Calendar apps are incredibly useful and will undoubtedly help you become more organized and productive. But there are a ton of different solutions out there. Which one should you use?
In this article we'll take a deep dive into why you should start using a calendar app if you aren't already, three important features to look for in any solution you consider using, and the seven best calendar apps available in 2021. Let's get started!
Do I Really Need a Calendar App?
We get it, you're probably already using a bunch of other work-related software tools and productivity apps. Do you really need to add another tool into the mix? Of course, you don't have to. But calendar apps are surprisingly useful — especially for those with busy schedules.
Here are our three favorite reasons for using calendar apps:
The most obvious benefit of a quality calendar app is the greater productivity it will help you achieve. When all of your daily tasks are located in one trim and tidy location, you'll be able to better assess which projects should be completed at which time.
You'll also be able to tell, at a glance, what time meetings and other activities will best fit into your personal daily routine and schedule them for those times.
A wall calendar can help you assess your day and keep track of important tasks. But it's big and bulky and harder to tote around than a web-based piece of software.
By investing in a calendar app, you'll make sure that you always have access to your daily list of tasks, no matter where you are or which device you happen to be using. Need to step out of the office to run an errand? View your calendar app on your phone. Want to check your schedule for tomorrow before you go to bed? Pull out your tablet and take a look. It's that simple.
Calendar apps are also valuable because they can be programmed to send automated reminders for any task on your to-do list. You'll never have to worry about forgetting to attend a meeting because your calendar app will alert you before it starts.
Again, this is something that wall and other hard-copy calendars simply can't compete with. As such, it's an important feature that needs to be considered.
What to Look For in a Calendar App
Every calendar app operates a little differently. Before you select and start using a tool at random, we suggest making sure it has the following features:
Simple to Use
Calendar apps are supposed to make your life easier. If the tool you choose has a clunky interface and requires a degree in rocket science to operate effectively, you should probably try using a different solution.
Look for an app that requires minimal knowledge to operate and features a clean design that allows you to easily see the tasks you need to complete each day.
Your daily schedule is as unique as you are. As such, the calendar app you decide to invest in needs to be customizable. If it isn't, you'll be locked into someone else's workflow.
Choose a tool that allows for custom views, offers integrations with the other apps you use on a regular basis, and can otherwise be manipulated to your liking. This tip is an especially beneficial for heavy planners who want complete control over their daily schedule.
Easy to Share
Lastly, make sure your calendar app makes it easy to share your daily, weekly, and even monthly schedule with others. That way you can better collaborate with your team.
This feature will save you loads of time. Rather than typing out long emails with the tasks you need your colleagues to accomplish, you can simply share your calendar app with them and let your team view your complete schedule whenever they need to.
Best Calendar Apps
Now that we've discussed why calendar apps are important and a few features to look for in your app of choice, let's explore the best calendar apps on the market. We've divided the list into two sections: free calendar apps, and paid-for tools.
Let's start with the best calendar apps you can use for free:
- Google Calendar
Google Calendar is incredibly popular for many reasons: it's free to use, highly functional, and integrates with many other popular tools.
It's really easy to create new events inside Google Calendar. Just pull up the app on your desktop, tablet, or smartphone device, choose the date you want to add an event to, and then type in the details that matter, such as the time it starts and ends, the location of the event, and any guests you want to invite.
Google Calendar also comes with a very handy color coding feature that makes is easy to organize events and tasks in any way that you see fit. Want to separate work and home jobs? Simply give them each different colors and you'll be good to go.
All in all, Google Calendar is easy to use and will allow you to manage your schedule from any device — all without having to pay a dime. Win!
- Apple Calendar
Apple Calendar is another free calendar app that packs a serious punch. If you're already an Apple user, but aren't quite ready to invest your money in one of the fully-featured tools we'll reference later in this article, Apple Calendar is a great option.
One of the app's best features is its ability to sync schedules across each of the Apple devices in your possession. Add an event to your schedule on your Macbook and the Apple Calendar app on your phone will automatically display it as well. This is incredibly convenient and will ensure your daily to-dos are always up to date, no matter what device you happen to be using.
Another plus for Apple Calendar is its clean interface. It's extremely easy to see your daily schedule inside the app and adding new events is a cinch. Simply click or tap the (+) sign to create a new event, enter specific details, and then, voila, you're done.
All tied up at the moment? Events can be added to Apple Calendar via Siri for a completely hands-free experience.
For Apple users, Apple Calendars is a great app that will keep you organized and productive.
Calendar, is a smart tool that you need to add to your stack. It allows you to become more productive, effective, and decreases your stress.
