How to Make a Simple Calendar in Excel: Easy Steps for Beginners

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Written By Chris

Just a simple "data guy". Changing the world one formula at a time.

As someone who feels lost without some kind of planner, scheduling app, or calendar, I understand the need to create your own customized calendar in Excel. Keeping up with tasks and appointments is an obvious benefit, but organizing a schedule sets you up for growth and success.

And while there are several ways to set up an Excel calendar, I want you to focus on the simplest path without sacrificing functionality. Picking a premade calendar template in Excel is certainly easy, but creating your own lends more to your specific needs and schedule.

So, let’s get started. 

If you’d rather use the Excel calendar I made for this walkthrough instead of creating your own, you can download it for free.

How to Make a Calendar in Excel

Creating a functional and visually appealing calendar in Excel can be complicated for beginners if you’re set on trying out developer tools like VBA or Power Query. But the process can be easy if you let it. 

For a stress-free and need-driven Excel calendar, let me show you how to whip one up in a matter of minutes.

Keep in mind as you follow along that these steps can be tailored to make any customized weekly, monthly, or even yearly calendar. But for our purposes, let’s go ahead and make a monthly calendar.

Step 1: Create Your Layout

The first step in making a calendar template in Excel (after opening a blank workbook) is to give it a foundation. This is done by adding the month name and days of the week in a traditional calendar layout.

In cell A1, enter the name of the month. In my case, I’m working on a template for May 2023.

Select cells A1:G1, and on the Home tab, click “Merge & Center.”

creating your layout in excel calendar

The second row is where you’ll enter the days of the week. You can type each out from Sunday to Saturday or let Excel do it for you.

In cell A2, type “Sunday” and hit Enter. Now take your mouse icon and click and hold in the bottom-right corner of that cell, then drag it over, stopping in cell G2. This will auto-populate your row with the correct days of the week.

auto fill days of the week

Next, frame your calendar days by selecting cells A3:G6 and changing the borders to “Outside Borders.” Use the same outside borders for B3:B6, D3:D6, and F3:F6.

add a border to first row cells

Duplicate your changed cells by selecting A3:G6 and hitting CTRL + C. Now paste it into cell A7 using the shortcut CTRL + V. Repeat this process four more times to get the result below.

copy and paste your borders for calendar

Finally, go ahead and expand your columns as wide as you want. Save some time by selecting columns A through G above row 1 and widening the dimension of one section to change them uniformly.

widen your columns at one time

Again, this is your calendar. Craft it however you see fit. I changed the width to 13.00 (96 pixels). If you did the same, you might see a dashed line running down your sheet between columns F and G. That’s ok!

It’s telling you that your Saturday dates exist on a separate page. No worries. Just click on the Page Layout tab, and under “Orientation,” select “Landscape.”

change orientation to landscape

Step 2: Fill in the Days of the Month

Great job! You’re Excel calendar foundation is set. Now it’s time to fill in the dates. You first need to know which day of the week is May 1st, 2023. 

*** Spoiler alert – it’s on a Monday!

To fill in the dates of your monthly Excel calendar, enter the number 1 in cell B2 and hit Enter. Most default formatting will have set the entry to the right-hand side of the cell. If this didn’t happen, change the setting (if you wish) in the “Alignment” section of your Home tab.

change alignment if not default

Next, fill in the rest of the dates as needed. You can do this by simply typing the number in, but there are fancier ways. 

For instance, after typing in the number 1, you could drag that cell to the last column and then select “Fill Series” in the properties box.

fill series your dates

Or, if your version of Excel allows it, you can use the SEQUENCE function to autofill your days. If you’re interested, I’ll be covering those steps somewhere else. But for now, let’s keep it simple.

Some of your months may start on a day of the week that leaves your last grid of rows blank. If so, select the cells and delete them or change the borders as necessary.

Step 3: Add Purpose and Beautify

So you’ve got your monthly calendar laid out. Not it’s time to pretty it up and make it functional before you print.

First things first, let’s give our header section a facelift. Select your merged cells in row one and add some color, borders, or whatever you want. 

For my calendar:

  • I looked under the Home tab in the “Styles” section and chose “Input.”
  • Next, I bolded the font and changed the font size to 20. 
bold and change font to 20
  • I also bolded the days of the week and placed a thick border around the row of cells.
  • With these cells still highlighted, I chose a center alignment.
thick border and center alignment
  • Last but not least, you should go under the View tab and uncheck the “Gridlines” box.
get rid of your gridlines

You can also change the font style or add some color to the borders and background. There’s really nothing stopping you from unlocking your creating talent here.

final custom calendar in excel you made

Now, you can print this out by going to File > Print, selecting “Page Setup,” and checking the boxes to center on the page under the “Margins” tab.

print your custom excel calendar

Or…

You can type in your appointments and scheduled tasks within the Excel calendar. This gives you the chance to apply some conditional formatting.

For instance, little Jimmy’s dentist appointment and Suzie’s ballet lesson can go right in the same field with contrast coloring so you don’t forget.

custom excel calendar with color

You Did It

Congrats! You just made your own calendar in Excel. It’s effortless to do. Could you have used a premade template? Sure.

But the process of crafting your own Excel calendar is a highly advantageous one. functions Not only does it bolster your ability to exercise greater flexibility and customization, but it also empowers you to become more comfortable with the functions of a spreadsheet.

And when this becomes “too easy” for you, keep an eye out for future articles by signing up for my newsletter. Creating dynamic and intuitive calendars in Excel is easier than you think. 

Soon I’ll show you just how easy it is!

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