Multiple Apple Calendars for Hyperscheduling (or color coding)

I’m going to attempt to do some hyper scheduling.

Maybe because I hadn’t had a need to do it previously but I never thought about creating multiple Apple calendars. I only have two - a Personal calendar that holds everything except for things in a shared Family calendar. The simple thing I like is that they are different colors.

I think there may be value to color coding different types of things. That would be a pretty quick visual clue to see if anything is out of whack. For example:

  • Appointments
  • Family stuff
  • Client work (maybe even separate out clients)
  • Teaching
  • Exercise
  • Fun
  • etc

I could create different Apple Calendars OR I could just color code them in BusyCal.

One benefit of using different calendars is that they are diff colors by default. I select the calendar and I don’t have to think about it whereas I would if I did it via BusyCal colors.

Curious what others may do.


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I have 10 different calendars visible in Fantastical most of the time. Different categories of events – recurring events, work/non-work events, etc., though the exact details are not relevant. I don’t know about BusyCal, but Fantastical supports calendar “sets”, so I can switch quickly switch off a chunk of the normally-displayed calendars.



If you have multiple calendars in BusyCal on macOS, you can right click on one of them to ‘Show Only This Calendar’ which is similar to Fantastical’s calendar sets.

If you have multiple calendars in Apple Calendar, you can command click a calendar’s checkbox to unselect all and then click the checkbox for the one you want to see. Command click a checkbox to view all again.

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After spending time with it, I have decided to create diff calendars with Apple Calendars which BusyCal picks up.

I have 14 calendars in my Mac Calendar program roughly assigned to task areas, Mine are Email and Forums, Archivist, ABWMSA, Desert Weyr, LambTracker and AnimalTrakker, Down the Hill,. Household Maint., Juniper Gulch, Misc Computer, Historical Society, People Gone, Barn2Door Deliveries, Personal and Terror Ditch.

I like the multiple colors as it tells me where I’ve spent my time at a glance.


I also use multiple calendars for different “areas” of my life, and like you I run iCal and BusyCal. I just use iCal to set up new calendars, all linked to my iCloud account. As you note, BusyCal can interact with them. Psychologically I just prefer having all of them under my iCloud account.

You’re right that the colour coding helps with looking at the calendar. Or it does for me anyway, it’s just habit at this point. Make sure you have your settings set how you like them re: your default calendar. This is very easy to change in settings of BusyCal and iCal (per device). This affects which calendar new events are proposed to be added to and makes input a bit quicker.

(Though it’s worth also setting up your recurring events if you haven’t already, makes life much easier! Once they’re on their own calendar, it’s easy to remove them from view if you don’t want to see them. E.g. I have various household maintenance tasks on a calendar, like bin days etc., and it’s easy to quickly switch it off when I don’t need to see it.)

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Yeah, I think that setting up the different calendars makes sense to do in iCloud/iCal. That way, if I should ever switch to another program, it will pick it all up seamlessly (I would think).

I use multiple iCloud calendars with similar uses to others who have replied. I thought I’d mention that one of my calendars is called “OnGoing” which contains my events that recur every week (workouts, specific meetings, daily/weekly reviews…). I have one week of these events beginning on Monday, 11/1/1999, which is my template. I copy this entire week’s worth of events and paste it in week-by-week a few months at a time, then adjust the times as needed to avoid conflicts. For me, this is a combo of the “ideal week” concept and the discipline of rescheduling events/tasks that are important to me, rather than skipping them because I didn’t find time in my schedule.

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I’m a very big fan of multiple calendars. Initially I only had one calendar for everything work, personal, etc. I thought it was stupid to have more than one calendar and no need to. For some reason I gave it a try and loved it. I now have a calendar for Personal, work, family, bills, and my kids school.

I think having different calendars it also helps out cause my work calendar is shared with my wife, so she only sees that calendar and the family calendar.

As far as color coding, I love it, I would use a calendar app called week cal. I think this is a great calendar app, have used it for years but recently just started using the Apple iOS calendar. The reason I stopped using week cal is they wanted to charge you for a subscription and I felt like stuff wasn’t getting fixed on the app.

But week cal was great you could have events on your personal calendar and it would color code it by itself, which would make it very easy to read your calendar.

@MacSparky did a webinar last year about calendars. I thought it was very interesting. I’m not sure how you could watch it. But if you find it try to watch it.

I really want to try hyperscheduling.

The trick with hyperscheduling, I’ve found (I’m saying this as someone who does not do it consistently), is not being a disciplinarian about it. I don’t do it frequently because I get a lot of things dropped on me last minute (by colleagues not good at planning their time, but that’s a whole other topic :grimacing:). I find not being able to follow my plan really frustrating, and I have to be in the right mindset to make a plan for the day or week that I know might not get followed precisely so that I don’t add a layer of frustration to a week that might already be stressful.

I have colleagues who are really good at this (and of course digital calendars make it easy, as if something gets disrupted you can just drag the time blocks around), but I also have a couple of colleagues who want a rigid structure and struggle more than me when it has to be changed, so it does seem like it’s a personality thing and you should learn and be aware of your own preferences so that you can be kind to yourself.

(Watching the dynamics between the “let’s schedule everything” camp of colleagues and the “what will be, will be” camp of colleagues is fun too! Trying to move us all to a middle ground where everyone’s needs are somewhat met is a good lesson in humanity.)

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I think I’ve read Carl Pullein saying that you need to hyperschedule your focus time blocks by area of concerns but not put the tasks themselves in the calendar. And I agree with him that the approach of putting the tasks in the calendar grows unwieldy fast. That’s probably the reason why Apple has not merged Reminders into Calendar (yet).


Yes, I believe there’s a difference between “time boxing” and “time blocking”. Many people (including productivity “experts”) use the two terms interchangeably, but time boxing is intended to mean “putting time in your calendar for a specific task”, while time blocking is meant to be blocking out time in your calendar to work on a series of tasks or an area of work (e.g. admin time, a specific project, or a list of tasks you’d planned beforehand).

E.g. time blocking would be to put an hour in your calendar for house cleaning. Time boxing would be to allocate 20 mins for hoovering, 10 mins for emptying bins, 20 mins for washing up and 10 mins for a cup of tea because you’ve done a good job.

When I practice hyperscheduling, I do a mix of both - maybe 3/4 of the time I’m just time blocking, and assigning time for key projects and areas of focus. The actual tasks are determined by my task manager. But occasionally I have specific tasks I need to allocate time for, so I box sometimes as well.

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I never managed to make hyper-scheduling work, and certainly never time boxing, but I have often found it very useful to set some time blocks - either with a specific focus (finish the report) or a general one (admin). This was particularly helpful when my personal assistant helped manage my schedule: she would understand that if I was scheduling a block, I really needed to, so only dire emergencies were allowed to intrude. In our weekly scheduling meeting she would suggest when to put a couple of blocks for appointments, so that she could schedule (and prepare for me) for one to one meetings that people requested with me - I trusted her to filter out any that might be better directed to others or rejected. this massively reduced interruptions - people could be offered a slot soon enough to keep them off my back.

I found time blocks productive: if something stopped me doing exactly what I had planned to do (e.g. realising I needed to do something else first) I felt fine to progress the work flexibly. I always liked to think that the hour or two I had blocked, and kept from interruption, achieved something so actually focusing was never an issue for me.