I have found it to be useful to locate the main events of a story exactly in time - that is, to define precise dates and times for what happens when. Until now, I scribbled such story calendars on empty print-outs of iCal months or weeks, which results sometimes in a lot of mess and the need of frequent re-scribbling. I’d rather do the planning on screen (dragging events around until everything fits), but I don’t want to mix up fictious events of fictious people with my real dates, reminders and so on (although it would be possible by using different calendars, of course).
Does anyone know a calendar application that does not use the iCal database? That can be used totally apart from the whole iCal/alarm-system?
Chandler is a pretty decent calendaring application. It is free, multi-platform, and has good support for adding notes to items.
IF something more radical than a calendar app might suit you, take a look at the currently Beta “Aeon Timeline” application that has it’s own dedicated sub-forum here at Lit & Lat. viewforum.php?f=27
I personally haven’t used it much, so I can’t necessarily say if it’s advanced enough for regular use, but it’s kind of a step up from iCal in the way Scrivener is a step up from Word… a different way of viewing similar information, and much more suited to what you are trying to do if you aren’t married to the calendar interface.
Ah! Thanks for the hint; I’ve been searching around a lot, but I didn’t think of Chandler. I’ll try it. (I was - no, I am still - a big fan of the original Lotus Agenda of Mitch Kapor (the DOS program, not the time planner mimickry Windows program later that had the same name). One of the most clever pieces of software ever written.)
Strange thing, BTW - under Windows, the problem you have is that you have trouble getting different time/project management software to work together. Under Mac OS/X, you have trouble to find a time management application that is not showing up in iCal. Which is, of course, better in most cases. Only we writers always have to tweak and abuse software …
Who doesn’t know “Aeon Timeline” … ? Of course. But that’s rather for an earlier stage when things like “hmm, if John Main Protagonist is born in 1983, he’s 24 in 2007, that’s too young, so I should make him born earlier, only then he’s too old to experience as a child … hmm …” are to consider.
Let’s put it this way: By testing Chandler I became aware of how much I actually like iCal’s interface - the soft bubbles, the neat look etc.
In comparison, Chandler looks rather nerdy and ugly. Plus, every item only gets 1 line in the calendar. Plus, multiple-days-events are shown as a string of single events, repeated, which is misleading.
But nevertheless it was worth trying it.
So, I took the jump, reordered my “real” iCal calendars into one calendar group and started plotting in another.
An idea: I should have kept Tiger’s iCal. As far as I remember, it stored its data in a different way than Leopard’s iCal. Anybody knows whether one can use both iCals side by side? The drawer (access to notes much easier than in Leopard’s iCal) and the list view would come very handy for my purposes.