Introduction to Calendar

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Creating calendars

Though Home and Work may cover much of your life, you’ll undoubtedly wish to create more-specific calendars. For instance, a performance calendar for your dad band or a schedule for your kid’s jai alai team.

Adding calendars is a little confusing. The command is simple enough—just choose File > New Calendar. But if you’ve configured your Mac with an iCloud account, your only option is to create a new calendar in iCloud. What if you want to create it on just your Mac? (Because, for example, you don’t want it to be shared with your iOS devices.) There’s a trick to doing this.

Temporarily disable your iCloud account to add calendars on your Mac.

Choose Calendar > Preferences and then click the Accounts tab. Select your iCloud account in the list, disable the Enable This Account checkbox, and close the window. When you now choose File > Calendar, no iCloud entry will appear. Create a new calendar, and it will appear under a newly created On My Mac heading. You can now return to the Accounts preference and enable your iCloud account. When you do, you’ll find that when creating a new calendar you have the option to choose either iCloud or On My Mac.

Creating events

You now know the lay of the land (not to mention, what day it is). Let’s do something practical and create an event.

There are a couple of ways to do this. The old-fashioned way is—in Day or Week view—to click and drag on a time in the events list. A colored bar appears that bears the New Event name. Just resize the event so that it covers the event’s time. In the case of an all-day event, double-click in this area to create the event.

In Month view you double-click on a date to create an event. By default this will be an all-day event and, as with other events you create, be called New Event. As I mentioned earlier, when you double-click a date in Year view, Month view opens, where you can again create the event.

But again, that’s the old-fashioned way. Apple would prefer that you instead click the Create Quick Event button (the one that shows a plus sign), choose File > New Event, or press Command-N. This exposes the event field. Into it enter some of the details of your event—“Meet Galahad at 3 on Friday for coffee,” for example. In Day, Month, or Week view, you’ll be taken to the date of the event and an Edit window will appear, where you can configure the event. (I’ll describe how to do this shortly.) The words you enter appear as the name of the event.

Note that I used a couple of shortcuts in this example. I didn’t have to tell Calendar the date of the event, nor did I have to specify 3 p.m. It’s smart enough to know that I mean the next Friday and that 3 is going to be p.m. rather than a.m.

Calendar can be smarter still. If I were to enter “Galahad lunch Friday,” Calendar would create that event on Friday at noon. Substitute dinner for lunch and the event is created for 8 p.m. Breakfast events are automatically scheduled for 9 a.m.

And, of course, you can be more specific. Enter “Meeting Arthur 10 AM 5/16,” and a 10 a.m. meeting on May 16 will be created.

If you’d like to move an event to a different day, just drag it to that day. And you can make copies of events by holding down the Option key and then dragging the event to the day you’d like to add. The original event will remain, and the copy will be put in place.

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