Staying on Schedule with Calendar - Taking Care of Business - Macs All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition (2014)

Macs All-in-One For Dummies, 4th Edition (2014)

Book V. Taking Care of Business

Chapter 2. Staying on Schedule with Calendar

In This Chapter

arrow Navigating the Calendar window

arrow Viewing calendars

arrow Creating and storing events

arrow Finding the events you’re looking for

arrow Organizing tasks with Reminders

You’re busy. You may rely on a planner, random scraps of paper, or your memory to keep track of obligations, appointments, and commitments. Your Mac comes with an alternative: Calendar, which is Apple’s calendar application. Calendar helps you track appointments and reminds you of tasks or deadlines.

In this chapter, first we introduce the Calendar interface. Then we show you how to create calendars and access them from different sources. Next, we explain how to put events (what Calendar calls anything such as an appointment, a birthday, or whatever else that requires a time/date reference) on your calendar(s). We talk about sharing your calendar with your other devices and with other people, both online and in print. And while we’re on the subject of remembering, we present the task management app Reminders, which you use to create To Do lists and assign a time- or location-based alert to each task.

Getting Acquainted with Calendar

The Calendar toolbar displays the following items, as shown in Figure 2-1:

· Calendars: This button hides or reveals the Calendars list to the left of the calendar itself.

· Add (+) button: Clicking this button adds an event.

· Inbox: Displays how many invitations you have.

· Views: The buttons in the center give you access to the four Calendar views: Day, Week, Month, and Year.


Figure 2-1: The Calendar toolbar helps you view different calendars and choose the view you want.

· Spotlight Search: Calendar looks for matches of text typed in the search field.

· Full-screen: The button takes you to a full-screen view of Calendar.

· Today: In the upper-left corner, just under the toolbar, the Today button takes you to the current day in the view you’re using. The arrows to the left and right move one unit (day, week, month, or year) into the past or into the future (respectively) from the date where you are.

image Any scheduled activity, such as a doctor’s appointment, a business meeting, or your kid’s soccer practice, is an event.

Calendar offers four types of calendar views, each an electronic version of a familiar paper-based layout:

· Day: Shows a mini-month at the top, a list of eight to ten upcoming events on the left, and a day-at-a-glance for the active day on the right (refer to Figure 2-1).

· Week: Displays a week-at-a-glance version of your calendar, as shown in Figure 2-2. A column for each day is divided into half-hour time slots. You establish how many hours of the day you want to see.

image When viewing the current day in Day or Week view, a line with a red ball at the left end indicates the current time of day.


Figure 2-2: Days are divided into half-hour segments in Week view.

· Month: Shows a month-at-a-glance with as much of the text of your events as possible on each day.

· Year: Displays the whole year in one pane, as shown in Figure 2-3. The days are color-coded according to how full they are. The current day is blue. The other days are white, yellow, gold, orange, or red. White is the color for a day with no events. Colors ranging from yellow through orange to red are for days with appointments: Yellow days have the fewest appointments, and red days have the most.


Figure 2-3: Days are color-coded in Year view to show which are busiest.

You can move from one view and date to the next in the following ways:

· Mini-month: Click a date in the mini-month in Day view to go to the date clicked, remaining in Day view.

· Month: Double-click a date in Month view to open that date in Day view. You must double-click the actual number; if you double-click in the space, a new event is created.

· Week: Double-click a date — again, the actual number — in Week view to open that date in Day view.

· Year: Double-click a date in Year view to open that date in Day view. Double-click a month in Year view to open that month in Month view.

Working with Multiple Calendars

The great thing about Calendar is that calendars from different sources can be viewed in one app. Calendar accesses and manages multiple calendars from multiple sources or accounts, including

· Your Mac or your iCloud account

image You can activate one or the other but not both simultaneously.

· Online accounts where you keep (and perhaps share) calendars, such as Google or MS Exchange

· Social network calendars, such as Facebook or LinkedIn

· Calendar subscriptions

You can also import calendar data from another calendar or time management app.

When you click the Calendars button on the toolbar (refer to Figure 2-1), the Calendars list on the left side of Calendar displays the accounts you have activated. The calendars from each account are listed below its name. You can expand or collapse the list of calendars stored on each account by hovering the cursor to the right of the account name until Show or Hide appears and then clicking it.

By selecting or deselecting the check box next to each calendar in the Calendars list, you can selectively view specific events (say, only business events), or you can view business and personal events together.

Here we explain how to create a new calendar on your Mac or from iCloud, and then how to add calendars from other sources by accessing the related accounts.

