June 19, 2016

The Do-It-Yourself Scheduling Hack that Saved my Relationship.


disagreement argue couple mad fight

I had reached a new level of frustration.

No matter how many times I told him, my boyfriend could not keep track of of our dates. A late afternoon brunch with friends on Sunday turned into a 7 p.m. dinner. A movie on the 10th suddenly became a movie rescheduled for the 17th.

Initially, I took it personally. Then I started to see that it wasn’t just dates with me; it was breakfast meetings with clients that became lunch dates, and dates and times for picking up his children being mixed up. While he is so attentive to details when it comes to historical facts, sports trivia and cleaning windows, when it comes to time, he is like the absent-minded professor.

We had tried Google calendars, but with one schedule for work, one for his children and another for me, he was confused. I was determined to end these scheduling snafus, if not I was sure to lose my mind or throw him out a window.

There was one thing we had tried when we were on vacation that seemed to work—a good old fashioned paper calendar. That week was blissful; he didn’t miss a single activity we had scheduled, whether it was playing tennis, going to a movie or attending a yoga class.

That was it. All this time I had been taking the wrong approach.

Many of us are visual learners, and in order for something to really stick in our minds, we need to see it. Sure we can hear dates and times, perhaps even read them in an email, but unless we see them on a grander scale—as an appointment penciled in an agenda or written on a calendar—we lose track of it. Weeks become juxtaposed and times of days mixed up.

Sometimes the paper calendar is cumbersome to carry, gets misplaced or simply needs to be reinforced. So a great way to keep all scheduling needs in order—not just for ourselves, but for our significant others and families—is to create a chalkboard calendar.

Here’s what you need for this fun D.I.Y. project:

white paint

chalkboard paint

masking tape

paint brush

paint roller

white paint pen


1. Using masking tape, section off the area where you wish to create your calendar. Paint this area white using a paint brush or a roller, whichever you prefer. Let the paint dry. If you are painting over a dark wall, you may need two or more coats of white.

2. Measure the size of the squares you wish to use for each day. If you want a 3 inch by 3 inch square, make sure to include the width of the masking tape in your measurement, because you will be using the masking tape to separate your day boxes. Starting from the edge of the masking tape you used to section off your calendar’s perimeters, and assuming the masking tape is 1 inch wide, add 1 inch to the width of your box to make 4 inches in this case.

3. Use the masking tape to create a grid of boxes and a row at the top to write the days of the week. Paint over the masking tape grid with the chalkboard paint color of your choice.

4. Once the chalkboard paint dries, remove the masking tape grid lines and write in the days of the week with a white paint pen. Now you can pick up some chalk and start scheduling.

We started this process about a month ago and placed our chalkboard in the kitchen so we can look at it when making morning coffee or grabbing a quick nighttime snack. As we unwind from the day, we ask each other questions about scheduling and make necessary changes that have come up throughout the day.

It’s also a great way to add fun events, like concerts and movies, that we want to attend. Instead of feeling frustrated with our schedules, we are now able to manage our time in a fun way.

And if your man is still missing dates, try writing “sex” in for every appointment, every day. It works like a charm every time.


Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Image: Heather Thorkelson/FlickrNayuki/Flickr

Editor: Nicole Cameron; Emily Bartran

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