I’ve written a few articles recently about a variety of KDE programs, including KMail, Akregator, KJots, KNode and KNotes, all which have one thing in common: all are components of Kontact, the default PIM for KDE users. Kontact houses all those different abilities into a single interface, yet the nice thing is if you don’t want a single, monolithic application like Kontact, each application can be installed and run on its own. You lose out a little on how you can access them from a single place, but the integration remains. KMail still uses KAddressBook for keeping your contact information, and KNode – the Usenet reader – still uses your KMail settings for your SMTP account. They’re all interconnected, yet still able to operate independently.
In this article, I’ll be looking at the final major piece of the puzzle called KOrganizer. Korganizer is the calendar application for Kontact, but it does a lot more. KOrganizer is a great place to keep track of all the events and appointments going on in your life. It’s a bit like iCal, from Apple, in that regard, or one of the many other calendar applications, such as Sunbird (by Mozilla), or Evolution (the PIM for GNOME Linux). You can create separate calendars, such as work, school and sports, or each person in a family can have his or her own. Events are simple to add; just double click a day when you have something going on, and fill in the event information.
You can set up events to happen all day, or at a specific time, and KOrganizer even has the ability to add attendees to an event, with the option to request confirmation. You can set up reminders as well, to happen a certain number of minutes, hours or days before the event. This reminder can come in the form of a message displayed on your computer screen or by a sound being played. You can also set up a script to run a particular application or have KOrganizer send you an email as a reminder. If you’re bad about these type of things, you can even set KOrganizer to repeat the reminder, just in case.
KOrganizer has different viewing modes for you calendar as well. You can view only today, or any single day. You can view your appointments one week at a time, or view an entire month. You can also print them out, with a large range of parameters so your calendar comes out looking exactly the way you want.
But KOrganizer does more than just add events to your calendar. It also acts as a to-do list, and even allows you to add journal entries. The Journal capabilities seemed pretty basic in my limited use (I don’t have much of a need for diaries), but probably useful. The to-do list comes with over a dozen different task categories, including business, meeting, personal, phone call, holidays and more. Entering tasks is as simple as typing up a quick summary – “wash the car” for example. If you have a very open-ended task, you can leave it at that, but you also have the ability to set the task’s priority, give it a start and end date, rate the task by percent complete, and include a more in-depth description. Tasks (as well as calender events), can be set up to repeat on a pre-set basis, and you also have the ability to use Templates, which make adding common types of events and to-do items to your calendar.
And don’t worry about getting locked in with KOrganizer. It uses standards such as HTML, iCalendar and vCalendar for exporting, which means your information can be used in a wide variety of other calendar programs. You can import from other programs as well, or add calendars from different sources, which means trying out KOrganizer doesn’t mean you have to stop using your regular calendar in the meantime.
Finally, KOrganizer has a nice search feature which allows you to search through your events, journals and to-do items. You can search by category, location, descriptions or summaries, through your entire calendar or within a set range of dates. This is nice for people with a lot on the table, who are wondering when – exactly – that single, hard-to-locate appointment is.
There’s a lot more to KOrganizer than I’ve gone into here. It’s a deceptively complex program, while managing to keep a fairly straightforward interface that’s fast and simple to use. Once again, KOrganizer is perfectly capable of being run on its own, or as a nicely integrated component of Kontact. If you’re a KDE user, I’d highly recommend giving it a try.