In every platform, there is a surge of calendar and task-management applications. At a glance, you might think they’re all the same; however, when you dig deeper, you can learn about their pros and cons.
Should you be meticulous in picking something isn’t a question but rather a crucial part of your productivity. If you use a calendar app that isn’t suitable for your needs, you’ll end up adjusting. While you can adapt in the long run, it’s still advantageous when the tool you’re using will let you do things your way freely.
If you don’t know what calendar program to use, we’ll guide you. In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in a calendar, different types of calendar apps, and the best ones for each platform. As a bonus, you’ll learn the best among Google Calendar apps for Mac, so please read through the end.
What Are The Different Types Of Calendar Apps?
It might be new to you, but there are several types of calendar apps. If you’re interested, please read on.
Native Calendar Apps
Taking a quick look at software development, you can either make a program native or use frameworks. Unlike the latter, native ones are faster, consume less memory, compatible with various OS’s specific features, and many more.
In regards to Calendar apps, native variants provide more benefits. Why? First, if you don’t have access to a network, native apps can work offline. As a result, you can manage your schedules and events on-the-go. Next, aside from reminders, a native calendar app can use the OS’s notification tray, widget, and other data display forms.
Native ones aren’t that different from other calendar types in regards to operations. However, since they can communicate with the system, they can offer features that no Electron or other framework-based apps can. Boxysuite, a native macOS program, best reflects these advantages. Aside from being the only native Google Calendar app for Mac with the same interface as the tool’s web version, it can also utilize OS integration and features such as system-automated dark mode, notification counter, and many more. As a result, you don’t have to relearn Google Calendar when using it and even have access to existing plus more features than the official web app.
Since it takes time and dedication to create native calendar apps, many developers make their products exclusive to a specific platform. Flexibits, the developer of Fantastical, made the app an Apple ecosystem-exclusive.
Multi-platform Calendar Apps
Multi-platform calendars apps could either be native or framework-based. Regardless of the underlying technology, the important thing is you can use a calendar program across your devices.
As a multi-platform program, you can sync your events and schedules between varying OS and ecosystems. For instance, when you use Google Calendar, you can create an event on your iPhone and view it on your Android handset. Apart from convenience, it’s also handy when you’re on-the-go and can’t manage to bring or open your bulky computer.
While you can transfer data from and to devices, it’s unnecessary to own multiple gadgets for your calendar to work. In its most basic form, it can sync your data to your account. Regardless if you use different platforms, you can access your schedules on other devices whenever you like. When choosing a calendar app, make sure to review if you need multi-platform support or not.
Web-based Calendar Apps
As the name suggests, web-based calendar apps are only accessible on web browsers. Since it’s similar, you might confuse this with web versions of other calendar services. If that’s the case, the difference would be that the former only has one channel for your data, a website. Moreover, since web apps can act like desktop applications, using them would mean that you can’t access your schedules and events offline.
Despite the limitation, many people use or prefer this over other calendar app types. They may find using browsers as the primary workspace ample or love the lightweight and fast performance of websites. Moreover, with limited budgets on computer performance, web-based calendar apps for students is widely popular. Regardless, as a result, you can find countless unofficial clients for different web calendar apps on various platforms.
When you use a web-based calendar app, you can create and view schedules on your computer or mobile device’s browsers. Please keep in mind that many companies don’t optimize their site to run on smaller screens, forcing you to use the desktop version, a cumbersome experience.
Mobile-exclusive Calendar Apps
Mobile-only calendar apps are mostly side projects from small developers or stock OS applications. Given how professionals and corporate officers primarily use laptop or desktop computers, it would not be ideal for a dedicated company to launch solely on mobile.
While you can get away with a small set of features as casual users, you can feel the gripes over time. Due to mobile devices’ limited screen size, working on more extensive details can be challenging. Also, since it’s only on mobile, you need to continually grab your phone or tablet when working on your computer; in many cases, this can distract and impede your work.
Many mobile-based calendars can sync to other phones or tablets; however, it’s still not as beneficial as syncing to your computer. If you want to access your data from different places, you might need to choose another calendar app.
Calendar As A Feature
After Notion disrupted the team collaboration and workspace industry, unifying tools and services became a thing. However, long before that, TickTick, Microsoft Outlook, and other products incorporated calendar as a feature instead of a stand-alone app. With this uniqueness, is it suitable for you? Let’s dig deeper.
When using standard calendar apps, you only have access to your calendar alone. On the other hand, should you choose apps like TickTick and Outlook, you can access, connect, and view different things like to-do lists, emails, and even contacts. If you like a more focused workspace, you might look somewhere else.
Regarding all-in-one workspace platforms like Notion, ClickUp, and Craft, you get to decide how your calendar looks and functions from scratch. In each date cell, you can insert to-dos, task progress, files, and many more. While it’s an excellent thing when you want more control and features, it can get confusing or too much for casual users.
Self-hosted Calendar Apps
If you don’t like companies handling your data, you might want to consider using a self-hosted calendar app. Like other programs, you can choose where you store or if you want to sync your data or not.
As such, apps like ownCloud, and Nextcloud Calendar use the CalDAV server solution making it easier to link a destination for your data. After creating a new event, you can sync it manually or automatically, depending on your setup. Since you’re not paying for the calendar provider, you’ll have to provide a server or source a cloud account.
