One of my favorite features in Google Calendar is the “Quick Add” feature that lets you use a more natural language for adding events to the calendar. Apple iCal users can get a similar feature thanks to the free QuickCal Widget. Once you’ve added the widget to your Dashboard you’ll instantly be able to add events to iCal using descriptive wording, such as:
- Dinner tomorrow at 6:00pm until 9pm
- Meet with Roger next Wednesday at 3:30 pm
- Jogging today at 6pm for 30 minutes
- Dad’s birthday on saturday
- Yoga class on 4/5 at noon
- todo – Clean golf clubs
- File taxes before 4/15/2008!!!
- Write novel -todo
You’ll notice that some of those examples include todo items, and that’s because the widget can also add tasks to your todo list. Here are some of the different things it uses to distinguish whether what you entered should be added to your todo list:
- Without due dates: start or end the text with “todo” (“todo – walk the dog”, “todo – renew domains”)
- With a due date: no need to use “todo”, just end your text with “due”, “due on”, “before”, “by” – with a date. (“file taxes before 4/15?, “electric bill due next tuesday”)
- You can assign importance to tasks by throwing bangs/exclamation marks after your text. The more you add, the more important it is. (“todo – sorta important!”, “todo – REALLY IMPORTANT!!!”)
And when it comes to reminders QuickCal will look at how far the scheduled event is, and add multiple reminders accordingly. This feature can be completely turned off if you want, or you can tweak it to your liking. By default this is how it works:
All events will have a reminder set to 15 minutes away. Events created more than a week in advance will notify you the day before, as well. And if you create something more than a month away, a reminder will be created two weeks before the event. (So, one distant event = 3 reminders)
This is a really handy widget that any iCal user will probably love. Once you get used to the syntax it can make adding events quick and painless.