Often when I’m working on project or taking notes for a meeting, I need to quickly reference a calendar date, and I find it a hassle to stop and click open the mini menu bar calendar associated with Informant, the task manager I use. Unfortunately, the mini calendar can’t be opened with a global shortcut.

But a quick Google search revealed a lightweight application called Mini Calendar, which is exactly solution I need.

HotKey Trigger

Mini Calendar includes a global hotkey that when triggered displays the calendar in the menu bar. In addition, you can select to have a miniature calendar display on your desktop permanently, or you can click on the icon in the menu bar or Dock to view the calendar.

[wps_box title=”Mini Calendar (FREE!)” title_color=”#FFFFFF” box_color=”#333333″ radius=”0″]Mini Calendar is free in the Mac App Store. If you use the app, give the developers a good rating for their work. [/wps_box]

String Trigger

If you’ve followed MacAutomationTips for while, you know I don’t like taking my hands off the main keys to punch a hotkey. Instead, I like to use what’s called a Keyboard Maestro string trigger.

In this case, if I’m typing, and I need to check a calendar date, I simply type my assigned string trigger, “cldd”, which in turn triggers the hotkey for Mini Calendar.

Now unfortunately, when I trigger the mini calendar, the focus goes to the calendar window in the menu bar, which means I have to drag the cursor back to the application where I’m typing.

To quickly get back to the application I’m working in, I added a Pause Until Conditions are Met action, which means for this macro, when I click the Space key, the action will  activate the last application I was working in. That way, I can view the date I seeking, and then hit the Space bar and keep typing.

If you’re familiar with how to use Keyboard Maestro, here’s how the macro is set up.


BTT Finger Trigger

Similarly, I also set up a BetterTouchTool finger gesture to quickly display the calendar. Instead of dragging my cursor to the menu bar of the 27” iMac, or do the Dock to display the mini calendar, I simply perform an assigned 3 Force Click finger gesture on my Desktop Finder, and it will trigger the Mini Calendar hotkey.

Your Quick Tip?

This tip is the first in a Quick Automation Tip category for MacAutomationTips. If you have a tip or workflow to share, please contact me about it and I’ll send instructions for how to write it up.

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