9 Best Calendar Apps for Better Time Management in 2024
You don't have to be a time management fiend to want to use a calendar application to better organize your events, meetings & maybe even time-block. Calendar apps are some of the most common productivity tools as at the core they focus on time.
Navigating calendar applications is like buying a car, so many brands, so many offerings. Which one to pick right? We feel you. The range of calendar applications is expansive and we've now seen the rise of tools like meeting planners, chrome extensions for your calendar and smaller calendar apps too.
What makes a great calendar app?
Calendar apps are hard to pick because they look the same and present many of the same features like ability to time-block, adding events, descriptions, reminders & video conferencing optionality. Here's what we believe make a calendar app brilliant:
- Scheduling Functions - The best calendar apps should allow you to better plan meetings and events with people using meeting scheduling functions. This is becoming much more common and not every calendar app has it, but that's what makes them better. There's nothing worse than investing your time into a calendar app and using a 3rd party service like Calendly to book meetings. Two tools can become one.
- Super Mobile Apps - Calendar is hard to get right on mobile thanks to the tiny real-estate when compared to a wide screen desktop display, so the best calendar apps make it easy and resourceful of the space on their mobile app version. Cracking examples are ones that make it easy to navigate between dates and don't overwhelm with features but deliver what's needed to view, schedule in and even plan meetings.
- Increasing AI Abilities - There's more need for AI to do smaller errands in the background of your calendar apps. The more prevalent calendar apps will need and activate AI to do things like plan your tasks into your calendar, save time with suggested dates & recommend the best slots for you and people to work with. Less meetings, more focus time is the best motto.
These are the best recommendations going into 2024.
Calendar applications are used to better manage your time and produce better focus time. Let's explore the best of the breed of calendar apps and which one is best for you.
9 Best Calendar Apps for 2024
Let's just give them them front and centre, here's the best ones from our picks.
- 1. Fantastical - a long-standing giant in the calendar management space
- 2. Cron Calendar - Notion own this and it offers a great free calendar experience
- 3. Vimcal - a fast calendar application that presents AI features for time plotting
- 4. Morgen Calendar - a nice way to plan events and tasks in one base
- 5. BusyCal - a reliable and easy to use calendar app similar to Fantastical
- 6. Rise Calendar - a new calendar app with a vision to increase focus time
- 7. Calendars by Readdle - world-known Readdle created this friendly calendar app
- 8. Google Calendar - a solid free choice for managing your calendar
- 9. Moleskine Timepage - One of the most stunning calendar experiences on mobile
Let's begin by exploring each of these in more detail - so let's dig into calendar apps.
1. Fantastical Calendar
Reliable, All-Round Calendar Management Experience for iOS & macOS
- Pricing: free, with starting from $6.99 upgrade to Flexibits premium
- Platforms: macOS, iOS
Why is Fantastical one of the best calendar apps?
Ever since we've been reviewing calendar apps, Fantastical continues to shine.
Fantastical is developed by Flexibits who've created an easy, fun and approachable calendar application. Fantastical is free and offers a good way to get started adding meetings, events and even weather forecasts too. It is simple in nature, with "natural language input" for quickly adding events.
Fantastical offers a premium experience which does give you better and bolder access to conferencing, productivity features like sets for managing your tasks and calendar in one and even a meeting scheduling link that you can send out externally to book meetings. This is just one of the classics in the productivity space as far as calendar apps.
Digging into Fantastical, we have a great Fantastical review here.
2. Cron Calendar
Easy to use, beautifully designed & perfect for meeting scheduling too
- Pricing: Free
- Platforms: iOS, Windows, macOS & webOS
What makes Cron Calendar a good calendar app?
Cron Calendar is a free calendar application great for managing events, sending scheduling links and even plotting your calendar for the week ahead. They have a wide array of applications to access Cron but miss out on an Android application for management.
Cron brings a colourful experience and something we commonly describe as a better, bolder Apple Calendar experience. Notion bought this Cron Calendar application back in July 2022 and since then, nothing has been discontinued - it serves as an add-on experience than many who love and use Notion use daily to manage their events.
