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Keeping a calendar can change your life. A calendar will keep you from missing meetings and appointments, as well as make your life a lot less hectic. Plus, having all of your appointments on your calendar frees up your brain to work on more important tasks.
In our experience, digital calendars are far easier to manage than paper ones. Still, there are lots of calendar apps out there. Which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll help you decide.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best calendar apps out there. Whether you’re looking for an app that gives you lots of control, or you just want a simple calendar that stays out of your way, there’s an app for you on this list.
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- Flexibits has issued Fantastical 3.3.8, a maintenance release for the calendar app with a variety of improvements and bug fixes.The update adds support for CoScreen and Microsoft Teams Gov URLs, hides the URL field in Google events because Google Calendar doesn’t support it correctly, displays a warning when trying to edit a repeating task on Todoist, resolves an issue where completing.
Overview: A dependable calendar app that integrates with most productivity apps.
Google Calendar is an excellent cross-platform calendar app. It’s the default calendar on Android phones, and it also works well on iPhones. It’s simple to create new events whether you’re on your phone or computer, and everything always stays synced no matter what time zone you’re in.
Plus, Google Calendar integrates with just about any other productivity app you can think of, so it will readily fit into your existing productivity system.
If you also use Gmail, then it gets even better, as Google Calendar can automatically create events based on emails you receive. This is a lifesaver when booking things like flights or concert tickets.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Web
Overview: A basic calendar app for Apple enthusiasts.
If you’re all in on Apple products, then Apple Calendar is an excellent choice. It keeps all of your events synced across your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and whatever shiny device Apple will dream up next.
As far as calendar functionality, Apple Calendar offers all the features you’d expect, including a strong integration with Siri that allows you to add events with just a few words.
Platforms: iOS, Mac, Web
Overview: A decent calendar app that’s likely the default at your office or school.
Love it or hate it, you’re probably familiar with Outlook Calendar. It’s more or less ubiquitous in large companies and institutions such as universities. In fact, this is the app’s main advantage: lots of people already have it and use it.
The app itself is certainly solid. You can create events and reminders, send meeting requests, and view multiple calendars at once.
There aren’t any additional “fancy” or otherwise noteworthy features, and that’s fine. If you just want a basic calendar for keeping track of your meetings and work events, Outlook Calendar is perfect for the job.
Price: $69.99/year as part of Office 365 Personal, though your employer or school probably provides free access.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Web
Overview: Schedule meetings without endless email exchanges.
Whether you’re a student or professional, scheduling meetings is the worst. You can spend weeks sending emails back and forth trying to find a time that works for both of you, to the point that you forget why you wanted to meet in the first place.
SavvyCal aims to solve this problem. The app syncs with Google Calendar so that your availability for meetings is always up to date.
When you want to schedule a meeting, all you have to do is send a link with a list of times you’re available. The recipient then picks the time that works best for them, and the meeting they schedule is automatically synced to both of your calendars.
In these features, SavvyCal is similar to lots of other scheduling apps. The main difference is that it overlays the recipient’s calendar onto the scheduling page. This dramatically speeds up the scheduling process since the recipient doesn’t have to switch back and forth between their calendar app and SavvyCal.
We also like that SavvyCal integrates with Zoom, our video call app of choice, as well as Zapier and Google Meet. Integrations with Outlook Calendar and iCloud Calendar are also in development.
Price: $12/month (per user)
Overview: A multilingual Mac/iOS calendar app with one of the best Apple Watch apps we’ve seen.
If you’re an Apple user looking for an alternative to the default calendar apps on Mac/iOS, you should check out Fantastical 2.
The main strength of Fantastical 2 is its deep integration with the Apple ecosystem. Whether you’re on your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, Fantastical 2 offers a beautiful, simple calendar that always stays synced.
The app has especially strong natural language processing, letting you quickly create events whether you’re at your desk or on the go. You can even do some more sophisticated things such as setting geofenced reminders (allowing you to get reminders only when you’re in a particular location).
Finally, Fantastical 2 also integrates with iCloud, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and a variety of other apps. And the app is fully localized for English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese, making it great for multilingual users or workplaces.
- Mac: $49.99 (after a 21-day free trial)
- iPhone/Apple Watch: $4.99
- iPad: $9.99
Platforms: iOS, Mac
My Study Life
Overview: A calendar app built for the unique scheduling needs of students.
While most calendar apps target busy professionals, My Study Life is different. It’s a calendar app built specifically for students, and it has some features you won’t see in other calendar apps.
To start, My Study Life includes smart scheduling features to help you keep up with your classes and extracurricular activities. If your class schedule varies with the week, My Study Life can account for that, ensuring you don’t forget a class. There’s even a special section for scheduling your exams.
Plus, My Study Life syncs your schedule across devices and works offline. This means you’ll always be able to keep track of your classes and assignments no matter your location or internet access.
Platforms: Android, iOS, Web
Overview: A beautiful calendar app with handy weather and travel information.
If you love the design of Moleskine notebooks and planners, then Timepage is the calendar app you’ve been waiting for. This iOS-only app is truly beautiful, featuring an elegant, uncluttered interface that you’d expect from Moleskine.
