After you’ve designed your planner’s calendar pages, it’s time to think about the content you want to include in them: religious and federal holidays, observances, seasons, and clock changes. If you have been doing this for a while, you probably have a set list you use every year. And if you’re just diving into your first planner, it can be tough to decide what to include. For the old pros, it’s time to take a look at your list of holidays for anything that might be missing or incorrect. For instance, have you considered adding Indigenous Peoples’ Day?
Regardless of whether or not you are new to the planner world it’s good practice to reevaluate your list of holidays each year. Today I’ll walk you through my philosophy on which holidays to include in your planner designs and how to curate your very own list.
CURATING YOUR OWN HOLIDAY LIST
I recommend starting with the US federal holidays and clock changes. These key dates dictate our daily lives so they should be included first and foremost. Then add other holidays or observances that are celebrated nationwide. While these are not typically days off from school or work, they are helpful and fun to know about. Observances like Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, April Fools’ Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Halloween, among others have become the bright spots on our calendars.
Round out your list with the most common religious celebrations, observances, and major international holidays. Add religious holidays for those who celebrate Christmas and Easter, and also include holidays for those who celebrate Rosh Hashana, Holi, or Buddha’s birthday, Vesak. Consider cultural holidays as well, such as Lunar New Year and Cinco de Mayo. Including a diverse mix of holidays will give your planner a more global appeal, resulting in more sales.
With all of the must-have dates taken care of, decide whether or not to get creative with your list. The United Nations observances acknowledge joys and hardships worldwide. I love the idea of celebrating the International Day of Happiness and women supporting one another on International Women’s Day. And who wouldn’t want to celebrate the Olympics and Super Bowl Sunday—buffalo wings anyone?
There are some holidays that can be left off your list, in my opinion. Presidents’ Day celebrates all presidents so I feel that including Washington’s or Lincoln’s birthday can be repetitive. And as charming as it would be to have a planner that lists all holidays across the country, I think that adding state-specific holidays such as Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, Mardi Gras in Louisiana, and Kamehameha in Hawaii—is going a little overboard for the general population. But as always, your planner is your creation and you should pick the holidays that best represent your vision and brand. If your target customers all live in California, then by all means add Harvey Milk Day to May 22.
THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY GUIDE
If you are looking to get a head start on your list, I’ve got the perfect resource for you—our Ultimate Holiday Guides. My team of editors and I personally curate this collection each year for our proofreading and planner design clients.
And we don’t mess around! We went to the ends of the earth* to research over 90 major holidays and observances celebrated around the globe in order to save you hours of googling. Simply copy the dates into your own planner designs!
We have Holiday Guides for 2019, 2020, and 2021 because we know you need to work far in advance! Plus we have a brand new Social Media Holiday Guide that will help you add a little personality to both your planner designs and your marketing strategies. Get yours today.
*OK, maybe we didn’t actually GO to the ends of the earth, but we did call, Facetime, and write to our friends far and wide (Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, the UK, and Canada) to make sure our dates were listed correctly—all to save you the worry of publishing embarrassing errors in your planner.