Manage your schedule more effectively using Calendar and Reminders!

Take Control of
Calendar and Reminders

Third Edition
Scholle McFarland

Learn how to unlock the full potential of Apple’s Calendar and Reminders! In Take Control of Calendar and Reminders, Mac expert Scholle McFarland helps you get the most out of these apps, showing you how to customize them, sync data across devices, and share meeting invitations and reminder lists. You’ll also learn how to use Siri as a shortcut, and how to fix common problems.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.


Note: This book has not been updated to cover changes to Calendar and Reminders in macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, or iPadOS 15. We tentatively expect an update in the second quarter of 2022.

In the days before personal computers and mobile devices, we had to rely on paper calendars and to-do lists to help us organize our time and activities. Now, we have powerful tools, like Apple’s Calendar and Reminders, that are much more responsive to our needs. Put an event on your schedule, invite others to join, or set yourself an alarm (or more than one). Or, keep a list of to-do items, add to it and view it on all your Apple devices, and share your list with family or friends.

In this book, veteran Mac journalist and editor Scholle McFarland will guide you through getting to know these incredibly helpful apps, including lesser-known (but handy) features. For example, did you know that in Calendar you can set an alert for when you need to leave for an event, based on the travel time calculated using the location you entered for the event? Or that Reminders can prompt you to do something not only at a certain time, but also once you’ve reached a specific destination, like the grocery store?

If you’ve never taken the opportunity to explore Calendar and Reminders, this book will show you how to make them an important part of your daily routine. If you’ve already been using Calendar and Reminders, you’ll learn how to use them more effectively, troubleshoot common problems, and delve deeper into their capabilities.

This fully revised third edition is now fully up to date with Big Sur and iOS 14/iPadOS 14, and it has been expanded with new topics and additional tips.

Let Scholle walk you through how to get the best out of Calendar and Reminders, including how to:

  • Customize Calendar to your liking, from setting time zones, to color coding specific calendars
  • Create events, making them repeat at regular intervals or on certain dates
  • Set up notifications and alerts, so you never miss an event
  • Invite people to events, or share your calendar with them
  • Create, manage, and share lists in Reminders
  • Set alarms in Reminders at a certain time or a certain place
  • Use Siri to save time when creating events or reminders
  • Use Shortcuts to automate common tasks with Calendar and Reminders
  • Easily check events and reminders on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod
  • Troubleshoot common problems in Calendar and Reminders
  • Share calendars and reminders using iCloud Family Sharing, and assign reminders to a specific person
  • Sort reminders on your Mac
  • Print a calendar (to paper or PDF)
Scholle McFarland

About Scholle McFarland

Scholle McFarland has been covering the Mac since 1996 as an editor at MacUser magazine and then Macworld. During that time, she witnessed Apple transform from everyone’s favorite “doomed” company to everyone’s actually favorite company and is still amazed by the whole thing.

When she’s not working, Scholle (“Sholly”) likes to hang out with her family, friends, and many animals in beautiful Portland, Oregon.

What’s New in the Third Edition

The third edition of Take Control of Calendar and Reminders is updated for macOS Big Sur as well as the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS available in January 2021. Along with hundreds of small changes in the book, larger revisions include:

