New Video – Echo Show Calendar Overview: What Works Well… And What Doesn’t!

I’m one of those annoying people who likes to track everything in their life on a calendar! Whilst I’ve used the calendar features on my other Echo devices, I love the calendar on the Echo Show – mainly because you can visually manage your calendar due to the Echo Show’s touchscreen.

The Echo Show’s calendar view shows your calendar events under a list, 3-day view and month-by-month view – it’s up to you which you prefer.

Equally your Echo Show homescreen will show you your upcoming calendar entries as one of the rotating home cards.

Video Transcript

Hey YouTube, I’m Tristan from Smart Home Point. The Echo Show is my favorite type of Echo device, and it might sound a bit sad but the reason for that – or one of the big reasons for it – is that you can visually see your calendar entries really easily on the Echo Show via the screen, and you can also interact with your calendar to look at a month by month view, or day by day view, using the touch screen as well. It’s really convenient for people like me that actually like to track everything on their calendar. You know if I need to ring a company, I’ll put that in the calendar to make sure I know to do that in a few days time. Equally if my wife asks me to hang something on a wall, I’ll put it down in the calendar. I’ll probably forget about it… but at least it’s in the calendar! And it’s nice to be able to see your calendar entries really easily here. So I wanted to do this video and just talk through the different calendar features available on all three of the Echo devices: which is the Echo Show 5, the Echo Show 8 and the full size Echo. Let’s take a look!

[me] “show my calendar”.
[Alexa] “here are the calendar events”.

Okay so I’ve put a few jokey – sort of – calendar entries, in but basically if we go into list mode – I’ll talk through three day in a second – umm… if you look, yeah that’s the start of my jokey calendar, so you can see in list mode you can literally cycle through and see all your calendar events. So I’ve literally got play Rocket League non-stop, um it actually cuts things off, which is a little bit annoying. The actual full calendar name is “play Rocket League non-stop”, and then it says “[out of office]”. Unfortunately it doesn’t show that which is a little bit irritating, and literally just cuts things off, even though there’s all this extra space. At least it tells you the from and to date and time for the calendar entries. So you’ve got play Rocket League on the stop keep doing it keep doing it and then rage quit Rocket League… which I’ve done a bit too many times! this is actually a reminder, it says reminder in brackets. again it’s cut off, which is a bit irritating but at least you can see the calendar entry here. I’ve then got ‘reconsider my life’, umm, ‘create an amazing business’ and then later on in the week ‘sell my business’… I sell my new business… and retire and then I go back to playing ‘Rocket League non-stop’! Uhm, which is a bit of a habit to be honest, as you can see, and then I rage quit again. There we are, and then later on in the week my friend Jeff just wanted me to give him some business advice! So I’ve just got it on my calendar to track that as well.

As you can see, I’m currently in list mode and although it cuts off the actual name of things – which is a bit irritating – this list mode works really well, as does the home screen where it shows you your upcoming events. But what I’m not as much of a fan of is in the 3 day mode. It’s… it can be a bit confusing at times to actually manage because you know sometimes your three-day mode starts here (at midnight). If you’ve actually got an event starting at midnight, or an all-day event like I do, so you’ve got that and then it looks almost like you don’t have any events on your Friday and Saturday, even though when you scroll down you actually do – it’s just midday. Or you might have an event later on. I don’t think I do… um, but that’s a bit of a flaw with the 3 day view, because you don’t easily see – you know – you could easily miss an event, and whilst this would be shown on your home screen, you might also miss that as well if you’ve got a lot of different cards on your home screen. So that’s a bit of a flaw.

The next mode is month and unlike a lot of phones, which don’t have a lot of space but still manage to show you the actual events that are there, the Echo Shows calendar doesn’t show you anything within a month by month view. All you’ve got are these little dots to show you when you do have an event, and then you need to click into it to actually look at what your event is. Uhm, but again you then have the same problem where if you click in – oh that didn’t work too badly did it?! That worked quite nicely! But sometimes if you click in and then start scrolling you again have this problem that you’re at midday – or sorry – midnight, and then you obviously miss your actual event, so it’s not ideal but obviously I clicked in there and that worked quite nicely because all my – sort of – all my events were grouped together in terms of time. But certainly if you had all your events spread out throughout the day, then this view isn’t really ideal and certainly the month view as a whole isn’t great because it doesn’t actually give you even a preview of what is happening on each [day]. I think it’d be a lot nicer if it was like the Android or the iPhone calendar that can give you a bit of extra information even on the month view where space is obviously limited. In terms of the individual events, you can come along and click into them as you’ve seen earlier, and get more information.

It also shows different types of events. So what I did when I’m setting up this joke calendar is ‘play Rocket League non-stop’ I think was set to just an out of office type event. ‘Rage quit Rocket League’ I think was a reminder. ‘Reconsider my life’ was a task, and then ‘create an amazing business’ was an event. So even if you’ve got different types of calendar entries, your Echo Show device will support them, which is good to know. Equally you can select a calendar entry and delete it real easily. “Are you sure you want to delete this event?”, and you can just delete it by clicking delete.

Brilliant, the next thing you can do is add new counter entries. You can do this in whatever way you usually do and it’ll obviously appear here, or you can use your Echo device to do that. Uhm, so let’s look at that now.

[me] “add a new event for 3 p.m tomorrow”.
[Alexa] “sure and what’s the name of the event?”
[me] “do important stuff”.
[Alexa] “that’s do important stuff on Sunday the 6th of September at 3 p.m, right?”.
[me] “Yes”.
[Alexa] “okay I’ve added that”.

There you are, that’s your event which you’ve added, and obviously because it’s linked to your actual calendar – you know – you’ll see that on your phone, you’ll see it on your computer and anywhere else you access it as well. So it’s really nice – it’s a nice feature – and obviously it’ll show you the event you added and immediately you can see it there, and obviously [in] the list mode you can see it there, in the 3 day mode and you can see it. In the month by month mode as well – even though obviously as I mentioned before it’s a bit hard to actually see stuff there but um – yeah overall I quite like the calendar entries and the calendar feature of the Echo Show. It is a bit annoying – you know – that the month view doesn’t show more, and that the three-day modes isn’t great when you’ve got different times spread… different events spread out throughout the day… but overall it works very well, I feel. My one annoyance is the fact that it cuts off the name of a calendar entry even though they’ve got all this extra white space that’s unused, so I don’t know why they’re actually trimming those down.

Okay so that wraps up today’s video. I wanted to just walk through all the calendar features that are available on the Echo Show device because it has a touch screen and it makes the calendar a lot more accessible. I personally quite find the functionality useful, even if I find the implementation a little bit buggy at times, but hopefully they’ll clean things up. But nonetheless I still find it useful, and I hope you found this video useful. If you did, please click the thumbs up button, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you!

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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