Growly Calendar is a straightforward scheduling tool designed for everyday home use. It works great if you have just one computer, but it really shines when you want to coordinate calendars across multiple computers. You don’t need a server, a MobileMe iDisk, or any other kind of central access point. All you need is an email account on each computer that you want to synchronize.
This is not a business calendar: you specify starting times for appointments but not their length. It doesn’t have fancy doodads for handling overlapping events. It can’t coordinate different peoples’ schedules. What it does very well is keep track of appointments in your family’s day, as well as holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.
What’s in your day?
You can keep track of several types of things in your calendar:
Occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries—anything that happens on the same day of every year. Although everyone in your family shares the occasions, you can choose to hide individual ones from everyone else, to keep from cluttering their calendar.
Appointments, which are events that occur on a specific day, and perhaps at a specific time. You can enter all-day appointments (such as a trip to the beach), and ones that extend across multiple days (such as a visit by your parents).
Reminders. These are things that happen periodically but not necessarily on the same day. For example, changing the furnace filter at the beginning of each month, or a book club meeting that occurs on the second Tuesday of every other month.
To do items. Anything you want to keep track of while looking at your calendar, for example making a vet appointment for your dog or cleaning out the garage. To do items carry forward until you remove them from the list.
Occasions and appointments are shared by everyone who syncs to the calendar; reminders and to do items are specific to each person and are not shared. Each person can also set a personal early warning on any occasion or appointment as a reminder that it’s coming up. You’ll never miss an anniversary or birthday again!
Calendar also shows the major public holidays for the year, such as Labor Day and Christmas.
See it your way
Calendar gives you complete control over the appearance of your calendar. You can change all the colors used in the display, change how many months are visible at once, and change the time interval that shows in the day detail. You specify the starting and ending time for the day.
If you prefer a leaner calendar, you can see a list of the days of the month and just the appointments for that day:
How to sync
When you make a change to the calendar, updating the other users’ calendars is simple. How simple depends on which email program you’re using.
If you’re using Apple’s Mail, the update command automatically sends out an email to all of them, and you’re done.
If you’re using some other mail program on your computer, such as Outlook or Eudora, the update command will take you to your mail program with the email already composed. All you have to do is click Send.
If you’re using web mail (using your web browser to access Yahoo! or Google mail, for example), a special copy command will put the information on the clipboard. You need to create a new message, address it to the other people using Calendar, and paste the update info into the message body.
No matter what email program you use, receiving an update works the same way. Open the update, copy the message body, and switch back to Calendar. You don’t need to paste—your calendar will update itself as soon as you return. With many email programs, you can simply drag the update from the message list onto Calendar’s dock icon—you don’t even need to open it.
Calendar and the Dock
Calendar’s Dock icon always shows today’s date, even if it’s not running. But you can leave it running all the time and when you’re done looking at your calendar, just close the window. When you switch back to Calendar, or whenever the date changes, the window will reappear.