By default, Windows Live Mail shows a calendar pane on the right, listing all your appointments and other events for the current month. This is designed to save you a trip to the full calendar app that's built into the program. But, depending on how you resize the app window or if you are using a small screen resolution, this pane may end up getting in the way. I'll show you a couple of calendar tricks to optimize screen real estate, and a few shortcuts to quickly interact with the calendar.
Unfortunately, there's no dedicated keyboard shortcut to toggle the mini-calendar's visibility. To hide it (or resume showing it), select the View tab in the ribbon.
Then, click on the Calendar pane button, as shown on the screenshot. As soon as you do, the email you have currently opened will use all that extra width. If you are showing the reading pane at the bottom, both it and the email folder listing will use that extra space. Notice the "Compact view" on the screenshot? If you click on it, Windows Live Mail will only show icons on the left. Try it!
Tip: to gain back some vertical space, you can hide the ribbon, so that its tabs only show up when you want to click on a command! (Hint: double-click on one of its tabs to toggle the ribbon, or hit the Ctrl+F1 keyboard shortcut :)
To be more user-friendly, the navigation pane (lower left corner of the window) is expanded by default, showing all the shortcuts. In fact, that's probably how you access Windows Live Mail's calendar. But if you mouse over the top -see screenshot- you'll notice that this pane can be collapsed. The screenshot below shows how it looks afterwards. Note that you can still access all shortcuts!
Note: as you know, Windows Live Mail is made by Microsoft, like Outlook, the email program and personal information manager part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Often, your knowledge is transferrable to the other. Windows Live Mail's navigation pane supports the same keyboard shortcuts as Outlook: hit Ctrl+1 to go to the inbox, Ctrl+2 to load the calendar, etc.
If you do like the calendar pane on the right, note that it behaves just like the system clock in Windows: just click on the arrows to view the previous or next month - no surprise there. However, you can also click on the month name to show all months of the year, for quick access. The only difference is that in the Windows clock, clicking the year would let you pick another year. In Windows Live Mail, it goes back to showing the current month. And clicking on any day shows the events you have planned for that date. (Or, special events or holidays that happen on that day, if you haven't hidden that calendar.)
Tip: though you can add any email account to Windows Live Mail (like POP3 or IMAP), it's designed to work best with Microsoft's webmail offering - Hotmail / Outlook.com (the company keeps changing that name :) If you add events to your Live calendar in a web browser, those appointments will magically appear in the program -and vice versa- after you add Hotmail to Windows Live Mail!