¿ Best calendar tip ever ?

You noticed that headline, didn’t you? It’s because of that ¿ and how remarkably it stands out.

Incidentally, this doesn’t work at all if you happen to be reading this on a screen that doesn’t display Spanish-style upside down question marks. But if you can see them, you can use them and they are remarkably useful in calendars.

I have more and more events or meetings to go to and it’s rare that I know immediately when they’re on. If it’s that the meeting will be ‘in a few weeks’ or ‘early in June’ then I’ll put a To Do reminder in OmniFocus to find out and confirm the date then. But the most often thing is that I’ll either offer or be offered a particular date and time and it has to be confirmed later.

You can’t risk agreeing to a date and then double-booking yourself but where possible you also don’t want to block out some time that may not be used. So I’ll use a ¿ at the start of the name.

I did this just now: went to Fantastical, tapped the + sign to add a new event and typed this: “¿ Yasmin tea 1-4pm tomorrow at Yorks Bakery”. There are two elements there: I know the range of times I can get to a meeting with Yasmin, I’m waiting to see if she can do any of those. So that’s why it’s “1-4pm”. But the key thing is that ¿ because, wow, it stands out.

¿ Yasmin tea 1-4pm at Yorks Bakery

See? You can’t miss that.

If you’re on an iPad or iPhone then the ¿ is on the standard keyboard: just press and hold on the regular ? key to get it. (I use a Belkin external keyboard on my iPad and on that I need to press Alt/option and ?.) On a Mac it’s Alt-Shift-? and if you’re on a PC, hold down the Alt Gr key (to the right of the spacebar) and on the keypad type the number 168.

This idea is stolen, by the way. I believe I got it from David Sparks and Katie Floyd on MacPowerUsers who I believe may have got it from Merlin Mann. Now you’ve got it too