Creating a new calendar

Calendar opens with a calendar to get you started. In the Calendars list, you see an On My Mac heading with Calendar listed under it. If you turned on Calendar in iCloud, you see iCloud — and any calendars you created on another device that use the same iCloud account — in the Calendars list. You may want or need to create additional calendars for other purposes. To create a new calendar, follow these steps:

1. Click the Calendar icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.

2. Choose File⇒New Calendar.

If you don’t add other accounts, that’s all you have to do. If you do add other accounts, you have to drag the cursor one notch further to the right and choose On My Mac (or iCloud, if you use iCloud) or one of the remote servers where you keep calendars (if you use remote servers).

An Untitled calendar appears in the Calendars pop-up list, as shown in Figure 2-4.


Figure 2-4: New calendars are added to your Mac or iCloud account.

3. Type a descriptive name for your calendar and then press Return.

4. Click a calendar in the Calendars list and choose Edit⇒Get Info.

5. In the Info dialog that appears, click the color pop-up menu, choose a color, and (if you like) type a description of the calendar in the Description field.

6. Click OK.

Events stored on that calendar appear in the color you chose.

image If you want to share or publish your calendar, refer to the section “Sharing your calendars” later in this chapter.

Accessing calendars from other accounts

With Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple has made adding calendars from other accounts super easy. You can also add CalDAV or Exchange accounts, which are the formats most often used for shared corporate calendars. Events that you create or change at work with your company’s calendar application, or events you create or change by using your Google or Yahoo! account, are added automatically to your calendar, and vice versa.

1. Choose Calendar⇒Add Account.

2. Complete one of the following steps lists:

1. Select the radio button next to the account you want to add (such as iCloud or Facebook, as shown in Figure 2-5) and then click Continue.

2. Type in your username (it may be an e-mail address) and password, and then click Create or Continue.

Your account is verified.

3. Select the radio button next to Calendar (if not already selected) and then click Done.


4. Select the radio button next to Add CalDAV account and then click Continue.

5. Choose the account type from the pull-down menu: Automatic, Manual, or Advanced.

image We suggest leaving Automatic selected.

6. Type the e-mail address and password you use to access this calendar.

7. Click Create.

Your access is verified.

3. image

4. Figure 2-5: Adding Calendars from other accounts takes just a few clicks.

5. That account is added to the Calendars list, and your online calendar’s events appear in your Calendar window.

6. After the account is set up, choose Calendar⇒Preferences and then click the Accounts tab.

7. Click the name of the account you added.

8. From the Refresh Calendars pull-down menu, choose the interval at which you want Calendar to retrieve information from the account or update information you add on the server, as shown in Figure 2-6:

· Push: The calendar is updated as soon as a change occurs.

· Every Minute/Hour: Calendar checks the server and fetches any changes or sends changes you made.

· Manually: Choose View⇒Refresh Calendars to fetch and send changes. If you use a MacBook and often run on battery power, this helps save the charge a bit.


Figure 2-6: Choose how often you want Calendar to refresh information for each account.

9. (Optional) Repeat to add more accounts.

image When you use iCloud or another account-based online calendar (such as Google or Facebook), you can sign in to the same account, or accounts, on your smartphone, tablet, or from another computer. Your calendars are always at your fingertips.

Subscribing to online calendars

Another source of calendars for Calendar are those you can subscribe to online, such as a calendar of holidays, sports team schedules, bridge tournaments, or new DVD releases. Calendars you subscribe to appear under the Other category in the Calendars list. Events that appear in these calendars are added, deleted, and modified by whoever maintains the online calendar, which you can view but not change.

To subscribe to an online calendar

1. Choose File⇒New Calendar Subscription to open the URL dialog.

2. Type the website URL for the calendar you want to subscribe to as shown in Figure 2-7. For example, the link to U.S. Holidays online calendar is


Figure 2-7: You can subscribe to an online calendar.

3. Click the Subscribe button.

The name appears in the Calendars list under Other, and the calendar’s events appear in the Calendar window.

image Visit iCalShare ( to find calendars you can subscribe to.

Importing Calendar data

If you store calendar information in another application, or on another operating system and you’re migrating to a Mac, you can export that data as a Calendar file or a vCalendar (.vcs) file, and then import that file into Calendar. If you’re using Microsoft Outlook, save your calendar information as a separate file (as opposed to exporting it), and then import that file into Calendar.