The artificial intelligence-led productivity saves you time as you plan out your schedule. And, because it learns as you go, it becomes more useful over time.
Allow anyone to schedule a meeting with you directly from Calendar.com's app and stop worrying about overbookings as this is prevented in the app.
Calendar, featured in CNN, Inc, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, allows you to check out the analytics of your calendar to discover ways to maximize your productivity and save more time.
Get started with Calendar.com by following their site and follow the sign up prompts. You can get started for FREE or get access to more features via a monthly subscription plan.
- Fantastical 2
Fantastical 2 is well named, the tool really is fantastic and represents the cream of the crop when it comes to calendar apps. The only downside is, it's only available to iOS and MacOS users. Sorry Windows and Android folks!
If you haven't skipped to the next entry yet, here's what you need to know about Fantastical 2:
- Adding new events is extremely easy, simply start typing in the text bar at the top left-hand corner of your screen. A pop-up menu will appear and allow you to add additional details like location and time frame, and set up alerts.
- Speaking of alerts, Fantastical 2 is equipped with geofenced reminders, i.e. reminders that are only sent when you happen to be in a specific location. This is quite handy if you want to remind yourself to complete specific tasks while in certain places.
- The fantastical 2 app also gives its users a lot of flexibility over the way they view their calendars. Easily toggle between day, week, month, and year views. Or create entirely separate calendars for different purposes and quickly switch between them.
- Other useful features include daily checklists so you can mark tasks as done once you complete them, a search bar so that you can quickly find specific events inside your calendars, and even voice control.
Fantastical 2 is a great calendar app. But all this functionality does come at a hefty price tag, at least by normal calendar app standards. After a free 21 day trial, Fantastical 2 requires a one-time payment of $49.99 to use.
Are you familiar with Moleskine notebooks? Well it turns out those beautiful, leather-bound writing journals aren't the only great products that Moleskine makes!
Timepage is a great calendar app with an elegant and intuitive interface. It features powerful features such as natural language processing, making the event-adding process a breeze; and a convenient heat-map view that allows users to quickly see how busy their schedules are.
Timepage even comes with real-time weather and travel information so that you know exactly what to expect before you hit the road, en route to your next appointment.
But it's not all good news, unfortunately. Like a few of the other apps we've mentioned, Timepage is only available to iOS users. But if you have an iPhone, Timepage and all its handy features can be accessed for just $1.99 a month.
- Business Calendar 2
"Business Calendar 2" is, admittedly, not a very creative name. But this calendar app by Appgenix Software is a great option, nonetheless!
It provides a ton of flexibility over the way you view your calendars — the most out of any calendar app we've seen. User can choose the standard day, week, month, and year views. But they can also choose to view their calendar in any 1 - 14 day configuration.
Similar to other calendar apps on this list, Business Calendar 2 offers stellar natural language processing, allowing users can add events to their calendars with just their voices.
Look, Mom, no hands!
Once an event has been added to the app, they become extremely easy to move around. If your schedule changes, simply drag the rescheduled event to another day.
Business Calendar 2 can be downloaded from the Google Play store and used completely free of charge. But if you want to remove the advertisements and gain access to more advanced features like the ability to add attachments, you'll need to fork over $6.99.
Asana isn't a typical calendar app like the six others we just explored. It's actually a project management tool that makes it super easy to track both personal and professional projects on any desktop, tablet, or smartphone device.
Asana does come with a calendar view, though, and that's why we've included it in this list.
For those who want a calendar app with a ton of extra, productivity-boosting features, Asana is a fantastic option that should definitely be something you consider investing in.
If you do, you'll gain access to some amazing capabilities:
- Quickly add tasks to your daily to-do list, complete them with due dates, attachments and comments, and then assign each job to a different person on your team.
- Organize your daily tasks in any way you see fit. Want to separate your work activities and house chores? Simply assign them to different sections. You can also set priority levels on each task so you always know which should be completed first.
- Asana also lets you enable notifications so that you're always aware of project progress and know exactly when someone on your team leaves you a comment.
Like we said, Asana isn't a typical calendar app. But it's incredibly useful and features a calendar view, which makes it eligible for this list. Give it a try for free. If you want access to advanced features, sign up for a paid plan, starting at just $10.99 a month.
Organize Your Life With Calendar Apps
The calendar app you choose will play a major role in how organized and productive you are. Fortunately, you now know about seven high quality tools you can use in 2021! We encourage you to read back through the list and choose a solution that best suits your goals and budget.
Here are the seven calendar apps we mentioned in this article:
- Google Calendar
- Apple Calendar
- Microsoft Outlook Calendar
- Fantastical 2
- Business Calendar 2