iCalendar Lite- A Free Transparent Desktop Calendar (Windows)

Ryan Dube 12-09-2009

calendarappI have to admit, I’m a calendar addict How to Make a Calendar Template in Excel You'll always need a calendar. We show you how to create your own custom template for free with Microsoft Excel. Read More . The only problem is that even though I’ve tried them all, including Yahoo Calendar Organize Your Life With Yahoo Calendar Read More 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.

free transparent desktop calendar


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.

free transparent desktop calendar


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).

free transparent calendar desktop

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.

freeware desktop calendar


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.

freeware desktop calendar

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.

freeware desktop calendar

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.

Related topics: Calendar, Google Calendar, GTD, Planning Tool, Time Management, To-Do List.

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  1. Jacob
    March 16, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    How do I move the calendar to a different location on my screen????

  2. John L
    September 14, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I tried this a long time ago and rejected it because it was too buggy. I then found Rainlendar which is far superior. Have been a very happy user for years as has everyone I have introduced to the programme which is a lot.

  3. MikeVertx
    September 14, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    as has been mentioned, Rainlender knocks this out of the park.

    I was a little confused to see iCal posted here... it's actually not a new program at all and has been around for a while, it's also been very buggy and annoying since I first saw it uo-to it's current stages... really is just no comparison to Rainlender as a desktop calendar.

  4. geeknik
    September 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    If it would sync with Google Calendar, I'd use it. :)

    • Gym
      September 14, 2009 at 7:26 am

      Exactly. The article says it syncs with Google calendar but you only get that in the Pro version, not the Lite.

  5. M Bob
    September 13, 2009 at 4:18 am

    Yes.. Quite agree with the rainlendar thing! Looks suspiciously similar. Anyway Ryan, if your mind is too full of things, maybe it's not a good calendaring tool you should look for but how to offload your stuffs :D

  6. Aoi_sora9x
    September 13, 2009 at 3:40 am

    I think Rainlendar pwns this one badly. version 2 offers way more options than this program.

  7. Sourish Nath
    September 13, 2009 at 1:51 am

    Nice One

  8. prophet666
    September 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    i tried this one and i like it

  9. bob
    September 12, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Was going to say the same Brian. And at least with rainlendar there are already quite a selection of different skins to choose from.

  10. Perry Grobe
    September 12, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    You might try Calendarscope, if you are a calendar addict. It's not free, but it's just great. Haven't found one yet that can match it for making it clear what's up at a glance.

  11. Brian Stirling
    September 12, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    This doesn't appear to be any different from Rainlendar. In fact it even LOOKS exactly the same.