After you save calendar data from another application, you can import that file into Calendar by following these steps:

1. Choose File⇒Import and then choose Import or Import from Entourage.

Although Outlook replaced Entourage in MS-Office for Mac 2011, if you use MS-Office 2008, you still have Entourage. When you choose Import from Entourage, Calendar scans your Mac’s hard drive for your existing Entourage calendar data and imports those calendar events into Calendar, and you can skip the remaining steps.

2. Click the drive and/or folder that contains the file you want to import.

3. Click the file you want to import and then click Import.

Calendar imports your chosen calendar file’s data into Calendar. You can then rename the calendar if you want, and add events or edit existing ones, as explained just a bit further along in this chapter.

Creating a new calendar group

Rather than create a bunch of separate calendars, you may want to organize multiple calendars in a group. For example, if you have separate calendars to schedule events for your son’s and daughter’s school and sporting events and your father’s doctor’s appointments, you could put all those calendars into a Family group. You may wonder, “Why not just create one Family calendar?” The reason we suggest creating separate calendars is because you can then print each one for the person it pertains to, and you can give your children access to their unique calendars. A calendar group doesn’t store events; it simply stores one or more calendars.

image One caveat, however: Groups work only if you keep calendars on your Mac. That means if you use iCloud, you can’t create groups. You may want to skip this section if that’s your way of working with Calendar.

To create a calendar group, follow these steps:

1. Click the Calendar icon on the Dock or from Launchpad.

2. Choose File⇒New Calendar Group.

image You won’t see this option if you turn on Calendar in iCloud. What’s more, you may have to sign out of your other online calendars, such as Google or Facebook, create your groups, and then sign back in to the online calendars.

3. Type a descriptive name for your group and press Return.

A disclosure triangle appears to the left of the group name in the calendars list; click the triangle to hide or show the calendars in the group.

Adding a new calendar to a group

After you create a group, you can add new calendars to the group by following these steps:

1. Choose File⇒New Calendar⇒On My Mac.

An Untitled Calendar appears in the On My Mac section.

2. Type a descriptive name for your new calendar and press Return.

3. Move the pointer over the new calendar.

4. Click and drag the new calendar to the group you want to place the calendar in, and then release the mouse or trackpad button.

The name of your calendar now appears indented under the group.

image Follow Steps 3 and 4 to move existing calendars to a group.

Moving a calendar out of a group

In case you don’t want a calendar in a group, you can move it out of a group by following these steps:

1. Click the Calendars button to open the Calendars list.

2. Move the cursor over the calendar you want to remove from a group.

3. Click and drag the calendar toward the left and up (or down) until it’s out of the group.

4. Release the mouse or trackpad button.

Your existing calendar now appears outside any groups.

Moving a calendar or group

To help organize your calendars and groups, you may want to rearrange their order in the Calendar list by following these steps:

1. Move the cursor to the calendar or group you want to move.

2. Hold down the mouse or trackpad button and drag the mouse or trackpad pointer up or down.

A thick horizontal line appears where your calendar or group will appear in the Calendar list, as shown in Figure 2-8.

3. Release the mouse or trackpad button when you’re happy with the new location of your calendar or group.


Figure 2-8: A horizontal line shows where your calendar or group will land.

Renaming and deleting calendars and groups

At any time, you can rename a calendar or group, whether it’s on your Mac or on one of the online services (such as iCloud, Google, and Yahoo!). The name of a calendar or group is for your benefit and has no effect on the way Calendar works. To rename a calendar or group, double-click a calendar or group name, which highlights that name. Type a new name and press Return.

If you no longer need a particular calendar or group, click the one you want to delete and choose Edit⇒Delete. If you have any events stored on a calendar, a dialog appears, asking whether you really want to delete that calendar or group. Click Delete. If you delete a calendar or group by mistake, choose Edit⇒Undo or press image+Z.

image When you delete a calendar, you also delete any events stored on that calendar. When you delete a group, you delete all calendars stored in that group along with all events stored on those calendars. Make sure that you really want to delete a calendar or group of calendars. You can also archive a copy before deleting so you have the reference without cluttering your calendar.

Creating and Modifying Events

An event is any occurrence that has a specific time and date associated with it. Some common types of events are meetings, appointments with clients, times when you need to pick up someone (as at the airport), or recreational time (such as a concert or a two-week vacation). If you know that a particular event will occur on a specific date and time, you can store that event in Calendar so you won’t forget or schedule a conflicting activity at that time.

Viewing events

As we list at the beginning of this chapter, Calendar lets you display time frames by day, week, month, or year, and shows all the events you’ve scheduled for the day, week, month, or year you choose to view. The amount of detail varies, depending on the view you choose. To change the time frame of your displayed events, click the Day, Week, Month, or Year button at the top of the Calendar window.

