How Do I Use the Calendar on an iPad?

By David Weedmark

With an iPad by your side, there's never a reason to forget a dentist appointment or an important birthday again. Use Apple's Calendar app, which comes free with iOS 8, to manage as many events as you need, create separate calendars for different projects or sync with your other calendars, like Google, iCloud or Outlook. If the Calendar app isn't quite what you're looking for, there are plenty of other calendars to choose from in the App Store.

Getting Started

The first time you launch the Calendar app, it gives you a view of the current week -- congrats, your week is clear! To add an event, tap the "+" icon and fill in the fields, like a title, location and time. You can also add invitees from your contacts, set an alert and add notes. To move through your calendar, just drag your finger across the screen, left and right to see other days, or up and down to see different times of the day. Change the view to Day, Week, Month or Year to get a different look at your schedule. If you want to find an event, tap the "Search" icon. If you tap "Today," the calendar takes you to the present minute.

Syncing Calendars

You can add any Web-based calendar service, like Google or iCloud, or a work calendar using Microsoft Exchange, the same way you add an email account. Go to "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" in the iPad's Settings and select "Add Account." The iPad prompts you to enter the required information, like your account name and password. If you're already connected to the account for your email or contacts, select the account and then turn on the "Calendars" option. To sync with Outlook on your PC, download iTunes and sync your Calendars along with your music and movies. Synced calendars automatically appear in the app and are updated whenever you have Internet access.

Managing Multiple Calendars

The Calendar app gives you an option to create additional color-coded calendars, so you can separate work from family life, or add any other calendar you wish. Just tap the "Calendars" option within the app to open the Show Calendars menu, select "Edit" and then "Add Calendar." After you have additional calendars, use the Calendars option to hide or unhide them from view. If you tap the "i" beside a calendar's name in the Show Calendars window, you can change its color code, share it with contacts or delete it from the app.

Using Other Calendars

While Apple's Calendar app has lots of features -- adding a location, for example, ties it into the Maps app -- it's certainly not your only choice. If you want something more like a day planner, Pocket Informant is a popular choice, incorporating a to-do list into your schedule. Another highly rated app is PocketLife Calendar, which offers choices in fonts and a variety of icons so you can quickly see your football game is Thursday and your book club meets Saturday. Students may want to try myHomework Student Planner, which works well for tracking classes and assignments. Hundreds of other calendar apps are in the App Store, many with specific functions like tracking a pregnancy or your favorite TV shows.