Missed a meeting? Forgot to pickup that prescription? Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana activated is geared to help you manage tasks and appointments with minimal effort.
Import Vital Dates To The Windows Phone Calendar
Online calendar dates can be imported to Windows Phone via your Outlook/Windows Live/Hotmail account.
To do this, open calendar.live.com and click Import, then Subscribe in the left hand menu. You can then add a webcal URL. For instance, if I wanted to add 2014 World Cup dates to my calendar (along with the various apps I’ve been using to enjoy it), I would use webcal://www1.skysports.com/calendars/football/fixtures/competitions/worldcup.
(On a football related note, the MLS calendar is webcal://www1.skysports.com/calendars/football/fixtures/competitions/mls. You might also add webcal://www1.skysports.com/calendars/football/fixtures/competitions/premier-league for the English Premier League. These are just examples – online calendars of many types can be imported as long as they are in the webcal format.)
With the webcal UR added, input a name for the calendar, set a Calendar colour and Charm, then Subscribe to confirm. These dates will then sync to your phone.
Use Cortana To Add Appointments
Rather than use your fingers to add an appointment, you can get started with the process by asking Cortana to help out. Be sure to activate your digital personal assistant prior to first use.
You can do this in several different ways. “Add appointment” is a good place to start, and Cortana will then prompt you for a name and a start time. Further information can be included when you tell Cortana to “add” the note.
You might add other people to the appointment or set a reminder. You can also set notes and a location if necessary.
Cortana can also handle reminders. Use “Remind me to…” to get started, providing any further information when prompted.
Include Weather Information
Weather information can be added to your Windows Phone calendar with ease. This is a great way to find out how the day is going to turn out, weather wise, without relying on a third party weather app.
Open the calendar, expand the menu and tap settings. From here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and check the Use my location to show the weather and suggested places box. Note that you will need to have activated Location settings for this to work.
Once activated, your calendar view will display a weather icon and temperature for each day in week and day view.
Set Distinctive Colours For Multiple Calendars
There is a fair chance that if you’re using multiple email accounts, you will have several calendars on your Windows Phone. When you’re viewing calendars it is useful to be able to tell them apart, not least to get an idea of the topic and the people who might also be attending an event.
To set colours on your Windows Phone 8.1 calendar, open the calendar and expand the menu. Tap settings, where you will find a list of calendars. To remove a calendar, clear the check; to change colour, tap the dropdown menu and select a new one.
As well as calendars for email accounts, you should also find your Outlook.com calendar and any corporate Exchange calendars in this screen. Meanwhile, if you have Facebook set up on your phone, birthdays and events will show up on your calendar, which you can also manage in this view.
Find Items In Your Calendar
Incredibly, Windows Phone 8.1 doesn’t have the facility to search your phone’s calendar manually. You can, however, use Cortana to tell you what you are doing on a particular day.
For instance, to see what you have on today, say “What’s happening today?” and the results will be displayed, along with Cortana reading everything out – useful if you’re driving or otherwise engaged. Similarly, “What do I have next week” will show you all appointments for the following week.
If you’re looking for an empty slot, try “Do I have anything…[DAY NAME]?”, while “Show me my weekend” will display any appointments you have on Saturday and Sunday.
Windows Phone 8 users can employ the Calendar Search app (99c, free trial) to use gain text searching of their calendars.
Conclusion: Never Miss An Important Date With Windows Phone 8.1
Whether you’re using Cortana to set appointments, using webcal online calendars or adding weather information, there is now no excuse to be unprepared.
Windows Phone 8.1 and Cortana has you covered for almost any appointment-related eventuality!
Let us know if you have tried Cortana-related calendar tricks that we missed, or if you have any other tips for managing your Windows Phone calendar.