It’s the small things — like the Itsycal utility for macOS —that matter

By Frank Petrie

There are many ways to streamline your workflow on your Mac The most obvious example being automation. But there are other ways, as well.

My preferred method is using the Menu Bar. You can launch apps from there, you can run AppleScripts from there, you can perform a plethora of actions from there. (If anyone knows of how to run Automator scripts from there,  please let me know.)

Some repetitive tasks are mundane, like glancing at your Menu Bar for the time, weather, and such. All you need is the information quickly.  I’ve stumbled across a free Menu Bar app that keeps me from launching my Calendar app about 80% of the time. It’s called Itsycal.

Itsycal resides in you Menu Bar as an icon that displays the current date. It is a “companion” to your Calendar app. It utilizes all of you Calendar app’s information. All you need to do is click on the date icon and you are presented with numerous items for instant access. To hide the app, click on the icon once again.

At the top of the dropdown is the current month with the current date highlighted. You can move through previous and future months by clicking on the chevrons in the upper right corner (this can also be accomplished on a trackpad with a two-finger swipe left or right). You click on any day and it will bring up that day’s events.

Just below are several icons. Starting from the left, the “+” icon allows you to create a new event. It opens a pane where you can enter the event’s name and location. There’s an “All-Day” checkbox. You can set your start and end times. There’s a dropdown repeat menu as in your Calendar app. And you can set an alert and assign your event a category that you have already created in Apple’s Calendar.

Moving right, the next icon allows you to pin or unpin the app. I couldn’t get it to function but I would imagine that it allows you to drag the calendar anywhere on your desktop.

The next icon launches Apple’s Calendar app. Why? Because the only thing you can’t do with Itsycal is edit an event. So, when necessary, if you’re already in Itsycal, simply click the icon right to launch Calendar.

The last icon is for your preferences. Your calendar is configured the way you configured your Calendar app. If you want to make changes, you can do it from here. Plus, you can alter Itsycal’s appearance and check for updates.

Finally, you come to your day’s itinerary. It can show you as many or as few days as you wish, according to your preferences. Once you have completed an event, click on the “X” on the right side and delete that event. A pane will appear to ask you if you’re sure that you want to do this.

There are roughly a dozen keyboard commands that allow you to perform other functions from navigating months and years, adding and removing rows, toggling weeks, and more.

For a free Menu Bar app, it is very versatile and powerful. Certainly faster than launching Calendar whenever I have to check the day’s schedule.

Itsycal’s only requirement is that you must have macOS 10.12 or later. As it’s free, there is no reason for you not to download it and kick the tires. 

Once you start using it, it’ll quickly become a permanent part of your daily workflow.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★