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If you're committed to becoming more organised and productive in 2015, start with the basics. Here are a few simple tips to use your desktop and mobile calendars more effectively, starting with scheduling this year's public holidays.
Plus we've rounded up a couple of calendar apps designed to set you on the right path towards becoming The Most Organised Person in the World.
How to add 2015 SA public holidays
I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that, up until now, I have been manually adding public holidays to calendars. Turns out it's super easy to import all the South African holidays into your calendar.
Whether you're on a Mac or a PC, by default no holidays are visible on your calendar until you add them. This is how easy it is to import them.
Mac: Go to File > Import > Holidays. Select the country you want and voila, all the holidays will be visible on your calendar.
PC: Go to File > Options > Calendar. Under calendar options, click Add Holidays. Select the check box next to the country you want to select and hit OK.
Calendar on Mac
There are a number of different calendar apps available for Mac's default calendar app. To browse these go to Apple's iCal Calendar download page or download the South African holiday calendar directly.
Once you've opened your Google Calendar, click the arrow next to Other Calendars and then click Browse Interesting Calendars. You'll immediately see a list of holidays for various countries around the world. You can also select Sports calendars for the year for sports including rugby, cricket and football. In the More section, you'll find other interesting calendars such as phases of the moon and sunrise/sunset times for your city.
Free calendar apps
While the default apps offered by most operating systems, such as Apple's Calendar and Google Calendar, are generally good enough for basic organising – including setting reminders, sending invites and so on – there are a number of bespoke apps to consider if you're really serious about becoming little Miss (or Mister) Organised in 2015.
Designed to work with planning and task manager app Any.do, this free calendar app integrates your Any.do task lists directly into your calendar and gives you a clear agenda for each day. Plus, you can add a widget to your home screen for instant access to your day's schedule. It's available for Android and Apple devices.
One of the most popular free calendar apps, Sunrise has a lovely design and is really easy to use. It works with other accounts, like Google, Facebook and Microsoft Exchange, and integrates with services like Evernote, TripIt and LinkedIn, so that all your reminders and events are in one place. A really useful business feature is that if you link your LinkedIn account, you'll be able to view the faces and profiles of people you're meeting – very useful information for making a good first impression. It's available for Android and Apple devices.
Another well-designed app with a pleasing design and layout, the free Wave app incorporates weather forecasts and travel time into your calendar and lets you attach files to your meetings and appointments. It works with Facebook, Outlook, Google and Microsoft Exchange and you can add to-do lists. It's available for Apple and Android devices.
Old school: download and print
If, for some reason, you still want to print a 2015 calendar, timeanddate.com lets you customise your calendar to suit your needs. You can change the design, how many days, weeks or months are displayed and quickly see the year's public holidays. You can also change the language to English, Afrikaans, German or Zulu.
Here's to making 2015 your most productive year yet!