Reader Caroline Anders finds Calendar's default settings a little inflexible for her tastes. She writes:
I use Calendar on my Mac running Mountain Lion (and used iCal before it) and I find I have to fiddle with events after I create them--changing all-day events to events that last a couple of hours and changing their start times. Is there a better way to create events so I don't have to spend so much time editing them?
There is. First, it's important to understand how Calendar creates events. If you double-click on a date when in Month view, you will create an all-day event, which you'll have to edit if your intention was to create an event that lasts just an hour. If you want just that hour-long event, change to the Week or Day view and then double-click on a time. An hour-long event will be created at the time you chose.
Although a lot of us are accustomed to double-clicking on dates or times to create events, it's worth your while to check out the Create Quick Event feature. Just press Command-N or click on the Plus button at the top of the Calendar window and enter an event along these lines: Lunch tomorrow Dan. Do that, press Return, and a new event with that very title will be created at noon on the following day. Try Dinner tomorrow Dan and an event is created for 8 PM.
Calendar is smarter than iCal in this regard, but not as smart as Flexibits' $15 Fantastical ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ). With Fantastical you could enter Lunch tomorrow dan start noon end 3 PM and Fantastical will create an event exactly along those lines. Calendar, on the other hand, won't have a clue what you mean.
If you'd like to change the default time for timed events as well as all-day events, you can do that within the Alerts tab of Calendar's preferences. Choose an Account (iCloud, for example) from the Account pop-up menu, and configure the Events and All Day Events pop-up menus. For example, rather than the usual 15-minutes-before default, you can choose from a number of options including 30 minutes before, 1 hour before, 1 day before, or 2 days before. All-day events are more limited, allowing you to choose On Day of Event (9 AM), 1 Day Before (9 AM), 2 Days Before (9AM), or 1 Week Before.