Quickly Add Events To iCal Using Normal Phrases [OS X Tips]



Mac OS X Lion came with a new version of iCal an application that people either love or hate. It sports a new look and a new feature called Quick Add. It is a new way to quickly add events to your calendar.

iCal will now allow you to enter normally worded phrases to add a new appointment (or event) to your calendar. All you need to do is click on the + (plus) button in iCal and select the calendar you want to add the appointment (or event) too. A pop-up will appear that will allow you to enter a phrase.

If you type something like “Lunch this Tuesday at 11:30am with Leander” or “Movie this Friday at 7pm” iCal will convert that into a new appointment on your selected calendar. It’s not exactly perfect because I had to add the word “Lunch” back in manually, but it did most of the work for me.

  • Gregintosh

    How does this stack up to Fantastical? I have been using it for a few days and I am impressed. It allows you to do this but from the menu bar rather than have to open up the calendar program. 

    Is there any way to get this functionality out of OS X (or maybe a free utility that helps?). I’d love to know before I drop my $20 on Fantastical!

  • JMattP

    WTF. I watch Diggnation and in the last episode, Kevin Rose was going off about how great Fantastical is because it does this. I refuse to pay $20 for something like that (a game or a full-featured program, sure, but not a utility) so I kept looking for alternatives. Eventually, I found Remind Me Later, which is free and also lets you add calendar events by typing them out from an icon in the menu bar. But I had no idea that it was already a feature in iCal! Why would I bother with 3rd party software at all? I don’t need anything fancy, just quickly add something to my calendar. I don’t mind OPENING THE CALENDAR to do it. It takes literally 1-2 seconds to click the iCal icon in my dock, click the “+” sign and start typing. 

    I’m so glad I didn’t spend $20 on Fantastical.

  • djrobsd

    Awesome, glad I didn’t spend money on extra software, thanks Apple.

  • Guest

    But Apple didn’t see fit to give us a shortcut key for this? This ‘quick’ way of entering text isn’t all that quick if I have to move to the mouse, click, move back to the keyboard, etc. Still glad I have Fantasical!

  • Guest

    command + k

  • Guest

    Doh, my bad.  Wrong shortcut, yeah I guess you’re right, seems like an oversight.