One of the great things about the Mac for a user is that there are some beautiful applications that enhance your working space and your workflow. Often these apps are one trick ponies and that is a cool thing too. No bloat at all anywhere and it does a simple task quickly and looks good too. Often these type of apps are free, better still. Lets have a look at a couple of examples of this type of Mac application for dealing with calendar and to do events.
The two applications are Remind Me Later and Calendar. First of all why would we want to use them? Remind Me Later just saves me time, saves me from opening up iCal just to make a quick event. Calendar saves me from opening iCal to see the events I have created, another time saver. It all is possible because of icons installed in the menu bar at the top giving me access to these apps and their functionality.
First thing to do is to install the applications and you can do that from the Mac App store and they are free. Just do a search for them and let the App Store do its magic. Start them up and set some preferences. In Remind Me Later set it to add an alarm 20 minutes before hand, so that iCal tells you in time about the event. Check the box to make it launch on start up. You will want to have it available at all times. You can also set a hot key. I have Option-Cmd-R which is probably the default. You can also choose which calendar it will put the events into, I put mine into the Google calendar I have set up. With Calendar hit the icon on the menu bar and click on the Always Start At Login and you are done.
Using the Applications Remind Me Later and Calendar
Starting with Remind Me Later use the hot key or click on the icon and the window will immediately popup for you to put in the details of the event. A really nice touch is that you can write in plain English, such as, Write an article for InfoBarrel tomorrow at 4pm. Or it could be - Favourite band is playing in town Tuesday to Sunday. Remind Me Later will take the text and convert it to the dates in iCal. Under the input area it tells you the date that it will be using as confirmation. There is a disclosure triangle which you can use to to show or hide the help for the application. Hide it once you know what you are doing. Click the button Add Event to iCal and you are done.
The event that you have just added will give you notice 20 minutes before it is due if you have set that to happen in the preferences or right on the due time otherwise. Now what we want to do is to quickly see the events in our calendar in iCal. Instead of opening iCal click on the Calendar icon on the menu bar to see the current month. You can navigate the months with the arrow icons at the top to go forward or back a month at a time or a year at a click.
When you mouse over the day with an event a heads up display type pop out shows you the events for the day. Showing you one event at a time or all of the events for that day. Of course if you click on the event it will open iCal for you taking you straight to that event. Simple pair of applications that do one thing and do it well, saving you time when you use them.