Top 5 Excel Calendar Tutorials & Free Templates

Man making notes on a large calendar underneath an open laptop

Do you use Excel to keep track of your to-do lists, upcoming events, deadlines, etc.? Since spreadsheets are so customizable, many Excel users rely on the software to create unique calendars tailored to their needs. It’s one of the most popular uses for Excel and great practice for users of all skill levels.

If you’re looking for different ways to take your Excel calendars to the next level, keep on reading! We’re rounding up some of our most popular calendar tutorials with step-by-step instructions and free calendar templates to help you build your own.

1. Learn how to build an Excel Calendar with One Formula

Want to learn how to create an Excel calendar with only one formula? See how it’s done in this post!

You’ll create a formula that uses a graphical calendar to display the days of any month you choose. Your graphical calendar will include a row for each week, and display the days of the given month in 7 columns (Sunday through Saturday). The formula’s additional operations ensure that the days are aligned in the correct day column.

SEQUENCE is the most important function in the formula, so this is great practice for those looking to get more familiar with that particular function.

To see the full instructions and a video with step-by-step instructions, visit the Excel Calendar with One Formula post.

2. Summarize data with an Excel Calendar Table

An Excel calendar table is so useful when you need to summarize values by date groups. While Power Pivot provides a button that will build a new date table automatically – something covered in the post One-Click Data Model Date Table – Excel does not. 

One Excel University student asked how to get that Power Pivot calendar table into Excel during a Q&A session. You could copy/paste the static values or use a PivotTable to display them, but with only a few functions, you can generate your own Excel calendar table. This tutorial teaches you how to do it!

There are three steps to follow: creating a date column, creating standard calendar columns, and creating custom calendar columns. In the end, you’ll have a calendar that lets you quickly access various date elements in other parts of your workbook.

See the detailed instructions for making your own Excel Calendar Table to get started!

3. Make a PivotTable Calendar that automatically updates based on your selected month

This calendar is built using several different date and time functions, so it’s a great one to make if you’re looking to get a little practice with those. 

You’ll use a PivotTable to create your graphical calendar. The goal is to be able to pick your desired month from the filter control and have the interactive calendar update accordingly. This is accomplished in a few easy-to-follow steps!

First, you’ll create a table that contains the dates for the periods you want to show on your calendar. These are the columns you’ll add:

  • WeekNum Column – To calculate the WeekNum column, use the WEEKNUM function with the Date column value as its input. Your formula will look like this: =WEEKNUM([@Date]).
  • WeekDay Column – You’ll use the TEXT function to compute the WeekDay column, which returns a text value with the provided style. The WeekDay formula is =TEXT([@Date],”ddd”).
  • Day Column – The DAY function (which returns the day as a number) can be used to compute the Day column: =DAY([@Date]).
  • Month Column – You can use the TEXT function to compute the Month column, but with different formatting codes: =TEXT([@Date],”mmm yyyy”).

Next, you’ll create a basic PivotTable by choosing any cell in the Date table and then selecting Insert > PivotTable. After assigning your fields to the correct area, your PivotTable will be done – it’s that easy!

The last step is formatting your table. While there are directions for formatting your calendar exactly as shown in the tutorial, you can definitely customize your own graph to look exactly how you like.

To see a video walkthrough that demonstrates how to make the calendar, check out the full PivotTable calendar post!

4. Use a Power Query Calendar to insert text values

Numeric values (such as day 1, 2, and 3) are generally supported by PivotTable value fields. However, text values (i.e. Upcoming Events, Filing Deadlines) are not. This is something you may have noticed after completing the PivotTable calendar tutorial above.

Fortunately, Power Query can help you get around that!

On top of creating a calendar that allows you to insert text values, this project will introduce you to some handy Power Query transformations that can be applied to other tasks as well.

The calendar is made in a few steps:

  1. Creating an event list and loading it into Power Query
  2. Setting up queries to generate the calendar
  3. Displaying and formatting the calendar to your liking

If you want to adjust the row heights or add events later, you can simply select any cell in the calendar table and right-click and refresh!

Find the full instructions and free calendar template in the Power Query Calendar post.

5. Customize your fiscal calendar with the LAMBDA Function

While you’re probably familiar with date and time functions that are often used to create calendars, you may not be as familiar with LAMBDA. Essentially, Excel’s LAMBDA function allows you to build other custom functions that can be reused across a worksheet without having to worry about VBA or macros.

In this particular project, you’ll be writing a new function that accomplishes something Excel doesn’t already do: calculating the fiscal quarter for any given date.

For example, recording a transaction on 01/01/2030 will automatically return a “1” if January is considered a part of your first quarter. But, maybe your fiscal year ends in March. In that case, you can design the calendar so that 01/01/2030 will return a “4” since that would be the last fiscal quarter for your business.

This interactive calendar will help you stay on top of which transactions took place in any given fiscal quarter. Get started by visiting the LAMBDA Function post.

Do you have any tips for creating or customizing your own Excel calendars? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Carrie Strickland on June 29, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Fantastic instructor! Appreciate Jeff reaching out to help others learn.

  2. Karen Leitzel on June 30, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    I have a question…. how can create the calendar on one sheet and have the formula on another? I have been looking for a calendar like this that I can update every quarter to send to my coworkers as AP reminders for various check runs we have throughout the month.
    Thank you

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