How to Use Your iPhone Calendar

by John Papiewski

Apple's iPhone comes pre-loaded with several useful apps, including Calendar, which helps you handle your busy schedule. Calendar has several views, including a chronological list, the appointments for one day and a month at a glance. The app reminds you of appointments and important events such as birthdays and has a search function that rapidly locates a particular event in its database. Using iCloud, you can sync calendars on several devices automatically, so your iPad or desktop computer stays current with your iPhone.

View and Add Events


Tap the "Calendar" app on your iPhone's home screen. Tap the "Month" button. This displays the whole month in one view.


Tap the forward or backward arrow to move ahead or back one month at a time.


Touch the "Day" button. The app screen shows the events for one day. Tap the forward or backward arrow to move ahead or back one day at a time.


Tap the "List" button. This shows events in a vertical list, organized by date. Swipe your finger up or down on the screen to scroll through the list.


Rotate the iPhone so you're holding it in its "wide" orientation. The Calendar app displays a week of events, three days at a time. Slide your finger right or left on the screen to see earlier or later events. Rotate the iPhone back to its "tall" orientation.


Tap the "Calendars" button. The app shows a list of calendars. By creating new calendars with the "Edit" button, you can segregate different kinds of events, such as "business" and "personal," for example. Tapping each button sets or clears the check mark by the calendar. The appointments in each checked calendar show up when you look at your calendar in "Month," "Day" or "List" modes. If your schedule is busy, and you want to see only certain events, check and view the calendar carrying only those events. Tap the "Done" button.


Tap "List." Notice a search input field appears on the screen. Enter information related to an event, such as a topic, location or name, and the Calendar app finds it if it's in its database.


Tap the "+" key to add an appointment or event. The app displays the "Add Event" screen.


Enter a title and location in the respective input fields.


Give the event starting and ending times by tapping each and setting the time and date, or swipe the "All-day" slider if the event has no set time. If the event repeats regularly, tap the "Repeat" button and choose from the list of intervals, such as "Every Day" or "Every Year." To set alerts that chime to remind you of upcoming appointments, tap "Alert" and select a time interval from the list. Tap "Done."

ICloud Sync


Tap the "Settings" app in your iPhone's home screen.


Touch the "iCloud" button. The Settings app displays the iCloud sign-in screen. Enter your password and tap the "Sign In" button.


Tap "Done" to return to the iCloud screen.


Slide the slider switch next to "Calendar" to the "On" position. This enables iCloud syncing for your calendar. Your calendar data will automatically transfer to any other devices you have set up with an iCloud account.

Respond To An Invitation


Tap the "Calendar" app. To view any pending invitations, tap the button depicting an arrow pointing down to a tray in the Calendar screen. The invitations come from other iCloud users with whom you share calendar data.


Select an invitation by tapping on it.


Tap "Invitees" to see the names of other people invited to the event.


Tap "Availability" and choose "Busy" or "Free," depending on how you want to respond to the invitation.


  • check When you view the Calendar in Month mode, any day that has at least one appointment shows a dot. Days with no dots have no events or appointments.
  • check If you have a particularly busy day, you may forget or miss an appointment reminder. Calendar addresses this by allowing an optional second alert. Simply tap "Second Alert" on the "Add Event" screen, then select a second reminder time. The second alert time should follow the first; for example, set your first reminder at 2 hours before the appointment, then set the second reminder to 30 minutes before.
  • check The "Location" field on the "Add Event" screen is optional. In addition to a location, you can enter a Web URL or lengthy notes to an event entry.

About the Author

Chicago native John Papiewski has a physics degree and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to "Foresight Update," a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, "Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance."

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