Uhmmmm, Let me check my diary

You wanna meet-up the coming week on Tuesday, ok, let me check my diary and see what am I doing at 3:00 pm, I turn to iCal, and switch the display mode to Month, I can see that I am doing nothing, so I can create a new appointment. However I need to add some notes about this meeting, iCal has a note field, so that's cool, taken care of, right?

It is a bit difficult trying to create notes in iCal in a small little text box. I have faced this issue, I have a particular event in iCal, but I cannot recollect the date it was or it is. If I could list all of them, I could recognise the one, but alas, iCal has no listing functionality, but if I start to type in the top search bar, it will show up all matching events in the bottom corner of iCal window.

iCal is a fine good software for calendering that is included with all Apple Products, but there are times when you need just that extra feature, like a sticky note to remind me. I have the reviews scheduled in the calendar, but I also have the training workshops and some other client tasks, so it is very important for me to know by when I need to get certain things done, I do not want to put them up in the calendar as an event, because they are not events, but a sticky note would be handy. I like customisation, I'd want to place a graphic in a particular day to signify it's importance, but not add an event, presently I create a new Calendar group and call it comments and all of these go to this calendar.

When I got BusyCal for review, the first impression was, Why would I want BusyCal? It is the same as iCal. I mean is it a plug-in for iCal? This is a very good thing, coz as a user I would not have to relearn a new interface, it is all the same as to what I was used to with iCal. Then I saw there were small little images in the cells that showed me the different phases of the moon and weather symbols with the temperatures.

Then the menu also revealed that there were things that I could create some new items in addition to the standard ones in iCal, like a Banner, a Sticky Note, a Journal and an Undated ToDo, which is just a task not date based. This was interesting, Even the standard ToDo had a new additional field for repeat, I could specify the repeat interval of the ToDo item this was nice. Repeats were available only for Events not ToDo.

The Notes for the items had a full fledged RichText editor available for actual notes, not a single line text box.

Lastly the most evident difference was in the main UI, where apart from the Day, Week and Month buttons, there was a new option List. Clicking on this lists out all the events for that month.

Searching with BusyCal was a mixed feeling, it works on hiding the events or entries that do not match the text in the search bar, which is good but it works limited to the current Month. If there is an item in the previous month or an unknown month, it is difficult to list that one using search. Where as in iCal, it will display that in the search results, no matter which month or year it was from. Helpful to search for related events.

One feature that would make it extra helpful which is missing at the moment could be Linking events. I could link a particular event with another that would be more like club meetings, so I could transverse the chain into previous event and next event, even for items that are repeatable, jumping between the previous or next instance would be helpful.

However said, BusyCal is an interestingly useful software specially since it can sync with online calendars, mobile devices and across the network and allow for the extra features it adds to iCal, it is an indispensable tool for those that take organising very seriously.

Software : BusyCal
Version : 1.5.1
Publisher : BustCal, LLC
Website : http://www.busycal.com/index.html
Platform : Mac OS X (10.5 or 10.6 or higher)
Demo : 30 days
Price : $49 or $79 for a family license
Mac App Store : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/busycal/id415356497?mt=12

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