How to create Calendar events more efficiently

Macworld Australia Staff
29 December, 2012
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My Mac runs Mountain Lion, and I have to fiddle with events after I create them in Calendar – changing all-day events to events that last a couple of hours, for example, and changing their start times. Is there a way to create events so I don’t have to spend so much time editing them?

Caroline Anders

First let’s review how Calendar creates events. If you double-click a date while you’re in Month view, you’ll create an all-day event by default, unless you enter a time or specific event in the New Event field, such as ‘Meeting with George 3 PM’ or ‘Lunch with Dan’. Otherwise, if your intention was to create an event that lasts just an hour, you’ll have to edit the event.

If you want only an hour-long event, change to Week or Day view and double-click a time. An hour-long event will be created at the time you chose.

Although you may be accustomed to double-clicking dates or times to create events, the Create Quick Event feature is worth checking out.

Press c-N or click the Plus button at the top of the Calendar window, and enter an event along these lines: ‘Lunch tomorrow Dan’. Then press Enter, and a new event with that title will be created for noon of the next day. Try ‘Dinner Tomorrow Dan’ and an event will be created for 8pm the following night.

Calendar is smarter than iCal in this regard, but it isn’t as smart as Flexibits’ $20.99 Fantastical ( Using that app, you can enter ‘Lunch tomorrow 1-3 Marlo South Melbourne’, and Fantastical will create an event exactly along those lines, making South Melbourne the location.

Calendar, on the other hand, will get the time right, but it will make ‘South Melbourne’ rather than ‘lunch’ the name of the event, and it won’t add the location.

If you’d like to change the default alert time for timed events as well as all-day events, you can do so within the Alerts tab of Calendar’s preferences.

Choose an Account (iCloud, for example) from the Account pop-up menu, and configure the Events and All Day Events pop-up menus. For example, rather than adopting the usual default of ‘15 minutes before’, you can choose from such options as ‘30 minutes before’, ‘1 hour before’, ‘1 day before’, and ‘2 days before’.

All-day events are more limited, allowing you to choose ‘On Day of Event (9 AM)’, ‘1 Day Before (9 AM)’, ‘2 Days Before (9AM)’ or ‘1 Week Before’.

Make a date. Use Calendar’s Create Quick Event feature to insert events easily.

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