Kudos and props to Apple for making sure Mac customers have all the basics. From Safari to Mail, from Calendar to Photos, from iTunes to Messages, Apple keeps us up to date and in the know with a wide variety of table stakes applications.
What’s missing? Apple leaves the crumbs for third party app developers. For example, there’s no easy way to check Calendar events without going into Calendar or using Notification Center. The Menubar has become a cluttered cottage industry of utilities, functions, and mini-apps that Apple ignores. Here’s one you’ll like.
Menubar, Meet Calendar
Without Command-Tab to switch to Calendar, it isn’t easy to know what’s coming up next. Calendar in the Dock displays the day of the month, but not day of the week. Time and date in the Menubar is more configurable but says nothing about Calendar events. Click Notification Center and those same events you want to check on are obscured or compete for visual space with email notifications and everything else you hide because it’s annoying.
Enter Menu Calendar, a cute utility that doesn’t cost much but makes up for the $2 price tag with convenience that goes beyond Calendar itself and with one more feature would be a perfect addition to the Menubar.
Click and you get a calendar drop down menu. Navigate left or right for previous or future months. But at the bottom you’ll see a calendar calculator which lets you add or subtract days, months, or years forward or backwards.
It’s a calendar calculator. That’s very cool and you won’t find it in Calendar. What’s missing in Menu Calendar is the obvious. Events. The whole reason for using Calendar is to schedule events and get notifications but you still have to switch to Calendar or rummage through Notification Center to get at each one.
Enter Itsycal, a free Menubar utility that does what you think it does based upon the name. Itsycal is a smaller Calendar that lives in the Menubar. Click it and you get a drop down menu with the Calendar and a list of upcoming events.
Free doesn’t mean devoid of features, either. Itsycal lets you change the start day of the week. It also highlights weekends, works with the MacBook trackpad to swipe left or right to get to a different month, and comes with nearly a dozen keyboard shortcuts.
There’s nothing to not like about these Calendar add-on utilities. The only wonder is why Apple doesn’t bother to put such functionality into Calendar and the Menubar.