Default Calendars Are Boring. Here Are Five Alternatives.


Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

Most of us adopt the calendar applications that came with our desktop computers or mobile phones, particularly since they’re tied to the default email services. Gmail and iCloud are popular, work well, and sync seamlessly with your online life.

However, everyone’s workflow is different. Some people manage their day by the minute, while others prefer an uncluttered calendar view, with only the must-not-miss events on display. So why stay inside Google and Apple comfort zone? Come outside, and you will find visually impressive interfaces, ultra-customizable features, flexible time management, cross-app integrations, and the list goes on.

From fun and easy, to robust and feature-rich, here are five alternative calendar apps for iPhone and Android.

1. CalenGoo

If you love rooting your phone and messing around with every feature available, you should check out CalenGoo. This app (fully functional 5-day trial, $4.81 upgrade for Android and $6.99 for iOS) allows you to customize almost every detail of the calendar experience.

A handy feature is Calengoo’s nesting tasks inside events, as in making a gift list for a Christmas shopping event. Calengoo lets you add attachments, too, so you can include pictures associated with the event.

Google Play download | Apple Store download

2. Business Calendar 2

Business Calendar 2 boasts nifty design solutions that help you understand your day at a glance. The interface has a lovely flow, but it’s not just the looks. The free version has smart features, such as a day slider that allows you to check out your upcoming days and events promptly, and a function to turn on and off your multiple calendars from everywhere in the app. The Pro version ($4.29 on Google Play) includes weather notifications, drag and drop capabilities and custom widgets, among other features.

Google Play download

3. Cal by

Some people don’t rely on their calendar app to organize each step of their day. I prefer running another app for my work tasks and then use the calendar for meetings and personal stuff.

Cal (a free app) is a simple solution and a personal favorite. It shows a streamlined view of your day through an aesthetically pleasing interface while supporting basic features such as alerts, email notifications, and multiple calendars. If you want to support task management, you need to install and integrate with Tasks (also free for Android and iOS, with a Pro subscription starting from $2.99/month).

Google Play download | Apple Store download

4. CloudCal

The issue with popular productivity apps like calendars is how similar they become in user design. CloudCal (which has a free version and a paid one for $3.16) manages to break the monotony with a visual trick it calls Magic Circles. The app transforms your day into a color-coded clock face that helps you identify your free and busy hours.

If you choose to pay for CloudCal, you get a bunch of smart integrations with popular SaaS applications such as Trello, Evernote, and Eventbrite.

Google Play download

5. Fantastical 2

Fantastical 2 is one of the most downloaded calendar apps among iPhone users, according to App Annie. The app ($4.99 for iPhone) syncs smoothly with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and the Apple Watch. Each device’s app has user-centric tweaks that take full advantage of every platform, such as speaking directly into your Apple Watch to add new events, or a unique dashboard for the iPad.

One of the features I truly like is Fantastical 2’ geofence alerts, which let you set triggers based on your location. For example, you can set an alert to remind you to buy your mom’s Christmas gift when you arrive at the shopping mall. How convenient is that?

Apple Store download

It takes a leap of faith to choose a calendar app other than the one preinstalled on your mobile phone. After all, Google and Apple provide robust solutions widely shared by users, which makes it easier to connect with your schedule. Yet, even if you are not ready yet to make a jump, know that each app on the list syncs with Google Calendar or Apple Calendar. Explore these apps, and you will find appealing visuals, intuitive ways to create events, and useful customizations: features that are well worth the trade.

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