Using the Calendar Application in Windows 8

If you are like me, who doesn’t like to remember birthdates and events, then Calendar is going to be an important app for you in Windows 8.

It is one of the newest offerings of Windows 8, sporting the Modern user interface.

Calendar, as the name implies, manages your calendar events. It can remind you of an upcoming birthday, prepare presentation for tomorrow’s business meeting, or go shopping for the weekend’s party.

Launch the app by clicking on its tile in the Start Screen. If this is Calendar’s first launch, then you will see nothing much on the main screen.

You will need to add an account of a calendar service provider.

Add an Account

Summon the Settings Charm to add an account, and click on “Add an Account”. It will list the service providers that Calendar app currently supports.

Select a service whose account you want to add. The app will then ask you to enter the credentials of the selected service.

 

Once the credentials are authenticated, Calendar fetches calendars and their events from your account, and makes its interface ready for use.

Main Screen

Once Calendar is initialized, the only priority of the app is to display events. The whole screen is dedicated to emphasize contents of the events. Calendar provides 3 views to display events.

  • Month View – It is the default view. A day is represented by a rectangular tile. Events of that day fill up the tile.

You can navigate between months by either swiping forth and back, or by clicking on arrow buttons located on the vertical edges.

  • Week View – This view fills the screen with 7 days horizontally. 24 hours of a day are depicted on a vertical scale. Thus, an event can be accurately marked in the day strip, at its start time.

Naturally, an event has a larger space to fill. So, it fills its day strip in order to depict the time length of the event. In my above example, my shopping event would last for 90 minutes.

So, the bar of that event is marked at its start time, and stretched through 90 minutes to its end time.

  • Day View – This view shows only two days – today and tomorrow. Days are expressed horizontally, while hours are laid in vertical manner.

The display of the events is similar to the week view, only difference being that the events get even more space to fill in day view.

Context Menu

You can summon the context menu of Calendar on any screen through a right click, or swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen. The menu will slide up from the bottom edge.

You can switch between month, week and day views from the context menu. You can also make a quick jump to the current day from anywhere in the calendar. Context menu also provides you a button to create a new event.

Create a New Event

To create a new event, simply tap on the day on which you want to create the event. Alternatively, click on the “+” button in the context menu. The new event screen will appear.

Here, you can fill the event details like

  • Title and description of the event
  • Location
  • Start time
  • Length of the event, or end time
  • Specify if the event is one-time or recurring. If recurring, then specify the recurrence – weekly, daily, monthly, annually, etc.
  • Set the number of hours before which Calendar should remind you of the event
  • Set the calendar in which you want to store the event
  • Add other people to the event

Save the event, and you are done.

Settings Charm

Calendar displays its settings through Settings Charm. You can customize calendar settings as well as account settings.

Calendar Settings

Open Settings Charm → Options

This pane lists all your calendars.

You can turn on or off events of a calendar. If you turn off the events, they won’t be displayed on the calendar anymore.

You can differentiate events of different calendars by applying different color to each calendar.

Account Settings

Open Settings Charm → Accounts.

Here, you can add a new account or manage an existing account. Click on an existing account to customize its settings.

Note that the account settings are same across the 4 apps – Mail, People, Calendar and Messaging. So, you get access to everything instead of Calendar-specific settings.

For Calendar app, you can customize settings like

  • Change the displayed account name
  • Toggle sync for calendar entries
  • Change the account credentials
  • Turn on or off notifications for this account
  • Remove the account from Calendar app

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