• Breathing life into your Calendar: How-To

    For many users, Calendar is a brilliant application for scheduling dates, events and deadlines. It's just like a physical calendar in that it provides a simple way of organising busy geek lifestyles. Although, unlike it's physical counterpart, the Calendar app features a few little tricks that may enhance your productivity, assist in organising your hectic schedule or just breathe new life into an otherwise dull and repetitive calendar.

    Quick Events

    If you need to schedule a date into your calendar on-the-fly, Calendar now supports plain text 'Quick Events'.



    Just hit the '+' button in the top left corner and type out your event, in the same way you'd speak it. Press enter and Calendar will remember the event for you instantly. Easy.

    Multiple Calendars

    With Calendar you are able to sort all your events and schedules into a multi layered system. For example you may choose to separate your calendar into home, work and school. These can be labelled by colour, helping neaten your schedule and more importantly ensure a balance of work, rest and play.

    To do this, select File > New Calendar and add a name.

    Your list of calendars can be viewed in the sidebar by clicking Calendars in the top left.



    To label your different calendars by colour, right click on the desired calendar and select Get Info, then choose a new colour in the drop down menu. A colourful calendar is a friendly calendar!

    Birthdays

    If you have heaps of friends you can keep up-to-date with their birthdays. Instead of adding their birthdays into the calendar application as you would another event, add birthdays into your contacts.



    In Contacts, select the person and add their date of birth under the birthday drop down menu. Calendar will automagically import a nice little reminder in your calendar for the date and include the age of that person.

    Subscriptions

    You can subscribe to external calendars if your own is looking empty. There's a few different uses for this sort of thing like TV schedules, national holidays, business events, work rosters and even sports schedules. What makes subscriptions useful and great is that they're constantly up-to-date on all changes made by the creator. Think of them as the RSS of Calendars.

    To do this, select File > New Calendar Subscription and enter the URL location of the desired calendar, usually a .ics file.

    Press Subscribe and fill in the information about the calendar like its name, colour label, alerts, attachments and Auto-Refresh interval.



    Select ok and your calendar will integrate itself neatly into your own personal schedule. As changes are made your schedule will automagically ensure it is always up-to-date

    There are a few services which provide Calendars you may choose to subscribe to -
    Apple Calendars, Calendarlabs, Next-Episode, Pog Design Calendars

    I find subscriptions a useful way of keeping up-to-date with all of the TV shows I consume. Using Next-Episode, I put together a calendar feed of the exact dates that different shows are available. I get a pleasing reminder every now and then that Breaking Bad or Doctor Who is available to watch. No effort needed.

    Publishing

    Just as you subscribe to external calendars, you can publish your own Calendar that others will be able to subscribe to. This allows you to distribute a specific schedule that you can adjust and host for your own friends.

    To do this, select File > Export and choose a name and location for your calendar.



    Add this calendar to your web server, or storage and share it with your friends, family and coworkers so that they can subscribe and view the schedule themselves.

    These are a few different tricks and features hidden in the Calendars application that will allow you to try new things with your personal schedule. Now there's no excuse for a dull and repulsively ugly calendar.


    About the author

    Phill Farrugia is a photographer from Sydney. He is a creative individual, writer and pop culture enthusiast currently completing his HSC. In the future, Phill strives to become a journalist of sorts and contribute back to the technology community.

    phillfarrugia.com - twitter.com/phillfarrugia
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