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How to make a calendar in Google Sheets (2023 guide + template)

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It's a common trait of successful and creative people to go against the flow. Creating a calendar in Google Sheets generally isn't thought up by most people, but it can have many benefits: instant access to spreadsheet data, better task management, and a ton of automation possibilities. Alas, it can be hard to pull off if you haven’t tried it before.

You’ve come to the right page on the Internet if you’re looking for a way of inserting a calendar into a Google Sheets document. There are two ways of making a calendar in Google Sheets: either just use a template, or create one manually from scratch. In this article, we’ll learn how to do both!

Steps to Create a calendar in Google Sheets

Whenever trying something new, there’s always a bit of reluctance within. Don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the steps properly. Now, let’s jump in…

Step 1: Create a new sheet

First, open Google Sheets (make sure you’ve logged in to your account), and click on the Blank button.

This’ll create a fresh empty spreadsheet in which you can create your calendar. Feel free to give it a name.

Step 2: Add days of the week

Now, begin by typing ‘January 2023’ in the A1 cell. One cell below it, type the name of the day you want to begin the week with.

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

Depending on your country, you might start your week on Sunday or Monday, so add it accordingly. Now, click on the cell, hover over the blue rectangle at the bottom right, and drag it over to the G3 cell. This will fill in all the days of the week!

Step 3: Use formulas to fill in the days automatically

Let’s add the days of the month now. Here at Bardeen, we’re all about finding ways to save time. So, to skip adding in all the days of the month manually, let’s instead use some cool tricks.

Type in the first day of the month in any format you prefer so that Google Sheets recognizes it as a date. Just like with the last step, click on the cell, and hover over the blue rectangle at the bottom right until the bullseye icon appears. Then, drag it over till the end of the week.

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

Using this process, once you complete one row, just keep repeating it until you reach the last day: 31. In this case, we’ve left one row blank below each row of dates for adding notes. This is optional.

As you might’ve noticed above, only the day appears in the cells instead of the full date. This seems to be more minimalistic and visually appealing. To do this, you can go to Format in the toolbar, click on Number, and go to Custom date and time. Here, delete all the other values except Day.

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

Using the Paint format button, you can add the same to all the other days of the month. This sheet is now finally looking like a real calendar, isn't it? But, as you might agree, it looks quite barebones. So, let’s work on making it look better!

Step 4: Make it look awesome

Once the basic skeleton of the calendar has been successfully developed, you’re free to focus on aesthetics. From this point onwards, you’re free to experiment with your calendar. It all depends on your specific project requirements. Let’s discuss some general ideas:

  • Resize the empty rows: Right-click on the row, click on the Resize row button, and specify a height. After this, you're free to add data into those blank boxes, like goals, deadlines, tasks, and holidays.
  • Change font and color scheme: You can change the look and feel of the calendar by customizing the font and color scheme. Just select a set of cells and go to the font selector or the text color button in the toolbar.
  • Mark the weekends: Using the color-filling tool, you can add color or gray out the Saturday and Sunday columns (or any day of the week you consider a holiday).
  • Bold the weekdays: Select all the weekday cells and click on the Bold button in the toolbar. You can also italicize them by clicking the Italic button beside Bold.
  • Center the month: We added the month in cell A1. If you want to center it above all the weekdays, you can click on A1 and drag it till the last day of the week. Go to the toolbar and click the Merge button. Plus, use the Align button next to it for centering the text.

Adding all of these changes to the calendar ends up looking like this.

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

As noted before, these are only a few recommendations. You can customize the calendar as you see fit. Since these steps won’t affect the functionality of the calendar, you can stick with the previous version if you want and skip this step.

Step 5: Add the remaining months

The hard part is over! This is the last step to complete your calendar. Since you've finalized your January month calendar, all you have to do now is repeat the same for the month of February all the way to December. To duplicate January, right-click on the tab and click Duplicate from the drop-down menu. Do the same for all months.

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

Of course, not all months are the exact same. So, you'll also need to update each month. For this, it’s important to know the beginning day along with the total days of the month. You can consult an online calendar for this information. Once it's done, you're good to go.

Whew! You’ve created your calendar, but the work doesn't end here. You can still make additions or customize your calendar as you wish. If you’re a formula wizard, you can also add formulas and turn it into a dynamic calendar. Feel free to indulge your creative imagination and explore what's possible to fit your workflow best. If anything goes awry, the Undo button is always there to rescue you.

As you might agree by now, this calendar is great for a lot of reasons. But if you scrolled through all these steps and felt it was too much work, you can always just use a template and skip the hard part. Templates provide an excellent starting point if you're not great at Google Sheets. So, let's discuss some of them!

Google Sheet calendar templates

The above method is optimal for those who have specific needs and need to create a calendar that caters to them perfectly. But if you don’t mind a general calendar, you can skip spending all that time creating a calendar from scratch. There are many great Google Sheet calendar templates out there created by others for you!

First among them comes the annual calendar that Google offers by default. You can find it in the Template gallery on the home page. Scroll down to the personal section and click on ‘Annual Calendar.’

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

As you can see, this is a workable calendar but not worth writing home about. The first tab shows the entire year, with separate tabs for each month. There’s also a tab called ‘Customize your calendar’ to add your own design elements to it. Overall, if you need a simple calendar within Google Sheets, it'll certainly get the job done!

If you want to manage content for your website and social media, we've created a Content Calendar template for you. On the other hand, if you just need a Google Sheet calendar for your team to stay on track with goals and boost productivity, you'll also love our Weekly Calendar template!

Once you open the Sheet, click File, Make a copy, change the default name if you want, and click OK. It’ll be added to your workspace and you can edit it, add your data, and start using it!

How to make a calendar in Google Sheets

Beyond this, you can check out sites like Vertex42, Spreadsheet Class, and Smartsheet. They offer a wide variety of templates depending on your requirements.

Google Sheet automations

Pat yourself on the back! Whether you created a calendar in Google Sheets manually from scratch or went for a template, you’ve now achieved what you set out to do. Now, it’s time to automate manual tasks that you often do in Google Sheets and free up your valuable time.

There's a myth that you have to know formulas and coding if you want to automate Google Sheets. While it is true to a degree, no-code tools like Bardeen make it a thing of the past.

A browser-based workflow automation tool, Bardeen is integrated with Google Sheets and it offers many automations that you can put to great use. Here are a few noteworthy ones.

Interested? To use these automations, you’ll need to download Bardeen to Chrome. It’s free. Once installed, just click on the ‘Try it’ button and see the magic unfold!

We’ve only mentioned three automations here. Feel free to explore the full catalog. If you’d like to create your own automations or edit pre-existing ones, you can also do that in the Builder!

Conclusion

It might not be the first use case that comes to mind when you open a spreadsheet, but creating a calendar in Google Sheets can have many advantages. Depending on your requirements, it can range from easy access to data or automation possibilities to free up your time!

To achieve this, the easiest way is to use a template someone else has created and save time. But if you have specific requirements, it’s better to just make one for yourself from scratch.

Where to from here? If most of your data is in Notion and you want to copy it to Google Sheets, read this article and skip hours of copy-pasting!

About the author:
Chang Chen
GTM
GTM at Bardeen
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