Beneath the aesthetics, however, Timepage is a powerful calendar app. It includes natural language processing to let you easily type in events, as well as a “heat-map” view that shows how busy your month is at a glance.
Best of all, Timepage integrates with a variety of other apps to show you weather alerts and travel times to events. This way, you’ll not only remember that you have to be somewhere, but you’ll also get there on time.
Price: $1.99/month or $11.99/year (after a 7-day free trial)
Business Calendar 2
Overview: The best calendar app for customizing your calendar’s appearance.
I’ll admit, “Business Calendar 2” sounds like something straight out of Office Space (if they had calendar apps back then, that is). But while the name might be a bit weird, the app is anything but.
Business Calendar 2 is great if you want a lot of control over the way your calendar looks. In addition to the standard day, week, month, and year views, you can adjust the calendar view to show anywhere from 1 to 14 days. And you can quickly swipe between these views so you can always find what you’re looking for.
What really makes Business Calendar 2 shine, however, are its event scheduling features. You can easily drag events around on the calendar and quickly enter event details without excessive swiping.
Plus, the app’s natural language processing lets you enter events just by talking into your phone. The app will even learn your preferences over time, automatically suggesting common locations or attendees.
Price: Free (with ads). Upgrade to the Pro version for $6.99 to remove ads and get additional features such as file attachments and event templates.
Calendar Apps Help Keep Your Life Organized
I hope this guide has helped you find the best calendar app for your needs. Whether you stick with a popular calendar app such as Google Calendar or go with a less conventional pick such as Timepage, keeping a calendar is just one part of being productive.
To learn how to build a full productivity system, check out our free course:
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Image Credits: Outlook Calendar, SavvyCal, Timepage, paper calendar
Getting started with Fantastical is simple, and we'll walk you through the process.
Creating a Flexibits account
After signing up, you will be presented with your account key. This is used to secure your account data, and it is required to sign in to Fantastical on other devices if your devices do not share the same iCloud account.
Check your subscription status, view your account key and sign out of your Flexibits account in Fantastical's Preferences.
IMPORTANT: You only need a single Flexibits account for all of your devices. When you log in to your Flexibits account on other devices, choose the 'Sign In' option and use the same login method that you used when you originally created your Flexibits account (either your email address and password directly, Sign in with Apple, or Sign in with Google).
If you don't use the same sign in method, you will end up with multiple accounts which cause sync and subscription problems.
Connecting calendar services
You can connect calendar accounts (iCloud, Google, Exchange etc.) directly to Fantastical. Start by opening Fantastical, clicking the Fantastical menu and choosing Preferences from the menu. You can also access the preferences by clicking on the Fantastical icon in your menu bar, clicking the gear icon in the lower right, and selecting Preferences from the menu.
To add a new account, go to the Accounts pane in Preferences.
Choose the '+' icon at the bottom of the sidebar on the left side of the window to open a panel with account type options.
Select the type of account you'd like to add and click Continue
Fill in the credentials for the account to allow Fantastical to access and sync your events and tasks
Adding an iCloud Account
Apple requires that iCloud accounts have two-factor authentication enabled in order for apps to connect to iCloud's calendar or mail servers. If you don't have two-factor authentication enabled, enable two-factor authentication on your iCloud account before continuing.
iCloud with two-factor authentication
Log in to appleid.apple.com. You'll be asked to enter a verification code from one of your devices.
When you receive the code, enter the digits into the dialog that opens in the browser window
After login is completed, click on 'Generate Password...' under the Security section
Give the app-specific password a name of your choosing (e.g. Fantastical)
A dialog will appear with a new password string that you can copy and paste into Fantastical
Adding a Google account
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To add a Google account:
Select the Google account type
Fill in your Google username (email address) and password
Click 'Sign In'
Click 'Accept' to allow Fantastical to access your calendars
Adding an Exchange account
To add an Exchange account:
Select the Exchange account type
Fill in your Exchange email address and password
If you need to enter a username or Exchange URL, you will be prompted after clicking 'Add'
Once you've added your Exchange account you can enable delegated or shared calendars by clicking 'Manage Delegates...' in the Accounts preferences. See Delegated and shared calendars on Exchange for more information.
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If your organization uses Office 365 then add your account as an Office 365 account. If you are having trouble adding your Exchange account and you're not sure if your organization uses Office 365, you can also try logging in to Office 365 with your Exchange email address and password.
Adding an Office 365 account
If your organization uses Office 365 then it is better to add your account as an Office 365 account rather than an Exchange account. This will allow Fantastical to connect using any single-sign-on or multi-factor authentication methods used by your organization.
To add an Office 365 account:
Select the Office 365 account type
Log in to your Office 365 account
Requesting access from an admin
Some organizations restrict access to third-party apps. If this is the case, you can request that your Office 365 admin grant access to Fantastical by sending your admin the following URL. This will authorize Fantastical's client ID with the organization so that you can add your Office 365 account.
Adding a CalDAV account
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Select the 'Other CalDAV Account'
Enter your username, password, and the CalDAV server address