My wife and mother-in-law both prefer a long thin calendar like this in A3 format so that they can easily make notes on it (see featured image). My wife’s hangs around the coffee table all the time. She doesn’t want to bother with an electronic one, although she has that option. Her mother has a similar one lying around in the corner of her kitchen worktop with a pen at the side. It’s very easy to scribble daily items down. There’s no shortage of room on it. Any extra notes can always be written on the back of the pages.
As the months tick by the pages can be folded over at the top so that the next month becomes visible but the past is not thrown away. Do you want one? Then read on and I will explain how to download one for any year in your lifetime and print it out.
Q. What Is This ‘Long Thin Calendar’?
A. It’s a calendar good for making daily notes on.
I have been making a Long Thin Calendar in this format since 2007. I actually make one for my wife and her mother. The 2018 version is the 12th so after another two years I will have gone through the full range of Day-Date Changes possible.
What Do I Mean By Day-Date Changes?
The first day of January can start on any day of the week since it steps on to start on a different day each year. This comes about because the 365 days in a year are not exactly divisible by 7 (the number of days in a week). Similarly the 366 days in a Leap Year are not exactly divisible by 7 either.
Because there are only seven days in a week there are only seven different 365 day calendars required for normal years. Similarly seven different 366 day calendars are required for Leap Years.
Consequently there are only fourteen different calendars required to cover all years.
A careful study of calendars’ days and dates shows that a table can be constructed where the fourteen different calendars can be named alphabetically from A to N. I have constructed such a table below:
Select Which Calendar To Print Here
Choose calendar E for 2021 or F for 2022. Download it here.
If you don’t understand the table bypass the following shortcut and read on to learn about it.
In this table the CAL column shows that calendars A to G represent 365 day years and that calendars H to N represent 366 day leap years. They also show on what day of the week January 1st falls in any year.
To determine which calendar represents a particular year:
- find the year in the table,
- then move along to the CAL column,
- look up the calendar’s name in the range A to N,
- go and print the calendar by selecting the button with the name letter on it.
The years may at first glance appear to be scattered all over the table. This enables me to make a compact table. Years are not too difficult to locate because they are grouped under the following sub headings:
- 2001 – 2028,
- 2029 – 2056,
- 2057 – 2084,
- 2085 – 2112,
- 2113 – 2140.
Also 365 day years are grouped in threes such that each year follows on logically from the previous year, e.g. 2017, 2018 & 2019 are years G, A & B respectively (since B follows A and A logically follows G).
NOTE: Not all years in a group of three are in the same column.
Print Your Own Long Thin Calendar
I use an HP Photosmart Pro B8350 printer to print on A3 paper and cut the sheets in two with a wheel guillotine. Unfortunately it doesn’t have waterproof ink.
I also have an HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw. Its largest paper size is A4 but the ink is water resistant.
This post was initially written in November 2014 and included printable calendars for 2015 and 2016 with various feasts and public holidays.
At that time I hadn’t made calendars for all fourteen years but I got my act together and developed a full set of fourteen calendars available as PDF files here. Unfortunately they don’t include any fixed holidays or feasts. Such days move around independently of the years start dates so they have to be added later to make any calendar bespoke.
Below I have provided instructions on downloading any calendar, printing it out and compiling it.
Long Thin Calendar Construction
Six sheets of paper are required for a one year long thin calendar. Two months are printed side by side and then the sheet is cut lengthwise into two pieces. The twelve months are then stacked and stapled along the top edge. I staple mine about 6mm (¼ inch) from the top edge with three staples in a row.
The final long thin calendar can have a central hole punched along the top edge to hang on a hook or a nail, or it can have two holes punched so that a piece of string can be tied between them to hang it with.
Hanging it up means old months can’t be folded over the top but they can be ripped off if needs be.
In my family’s case they don’t have to hang up, so historic months are kept and folded over at the top. The backs of the pages are blank so they get used for all sorts of notes. At the beginning of the year they look as if they came from a shop but by the end of the year they are scrappy looking things all folded and creased. Their messy state just shows me that they were very useful and not just shoved in a corner and forgotten about.
Alternative A3 or A4 Calendar Construction
Although this article mainly covers long thin calendars, when printed on A3 or A4 paper they can be compiled in those formats by printing without a dividing line and missing out the cutting stage.
Just stack the six sheets required as shown here and staple along the top edge:
NOTE: Calendars printed on A3 paper require a printer large enough to print on that size such as an HP Photosmart Pro B8350. Regular printers only print up to A4 paper (or Legal which is slightly larger at 216mm x 356mm.)
Printing With or Without A Dividing Line
Each calendar can be printed with or without dividing lines between the two months on each sheet.
If the calendar is going to be compiled uncut (left in A3 or A4 format) print it without the dividing line.
The dividing line is really there for those who want to make a long thin calendar by cutting the printed sheets in two using scissors. Be careful to print centrally or cutting along the dividing line will result in some months being wider than others.
