The iPad comes stocked with Apple’s basic apps for organizing your life. Keep on top of your day-to-day activities with the Calendar app, use your iPad as a scratchpad for to-do lists and ideas with the Notes app, and keep track of all your acquaintances with Contacts app. Need to know what’s happening next in your life? Using Calendar app lets you see recent and upcoming events, as well as enter new ones.
iPad Getting Started - Using Calendar App
You can even set alerts in Calendar so you don’t miss a thing. Using Calendar app has a nice embossed background reminiscent of a physical day planner, but beyond that, it’s very much like Apple’s iCal application for Mac OS X, except that it’s a little better—it’s more responsive and provides more-flexible views of your schedule.
iPad Getting Started – View The Calendar
Tap the Calendar app from your Home screen to bring up the main calendar view. Along the top of the calendar screen are four buttons that bring up different view options: Day, Week, Month, and List. To the right is a Search field that displays a drop-down menu of possible event matches as you type search terms. At the bottom is a slider that lets you jump ahead or back in time, and a Today button to bring up the current day. Tap the Calendars button in the upper left corner of the screen to see a list of all calendars currently synced with your iPad. You can select one or multiple calendars, or tap Hide All Calendars. Each calendar is color coded, so you can tell what items belong to which calendar. An Invitations button next to the Calendars button will display any event invitations awaiting response.
If you tap Day, you’ll see Calendar’s day view, which displays up to eight hours of events at a time. You can scroll up or down to see events that are happening earlier or later in the day. All-day events appear at the top of the window, even when you scroll. Above the list of events you’ll see the day and date you’re currently viewing (if you’re viewing today’s events, that text will appear in blue), as well as a 30-day calendar for easy viewing and navigating throughout the month. At the bottom of this view there is a slider with forward and back arrows, which gives you another way to quickly switch between days.
The Week mode shows the days of the week across the top, and each day divided by hours below. The current time is indicated by a red dot and a black line that goes across the screen. The current day appears in blue instead of gray. The slide along the bottom switches from days to weeks, again to make it easier to navigate through your schedule.
iPad Getting Started – Calendar Day by Day. The Calendar’s Day view lists your events in a datebook-like layout.
Tap Month to see Calendar’s month view. The bulk of the iPad’s screen in this view displays a complete calendar for the current month, along with a month slider at the bottom and arrows you can tap to move forward or back one month at a time. If a day has any events attached to it, a small dot and a description of the event will appear beneath the day’s number. The dot will be in the color of the event’s calendar. The current day will appear with a blue strip across the top labeled Today.
If you tap List, you’ll see a list of all your upcoming calendar events on the left and a schedule of the current day on the right. This view displays the largest number of events at once. To quickly jump back to the current date in any of the Calendar views, simply tap the Today button on the bottom of the screen.
iPad Getting Started – Add Events
To add a new event, tap the plus sign (+) in the lower right corner of the screen. You can assign each event a title, a location (although there’s currently no way to tie that location to a Google Maps address), a date, and a starting and ending time. Tap the Repeat button to set a recurring event. If you don’t want to miss an important meeting or event, you can set up alerts. You can also add miscellaneous information in the Notes field. When creating a new event, you can select which calendar it belongs to. (Pick the default calendar for new events in the Settings app under Mail, Contacts, Calendars.)
iPad Getting Started – Sync Calendars
You can sync the iPad with iCal and Entourage calendars on a Mac and with Outlook on a PC. You can also add subscribed calendars and CalDAV accounts. To sync your calendars directly with your computer, attach your iPad to your computer, select it in iTunes Source list, and then click on the Info button. You can sync all the calendars in your chosen calendar program, or choose to sync only a select group. To save space on the iPad, you can also limit how many old events to sync (that is, items that have already occurred).
iPad Getting Started. To turn on calendar syncing for supported IMAP accounts (such as a Gmail account), go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Accounts and add the account. Toggle the switch next to Calendars to On.
iPad Getting Started – Third-Party Scheduling App
The built-in calendar app is a great start, but power planners should take a trip to the App Store for other options. Pocket Informant HD Calendar is a solid, simple way to keep an eye on your schedule, but it lacks a number of features, like geolocation and tasks, and it isn’t very flexible. When it comes to organization, Pocket Informant HD is a big step up, as it lets you plot events on a map, view your schedule in more ways than Apple’s Calendar, and manage tasks in various modes. You can use projects and subtasks, go all out with David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, and even view tasks alongside your day’s events in the app’s calendar views.