Creating an event

To create an event, start by deciding which calendar to store the event on, the date and time to schedule the event, and the event’s duration. You also have options to create an event alert and whether to invite others to the event. Here, we show you how to create an event; in the next section, we explain your options.

There are two types of events — Quick Events, which let you quickly type a date, time, and event without much description such as “movie with Jim, Thursday at 7 pm,” and full-blown Events, which have addresses, travel times, and other helpful information to get you to the right place at the right time. You have several ways to create an event:

· To create a Quick Event: Click the Add Event button (the plus sign on the toolbar) or choose File⇒New Event. Then type in a phrase that defines your event in the Create Quick Event dialog that opens, as shown in Figure 2-9.

image Calendar understands common phrases, such as “dinner on Tuesday” or “staff meeting Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.” Calendar uses the current date as the point of reference, and the default duration for an event is one hour. “Breakfast” or “morning” starts at 9:00 a.m. “Lunch” or “noon” begins at 12:00 p.m. “Dinner” or “night” starts at 8:00 p.m.


Figure 2-9: Quickly create an event.

· In Day or Week view: Double-click the hour you want the event to begin, and then type in a title for your event. Or, click and drag from the starting time to the ending time, and then type a title for your event.

· In Month view: Double-click the date of the event, and type in the title and time, such as Movie 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

· In Week or Month view: Click and drag from the beginning to ending date for a multi-day event.

image You can change the start and end time of an event by moving the pointer to the top or bottom of an event until it turns into a two-way-pointing arrow. Then hold down the mouse or trackpad button and move it up or down to change your start and end times by 15-minute increments.

Editing an event

Sometimes a title, time, and date are enough descriptors for an event. Other times, you want to add more information, or something changes and you have to change the date or time of an event. Editing an event lets you change the time, the date, or the description of an event. You can also add features to an event, such as setting an alert, inviting people to your event, or automatically opening a file.

Changing the description of an event

Each time you create an event, you type in a description of that event. To modify this description, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the event you want to modify and then click the Edit button.

Alternatively, click the event and choose Edit⇒Edit Event or press image+E. The Edit pane opens, as shown in Figure 2-10.


Figure 2-10: Define details for your event, create alerts, and invite others.

2. Click the event description. (In Figure 2-10, this is Meet with contractors.)

A text box appears around the event description.

3. Use the arrow and Delete keys to edit the event description; type any new text in the fields.

· Click the Location field to type a location where the event takes place.

· Click the date and time to expand the options there, and then select the All-Day check box to create an event that lasts all day, like a birthday or vacation day. The From and To fields disappear if All Day is selected.

4. Click the Travel Time pop-up menu to block out the necessary additional time to reach your appointment.

Choose the amount of time necessary from the listed options or click Custom to fill in a specific quantity.

Choose View⇒Show Travel Time to see it reflected on the calendar. This helps you avoid scheduling appointments back to back.

5. Click outside the event editing dialog when you’re finished or make it a repeating event and add alerts, as we explain in the next two sections.

Creating a recurring event

For an event that occurs regularly, such as every Monday or on the same day every month, you can create an event one time and then tell Calendar to display that event on a recurring basis. To create a recurring event, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the event you want to modify.

Alternatively, click the event and choose Edit⇒Edit Event or press image+E.

2. Click the time interval to expand the options.

3. Click the Repeat pop-up menu and choose an option, such as Every Day or Every Month.

4. (Optional) In the Repeat pop-up menu, click Custom.

A dialog appears, shown in Figure 2-11, letting you define specific days for the recurring event, such as every Monday or the first Wednesday of every month. Click OK when you finish creating your custom recurring event.

image If you share the calendar you create in Calendar with other iOS devices, use the Custom option on your Mac because the other iOS devices don’t offer the same flexibility.


Figure 2-11: Define parameters for a recurring event.

5. Click the Ends pop-up menu to choose when the repeating should stop.

· Never: If you want the event to repeat in perpetuity.

· After: Click in the field to the right and type the number of times you want it to repeat.

· On Date: Type in the date you want the repeating event to end.

6. Click outside the editing dialog to close it.

Calendar automatically displays your recurring event throughout the rest of the calendar until you modify the event.

image If a particular event occurs two or three times, you can set it up as a repeating event or you can just duplicate it, which is sometimes easier. To duplicate an event, click it and choose Edit⇒Duplicate, or press image+D (or hold down the Option key and then drag the event to the new time slot). When the duplicate appears, move the cursor to it, drag the event to a new date, and then release the mouse button.