See some examples below of how the printouts will look:
Get A Long Thin Calendar Here
Download PDF Files Without A Dividing Line Between Months
For 365 Day Calendars Select A Button Below:
For 366 Day Leap Year Calendars Select A Button Below:
Download PDF Files With A Dividing Line Between Months
For 365 Day Calendars Select A Button Below:
For 366 Day Leap Year Calendars Select A Button Below:
Installing A PDF File Reader Browser Add-on
If you want to view or print any long thin calendar you may need to install a Portable Document Format (PDF) ‘file reader’/’browser add-on’. However you might find your browser can deal with PDF files regardless.
You can get a PDF Reader for Microsoft Windows PC’s and Apple Mac’s from Adobe by selecting the logo below:
This will take you to an Adobe site where you can download and install Adobe Reader DC as a stand alone application and as a browser add-on.
Be careful to uncheck (un-tick) any pre-made selection for other applications offered by Adobe unless you DO want to install them too.
Advice when using Adobe Reader
If you do use Adobe Reader, on a desktop PC, but can’t find a toolbar above from which to print, then make sure the toolbar to the left is also hidden and move the pointer down to the bottom centre of the browser and a transparent floating toolbar should appear like this:
Look for the printer logo (2nd from the left) on that toolbar. Select (click) on the Adobe logo at the right end of the toolbar and a permanent Adobe Reader toolbar will appear at the top of the page. Alternatively select print from the browser tools. You may get the same functionality. When selected you will be given the opportunity to adjust your printer settings. If you do have an A3 printer you will have to choose which size paper you are actually going to print on so familiarity with your own printer and its settings will be required. I advise you print one page to begin with and check it is how you want it. If possible set your printer to print to the edge of the paper with no margin to get the maximum size calendar.
Using Older Printers
If you have an older type of printer which isn’t capable of printing to the edge of the paper it will print within some margins. Within the printer settings these margins can usually be adjusted. So adjust them to their minimum settings to print the largest calendar, e.g.:
- Top Margin = 3mm
- Left Margin = 3mm
- Right Margin = 3mm
- Bottom Margin <= 15mm
When the calendar is being viewed in the browser save it as a PDF file and view it in your PDF Reader so you can turn it upside down before printing. The benefit of this is that the 15mm margin at the bottom of the printout will be put at the top of the calendar where extra space is needed for stapling and/or hole punching.
Do it by using the rotating tools within the PDF Reader to rotate the image through 180º. Under these circumstances the bottom of the calendar will be printed first at the top of each sheet and the top of the calendar, where the largest white border on the calendar is required, will be printed at the bottom of the sheet where the deepest printer margin is.
With any luck the whole calendar will get printed without any part getting truncated by the printer margins.
I have formatted the header of each month so that there is space to the right of the month name to manually write the year number if required. I’m sure it’s only necessary to write the year on January’s page just to distinguish one year’s calendar from another when there is more than one lying about.
NOTE: The appropriate calendar reference letter is printed on each page to the far right of the month.
Cutting And Assembling A Long Thin Calendar
The best result will be achieved by using a modern wheel guillotine available at many stationers.
By using a guillotine a neat job can be done with all months cut to exactly half the width of a sheet without using a dividing line as a guide.
If you only have scissors print calendar sheets with the dividing line and cut along it with the scissors.
Assemble your long thin calendar with the months in chronological order and hold it edge on to a flat surface. Pick it up a couple of centimetres and let it drop through your fingers so that the long edge taps on the surface. Tap the short edges with your fingers to get all the pages neatly aligned.
Then grip the pages tightly and present them to the stapler. Apply staples about 6mm (¼ inch) from the top edge in a row so pages can easily be folded over as the months go by.
Making An Academic Long Thin Calendar
Because I have provided enough calendar material for all years, it’s easy to make an Academic Long Thin Calendar beginning in September and ending in August of the following year simply by printing only the sheets required.
Making A Financial Long Thin Calendar
Similarly a Financial Long Thin Calendar can be made commencing at the beginning of the financial year (usually in April). Unusually it might require thirteen months by ending with April of the following year. This is because the financial year usually begins and ends on the 5th or 6th of April and not at the ‘end of March’/’beginning of April’.
My Long Thin Calendar Making History
During the years of making calendars for my wife and her mum I have used Serif PagePlus (it has a calendar creation tool) to create and edit them. Creating a new one requires that I edit the previous years calendar. I have developed a process which gets it done efficiently but it does take some time. Now that I have been doing it for fourteen years I can bypass some of the editing by reusing earlier years calendars.
So I have now created a set of fourteen base calendars to which I can add holiday dates and anniversaries before printing if I choose to personalise them.
Over previous years I had to:
- edit an existing calendar to align the dates of each month with the days of each week,
- edit the highlight colours I use for weekends,
- add 29th February to Leap Year calendars,
- adjust public holidays,
- add and remove friends and family anniversaries.
The first ones I made were printed on A4 but my Mother-in-Law asked for one with larger text so I began printing hers on A3. Then my wife asked for the same. Now I regularly print both on A3.
Here are some sites which may be of interest and have dates you may want to add to your calendar: