Best Calendar Apps for Better Focus & Time Management

Top 10 Calendar Apps for 2023

Lost track of time, or looking for a calendar app?

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.

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.

Best Calendar Apps for Events & Meetings: Summary List

Let's just give them them front and centre, here's the best ones from our picks.

  • Fantastical - a long-standing giant in the calendar management space
  • Cron Calendar - Notion own this and it offers a great free calendar experience
  • Vimcal - a fast calendar application that presents AI features for time plotting
  • Morgen Calendar - a nice way to plan events and tasks in one base
  • BusyCal - a reliable and easy to use calendar app similar to Fantastical
  • Rise Calendar - a new calendar app with a vision to increase focus time
  • Calendars by Readdle - world-known Readdle created this friendly calendar app
  • Google Calendar - a solid free choice for managing your calendar
  • 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.

Probably one of the best calendar management apps for years and long been the king of this space, 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.

iPad Fantastical App - iOS, Calendar View, Weather

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.

2. Cron Calendar: The Free Notion-Owned 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.

Connect Notion to Cron Calendar

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.

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.

AI Time Finder Feature in Vimcal Calendar

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.

4. Morgen: Tasks & Calendar in One

Morgen has been a gradual and rising star of the calendar app space allowing you to manage your calendar alongside a light task list has drawn many people into Morgen.

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.

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.

Morgen 3.0 open invites update for booking and scheduling meetings.

They've recently been dabbling in the AI calendar management experience with newer feature called TimeTo that helps you better plan your calendar events.

5. BusyCal: A Reliable Base for Work Calendar

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.

Calendar App, BusyCal, Being Used, Month View

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.

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.

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.

7. Calendars by Readdle: Easy & Simple Calendar

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.

8. Google Calendar: Staple Google Option

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.

9. Moleskine Timepage: Best Mobile Calendar App

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.

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.