Indicating your availability

If you share your calendar with others, you may want to indicate your availability during certain events. You can choose Busy or Free by selecting the pop-up menu next to Show As. Usually Calendar considers you Busy when you have an appointment, but if you show your attendance for three days at a conference, for instance, you may want to choose Free so those who view your calendar know that you’re at the conference but free for appointments during that time.

Setting an alert for an event

Scheduling an event is useless if you forget about it. That’s why Calendar gives you the option of setting two types of alerts that can notify you of upcoming events:

· A message with or without an audible sound that shows up on your Mac, and looks like a dialog in the upper right corner, and, if you use iCloud, on your other devices

· A message that can be sent to you as an e-mail or as a file that can be opened

You can choose more than one type of alert — or all of them — for each event.

To set an alert for an event, follow these steps:

1. Double-click the event you want to be reminded about.

Alternatively, click it and then choose Edit⇒Edit Event, or press image+E.

2. Click the date and time to expand the Edit dialog.

An Edit dialog appears (refer to Figure 2-10).

3. Click the Alert pop-up menu (you may see two; click either).

You can choose any of the following options:

· None: You remove any alerts you’ve already set for the event.

· Message: Click one of the time intervals that appear, and a message will be displayed that amount of time in advance of the event.

4. For other options, click Custom and then choose the alert type.

· Message: Calendar sends a reminder message to you.

· Message with Sound: Select the alert sound you want from the pop-up menu that appears beneath the alert type menu.

· Email: If you have more than one address, choose the one (from the pop-up menu) you want the alert sent to.

· Open File: The default choice opens the Calendar app. To open a different file, such as a report that you can review for an upcoming meeting, choose Other in the pop-up menu beneath the alert type menu and then scroll through the directories and folders of your Mac to select the file you want to open.

5. Click the quantity field and enter how many minutes, hours, or days before or after the event you want the alert to trigger — for example, 15 minutes or 1 hour or 3 days before or after the event.

6. Click the pop-up menu to the right to choose the before or after interval (minutes, hours, days) or choose At Time of Event.

7. Scroll down to choose On Date and type in a specific date and time you want to receive the alert.

8. (Optional) Add another alert by hovering the cursor over the alert and then click the plus button that appears to the right.

image You can add another alert (or many additional alerts) to an event by editing a new or existing alert.

9. Click outside the event-editing dialog to close it.

Moving an event to another calendar

You can always move an event from one calendar to another, such as from your Work calendar to your Home calendar. To move an event to another calendar, follow these steps:

1. Double-click an event that you want to modify. Or click it once and then choose Edit⇒Edit Event, or press image+E.

2. Click the colored square in the upper right of the dialog to open the Calendar pop-up menu and then click the calendar name you want the event to appear in.

Your event is moved.

Adding information to an event

To prepare for an event, you can also store information about that event’s location, attendees, any important files related to the event (such as a presentation), a website URL, and any additional notes you want to jot down.

To add information to an event, follow these steps:

1. Double-click an event that you want to modify. Or click it once and then choose Edit⇒Edit Event, or press image+E.

2. Choose one or more of the following:

· Location: Click and type an address to remind yourself where the event will take place. When you first start typing, a list of names from Contacts that match what you’re typing appears, and you can click a name to enter the related address.

· Note: Type any additional notes about your event.

· Attachments: Click to open the chooser that shows the directories and folders on your Mac. Select a file to attach to the event, such as a business presentation that you need to give at the event.

· URL: Type a website address that’s relevant to your event, such as a restaurant’s website for an upcoming dinner.

3. Click outside the event-editing dialog to close it.

Inviting people to your event

Invitations for events ranging from staff meetings to birthday parties are often communicated electronically. Rather than type out a separate e-mail with the details of your event, you can send the invitation directly from Calendar. And Calendar keeps track of the responses so you can see who has accepted, declined, or is still deciding. Follow these steps:

1. Click an event that you want to invite people to and then choose Edit⇒Edit Event or press image+E.

2. Click Add Invitees and begin typing a name.

If the person you want to invite is in Contacts, Calendar automatically shows you a list of possible matches.

The more you type, the narrower the list becomes.

3. Choose the e-mail of the person you want to invite.

4. (Optional) Type in other names after the first one if you want to invite more than one person.

