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Table of Contents
Calendar apps have a distinct advantage over traditional paper planners — they stay tidy despite your changing schedule. When you’re managing schedules for yourself, your team, and your family, it helps to have a flexible calendar app.
A digital calendar that integrates with your organizational tools comes in handy when you need to schedule a last-minute call, move a deadline, or plan for the week ahead. Choosing the best calendar app for you can be overwhelming, however.
There are hundreds of calendar app options in the Apple app store alone. That doesn't include options for other devices or tools that offer more than a calendar, either.
So let’s break down how to find the best calendar app for whatever life throws at you.
What makes a good calendar app?
If you can dream it, there’s a calendar app. Do you want a simplified app with minimal functions? Done. How about a calendar with built-in productivity tools? Go for it. There are even tools catered to specific niches, like students.
Not all calendar apps are equal, though, and many people have must-have features. For starters, a calendar app should let you schedule events and remind you before the event. That’s a given.
If you want to pick the best calendar app that goes above and beyond (like you deserve), it should tick off a few boxes:
A good calendar app shouldn't require a lot of clicks or extensive menu navigation to use effectively. Look for an option with an intuitive user interface that will make your workflow faster, not slower. A free trial or free plan is a bonus that lets you learn the ropes risk-free.
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all calendar app. Instead, the best calendar apps give users options to make the tool work for their specific needs. It’s helpful to customize the look and feel of the calendar app and define when you’re available for meetings.
You likely don’t work in a vacuum. That means your calendar app needs to let you share with other users to set appointments with ease. Aside from collaborating with your team and family, your calendar app should integrate with your favorite apps to make working across tools a breeze.
Compatible with your devices
Finally, the right calendar app for you should work on your favorite devices. Look for compatible apps across your desktop, laptop, and phone to stay connected wherever you are.
The 9 best calendar apps to stay organized
Especially if you're running a business, it can be a real challenge to keep track of all the moving parts necessary to keep that business running. Having a place to write down everything, complete with notes and reminders and store it all for easy access can open up mental bandwidth better used for creative projects. But whether you're organizing your work week, planning out the next school semester or running errands for the family, a good calendar app can help keep things on track.
1. Google Calendar
Cost: Free for individuals, or as part of a Google Workspace plan starting at $6/user/month
Platforms: Apple desktop and laptop, Apple iOS mobile devices, Android mobile phones, Microsoft computers
Good for: people who already use Gmail
Integrates with Calendly
One of the most widely used work schedule apps, especially for Gmail users, is Google Calendar, with more than 500 million users. This free app is available for Android and Apple iOS mobile devices and has a desktop version.
Google Calendar allows for color-coding and showing or hiding different calendars depending on which areas of your life the events apply to. For example, you could code work meetings in blue and personal events in yellow to see at a glance what kind of events are on that day's docket.
Since Google owns the app, the calendar syncs with Google products like Google Meet, Tasks, and Gmail. If you use Gmail or other Google products, it’s a natural fit. Google Calendar works beyond other Google products, too, making it a useful business calendar.
You can use the Calendly and Google Calendar integration to sync available time slots based on your Google Calendar with an event scheduling page. This way, teammates can easily choose a new event time that won’t interfere with existing calendar events. You can also connect your Google Calendar with productivity apps like Trello, Todoist, and Asana.
2. Apple Calendar
Platforms: Apple devices or via the web on iCloud.com
Good for: iCloud users
Integrates with Calendly
If you own one of the 1.8 billion Apple devices worldwide, you already have Apple Calendar. The free calendar app is standard on Mac and iOS devices, which means it works on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
When it comes to calendar apps for Mac and iOS, Apple Calendar is a natural fit. You can sync all Apple devices from iMac to Apple Watch by storing your information in iCloud. That means you can access your calendar via the web at iCloud.com if you're in a pinch and can't get to it any other way. You can also use Siri to create Apple Calendar events from your iPhone.
The Calendly and Apple Calendar integration can also help you work across platforms. After connecting your iCloud calendar to your Calendly account, you can merge availability based on multiple calendars.
Suppose you use an Apple Calendar and iCloud for family events and a Google Calendar for work. In that case, teammates choosing a meeting time from your Calendly scheduling link won’t be able to book over your parent-teacher conference or prior meetings.
3. Microsoft Outlook Calendar
Cost: Basic personal plans are free. Premium personal plans start at $6.99 a month and business plans begin at $6/user/month
Platforms: Microsoft computers, Apple mobile devices, Android phones
Good for: Businesses that use Office 365
Integrates with Calendly
Another widely-used calendar app is Microsoft's Outlook calendar. This calendar app is the default on Microsoft devices, but companies and universities often use the tool, too. There are also Microsoft Outlook apps for your iPhone and Android to access your inbox, calendar, and files. If you use Office 365 products for school or work, this app could be a natural fit.
With the Calendly Outlook Add-In, you can even schedule meetings from your inbox. If you need to collaborate with coworkers, the Outlook Calendar lets you set up a shared calendar so everyone can manage events or deadlines together.
If you need a basic calendar app for personal use, there is a free plan, but you’ll have to put up with ads. Paid personal plans start at $6.99 a month, and Microsoft 365 for businesses starts at $6 per user per month.
