Don’t Throw Away Those Free Planners!

How to Use Free Calendars Small Weekly

Did you get some free planners and calendars over the holidays a few weeks ago?

It wasn’t so long ago that banks and other companies routinely gave away free planners to their customers as Christmas gifts. Right now, fewer and fewer companies seem to be doing it, most opting to give away less expensive items like notepads, umbrellas and pens instead. If you were lucky enough to receive any of these but don’t know what to do with them, read on to find some use for them! 



I only received one planner this year, and this one was from BPI (thank you!). When I got it, I was wondering what to do with it – it was too small to be an actual planner, and then it hit me. I always had a problem looking for things in my actual daily planner (the one-page-a-day one with my daily to do lists), since they are filled with daily tasks and daily notes. Sometimes, looking for information, I’d end up reading my planner cover to cover, which was a real waste of time. I could use this smaller planner to keep track of important reference dates and info.

How to Use Free Calendars Small Weekly Inside Pages BPI

The information that I often find myself looking for usually have to do with things like bills, payments, collections, the date major items were bought or sold, the date when major services were availed of (for example, aircon cleaning, car tune-up, etc…), dates Smart / Globe promos were registered, etc… I write in the important information like how much, the reference number if relevant (but usually don’t include this for routine payments; usually only for complaints like requests for reversals). Don’t include daily crap like “finished weekly ABC report”, or “mopped the floor”, or “bought groceries”, unless it is REALLY important that you remember the date you did it. Keep it simple so it will only have important information.

How to Use Free Calendars Small Weekly Inside Pages BPI Notes

So I am going to start to note them in this small planner. Imagine how easy it will be talking to a CSR and being able to tell them that you already paid the bill on X date, with ref # 123456789! The planner is small enough to take anywhere, and easy to flip through since I don’t expect each day to have an entry. Instead of searching emails, text messages, etc… I can just flip open this little notebook and find the information I need in 5 seconds.


Did you get some calendars, too? 

Some suggestions on where to hang them:

  • work area
  • kitchen
  • entertainment area (the sala, family room, or wherever you watch TV)
  • bathroom
  • other places

Some of the suggestions may seem weird, but here are my practical reasons:

I am talking about monthly calendars big enough to be read from a short distance. We still do get several different ones every year. I wish they all started the week on a Monday and have Saturday and Sunday together, but it’s not that big of an issue. Yes, it’s slightly annoying, but I can live with it if it means not spending additional time or money looking for the perfect calendars.

I hang the big one (wall calendar, the one with the blue and red numbers and Chinese lunar calendar, too) near my work area. I like seeing how many days I have left until a certain event / deadline. I get a crayon or highlighter and color important dates (color coded).

How to Use Free Calendars Monthly

I also hang a wall calendars (smaller ones) in the kitchen, believe it or not. It helps me visualize meal planning. Since I tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it becomes a very handy reference for me, too. For example, if someone (usually the help) tells me they need to go home from Jan. 27-29, I can quickly check the calendar and know that it is the Wednesday to Friday two weeks from now, and write a quick note on those days. It gives me context. I am not some genius who has the whole calendar memorized. I need a calendar to know that Jan. 27 is a Wednesday. It is also very handy when I get a text from someone inviting me to an event, for example, on Jan. 21. Instead of having to open my calendar app, I can quickly glance at the kitchen calendar to know that it is a Thursday and that it’s my car’s coding day and weigh my options if I wanted to go.

For the calendar in the entertainment area, I find it handy to look up dates. When you watch TV, the trailers, commercials and even the news, often mention dates. It’s nice to be able to have a quick check for dates that you may think are important. It could be the opening day of some show you want to see, dates of a concert, etc… You could also quickly write whatever it is in the wall calendar so you won’t forget.

How to Use Free Calendars Monthly Mercury Drug

As for the bathroom, it’s just the way I am – sometimes I do my best thinking in the bathroom! LOL 😛 And when I’m thinking and making plans, sometimes I just like to see a calendar so I can have an idea of the time needed, or time left, or count days (like how many calendar days, or work days needed), and plan accordingly. Some women might also want to use the calendars to mark their cycles. In that case, always have a marker (Pentel pen) placed near your calendar.

You can also put one of the smaller calendars near where you keep your car keys, or near the door. Color all your car coding days, like, in RED! This way, you’ll always get a visual reminder of when your coding day is every time you get your keys. I am paranoid about this (read about how much I don’t like crooked traffic police) – I have reminders upon reminders – I even created a special calendar in Google Calendar to send a notification to my phone every coding day, including those for the cars of people close to me, so I can be their back-up reminder person and warn them if I see them about to drive off on coding day.

For readers who are not familiar with the Metro Manila traffic coding scheme, it is a traffic reduction scheme imposed by brain dead government officials where we, the public, are made to suffer because of their lack of traffic management skills. Instead of working on improving traffic flow, removing obstacles, improving mass transit, developing parallel/alternate roads, and doing things that will actually make a difference long term, this stupid scheme instead bans 20% of vehicles from Metro Manila streets every day (plate numbers ending in 1-2 are banned on Mondays, 3-4 are banned on Tuesdays, and so forth; if you get caught, it’s a traffic violation). Well, of course if you ban 50% of cars from the streets, you will probably get 50% less traffic – but that’s not really an intelligent solution, is it? Why not ban all cars so that we will get ZERO traffic? Also, they make us use our cars 20% less but don’t let us pay 20% less! Tayo na naman ang lugi (in English: we’re the ones who get screwed again). Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Let’s get back on topic 🙂


If you still have unused planners from previous years, I heard of someone who still makes use of them! One of my sister’s office mates has a little sari-sari store at home, and they use the old planners as their notebooks to note down the daily tally. It doesn’t matter that the planner’s days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… ) are wrong. They just go by the dates, like January 1, January 2… That was a nice use of something that would just have been thrown away, don’t you think? Do you have any other suggestions?

I did not get a Starbucks planner this year because I did not like the format of their 2016 planner – it is too small for me. Instead I am using Google Calendar for my planning (easier to move entries around, and easier to make repeat appointments, and has cellphone notifications, too), and I am still using a one-page-a-day planner to write down all the little daily stuff… it becomes part checklist, part notes, part journal…

I hope this helps you find some practical uses for those planners and calendars you may have received over the holidays! 

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The Barat Queen

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