Rainlendar2 is an easy to use and lightweight desktop calendar for Windows and Linux computers. Although, it’s available both as lite (free) and pro (â‚¬15) version, here I am only looking at the lite version. With the lite version you can:
- Schedule events, tasks, and alarms,
- Manage multiple calendars,
- Import / export / backup / restore calendar data sets,
- Change visual skins,
- Print event lists or calendar sheets and
- apply Lua scripts.
The pro version supports network sharing and provides support for Outlook and Google calendars. Actually, you can download and use a fully functional pro version for free with only a small limitation: network, Outlook and Google calendar events will carry the string [Unregistered].
Rainlendar2 runs on the standard iCalendar format also used by Apple iCal, Outlook, Google calendar, Sunbird, Facebook, Lotus notes and many others. Hence, you can easily import and add cool data sets to your calendar, i.e. public holidays, sports events, episode release dates for your favorite TV shows, and lots more. The website iCalShare is an excellent source for this purpose.
Following its installation a calendar symbol will appear in your taskbar and the calendar as well as an Events and To Do list will sit in the middle of your desktop. You best start by dragging the three elements to a preferred location on your desktop and then decide whether or not you want to keep them visible.
Right-clicking on either one of the elements on your desktop or the calendar symbol in your taskbar will open a menu with from which you can: add new events / tasks, choose which elements are visible on your desktop, activate/deactivate various calendars, jump to another month, manage events (edit / import / export / backup), refresh calendar skins, and change options (define its look and behavior, select your language, add new calendars or skins, define hotkeys, etc.)
You will find that for most quick actions you won’t need the menu. For example you can go directly to a certain date and double-click it to add, edit or delete an event.
Once you’re done setting up your Rainlendar calendar(s), you might get interested in customizing Rainlendar’s look. A huge collection of skins is available from the Rainlendar homepage, Customize.org and deviantART. As of version 2 skins carry a .r2skin file extension. In Windows double-clicking this file will install the skin or you can drag and drop it over any Rainlendar window for automatic installation. In any case, refresh your calendar before you go into the options menu to activate the new skin.
Skins developed for versions prior to Rainlendar2 will come as .zip or .rar file. When you unpack this archive file you should have a single folder containing the skin’s ini-file(s). Copy that folder into the skins folder normally found under C:Program FilesRainlendar2.
Old skins should be compatible with Rainlendar2, however in some cases the skin simply won’t load or the To Do list won’t show up, even though it’s supported by the skin. So be patient and play around if you absolutely must have one of the older skins.
The great advantages of Rainlendar2 include its small size, ease of use and flexibility. The application is rather low on system resources (~11.000 K), it’s very stylish and decently reminds you of upcoming events, birthdays, appointments etc. You can even put it on your USB stick and make it a portable applicaiton.
The biggest advantage of Rainlendar2 is also its biggest drawback: the tiny size of the desktop calendar. To see a list of events per day, week or month you need to go into the Manager and even here the list looks quite dull unless you print it. Another point to mention is the previously addressed limited functionality of some skins. Due to a recent upgrade in the software older skins are no longer upward compatible and may show bugs.
Taken together, Rainlendar2 is a great tool for keeping a small, simple and easy to update record of birthdays, holidays, events and things to do. That’s what I love it for. It’s clearly the wrong pick if you’re looking for a software to replace your File-O-Fax. For more ambitious users who need a better overview of their appointments and a few more features I recommend KOrganizer or Mozilla Sunbird.