Gift: A do-it-yourself calendar

I know there’s an interest in making personal, meaningful, and useful gifts, but I have neither an talent or desire to make candles, dozens of cookies, or knit caps. There should be other options. As I find or think of ideas, I’ll blog about them. But one comes to mind immediately.

As a left-handed person, December means getting a planning calendar for the next year that doesn’t have a huge binding spiral, which makes the left margin a trick to write in. When I was in the parish, I would also want a calendar that didn’t truncate Sunday. My favorite was the Liturgical Desk Calendar (Episcopal edition). You can order it here from Cathedral Crossing, a very nice ‘Pisky bookstore across Boston Common from 25 Beacon Street.

I don’t have such a need now, but I still like to have a calendar that respects my needs. I suppose that’s normal. I’ve found it in a project well liked in bloggy office productivity circles: The D*I*Y* Planner. At root, it is a set of ready-to-print templates which when printed and hole-punched can be put in a letter size, half-letter size (my favorite), A4 or A5 binder. Apart from calendars, there are templates for just about any task you can imagine.

You can make your darling a personalized personal organizer.

But that’s not all. There is also the D*I*Y Planner Widget Kit. The interest group that’s gathered around this site is enouraged to create new templates, particular to specific tasks, and add these to the common lot. The newest of these helps sysadmins keep the make-and-model, password, etc. of computers under his or her care. But there is nothing for minister or church leaders.

If you — overtaxed ministers or church leaders and volunteers — could ask for a worksheet or template for tasks you do, what would they be? I would include sermon planning, chancel flowers, hymn rotation, offering breakdown, wedding couple interview, and pastoral calling followup.

What would you want? Do comment.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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