), I used Printable Magnetic Paper. There are many, many really good, detailed tutorials on how to use this product (and the machine) on YouTube, so I won’t rehash the nitty-gritty “How To”. But basically, you start off by printing out your design (using your home printer) on the printable side of the magnetic paper. Then, you put it through the Silhouette machine to cut the design out. Pretty nifty, right? For me, since I design primarily using Adobe Illustrator, the Silhouette software was a bit of a learning curve. However, after playing with it for a while, I’m starting to get the hang of it. 

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

After putting a lot of thought into what I wanted the calendar to do for me, I decided to make 6 different types of magnets: numbers for the dates (I hate writing on a day only to smudge the date next to it with my hand), day-blockers (for “out of the office” days like vacations and “staycations”) and four markers for day-changers (things on the schedule that change up the day and are good to know when coming up).

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

DAY BLOCKERS // I made these blocks a tad smaller than the width of the calendar blocks. These will come in handy when we have a vacation or a “staycation” so I can remember to put up an “out of the office” memo on email and Brown & Barkley.

D’s // The D’s are for deadlines. I have all of the other information stashed away in my “Make it Happen Binder” and/or computer but the simple “D” magnet let me know a deadline is coming up. Normally, on deadline days, I set aside time for finishing up last minute touches, tweaks and edits. This simple reminder helps me remember that part of that day is dedicated to a deadline.

STARS // The stars are for days I have an appointment to work around (doctor, vet, hair, lunch date, etc) or Greg and I have plans with friends/family and I need to make sure to wrap it up in my office a little early so that I’m ready by the time Greg gets home from work. I’ve only been using this system for a few days, but this one in particular has already proven to be super helpful.

POWER PLUGS // The plugs are for “Official Unplug Days”. Being a blogger and freelance graphic designer, I’m on the computer/iPhone a lot. In order keep the creative juices flowing and give my brain a rest (and for it not to turn to mush by the time I’m 50), I’ve recently instituted “Official Unplug Days”,  where I keep the computers and cell phone off. It’s good to put them on the calendar because I like to be sure to catch up on all important emails and projects the day before.

HEARTS // Hearts stand for date nights. I love these. Even though Greg and I don’t have kids, our jobs are like our kids because they take so much time from each of our schedules. Date nights are a real treat around here, and we try to schedule them as often as possible. Technically, I could use the star magnets for this, but I like using the hearts specifically for date nights because it gives me something to look forward to in the days leading up to it.

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

In addition to the magnets, I still write in reminders for things like phone meetings and important emails. I decided not to include things like posts, giveaways, projects, etc mainly due to the fact that I want this to be a simplified, at-a-glance version of the calendar in my “Make It Happen Binder” – which is a lot more filled, scribbled on and hectic-looking than this one.

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

Oh, and I keep the extra magnets nearby in a dish on my desk for my ever-changing schedule.

DIY At-A-Glance Office Calendar / 7thhouseontheleft.com

My new calendar system has only been in play for a few days, but I can already tell this system is a keeper. One more thing to cross off my list for this year, woo hoo!

Our new friends at Silhouette are partnering with us to offer 7th House readers a special discount on machines (both the Cameo and the Portrait) plus a free Speciality Media Bundle…

Silhouette Promotion / 7thhouseontheleft.com

The Specialty Media Bundle includes magnet paper (like I used in today’s project), a cardstock essentials pack, printable adhesive kraft paper, printable clear sticker paper, temporary tattoo paper, printable cotton canvas chipboard, silver foil and double-sided adhesive. If you already have a Silhouette machine, they’re offering 30% off all specialty media. To take advantage of this deal, click here and enter LEFT at checkout.

We weren’t paid to share the Silhouette promotion nor do we get commission off of sales when using the 7th House promo code. We were given the Silhouette Cameo and Media Bundle to develop our own project for our home.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen M
    October 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    This is genius and perfect and all that is amazing. I work from home too (three days a week) and have been looking for a simple calendar system. I think I have found the solution! Thank you for posting this!!

  • Reply
    Mel
    October 15, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Love it! And i love all the colors too. I wish i was even half this organized!