In this type of calendar app, you don’t have to worry that much about leaks due to its private nature, especially when you’re handling sensitive data. If you want a more straightforward solution, please take a look at multi-platform calendars; though, if you want an independent system, a self-hosted one isn’t a bad idea at all.
What To Look For In A Calendar App?
Before you go looking for a calendar application, it’s best to learn what makes one great to use. Yes, users have varying needs; however, there are fundamentals that a calendar should do.
- Reminders and Notifications. Probably the most vital thing about a calendar should be the ability to send out event reminders. Why? If you’re not always looking at your calendar or not using a widget, you might miss something important. With reminders and notifications, you can set alerts on or before your schedule.
- Sync. Gone are the days of only using desktop machines to do things. Today, many people at least own both a phone and a computer. As a result, your programs should be able to transfer from and to devices. Similarly, look for a calendar that can sync between your gadgets; you will need it over time.
- Multiple Calendars Support. If you’re only using a single calendar, then you might be all right skipping this one. Though, if you’re the type who keeps a separate personal or work calendar, sports, or weather day sheets, then please consider the multiple calendars support feature.
- Accessibility. Can you use it on other devices? How many devices can sync your account? If you don’t always have an internet connection, can you cache your calendar for offline use? Questions like this define how a calendar program rates in terms of accessibility.
- Ease of Use. Your calendar shouldn’t be that complex to use. Given you already have a busy schedule, a cluttered interface can add to the confusion, stress, and productivity. If you choose a calendar app, make sure to look at its interface and judge if you’re comfortable with its design and usability.
Best Calendar Apps For Each Platform
After learning about the different types of calendar apps and what you should look for when selecting one, it’s time to discover each platform’s best calendar programs.
Best Calendar App For Mac – Boxysuite
No doubt, there numerous Calendar apps in Mac. Since Google Calendar is the best option when you need something entirely free, simple, but can adapt to sophisticated users, it’s a loss if you can’t use it on your Mac. Thinking of the same situation, we created Boxysuite, the best way to access Google Services, including Calendar on macOS.
If you’re tired of using countless open tabs on Chrome, please take a look at Boxysuite. With a distraction-free interface, excellent native app functions, multiple accounts, and full Google Calendar feature support, your productivity will likely elevate.
Schedules, events, tasks, notes, emails, you name it; they’re all essential for efficient work. If you want the best way to manage them, please visit Boxysuite’s website today.
Best Calendar app for Android – Google Calendar
The best calendar app for Android is also probably the best calendar tool ever made. Google Calendar, an entirely free service, is favored by casual to busy individuals. Since it’s already popular, what makes it great on mobile devices? Google Calendar helps you maintain your schedule so you don’t miss a thing.
Google, the company behind this great tool, also maintains the consumer version of Android OS. Given how they ported and made their services work well with their mobile platform, it’s no wonder why the Calendar app performs excellently. As a result, you’ll experience smooth animations, enough operations and features for mobile, and unlimited sync.
Using Google Calendar, you can create events, reminders, view and compose tasks from Google Tasks, collaborate, and even create or join Google Meet rooms. It works well on mobile devices but falls short on desktops, as the company only provides a web app. If you’re curious about the best calendar apps on Android for Google Calendar, please read through the end.
Best Calendar app for iOS and iPadOS – Fantastical
If you own a Mac or iPhone, then you might already hear about Fantastical. If not, let’s dig deeper.
Fantastical, developed by the famous and award-winning development company Flexibits, is a mainstay in Apple’s ecosystem. Since its inception a few years ago, it has remained the primary choice of Apple device users until today. Unlike the competition, it’s a subscription-based tool and only available on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac. If you’re in the ecosystem, then it’s a perfect thing for you; however, it’s the opposite if you’re not.
Fantastical is known for its multiple calendar support, integration with other apps and services, sleek interface, fluid animations, and probably its most essential edge, natural language support. What does it mean? Unlike typical event creation, Fantastical understands traditional words where if you type “Meet John at Starbucks tomorrow noon,” it automatically fills the details in the succeeding input area.
Best Calendar app for Windows – Outlook Calendar
Outlook Calendar is Microsoft’s calendar service inside its email platform, Outlook. If you don’t mind combining your emails and schedules, this might work for your needs.
Aside from acquiring Wunderlist, a popular to-do list app, Microsoft also purchased Sunrise Calendar in the past. While they dissolved the product, they absorbed the team behind it and made them work what it calls today, the Microsoft Outlook Calendar.
Microsoft Outlook is available for the Web, Mac, Windows, and mobile devices. Though, if you’re not that tech-oriented, you might find this tool’s interface and operation daunting at first. Regardless, it’s a professionally-developed program for those wanting a streamlined control for their Microsoft To-Do, OneNote, Outlook emails, Sticky Notes, Contacts, and Calendar.
As a part of Microsoft 365, you can easily access and attach files in your emails and events. Given it’s also a subscription-based service, you might lose access or be limited when you’re using the free version. At its core, Outlook Calendar can display multiple calendars, support different time zones for events, and integrate Microsoft office’s services.
Be Your Most Productive Self
After learning about the types of calendar apps, what to look for when choosing one, and the best each platform has to offer, it’s time to select the most suitable for you. If you want an all-rounder, you can never go wrong with Google Calendar. Should you use it on your mobile devices, you can expect a great experience.