Cost: Basic personal plans are free. Personal plans with automation are $8 a month, and team plans start at $12/user/month
Platforms: Desktop and laptops via the Calendly website, Apple iOS devices, Android mobile devices
Good for: Individuals and teams who want to streamline scheduling and calendar management
Calendly is a powerful calendar app for teams that want to streamline scheduling (and inevitable rescheduling). You can use this free tool on its own to schedule meetings without back and forth emails.
If you need scheduling to work around events in your other calendars, you can connect your calendars to Calendly. It integrates with all of the calendar apps listed above, and you can use Zapier to connect Calendly to others.
Some of the ways Calendly helps businesses include:
Helping sales teams close more deals with automated reminders and rescheduling, plus an integration with Salesforce
Helping recruiting teams create a better candidate experience by empowering potential hires to schedule interviews in just a few clicks
Helping customer success teams deliver a seamless onboarding experience by sharing resources, like links to help articles, ahead of onboarding
Helping marketing teams simplify team scheduling with automatic lead routing
Individuals who just want the basics can opt for a free account, and options for a calendar app for businesses start at $12 per person per month. Calendly is available on your desktop or laptop via the website, plus on your Apple iOS and Android devices.
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Cost: Basic personal plans are free. Paid personal plans start at $4.99 a month. Businesses have to contact the company for pro plan pricing.
Platforms: Apple devices
Good for: iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch users
Fantastical is a multilingual app for Apple product users that might make you consider getting a wearable device. The app stays synced across all Apple devices with an attractive and easy-to-use interface available in light and dark mode.
Fantastical is big on privacy, and they collect as little personal information as needed from you.
Fantastical lets you schedule reminders and events at your desk or on the go and integrates with other calendars like Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Outlook. You can access basic features for free or use an individual premium plan starting at $4.99 a month. If you want to use Fantastical for business purposes, you must contact the company for pricing.
Cost: Plans start at $5.99 a month
Platforms: Desktop, laptop, Apple devices, Android devices, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Good for: Teams looking for a calendar and task management app
Integrates with Calendly via Zapier
Any.do started as a reminder and to-do list app until it rolled its calendar feature, Cal, into the main app in 2016. Since then, it's become a one-stop-shop for organization enthusiasts and has made multiple lists of best calendar and organizational apps.
The app keeps reminders, tasks, calendars, goals, and schedules all in one place. You can also make and exchange lists with others. With the Zapier connection for Calendly + Any.Do, you can create a list or update a task when someone sets up a meeting from your Calendly link. Integrations between tools ensure that none of your work tasks fall through the cracks.
The app also helps you stay productive with daily goals and to-dos. Any.do has location-specific reminders and daily notifications with a preview of your agenda. Any.do also has a Team function on Premium plans that lets you collaborate on lists and files.
Any.do is available across all popular devices and pro plans start at $5.99 a month.
Cost: Basic plans are free, and users can access premium features from $14 a month
Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux
Good for: Individuals and teams who need to manage multiple calendars and projects
Integrates with Calendly via Zapier
Morgen is a calendar management tool that lets you consolidate events from various calendars and tools into one place. You can even filter and toggle between calendars with the app so that you can focus only on tasks by project or area of your life. Of course, you can also hone in on the day view, weekly view, or month view of your calendar.
Morgen has task management features and the option to import tasks from apps via Zapier. If you use Calendly with Morgen, a Zapier automation can create and update a task on your Morgen calendar when someone makes or cancels an event on your Calendly.
The desktop calendar app is currently available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. There isn’t a mobile app for iOS or Android just yet. You can access Zapier integrations and premium features starting at $14 a month. A simple Morgen account with the bare essentials is free.
8. Lightning Calendar by Thunderbird
Cost: Free and open source
Platforms: Desktop and laptop computers
Good for: Tech-savvy users who want a customizable calendar app
Lightning Calendar is an app by Thunderbird, an open-source software company. They're part of MZLA Technologies Corporation — a subsidiary of Mozilla Foundation, the company that created the Firefox open-source web browser.
The company markets itself as a free and open-source calendar client that's easy for users to set up and customize. A main draw to the desktop calendar app is that the Lightning Calendar integrates with Thunderbird’s customizable email application.
Users can select a day, week, multi-week, or monthly calendar view in Lightning Calendar. A built-in search function allows you to search for events by categories like “birthday” or “meeting.” It isn't the most aesthetically pleasing calendar app out there. Still, it's very utilitarian and does allow for some customization via built-in themes.
Cost: $1.99 a month
Platforms: Apple devices
Good for: Apple users who want a beautifully designed calendar across all of their devices
Timepage, the calendar app by the makers of the Moleskine notebook, is all about aesthetics. It's iOS only, but if you're part of the Apple ecosystem, you may want to give it a try.
Timepage incorporates the same minimalist visual elements you may be familiar with from Moleskine notebooks. The streamlined interface has a black, white, and red color scheme that works with iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Aside from its great look, Timepage has features you may not find anywhere else. For example, it tracks your time with a “heat map” feature to view when you're busiest throughout the week.
Natural language processing makes it easy to enter events and reminders. It also integrates with other apps like maps and weather forecasts to show you outlooks and travel times to your next event. Users start on a week-long free trial but move to a $1.99 a month membership to keep using the calendar.
The right calendar app for you
With so many to choose from, it's worth taking the time to do a little homework to see which will best fit your needs. Instead of picking the first one you come across, experiment to determine which one feels right. You may decide to stick to your device or email client’s default calendar, or branch out to an app with extra productivity features.
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