  • Reply
    Tara
    October 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I think this post finally talked me into buying a Cameo! I’ve been trying to talk myself out of it because I’m not a “crafter”. Great project!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    October 15, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Love this calendar arrangement but I want to hear more about this Make it Happen Binder! Do tell!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks! I’m still “perfecting the system”, but I’ll be sure to post more about it when I can : )

  • Reply
    Sara
    October 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    MUST. Find wipe off calendar! Between yesterday’s post and today’s, I really want to spend this next weekend organizing, Ha!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    This is awesome! Like you, I’m not a big crafter. I WANT to be, but after working on design stuff all day long at my day job, I just want to watch TV when I get home. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have secret stashes of glitter and bakers twine waiting to be used! I’ve been thinking about getting one of these, and now your post really makes me want one. And like you, as an Illustrator user, I’ve been worried about the learning curve. But I had to work with crazy printers and die-cutters at my last job at a packaging firm, (which I had to go on a PC to use!!), so I feel like I can handle this! Can’t wait to see what else you make!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Oh yeah, you can totally handle this. It’s very WYSIWYG once you get the hang of it, so it’s a nice break from “usual” designing for print projects we do, haha.

  • Reply
    Ginny
    October 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    This is amazing!!! I am always on the look-out for a good calendar system to keep track of my four boys and all their homework and school deadlines. I like dry-erase calendars, but I have always wished there was an easier way to incorporate the same color codes and categories that I use in my personal calendar. I LOVE that I can make a set of magnets to match my little system in the personal calendar so everything is cohesive and recognizable, plus, I can make the calendar match my decor. Thanks for such an awesome idea!

  • Reply
    Bonnie {Quintessential Quarters}
    October 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    So nice!!!! I will definitely have to try something like this for our home. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      We’re hoping to have the ABC website up in a few months. It’s taken longer than expected because of our other projects going on – which never seem to end!

      Yeah, I’m hoping to have a post about the “Make It Happen Binder” soon. I’m still in the process of perfecting the system and want to be sure what I share really works well so I don’t steer people in the wrong direction, haha.

      Yes! We love our Finance Binder. Even though Greg is the “bill-payer”, we both use it often and it’s proven to be a very effective system.

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    You are brilliant! One of my favorite Silhouette projects ever. Seriously, I want to do this!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 16, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      Jen… you’re like the Silhouette Master. I bow at your feet.
      Greg said that was weird to say… but I’m just gonna roll with it, haha!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 16, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    Ashley have you ever used a Cricut or have experience using one? Just want to pick your brain and see if you think one is more user friendly than the other… Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      No, I haven’t used a Cricut. Hopefully you can find some comparison reviews online. For what it’s worth, this is my very first experience with any sort of crafting/cutting machine and I find it really user-friendly. Like I mentioned in the post, the software took some getting used to at first, but now it’s pretty easy to maneuver. Sorry I couldn’t help!

  • Reply
    Pam A New Organized Me
    October 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Wow! I love the idea of using magnets for most of your common entries. It makes everything look that much neater.

  • Reply
    Linda
    October 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Great, Ashley: now I have to talk myself out of buying a Silhouette. What prompted you to purchase one since you are not “crafty”? Besides the calendar, what are you envisioning using this for? I had never even heard of this until I read your post, and have now spent nearly two hours watching YouTube tutorials. I don’t see myself using it to make cards and such, but CAN see it’s usefulness for what you did with the calendar (and I do love some of the other possibilities). HOWEVER, that’s not a good enough justification…. so what else, Miss Inspirational Guru? (Okay, clearly I am looking for a good reason to BUY this darn thing). Please tell me where your imagination is leading you down the Silhouette Path.

    • Reply
      Ashley
      October 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      I know, right?! I spent so much time watching YouTube tutorials, it wasn’t even funny. The possibilities are truly endless. The machine is still new to me, but the thing I’m looking forward to the most is labeling. If you can’t find a label the right size, you can make any size you need/want with the machine. Or need it to be water-proof, you can use the outdoor vinyl. I’m also looking forward to cutting things like kraft leaf stickers for our Thanksgiving card envelopes, gift tags for Christmas and custom stickers for our Brown & Barkley packaging.

    • Reply
      Linda
      October 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Thank you, Ashley. I thought of labeling as well; it does look amazing. Wish they’d had this when my daughter was still in grammar school (and I was a PTA queen)–then I would have had a MILLION things to do with it. And kid parties… the possibilities are endless.

  • Reply
    Natalie B.
    October 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Love this! I have a Silhouette and have been playing around with an idea in my head for months for a family calendar. I was thinking of cutting out vinyl to adhere to my plain whiteboard to create my own custom calendar. But, I love the magnetic paper for highlighting common events and keeping the days from having a thousand events and notes doodled in the boxes. Less visual clutter, so great!

  • Reply
    Christy
    October 19, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    These are amazing. I’d love to be able to buy these through your Etsy store. 🙂

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