5. Click Send.

An invitation is sent in the Calendar or ICS file format. If the person has Calendar or another calendar application associated with the e-mail address, the invitation is sent directly to Calendar or the calendar application.

image ICS is the standard file type for exchanging calendar information. Calendar, Outlook, Google Calendar, and Calendar (on iOS devices) support the ICS standard. (Unfortunately, Eudora, Entourage, Mailsmith, and others do not.) When you send or receive an e-mail with an invitation attached, the invitation probably has the .ics filename extension. To add the event automatically to Calendar or the calendar application currently in use, you or the recipient simply click that attachment in the e-mail message.

6. The recipients have the option to Accept or Decline, or say Maybe.

You receive an e-mail when recipients respond: A white check mark in a green circle appears next to the recipients who accept, a question mark in an orange circle indicates a Maybe response, and a red circle-with-slash means the recipient declined the invitation.

image If you have both Contacts and Calendar open, you can click and drag a contact (image-click to select more than one invitee) from a Contacts or Group List to the hour of the event to which you want to invite them. See Book V, Chapter 1 to discover more about Contacts.

Responding to invitations

If someone sends you an invitation in Mail and you accept, it’s added to your calendar automatically. Invitations appear in the Inbox on the toolbar. The number indicates the number of invitations you have. A badge with a number appears on the Calendar icon on the Dock, which also indicates the number of invitations you have in your Inbox.

When you click the Inbox, the invitations appear, as shown in Figure 2-12. Click Maybe, Decline, or Accept. The sender will be notified of your response. If you Accept, the event is added to Calendar.


Figure 2-12: Invitations appear in the Inbox on the toolbar.

Moving an event

In case you store an event at the wrong date or time, you can change the date and time in the Edit Event dialog, or move it to a new date and time by following these steps:

1. Move the cursor to the middle of the event box.

2. Hold down the mouse button and drag the cursor to a new time or date.

The event moves with the cursor; the duration doesn’t change.

3. Release the mouse button when you’re happy with the new date and time of the event.

Deleting an event

When you no longer need to remember an event, you can delete it. Just click it and choose Edit⇒Delete. If you delete an event by mistake, press image+Z or choose Edit⇒Undo to retrieve your event.

Finding Events

Storing events is useful only if you can view upcoming events so you can prepare for them. To help you find and view events, Calendar offers several different methods that include using colors to identify different types of events and letting you search for a specific event by name.

Color-coding events

Events in a calendar reflect the color you assign to the calendar when you create the calendar. So if you assign the color blue to your Home calendar and the color red to your Work calendar, you can quickly identify which events on your calendar are home related (blue) or work related (red).

image Use contrasting colors for multiple calendars to make it easy to tell which events belong to which calendar.

Selectively hiding events

Normally, Calendar displays all events, color-coding them so you can tell which events belong to which calendars. However, if you have too many events, you may find mixing Home and Work events too confusing. If you want to see only events stored on a specific calendar (such as Home or Work calendars), you can hide the events that are stored on other calendars.

To hide events stored on other calendars, deselect the check box of any of those calendars in the Calendar List. To view events stored on a calendar, make sure that a check mark appears in the check box of that calendar, as shown in Figure 2-13.


Figure 2-13: Hiding a calendar hides all events stored on that calendar.

Checking for today’s events

Probably the most important events you need to keep an eye on are the ones you’ve scheduled for today. To see all events scheduled for today, click the Today button at the top of the Calendar window.

image Another quick way to review any upcoming events for today is to use the Calendar widget in Dashboard. To display today’s events in the Calendar widget, click the current date (which appears in the left pane of the Calendar widget) until the events pane appears. (For more information about using widgets and the Dashboard, see Book I, Chapter 2.)

Checking events for a specific date

Sometimes you may need to know whether you have any events scheduled on a certain date. To check a specific date, choose View⇒Go to Date (or Go to Today if you’re looking for that) or double-click the date in one of the calendar views.

image The Month view can show you the events scheduled for a particular date, but the Day and Week views can show you the specific times of your events for that day.

Searching for an event

If you scheduled an event several days ago, you may forget the exact date of that event. To help you find a specific event, Calendar lets you search for it by typing all or part of the information stored in that event — for example, the event name, the attendee names, or any notes you stored about the event.

To search for an event, follow these steps:

1. Click the Spotlight text box in the upper-right corner of the Calendar window.

2. Type as much text as you can remember about the event you want to find, such as an attendee’s name or the location of the event.

The Calendar application displays a list of events that match the text you type. The list appears in a column on the right of the calendar window, as shown in Figure 2-14. If you have a recurring event, every instance that matches the search will appear. If the event you seek is on a hidden calendar (one that isn’t selected), its contents won’t appear in the search.


Figure 2-14: Spotlight can help you search and find events.

3. Double-click an event that Spotlight found.

Your chosen event appears.

