Awesome Apps is a new series highlighting the best apps around. We’ll be featuring our favorite apps as well as new and notable apps. Apps are transformative, and these are the best.
Years ago, I decided to ditch my paper Filofax diary for my iPhone, before quickly realizing that Apple’s built-in Calendar app didn’t fully meet my needs. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find the perfect third-party calendar app for iOS, iPadOS and macOS.
It’s called Fantastical – let me tell you about it.
Apple’s own Calendar app might be relatively well-formed and functional – most of the time – but for anyone looking to take their personal organization to the next level, long-time favorite Fantastical from developer Flexibits is a great option. The app’s wide-ranging feature set makes it easy to add tasks, manage calendars and streamline your productivity. Let’s start with the basics, before looking at some of Fantastical’s power features.
Fantastical: The best calendar app
What’s really nice about Fantastical is the app’s two-pane view. On iOS, this means you can see a month-view calendar on the upper-half of your iPhone (with colored dots denoting the number of events scheduled for each day), alongside a day-by-day breakdown of events along the lower half.
Plus, you can drag a divider icon to see more or less of either of these interfaces – reducing the month-view to a week-view, or expanding it to a whole-year view.
Noir: Best Safari extension
Fantastical: Best calendar app
Spark: Best email app
Fantastical was one of the first calendar apps to add support for natural-language scheduling. This means you can add a new event, like “phone call on Tuesday at 19:00 with Tim,” and Fantastical will parse out the relevant information in order to add an accurate new event.
If you prefer manual input, there’s also an extra keyboard row offering easy-to-access numbers and some symbols, making event-scheduling both quick and convenient, regardless of which method you choose.
Power features you didn’t know you needed
Another killer feature is Fantastical’s support for reminders. The app integrates with Apple’s own Reminders app and third-party apps, like Todoist (a personal favorite of mine), situating time-sensitive tasks alongside events in its list interface. In this respect, Fantastical essentially combines the functionality of two apps in one – saving on valuable Home screen space!
I also love that Fantastical offers upcoming weather forecasts (powered by AccuWeather), with weather icons situated alongside individual days. This helps users see whether the event they’re planning is going to be kiboshed by the wind or rain. It’s an awesome bonus feature.
Fantastical supports different time zones, too, which is great for users working as part of an international team. There’s also a neat watchOS app, allowing users to see upcoming events on their wrist.
On top of all that, you can set a custom Home screen icon, create Home screen widgets, and choose bespoke event colors and unique alert sounds in the app. They’re all handy additions.
Download the Fantastical calendar app
There’s so much to love about Fantastical – it truly is the king of calendar apps.
Fantastical is a free download on iOS, iPadOS and macOS. However, to access some of the app’s power features – including support for Zoom and Teams, event templates and preferred time zones – you’ll need to pay a $5 monthly (or $40 yearly) fee.
Price: Free, with in-app purchases for premium features