You can schedule meetings with Cron without paying and there's no signs of Notion shutting down Cron Calendar and continue to add features like Cron x Notion connections for better linking meeting notes and documentation to events.
Remember to checkout our Cron Calendar review.
Designed for teams and busy professionals
- Pricing: Free on mobile, $15 per month for desktop & iOS
- Platforms: iOS, macOS, Windows
What makes Vimcal a good calendar app?
Vimcal is one of the faster calendar apps on the market and really for more serious calendar app users. This is more premium but does have a solid free experience for mobile calendar application with a clean and easy to use design on the go.
Overall Vimcal wants to be the fastest way you manage your calendar and they do this with features that span into AI, team management and better collaborating with others externally. There's a few notable features, the first of those is AI Time Finder that helps you share dates, or a Calendly link, or even a screenshot - it will pick all the meetings out and plot them out on the calendar making it easier to plug them in right away.
They don't stop there with the "team slots" function - it allows you to book slots with others and even use AI to find the best slots they think will work out. You can use group voting for your meeting times and also use a Calendly link link for automatic bookings.
If you're looking for a new modern calendar app with AI, this could be one for you. Here's our extensive review of Vimcal to explore further.
4. Morgen Calendar
Morgen wants to handle tasks, meetings & calendar in one hub
- Pricing: Free, with 5GBP per month (Pro)
- Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, Linux & macOS
Why Morgen is making waves as a best calendar app?
Morgen Calendar has been turning heads thanks to the meeting scheduling link abilities, unified calendar and time-blocking your tasks too. You can drag tasks onto the calendar and better see what you're working on.
Morgen Calendar brings everything into one place - tasks with tasks lists help you to plot tasks into your calendar alongside tasks, with due dates and minor task management abilities, great for those who don't need a fully fledged tool like Todoist.
The fact that Morgen is available on a wide range of devices does give a fair few people hope that managing your calendar in one base is the place to go. They've recently been dabbling in the AI calendar management experience with newer feature called TimeTo that helps you better plan your calendar events.
We've recently produced a cracking in-depth review of Morgen Calendar.
Reliable, Old-Fashioned Calendar Classic for macOS
- Pricing: Free 30-day trial then $49.99 one-off cost, or SetApp subscription
- Platforms: macOS, SetApp
Will BusyCal be your next calendar app?
BusyCal is a macOS only calendar application that comes with a reliable nature and offers a good way to plot your calendar in one base. It won't offer you some of the AI abilities you see in tools like Vimcal or Morgen but what it does give you is macOS centric features like MenuBar and Quick Entry for better managing your calendar on macOS. There's not bad features tucked away like "Travel Time" for better planning ahead with locations in your calendar and when you should set off. Other features like tabs for your types of meetings help you to create a filter for each type of meeting you have for better viewing.
BusyCal won't blow you away with design but if you're looking for a one-off cost Fantastical alternative that doesn't have all the grand features of BusyCal, probably for solo use, then BusyCal isn't a bad shout. Mind, it won't win any design awards anytime soon.
Here's our full BusyCal review in a bit more depth.
It comes on SetApp allowing you to get access to not only BusyCal but also over 240 other productivity apps that have been added to the SetApp subscription.
6. Rise Calendar
The Best New Calendar App for Focus
- Pricing: Free, with $20 per month, per user team pricing (past 5 users)
- Platforms: Web, macOS
Is Rise Calendar worth it for your calendar management?
Rise Calendar is a new edition and we've recently just added it to Tool Finder's growing collection of calendar applications, but the experience has impressed us very much.
Rise offers a better way to plan your calendar with more control in mind. They have features that want you to take your time back and better focus on the task at hand, a concept really pushed by time-blocking and deep work, a classic book by Cal Newport.
Rise Calendar does this by introducing you to FocusGuard - a system they use to block time in your calendar and make it blocked for people trying to book it if your calendar goes over a certain amount of meetings a week. They want your focus time to be protected and then automatic feature, that can be adjusted in the settings, can be moulded to you.
They also have other features like flexi time slots, 1:1 internal and external meeting scheduling links. Rise Calendar won't break the bank too - with a generous free plan and a premium plan that is steeper but only for adding more than 5 members to Rise.
