Calendaring For Success

photoChurch communications is a deadline driven, calendar focused prospect. One of the keys to success is to never be surprised by an upcoming event.

A great way to keep abreast of what’s coming is to have a large wall calendar. For years I’ve used the At-A-Glance PM30028 Horizontal Erasable Yearly Wall Planner. At 48 x 32 Inches, it fills the wall nicely and is plenty big to write on. I use a black fine tip wet erase marker for text, and colorful dry erase markers for other items.

I thought it might be helpful if I reviewed how I go about setting up my wall calendar for maximum effectiveness. At the beginning of each year I add the major calendar holidays and mark it  with an orange square. These dates are important to note because you will possibly want to mention them in your worship folder, announcements, or social media postings. This list includes:

New Years Day
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Valentine’s Day
President’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Good Friday
Easter
Cinco de Mayo
Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
9/11
Columbus Day
Halloween
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving
Christmas

I’ll also make note of when clocks change in the spring and fall. Remember to circle Administrative Professional’s Day if you know what’s good for you : )

I add any additional dates that the church office is closed and mark all these with a red slash.

We put out a monthly publication called ConnectionsI add the distribution date as a big green circle. This publication has its own workflow (week 1, information due, week 2 first draft, week 3, second draft, week 4 print and distribute.) It’s helpful to have each months end game in mind.

When I know my vacation days, mission trips or conferences, I’ll include those as a red horizontal line across the days I’ll be gone.

In black, I’ll start to add annual large church events (that have confirmed dates) and start filling in the next few months with known events. I don’t want to get too far in advance because dates tend to shift. 2 to 3 months in advance seems to work for me. Also, add the Birthdays of your key staff.

At a glance, I have the major projects that our team needs to be working on, with known days off. This is incredibly handy for project planning. If you need to get something to the printer five business days in advance, and see you have a holiday and a weekend, you can plan accordingly. You know when the big projects are do and you can work backwards from there.

I also find it helpful when talking with Pastors about their events to show them the other items that are happening at the same time. It’s a subtle way of communicating that they not the only ministry that we are working with…and VERY helpful when scheduling due dates and timelines for their various communication needs.

May this year be full of fun, learning and joy in our Lord Jesus!

** December 30, 2014 Addendum. This is what the calendar looks like at the end of the year.

Calendar 2014 end of year

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