How to Make a Shift Calendar

Written by vera leigh
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Do you work in a firehouse, an emergency room or another business that requires long, unpredictable shifts? Make a shift calendar for your crazy schedule and you and your family members will always know when you will be at work or at home. There are plenty of easy and free shift calendar generators at websites such as and the International Association of Fire Fighters home page.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Go online and find a shift calendar generator. They're available at websites such as or the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1052 home page. Scroll to the shift calendar generator box and select the date of your first shift from the drop-down boxes.

  2. 2

    Type your shift code into the form field labelled "Shift Type." Your shift code is a specific set of numbers that represent your weekly shifts. Under shift type, you enter a simple string of numbers separated by commas. "Positive numbers denote work days, negative numbers denote off days," explains IAFF's website.

  3. 3

    Indicate day and night shifts. "After each number, you may optionally enter a '=' followed by a short message. For example, if you wanted to distinguish between evening/day shifts (or on call days), you could enter this string: 4=nights,-3=on call,3=days,-4," the IAFF website states.

    Here are a few examples of what your shift code might look like:

    Work every 3 days? Your shift type is: 1,-2.

    Work every 4 days? Your shift type is: 1,-3.

    Work 2 days and take 4 days off? Your shift type: 2,-4.

    Work 1 day, take 1 day off, work 1 day, take 1 day off, work 1 day off, take 4 days off? Your shift type is: 1,-1,1,-1,1,-4.

  4. 4

    Select the calendar year from the drop-down box and then click the grey button labelled "Generate Calendar." Your calendar will automatically appear on a new screen. Days off are in black, while working days are in red. Print and begin using.

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