4. Click the Clear button in the Spotlight text box to remove the list of matching events.

Exporting Calendar data

To share your calendars with other applications (even those running on other operating systems, such as Windows or Linux), you need to export your Calendar file by following these steps:

1. Choose File⇒Export⇒Export.

A dialog appears, giving you a chance to choose a filename and location to store your Calendar data, as shown in Figure 2-15.


Figure 2-15: Export your calendars.

2. In the Save As text box, type a name for your file.

3. Choose the location to store your file from the Where pop-up menu or click the disclosure triangle to expand the window and view the directories and folders on your Mac.

4. Click Export.

Sharing your calendars

You can print your calendar and give a copy to people, but an easier way to share is to give others access to your calendar online. Your calendar will be a read-only file; the people who have access can view your calendar, but they can’t change it. To share your calendar, follow these steps:

1. Click the Calendar button to open the calendar list if it isn’t in view.

2. Click the calendar you want to share.

You can share calendars only from On My Mac or iCloud.

3. Choose Edit⇒Publish for a calendar on your Mac. Or, if you want to publish a calendar that’s on iCloud, choose Edit⇒Share Calendar.

A dialog opens, as shown in Figure 2-16 for Mac calendars and as Figure 2-17 for iCloud calendars.


Figure 2-16: Publish calendars stored on your Mac so other people can refer to them.


Figure 2-17: iCloud calendars can be shared privately or publicly.

4. For calendars on your Mac, you can type a name for your calendar that will help those who have access understand what the calendar represents.

This name is only for the shared calendar; it doesn’t change the name of the calendar in Calendar.

image Shared iCloud calendars use the name they have in Calendar, so you should give your calendar a recognizable name.

5. Do one of the following to publish your calendar:

· For calendars on your Mac (refer to Figure 2-16): Type the URL web address of the server along with your login and password in the related fields. Select the options you want from the check boxes at the bottom of the dialog. Then click the Publish button.

· For calendars on iCloud (refer to Figure 2-17): If the people you want to share your calendar with are in Contacts, type the names and then choose the correct e-mail addresses from the matches that appear. Otherwise, type the e-mail addresses of the people you want to share the calendar with.

If you want to make the calendar public, select the Public Calendar check box, and then share the URL by clicking the Share button (the curved arrow next to the URL). A pop-up menu gives you three ways to share the link — e-mail, Messages, or Facebook. Click one and proceed as you would to send anything with those apps.

Click Done. You can also click the URL to select it, and then copy and paste somewhere else, such as on your website.

Backing up Calendar data and restoring a backup file

Because Calendar can store all your upcoming events (appointments, meetings, and so on), disaster could strike if your hard drive fails and wipes out your Calendar data. The best way to avoid this is to use the Calendar option in iCloud. If you prefer not to use iCloud, you should keep a backup copy of your Calendar data. To do so, follow these steps:

1. Choose File⇒Export⇒Calendar Archive.

The Save dialog appears.

2. In the Save As text box, type a descriptive name for your Calendar backup file.

3. Choose the location for storing your file from the Where pop-up menu.

4. Click Save.

image Save your Calendar backup file on a separate drive, such as an external hard drive or a flash drive. That way, if your Mac hard drive fails, you won’t lose both your original Calendar data and your backup file at the same time. (For more details on backing up files, see Book III, Chapter 1.)

To retrieve your schedule from a backup file that you created earlier, choose File⇒Import⇒Import. In the Open dialog that appears, click the drive and folder where you saved your backup Calendar file. Then click Import. Calendar imports the backed-up file; any changes you made since the last backup will be lost.

Printing a Calendar file

Even if you have a laptop, you can’t always have your computer with you, so you may want to print your calendar in the Day, Week, or Month view. To print a calendar, follow these steps:

1. Choose File⇒Print.

A Print dialog appears, as shown in Figure 2-18.

2. Click the View pop-up menu and choose Day, Week, Month, List, or Selected Events.

Selected Events shows only the event(s) you select by Shift-clicking to select a series of contiguous events or image-clicking to select noncontiguous events.

3. (Optional) Change any other settings, such as the paper size, time range, or calendars, and select the options you want.

4. Click Continue.

Another Print dialog appears.

5. Click the Printer pop-up menu, choose a printer, and then click Print.


Figure 2-18: The Print dialog shows you how your calendar will appear on paper.

Organizing Tasks with Reminders

Although you can put an event on your calendar in Calendar and then set an alert so you don’t forget it, not everything you need to remember is an event. For these items, which you may think of as to-do’s with deadlines, you record in the Reminders app. (If you’re familiar with earlier versions of Mac OS X, these items were part of iCal as the To Do or Reminders functions.)

