“Power Calendars and Contacts” for Entourage, Exchange and iPhone

Next week I’ll be attending the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Although it’s five days long it feels like it goes by in two days. I want to maximize my time so that I see everything I want to see and meet everyone I want to meet.

My iPhone will be my command station. It will contain a temporary list of vendors that I want to meet, track my schedule in the Microsoft booth and keep me abreast of events that I want to attend. With the help of Entourage and my Exchange account, I’ll take advantage of the power of multiple Calendars and Address Books, which I can view individually or all at once.

My Calendar and Contacts list in Entourage are clean and simple but sometimes I want to add a lot of information for a special event. Rather than clutter my existing Calendar and Contacts list with temporary information, I take advantage of multiple calendars and address books with the help of my Exchange Server. Sorry, this won’t work with POP and IMAP accounts.

Making new calendars

The iPhone will conveniently color code my calendars so that I can see at a glance my high priorities and my low priorities. But how do I determine my color coding? First come, first serve.

Color codes can’t be assigned directly to your calendars but you can control the colors by the order you create your calendars in Entourage. My default Exchange Calendar is called “Calendar” and I can’t change this. But I can create additional calendars with any names I choose. I’ll use these:

  • Macworld travel
  • Microsoft booth
  • Events I plan to attend
  • Events I’d like to attend

First, I’ll create new calendars under my Exchange account in Entourage. I’ll name them “Calendar 1”, “Calendar 2”, etc. The names are temporary and I’ll change them later to the names I want.

  1. Switch to Calendar view in Entourage.
  2. In the folder list on the left, select an Exchange account.
  3. Select File –> New –> Folder… A Create New Folder window will open.
  4. Name the new folder “Calendar 1”.
  5. Select the Exchange account under “Click a location for the new folder:”


  6. The Type drop down menu will activate. Select “Calendar” from the drop down menu. The window will immediately show only the Exchange account.


  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for every new calendar making sure to sequentially number the new calendars: Calendar 1… Calendar 2… Calendar 3…

To illustrate the color order that will appear on the iPhone, I’ve created seven calendars. I’ll allow a minute or two for my new calendars to sync to my Exchange account and then to my iPhone. If you have access to Outlook Web Access (OWA) for your Exchange account then you can verify the calendars are synced. Log in to your Exchange account and click the folders list on the left. Remember that “Calendar” is the default Exchange calendar and it cannot be renamed.

Once my calendars are synced to my iPhone they will each appear with a color assigned by the iPhone.


The iPhone offers six colors to help identify different calendars when viewed together but it’s not very smart about rotating colors. Yellow is another available color but notice that red and orange were reused and yellow does not appear. You may want to create additional calendars until you see the colors you want available.
My default Exchange calendar was assigned Orange. Now, I can assign my calendar names to the colors I prefer:
  • Macworld travel – Purple (rename Calendar 4 in Entourage)
  • Microsoft booth – Red (rename Calendar 1 in Entourage)
  • Events I plan to attend – Blue (rename Calendar 2 in Entourage)
  • Events I’d like to attend – Green (rename Calendar 3 in Entourage)

I’ll delete the rest of the calendars I won’t use from Entourage. Again, I can view my account in OWA to make sure the changes sync to my Exchange Server and in a minute or two they will sync to my iPhone.

At this point my calendars are ready for events. First, I’ll block out my travel and my schedule in the Microsoft booth. Next, I know I will definitely be attending some events, such as a couple of dinners and parties, but I’m not sure if I will be able to attend other events, such as speakers I’d like to see. I’ll assign everything to the appropriate calendar. My “free” time will be filled with walking the Expo floor.

When I view All calendars on my iPhone I now have a color-coded representation of each day. (If my times appear late that’s because I’m currently in the CST time zone.)

I’ll apply the same method for creating my Macworld address Book. Unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t color code address books, which would be very handy. Names will have to do.

For my needs, just one address book for Macworld will meet my needs. I’ll call it “Contacts (Macworld)”. My default Exchange Contacts list is called “Contacts” and I can’t change this. But I can create additional address books with any names I choose.

First, I’ll create a new address book under my Exchange account in Entourage.

  1. Switch to Address Book view in Entourage.
  2. In the folder list on the left, select an Exchange account.
  3. Select File –> New –> Folder… A Create New Folder window will open.
  4. Name the new folder “Contacts (Macworld)”.
  5. Select the Exchange account under “Click a location for the new folder:”

  6. The Type drop down menu will activate. Select “Address Book” from the drop down menu. The window will immediately show only the Exchange account.

  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for every new address book.

I’ll allow a minute or two for my new address book to sync to my Exchange account and then to my iPhone. If you have access to Outlook Web Access (OWA) for your Exchange account then you can verify your address books are synced. Log in to your Exchange account and click the folders list on the left.

Now my Macworld address book is ready for contacts. First, I’ll add my airline and hotel information including any reservation numbers. You never know when you’ll need to reschedule or make a confirmation.
Next, I know I’ll be meeting several friends and business contacts. While I have these in my primary Contacts list I’ll copy them to my Macworld address book just to make them easier to find.
Finally, I have several vendors to meet and many of my events will be at various venues. I’ll add phone numbers and addresses for them. I can use the iPhone’s Google Maps application to help me navigate anywhere I need to go.

When the show is over

Why do I bother to create separate calendars and address books? Because they’re temporary. When the show is over and I no longer have a need to keep any of this information then I can return to Entourage and delete everything in a few seconds. None of my long-term information is touched and I know that what I am deleting is expendable.

If I have several upcoming trips then I can create calendars and address books for those well before I travel.

How can I use these ideas everyday?

Multiple Exchange calendars and address books can be applied to other situations in your life too.

If you have school-age children with busy after school schedules then consider creating a calendar for each of them to track soccer practices, dance lessons and PTA meetings. Or if you’re planning that big trip to Disney World then consider creating a temporary address book for your hotels, landmarks and restaurants.

With the iPhone’s ability to overlay multiple calendars and contacts lists you can keep all your vital information together but separate.

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