Here's our much more in-depth first review of Rise Calendar here.
7. Calendars by Readdle
Calendars comes with routines, calendar management & reliable mac app
Why is Calendars by Readdle one to consider?
Readdle make some of the best productivity software and Calendars is one of them. We'd recommend exploring this if you don't want anything too fancy as a calendar application.
This calendar experience focuses on the basics but with some gems within like "routines" that help you to create quick adds to your calendar. Say you run often, then you can use routines to help save time adding that event and the metadata accordingly each time. Just drag it into your calendar for easy calendar management and no excuse mentality.
Formerly Calendars 5, this calendar app comes with a great reliable nature, views like Calendars 5 did well on mobile and a solid development experience.
8. Google Calendar
Free, easy to get started and the base for everything
- Pricing: Free
- Platforms: Web, iOS and Android
Should I stick with Google Calendar?
A free, reliable Google Calendar offers what you need to better manage your calendar in the Google ecosystem. Only working with one calendar at a time, this works great. You can't beat some of Google's services but some like to have 3rd party experiences to remove and improve the design elements.
With Google Calendar on web, one of the underrated things is opening up Google Tasks and using them alongside each other, your calendar & tasks in one place. Then pop open the likes of Google Keep and you're laughing.
9. Moleskine Timepage
The Most Beautiful iOS Calendar
- Pricing: Part of Moleskine Suite pricing starting from $11.99 annually
- Platforms: macOS, iOS
This stunning calendar application is perfect for those who love well-designed iOS applications because Moleskine Timepage is a stunner.
It doesn't just stun your eyes, features like time-to-travel help you to get ready and notifications for weather too make it easier to pack an umbrella. There's also some colour-coding setups and great visual effects making it one of the most experience based calendar apps on mobile we've ever seen.
Well worth exploring if you need a reliable, beautiful calendar app on iOS. Here's our review of Moleskine Timepage to go deeper.
How to Get Started Finding Calendar Apps
Calendar applications are perfect for managing your meetings, events and time.
These are good pillars to start with and to rank on how important they are for how and what you pick as your calendar application. They have become popular in the last few years due their ability to add conferencing to them for quick and easy creation of meetings and joining them with ease. Is that important for your calendar app? Keep that in mind.
There are so many calendar applications and shapes and sizes, so making sure you choose one that best suits your needs and everyday practicalities as important. Our recommendations for calendar apps below span many different areas but offer you a broad calendar app experience to get you started.
What Makes the Best Calendar App?
Think of calendar apps as the home for your time. You want them to be reliable, easy to use and play nicely on your devices as three core rules for picking the best calendar apps.
Here are some more features to look out for:
- Colour Coding - see your calendar in a colour-coded system. Popular with those who like to plan events and meetings around colour schemes - eg. red for meetings.
- Multiple Calendar - seeing all your calendars in one base might be valuable to many people so seeking a calendar app that does that will be important.
- Scheduling functions - booking external meetings on email is hell. So a calendar app that offers scheduling functions inside could be an option.
These are all good things to look out for on the hunt for your next calendar app.
What is Time Blocking?
Time-blocking is a calendar technique that is used by many, even Twitter/Tesla's Elon Musk, to help plan and allocate time to tasks on your priority list. This can help many people to see what they need to do and the time dedicated to that.
We recommend looking at this to enhance your calendar - but the great thing is that the time-blocking technique, much like the Pomodoro Technique, can be used alongside to strengthen what you already have with your calendar.
With time-blocking, the goal is to block time slots for tasks and types of activities, but one common mistake is overloading it to the exact second, this can be damaging for how you think about your time, if you over-block the calendar - you can feel on the back foot that you've missed something or over-plan your day.
- What makes a great calendar app?
- 9 Best Calendar Apps for 2024
- 1. Fantastical Calendar
- 2. Cron Calendar
- 3. Vimcal
- 4. Morgen Calendar
- 5. BusyCal
- 6. Rise Calendar
- 7. Calendars by Readdle
- 8. Google Calendar
- 9. Moleskine Timepage
- How to Get Started Finding Calendar Apps
- What Makes the Best Calendar App?
- What is Time Blocking?
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