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I have to admit, I’m a calendar addict. The only problem is that even though I’ve tried them all, including Yahoo Calendar and Google Calendar, I’ve yet to find one that I’ve decided to stick with and use every day.
My problem is the very reason I constantly look for new calendar applications – my mind is so filled with things to remember that I forget to check the calendar applications that I’ve installed. So it’s on to the next app, in hopes that it does a better job of reminding me to remember things. Alas, I believe I’ve finally found the solution, a very cool and free, transparent desktop calendar called iCalendar Lite.
Why do I love it? There are several reasons. First, it’s highly customizable. Second, it’s transparent (depending on how you configure it) so you can have it always in front of you no matter what you’re currently working on. Third, I really, really like how cool it looks.
Setting Up iCalendar Lite – A Free Transparent Desktop Calendar
iCalendar Lite doesn’t originally install as a very transparent application that’s always “on top” of all of your other open apps. In some ways this is good, because many people don’t appreciate an application that insists on staying in the foreground. However, for our purposes, this is exactly what we want the calendar to do. This is how the calendar first shows up at the upper right corner of your screen after you install it.
As you can see, with the default skin and transparency settings, it isn’t transparent at all. Also, by default the application is set up to remain in the background when you click on any other application. To set it up so that it’s more transparent and on top of your current applications, you’ll need to change the settings. In your system tray, you’ll find the calendar app appears as a calendar icon. Right click on that icon and then click on “Settings“.
Once you do that, the following window appears where you should make sure that the calendar is set up to run when you boot your PC, and also select whether or not you want the Event and To-Do windows to show up underneath the calendar itself.
Next, click on the “Appearance” to get to the screen where you can configure both the transparency and make the app remain on top of all other applications. Personally, I like the glass skin with 40% transparency, which makes the calendar look like a ghost. However, 100% transparency with the “Glass” skin also reveals the application underneath it and looks pretty cool too (see the bottom of this article).
With the new settings, the calendar application shows up like a faint mist on top of the application that you’re currently working with. For me, this is a perfect calendar setup, because it’s always there…but not really. It lingers on the edge of the screen as a constant reminder that you’re on a schedule, and you have deadlines. The next article due date is coming up fast and if you don’t complete it, you better believe that the editor is going to be all up in your face… OK, moving on.
As you can see, the calendar, event and to-do windows are unobtrusive and only slightly display on top of your application window, but not so much that they block the view or distract from what you’re working on.
Making Use Of iCalendar
When you want to add an item to the to-do list or the event alarm list, just right click the window and do so.
The to-do and event scheduling is pretty standard and has most of the features you expect in a decent calendar application, including delay time to an alarm, an alarm popup window, and notification sounds (configured in the general settings described above).
New Software – Needs A Few Bug Fixes
To show how much you can change the transparency, I’ve modified it to 100% with the “glass” skin in the display below. However, aside from all of the “cool” factor of this app, it is clearly still new and in need of a few fixes.
Throughout the application you’ll find occasional spelling errors – fairly minor. However, a significant bug in my mind is the fact that when you configure the calendar to remain “on top,” only the to-do and event windows actually remain on top of your applications. The calendar itself has a tendency to slip behind until you click on either the event or to-do windows, or enter the settings screen. Another bug I found was that if you enter the settings window, and then right click the icon and enter the settings window a second time, you can produce an assortment of application errors.
For my purposes, these bugs are minor and not a nuisance. For the most part the application is in the forefront as a constant reminder, and you can even sync the calendar with your Google calendar account – a cool feature if you’re like me and you’ve tried dozens of calendar apps, at least you don’t have to re-enter all of those birthdays again!
Have you been in search of a free transparent desktop calendar? Does iCalendar suit your needs? Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments section below.