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How To: Add a new iCal event from Quicksilver

David Chartier

A while ago we covered Quicksilver plugins for Gmail and Google Calendar, allowing you to send an email or create a new event (respectively) right from within Quicksilver's interface. If you aren't a Google Calendar user though, Quicksilver also offers the same kind of plugin for iCal. Somehow I lost this in my bloggable bookmarks, but last month Tim Gaden at Hawk Wings broke down the syntax for adding an event to iCal with this plugin, and it's really pretty simple. When entering text, the event is written like so:

  • name of event - date and time
  • name of todo - date and time
  • !!! name of todo - date and time (exclamation points add priority. Two for 'important,' three for 'where's the panic button?!')
Tim's post says to type the date and time first, but I've found that this plugin also includes the date and time in the event/todo's title. However, it can still properly place the event if you simply swap the two pieces and type the name first, which allows you to keep more legible event names. Also, this plugin has the handy ability of specifying a calendar to add the new event/todo.

Here's an example of how to make this work in Quicksilver if you're a little confused. Obviously, you need to install the iCal plugin if you don't have it, and you can get it from QS's plugin preference pane. Here's how this breaks down, and I have the steps pictured above:
  1. Invoke QS, press period to get a text entry pane, and type something like: "dinner and a movie - 9/30/06 6:00 pm" (sans quotes)
  2. Tab over to the second pane where you must specify you want to turn this text into an iCal event. I type 'ic' to find an iCal event, and 'ict' for a todo, but as always with QS, YMMV
  3. Tab over once more to have your choice of calendars, and press the right arrow key to get a drop down list of all your calendars, or simply start typing to find one of their names. Fortunately, since you've already chosen a specific action in the middle pane, only your calendars are listed in the third pane
That's it; if you're an appointment and todo junkie, this should take a sizable bite out of your daily mousing. The one catch so far is that it doesn't seem possible to add reminders through this method, but if you find a way, feel free to share with the class.

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