BusyCal can manage all your tasks (also known as to dos or reminders). Tasks can be displayed in a Task List in the right sidebar and/or in the calendar on the date they are due.
NOTE: Some images in our online documentation may appear outdated as BusyCal continues to evolve over time. However, the core functionality mentioned in the documentation still applies.
Tasks come in three flavors:
- Undated Tasks — Tasks without a due date are displayed in the Task List only.
- Dated Tasks — Tasks with a due date can be displayed in the calendar, in the Task List, or both.
- Timed Tasks — Tasks with a due date and time can be displayed in the calendar, in the Task List, or both.
To show the Task List, choose View > Show Task List, press ⌘-Option-T, or click the Hide/Show Task List button on the right side of the toolbar and choose either Show Task List or Show Both from the pop-up menu. The Task List appears in the right sidebar.
The Task List can be sorted by Due Date, Priority, Title, Calendar, Tag, or Manually. To change the current sort order and other Task List settings, use the pop-up menu at the top of the Task List, or go to BusyCal > Preferences > Tasks.
You can show dated tasks, timed tasks, and completed tasks in the calendar on the date they are due or completed. If a task is not completed on its due date, it carries forward each day until completed (this behaviour can be changed from Preferences > Tasks > uncheck Carry forward uncompleted Tasks). (If dated and completed tasks don’t appear in your calendar, see Task Preferences, just ahead.)
Timed tasks are sorted inline with calendar events (e.g. a timed task with a due time of 9:00 AM will appear sandwiched in between events at 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM). Dated tasks are grouped together below events. tasks that occur at the same date or time are sorted by priority and title. Completed tasks are sorted by completion time.
- Dated Tasks — To create a new dated task, choose File > New Task, press ⌘-K, or Control-click on a day and choose New Task from the contextual menu. A dated task appears in your calendar on the due date, with a checkbox in front of it.
Timed Tasks — To create a new timed task, choose File > New Timed Task, press ⌘-Option-K, or Control-click on a day and choose New Timed Task from the contextual menu. A timed task appears in your calendar on the due date and time, with a checkbox in front of it.
Tip: To create a timed task in Week view, hold down ⌘ while double-clicking in the calendar.
Undated Tasks — To create a new undated task, choose File > New Undated Task, press ⌘-U, or Control-click in the Task List sidebar and choose New Undated Task from the contextual menu.
You can also create tasks using Quick Entry in the app or from the BusyCal Menu by preceding the text with a dash “-”, or the words “todo”, “remember to”, or “remind me to.” If a date or time is included, BusyCal creates a dated or timed task. Otherwise, an undated task is created. For example:
todo Call Bob tomorrow
-Call Bob tomorrow at 10am
remember to Call Bob next Tuesday
-Call Bob Nov 7
remind me to pick up dry cleaning at 5pm
If you mark a task as completed by checking the “done” checkbox in the calendar or Info Panel (or pressing ⌘-/), the completed task appears with a checkmark in front of it on the date that it was completed.
To customize how tasks are created and displayed, choose BusyCal > Preferences > Tasks.
The following options are available for customizing tasks:
- Default Calendar for Tasks — The default calendar new tasks are created in.
- Sort Task List by — The sort order for the Task List.
- Show dated Tasks — The date range for tasks displayed in the Task List. The default displays tasks due by next month. You can select a different range if you want to view fewer or more tasks.
- Show undated Tasks — Whether or not to display undated tasks in Task List.
- Show completed Tasks — Whether or not to display completed tasks in Task List.
- Show dated Tasks in calendar — Whether or not to display dated tasks in the calendar on their due dates.
- Show completed Tasks in calendar — Whether or not to display completed tasks in the calendar on the dates they are completed.
- Carry forward uncompleted Tasks — Whether or not to carry forward past due tasks and display them on the current date. Such Tasks appear with a small > arrow displayed in the middle of the checkbox in Month / Week / Day view.
You can create tasks that repeat based on either the due date (e.g., Pay Rent on the 1st of every month) or on the completion date of the previous task (e.g., Oil Change 3 months after completion of the last Oil Change).
Please note - unlike a repeating event, repeating Tasks do not display future occurrences on the calendar. A new occurrence is created only after you mark a Task complete.
To create a repeating task that repeats based on the due date (e.g., Pay Rent on the 1st of every month), select a repeat interval from the “repeat” pop-up menu on the Info Panel.
You can change the default regeneration / repeating style from under Preferences > Tasks > Default Regeneration Style. See Tasks Preferences for more information.
Also see Repeating Events for additional information on creating custom repeat intervals.
Completed occurrences of a repeating task appear in the calendar, but only the next uncompleted occurrence of a repeating task appears. When you complete an occurrence of a repeating task, the next occurrence of the repeating task is created automatically.
For example, you could create a task on Tuesday to “Take out trash” that repeats weekly. Only the next uncompleted occurrence of the task appears in the calendar. When you complete it (or delete it), the next occurrence of the task is created on the following Tuesday.
Note: When you mark a recurring task as completed, BusyCal sets the completed date as today (even if the event appears on an earlier date on your calendar) and then creates the next occurrence. Depending on your settings in BusyCal > Settings > Tasks, this may cause the task to disappear from your calendar on its earlier date, even if your intention was to indicate that you completed it on a date in the past. BusyCal’s default logic is based on the Change Oil model: if you plan to change your oil every month, and you skip a month or two, BusyCal ignores the repeats that would have occurred in the past and schedules the next occurrence forward from the date on which you mark the task as completed. You can change this behavior from Preferences > Tasks > Default regeneration style.
You can convert tasks to events by ⌘-dragging them from the Task List to the calendar:
- Hold down ⌘ while dragging a task from the Task List to the calendar in Month view to convert it to an event on that date, at the current time.
- Hold down ⌘ while dragging a task from the Task List to the all-day portion of a day in Day or Week view to convert it to an all-day event.
Tip: You can also drag an undated task to the calendar to set the due date, or drag it to a different date to change the due date.
You can convert events to tasks by simply dragging them from the calendar and dropping them into the Task List while at least one Task list calendar has been checked in the left panel (note: you should not hold down the ⌘ key when doing this).
Tasks in BusyCal sync with the Reminders app in macOS and iOS through iCloud.
iCloud calendars are type-specific. Each iCloud calendar can contain either events or tasks, but not both. BusyCal indicates a task calendar by displaying a checkmark next to its name. The task calendars in BusyCal sync with the Reminder Lists in the Reminders app on macOS and iOS through iCloud.
Note: BusyCal does not sync tasks with Google Calendar. You can create tasks only on local calendars, iCloud calendars, Exchange calendars, and CalDAV servers that support tasks.
The Reminders app on iOS can display location alarms when arriving at or leaving a specified location. For example, you could create a task to “Pick up dry cleaning” that triggers when you leave the office. BusyCal supports location alarms that sync with the Reminders app, and you can even create and edit location alarms in BusyCal.
To create a location alarm in BusyCal, create a task with a custom Alarm Type of Location, click Location, and select a contact or search for a location using the embedded Google Maps interface.
Location alarms trigger on your iOS device each time you arrive at or leave a location until you complete the task or delete it. In addition, you can set a specific date and time to be reminded on both your Mac and iOS device, regardless of whether you reach the location.
Note: BusyCal supports location alarms only on iCloud task calendars.