How to Use Your iPhone Calendar

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The Calendar on your iPhone or iPad is a versatile tool which can be used for a lot more than meets the eye. If you want to rely on fewer apps for common tasks, you can use the Calendar instead of the Reminders app. For quiet alerts, Calendar can be a good substitute for the Clock. It can also be synced with calendars you use on the computer or at work to keep your entire schedule in one place.

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1. Create an Event

The + sign in the top right corner of the calendar app gets you started. Enter information like the title of the meeting and any other details you need. Note that you can use this to set up reminders for yourself, such as "pick up prescriptions" or "call Bob." It needn't be an actual meeting.

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2. Hack the Location field

The second field may be labeled "location," but this is the perfect box for any additional notes that you would like to be easily accessible--anything from an actual location to a reminder like "wear nice shirt."

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Calendar is connected to Apple Maps, and so entering a real street address creates a link that is compatible with Maps and other map programs.

3. Set the time

You can choose to make this an all-day event or set it for a specific time. If you would like to set up an alert for the event (a push notification to remind you about the event), choosing a start time will make this a bit easier.

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After choosing a start and end time, you can also tap "repeat" to create multiple events like this one. This is great for bill reminders, weekly activities, and many other things. You can select many different patterns such as every two weeks, every three days, and once a month on the third Wednesday.

4. Receive alerts

You can only set reminders to occur at certain intervals. For example, if you are scheduled to hold a conference call at 2:00, there is no way to set up an alert one minute before. Instead, you have a few choices:

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  • If you specified an address for the event, you can be notified when it's time to leave (based on current traffic conditions).
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  • Or choose form a few other options like 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour early.

5. View your calendar

There are several ways to take a peek at your schedule, each perfect for a different occasion. For starters, tap the arrow in the top left to zoom out, then click on what you want to see in more detail. To get a run-down of all of the upcoming events in order, tap the rectangle with two lines underneath.

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To add the calendar app to your widgets, (the list of apps that appears if you swipe right on the lock screen), scroll all the way to the bottom of your widgets then tap "edit." From there, you can add the calendar by tapping the green +. To bring it to the top of the list, find the three horizontal lines next to "Calendar" then hold and drag them to place the app where you like. "Up Next" is a widget which combines the calendar and clock for extra information.

6. Customize your settings

If your calendar is not set up the way you like, go to the Settings app and tap "Calendar." There, you can change whether the app adjusts for time zone differences, if locations pop up when you type in the "location" field, which events you will receive alerts for, and several other things. You can also change the type of calendar and which day of the week appears first.

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7. Sync with other calendars

To sync with Outlook or iCal, plug your mobile device into your computer. In iTunes, go to the sync settings. Under "Info," checkmark "sync contacts with" and then select your calendar of choice.

To sync with iCloud or Google Calendar, To combine multiple Google Calendars, open Google Sync on your mobile device, sign in, and select all of the calendars you wish to include.

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