  • Tips for rearranging Reminders’ Smart Lists and using their new keyboard shortcut. Also, how to reveal the newest Smart List, Assigned. See “What Are Smart Lists?”
  • How to customize your lists’ look with new symbols as well as emoji, so you can always find the Reminders list you’re looking for with just a glance.
  • If you don’t have time to take an action on an email, create a reminder for a Mail message to make sure you come back later.
  • Now you can use Siri to delete a reminder. (But watch out—there’s no undo!) See “Delete a Reminder.”
  • New shortcuts make it easy to choose the date for an alarm, see “Keyboard Shortcuts: Setting the Date.”
  • Now you can assign reminders to a person you’re sharing an iCloud list with. See “Assign a Reminder.”
  • It’s much more effective to search for reminders now that the app searches within reminder text, notes, people, and for locations.
  • The Notification Center icon has vanished from the menu bar with Big Sur. Learn about how the New Notification works now in “Check Notification Center on a Mac.”
  • Read about the newest shortcuts that plug into Calendar or Reminders in “Tap into Shortcuts.”
  • Learn about changes to the HomePod’s Personal Requests, including new multiuser features in “Set Up Personal Requests on a HomePod.”
  • Big Sur brings changes to the iCloud feature that makes it easy for up to six family members to share purchases, Apple subscriptions, and more. See all new directions for setting this up in “Use iCloud Family Sharing.”
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • Activating Siri
    • What’s New in the Third Edition
  • Calendar and Reminders Quick Start
  • Calendar vs. Reminders
    • Calendar
    • Reminders
  • Meet Calendar
    • Day View
    • Week View
    • Month View
    • Year View
  • Set Up Calendar
    • Connect Calendar to iCloud
    • Connect Calendar to Other Accounts
    • Create More Calendars
    • Tap into Special Calendars
    • Color-Code Your Calendars
    • Customize Calendar
  • Work with Events
    • Add an Event
    • Add a Suggested Event
    • Reschedule an Event
    • Delete an Event
  • Invite People to Events
    • Send the Invitation
    • Get in Touch with Invitees
    • Accept and Decline Invitations
  • Set Up Calendar Alerts
    • Understand Alert Basics
    • Custom Alerts
    • Time to Leave
    • Modify Your Default Alerts
    • Turn Off Alerts for a Single Calendar
  • Share & Subscribe to Calendars
    • Share an iCloud Calendar
    • Share Calendars Hosted in CalDAV
    • Subscribe to a Calendar
  • Meet Reminders
  • Set Up Reminders
    • Specify Where Your Lists Will Live
    • Create Different Lists for Different Things
    • Change Your Default Reminders List
    • Manage Your Lists
    • Share Lists with Others
  • Work with Reminders
    • Add a Reminder
    • Manage Reminders
    • Sound the Alarm
    • Assign a Reminder
    • Set Other Options
    • Check Off Completed Reminders
    • Show Your Completed Items
    • Search for Reminders
  • Check Events & Reminders
    • Check on Your Mac
    • Check Notification Center on a Mac
    • Ask Siri
    • Check on Your iOS or iPadOS Device
    • Check on Your Apple Watch
    • Check on the HomePod
  • Troubleshoot Problems
    • How do I prevent Calendar spam?
    • How do I get rid of duplicate events?
    • How do I remove duplicate birthdays?
    • How do I get rid of duplicate iCloud calendars?
    • How do I move a calendar to another computer?
    • What if I made too many calendars?
    • Why won’t my calendar show maps or travel time?
    • What if I accidentally delete my calendars?
    • Where did my iCloud reminders go?
    • How can I get an On My Mac option?
    • What if changes on one device don’t show up on another?
  • Use iCloud Family Sharing
    • Set Up Family Sharing
    • Make Adjustments to Family Sharing
    • Share an iCloud Storage Plan
    • Share More Services with the Family
    • Share Family Reminders
    • Share a Family Calendar
    • Stop Family Sharing
    • Transfer a Child to Another Family
  • Set Up Notifications
    • Notifications on Your Mac
    • Notifications on Your iPhone and iPad
    • Notifications on the Apple Watch
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author
    • About the Publisher
  • Copyright & Fine Print

Scholle McFarland covers Calendar and Reminders on MacVoices

Posted by Joe Kissell on February 26, 2021

Scholle McFarland joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices to explore the third edition of her book Take Control of Calendar and Reminders. The conversation includes talk about new features, troubleshooting, and more.

April 30, 2022—This book has not been updated to cover changes to Calendar and Reminders in macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15, or iPadOS 15. We tentatively expect an update in the second quarter of 2022.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Take Control of Calendar and Reminders”

You may also like…