You would be surprised at the number of Mac users (and iPhone and iPad users) who do not use the free Calendar app that comes with every Apple device. Most Mac users know it’s there, not every Mac use bothers to use it.
What’s not to like about Calendar on the Mac? It’s free. It’s easy to setup and use. It syncs and plays nice-nice with Calendar on iPhone and iPad. Yet, in the school where I work and manage hundreds of Macs, only a handful of teachers or staff bother to use the built-in Calendar. Why not?
Make It Easier
Apple can be criticized by the technorati elite for not dumping into the Mac or iPhone or iPad every feature humankind can think of, but the great masses of users still have trouble digesting the basics. What makes Calendar difficult to use? My own informal survey of dozens of teachers through the years tells me that convenience and access needs to be improved.
Here are two examples that improve access to the Calendar, but not the convenience of adding a new event or reminder.
The first one is called CalendarMenu and you already know from the name what makes it more accessible. It’s a calendar that lives in the Mac’s Menubar. Click the Menubar icon and get a look at the month, and the day’s reminders and events. One click.
That accessibility comes with a nominal price tag of a few dollars, but if it gets you to use Calendar, it’s worth it.
Also on my list is popCalendar which does a bit of the same thing as CalendarMenu, but a bit less for a lower price.
popCalendar displays the Calendar by year or month, and highlights days which have events. Click on a day to review items on the Calendar.
Both of these Calendar add ons are great additions to make Calendar more accessible but even that ease of use may not be enough to get Mac users to try the benefits of Calendar without using Calendar. I consider it one of the unsung heroes of the free apps included on the Mac.
That brings me to a bit of commentary regarding the Mac’s built-in applications. Almost everyone I know– school and work, friend or family– that use Macs use Safari and Mail. Calendar gets used but not as often. Ditto for Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and other applications that Apple provides with every Mac. There is a long tail in the graph of app users who partake of the stock applications. I suspect that many simply haven’t been shown how to use them or have difficulty taking on a new challenge to learn something. And maybe that explains why I see so many training classes going on at the Apple Store.