5 Beginner Tips To Get Started With Apple Calendar on Mac

By | April 10, 2022

The default Calendar app on macOS isn’t as advanced or comprehensive as third-party apps like Fantastical and BusyCal, but it’s still good at its functionality.

If you’re ready to explore this built-in calendar, our Apple Calendar tips below will show you how to get started.

Create New Calendar

Thanks to a digital calendar, you can keep all your tasks, events and reminders in one location. But it’s a hassle if you can’t tell the difference between these items or isolate certain items when you need them.

You won’t have any problems with Calendar. It allows you to create multiple calendars to organize schedules in different areas of your life. You can create a Home calendar to keep track of household chores, a Meetings calendar to see your appointments at a glance, and so on.

Creating a new calendar is as easy as clicking File > New Calendar. You can then rename the calendar from the Calendar List in the sidebar. If the list is not visible, click the Calendar toolbar button or on View > Show Calendar List to reveal it.

(The app starts you off with a few default calendars: Work and Birthdays.)

Calendar lets you assign a different color to each calendar. So, it’s easy to distinguish events as personal, work-related, etc. Even when you see them all at once.

To change the color assigned to the calendar, select the color of your choice from the calendar’s right-click menu via the sidebar. (When you move an item from one calendar to another, it takes on the new calendar color.)

You can even combine calendars into separate groups like Tasks, Reminders, and Events or Personal, Work, Family, and Friends. To create a calendar group, click File > New Calendar Group.

Create New Event

Calendar lets you add events to any calendar in a variety of ways. (Make sure to select the correct calendar in the sidebar first.) For starters, you can create an event by:

  • Menu item File > New Event
  • This keyboard shortcut: Cmd + N
  • Quick Create Event button or plus button in toolbar

All of these actions bring up the Quick Events popup, where you can add events.

Here, feel free to use natural language to determine the date and time; Calendar supports that (as do many native Mac apps.) You can trust Calendar to correctly interpret phrases like “Karen’s birthday dinner at 8pm” or “9am flight to Mumbai on Friday” and create events from there. We recommend using natural language for a faster workflow.

You can add a location, invitation, note, URL, etc., to an event from the Edit Event popup. To bring it up, double-click on an event in the calendar or select it and click Edit > Edit Event.

In the popup, click on the date of the event to access a hidden section from where you can set a reminder or alert for the event.

It’s a shame that Calendar reminders don’t appear in the Reminders app. But you can show it in Notification Center with Calendar widget.

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Switch Calendar View

Do you want to zoom in on the tasks and events you have scheduled for a specific day or week? Maybe you want to see how busy you have been during this month, or you want to see the whole year at a glance.

Such a scenario is exactly why Calendar has four unique views: Day, Week, Month, and Year. They help you visualize your schedule in a variety of ways.

To switch between calendar views, click the relevant toolbar button or the View menu option. You can even create events through this view. To get started, all you have to do is double-click on the relevant day in Month view or on a time slot in Day and Week view. This action leads directly to the Edit Event popup instead of the Create Quick Event popup.

Sync Calendar with Online Account

Any calendars you create in Calendar can be saved on your Mac and appear under the On My Mac sidebar section. If you want to bring your iCloud calendar, Google Calendar, or other CalDAV calendar into the Calendar app to manage them all from one location, that’s easy to do.

All you need to do is set up the appropriate calendar account under Calendar > Preferences > Accounts. (You can also delete the account or temporarily deactivate it from this location.)

Have you used those online accounts with Mail, Notes, or other native Mac apps? In that case, you can enable calendar sync for that account via System Preferences > Internet accounts as well.

After adding an account to Calendar, you can no longer create a new calendar with the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Option + N. Instead, you must use the File > New Calendar option, which allows you to select an account to create a new calendar account for. Also, calendar groups are only available for local accounts.

Share Calendar

Sharing your schedule with others can save you a lot of back and forth when planning common activities.

For example, sharing an “availability” calendar with your best friend will help you pinpoint a time when you’re both free to catch up. Or you can maintain a shared “task” calendar to see if you can go grocery shopping together. And if you add location-based items to your calendar, it’s easy to know when you’ll be in the same neighborhood for the week.

In the Calendar app, you can only share calendars that are linked to an internet account. In other words, you can’t share the calendars listed under On My Mac.

To share a calendar, hover over it and click the Share Calendar button (wireless or connectivity icon) that appears. In the next pop-up, type the name or email address of the person you want to share the calendar with, and then press Enter. This immediately sends a calendar invitation.

By default, people with whom you have shared a calendar can view and edit the calendar. If you want to revoke editing rights for certain people, click on their name in the list and select the View Only option from the popup menu. (Notice the Invitation Again option in the menu. Click it if you want to resend the invitation to a shared calendar.)

If you want to stop sharing your calendar with a specific person, select that person’s name in the Shared With list and press the Delete key.

Don’t want to share a specific calendar anymore? Right-click in the sidebar and select Stop Sharing from the context menu.

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