A typical Reminders list contains goals or important tasks that you want to accomplish, usually by a specific date or time or based on when you leave or arrive at a location. You can create multiple Reminders lists and categorize them however you want. Like Contacts and Calendar, Reminders is also part of iCloud, so your tasks can be synced across all your devices signed in to the same iCloud account.

Creating new Reminders tasks

Reminders is a catch-all for your To Do lists, neatly divided into categories you establish. Here’s how to create new Reminders:

1. Click the Reminders app icon on the Desktop.

The Reminders app opens. The first time you open Reminders, you have two lists: Reminders and Completed.

2. Click the Reminders list and then click the lined piece of “paper.”

The cursor appears on the first line, and a check box is to the left of the cursor.

3. Type the task you want to remember.

The task appears in the list with an info button to the right.

4. Click the info button to open the Details screen.

5. Click each item to specify how you want Reminders to help you remember this task, as shown in Figure 2-19.

· Remind Me On a Day: Select the check box, and then click the date to open a calendar that allows you to specify the date. Click the hour and minute fields, and enter the time you want to be reminded on that date.

Click the Repeat pop-up menu to choose an interval at which you want the alert to repeat.

· Remind Me At a Location: Select the check box, and then enter the name of a person or business that’s in Contacts or type a street address. Then, select either the Leaving or the Arriving radio button to hear an alert when one of these actions occurs.

A summary of when the alert will take place is written beneath the Leaving and Arriving radio buttons.

· Priority: Click the pop-up menu to give the task low, medium, high, or no priority.

· Note: Type any additional details about the task in this field.


Figure 2-19: Choose when and where Reminders should prod you to your task.

6. Click Done to return to the list.

7. Choose image⇒System Preferences⇒Notifications to choose the alert style you want Reminders to use, and click Sounds in System Preferences to select your preferred alert sound.

To rearrange, edit, or delete items in a list, do the following:

· To rearrange the order of items in your list: Click and drag each item to move it up or down in the list.

· To edit a task: Click the item and then click the info button to the right of the task to open the Details screen. Edit the task following the steps you use to create a task.

· To delete an item: Click it and then choose Edit⇒Delete.

There are a few options for changing the view:

· All tasks: To view all your tasks for a certain day, click a date in the calendar, and a list by date appears. A dot under the date lets you know whether there are deadlines that day.

· Hide or show: Click the related buttons at the bottom of the window (see Figure 2-20) to hide or show the list of Reminders lists or calendar.

· New window: Double-click a list title either in the list of Reminders lists or on the list itself to open the list in a separate window. You can leave this window open on your Desktop and close the main Reminders window.

When you complete a task, select the check box to the left of the task on the list as shown in Figure 2-20. The completed tasks are moved to the Completed list, but you can also view them by scrolling up to the top of the originating list to see the completed section.

Making new lists

Keeping all your tasks on the existing Reminders list somewhat defeats the purpose of the app, which is to divide your tasks by subject. There are three ways to create new lists:

· Click the New List button (refer to Figure 2-20) at the bottom of the window.

· Choose File⇒New List.

· Press image+L.

When you create a new list, the name is highlighted; type a new name and then press Return or click elsewhere on the screen (such as on the list) to add tasks to it. To edit the list name later, click it once, and then click the text once to highlight it, and type a new name.


Figure 2-20: Hide or show completed tasks on your lists.

When you have more than one list, choose Reminders⇒Default List and select the list that you want to set as default. Then when you create new tasks outside of a list — for example, in Outlook or another app that syncs with Reminders — those tasks are added to the chosen list.

To delete an entire list, click it in the list of reminders and then choose Edit⇒Delete. A dialog confirms whether you’re sure you want to delete the entire list; click Delete to proceed, or click Cancel if you change your mind.

image You can move from one list to the next (one day to the next if you’re viewing tasks by date) and back by swiping with two fingers across the trackpad or Magic Mouse.

Adding Reminders from other accounts

If you keep To Do lists on other online services such as Exchange or Yahoo!, you can add those lists to Reminders and keep all your lists in one app. The procedure is pretty much the same as that for adding calendars from different services, as we describe earlier in this chapter. Choose Reminders⇒Add Account, select the radio button next to the account you want to add, and then click Continue.

Then type the required account name and password and click Continue. Your account is verified and added to the list of lists on the Reminders window. You may need to ask your network administrator for information if you want to add a CalDAV account.