5 Best Calendar Apps for Mac to Manage Your Schedule

best calendar app for mac that could help you turn a schedule into a nice manage one

 

 

Technology was supposed to make us work less, but it turns out we just do more work, more efficiently. What does this mean for the average person? A tightly packed work and a social calendar full of meetings, projects, dinners, birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and a million social engagement we just can’t seem to say “no” to. Then, the best calendar app for Mac will fit best to our busy schedule.

Our obsession with stretching ourselves thin doesn’t look like it’s going to go away any time soon – studies show the current workforce is working harder and longer than ever before.

So, why not make all of this tech for you? If you have to juggle a thousand events, why not let a computer take care of the heavy lifting?

These calendar apps for your Mac could help you turn a schedule that looks like a pile of spaghetti into a clean and efficient itinerary in no time flat.

How to Determine the Best Calendar App for Mac

How do we decide what the best calendar app for Mac is?

First off, we make sure that the calendar app syncs with your iPhone – what’s the use of a handy calendar that doesn’t go with you? The whole point is that you’re busy! You’re not always at home with your desktop or lugging your MacBook around. You need a calendar that will follow you wherever you go.

Our second requirement for the best calendar app for Mac is landing on this list is ease-of-use. A shallow learning curve is best for something that is designed to save you time. If you have to spend a bunch of time learning how to use your calendar, are you really saving any time in the long run? All of the calendars on this list are simple, intuitive, and designed so that you can see your whole schedule and calendar at a glance.

​Quick Comparison Table:Top 5 Best Calendar Apps for Mac

​Calendar App

Our Rating

Details

1. SmartDay

smartday best calendar app for mac organizes all your tasks, appointments, notes, and projects together in one place smartly

​2. Google Calendar

google calendar best calendar app for mac for easy to keep track of life's important events all in one place

​​3. Fantastical 2

fantastical 2 best calendar app for mac create new events and reminders with natural language input and more

​4. Apple Calendar

apple calendar best calendar app for mac that sync all your schedule across all devices

​5. Blotter

blotter best calendar app for mac renders your whole week as a part of your wallpaper

Full Review: Top 5 Best Calendar Apps for Mac

Best Calendar App for Mac: SmartDay

smartday best calendar app for mac organizes all your tasks, appointments, notes, and projects together in one place smartly

SmartDay is a kind of “all-in-one” calendar, task manager, note taker, and smart assistant designed to integrate all of your schedule management into one handy application.

It is also available for Mac, and it can also sync with your iPhone and your iPad. It’s even available for Android if you have a Mac but don’t have an iPhone, or if you want to sync your calendar to your spouse or a business associate whose working on a different type of mobile platform than you are.

One of the most useful features of SmartDay is that your calendar will adapt to your actual behavior. Most calendar apps are just numbers on a page (or on a screen). If you can stick to the schedule, great. If the realities of life get in your way, you either have to rewrite the schedule or just wing it.

Also, if lunch runs long, you have to figure out how to alter your schedule. If you get stuck in traffic and show up late to a meeting, or if a meeting ends up being way shorter than you’d schedule for, you have to reshuffle everything for the rest of the day.

SmartDay, instead, has the ability to adapt.

As you mark tasks finished or remove tasks that can no longer be done because of extenuating circumstances, your SmartDay calendar will shift around and help you figure out how the rest of the day is going to go, and how much time left you to have to accomplish the rest of your tasks.

Of course, SmartDay is fairly modular, so if you don’t want the calendar to adopt you can turn off that feature and handle it yourself. Either way, the task list that comes with the app (and its integration into the calendar) is useful enough that, even without the adapting features, SmartDay is a great scheduling app for your Mac.

While there are other free options out there, SmartDay is still worth the price tag.

Pros

  • ​fairly modular 
  • ​calendar will adapt to your actual behavior
  • ​sync ipad and iphone

Cons

  • ​free option is not available for devices

Quality

Price

​Rating

Best Quality

​$$

Best Calendar App for Mac: Google Calendar

google calendar best calendar app for mac for easy to keep track of life's important events all in one place

While it may not be a surprise addition to this list, the fact is, Google’s Calendar app is still one of the most useful scheduling apps out there.

Its integration is probably its strongest suit, of course. All Android phones come with Google Calendar installed, meaning you can sync either with your phone or your friends and business partners phones with ease.

As of this 2016 study, there are over 1 billion monthly active Gmail users, which puts good odds that you or at least most of the people you interact with have a Gmail account. With about 4 billion people on the planet using the internet actively, that’s a 25% penetration of Google’s email service.

And, since Google Calendar integrates so easily with Gmail, Google Hangouts, and other Google products, you’ve got a calendar that is simply a juggernaut when it comes to compatibility.

Calendar Integration

But install base and compatibility are not the only hallmarks of a good scheduling app. Luckily, the features of Google Calendar are right in line with other top-of-the-line calendars. Google Calendar integrates with the contacts in your phone, especially if you’re logged into Gmail on your mobile. This integration will spread to your Mac, allowing you to access phone numbers, emails, and the like. Adding meetings with people to your calendar becomes even easier because you can add contact info – like addresses – to your scheduled events.

The UI is also extremely intuitive and colorful, and the colors are more than just an aesthetic bit of eye candy. Instead, you can separate your calendars into different categories like work, social, spouse, events, etc., as many categories as you need. Each calendar gets a different color, and you can choose any combination of your categories to see at any time.

Obviously, Google Calendar runs smoothly on your iPhone and your Mac. And, it is free on all platforms.

Pros

  • ​free on all platforms
  • ​extremely intuitive and colorful
  • ​easy to use

Cons

  • ​gmail is needed to sync across devices

Quality

Price

​Rating

Best Quality

​$

Best Calendar App for Mac: Fantastical 2

fantastical 2 best calendar app for mac create new events and reminders with natural language input and more

Now, Fantastical 2 does come with a hefty price tag. However, there’s a reason it won the Apple Design Award in 2015. Fantastical 2 excels its wide array of features and its incredibly intuitive design. Plus, the ongoing support for Fantastical 2 is extremely robust – you really do get what you pay for with this particular calendar app for Mac.

Advantages

First off, when it comes to ease-of-use, there’s no app on the market that can beat it. Not Google, not Apple, no one. Fantastical 2 installs an entry on the menu bar on your Mac, which can be accessed quickly and (here’s the kicker) can turn a natural language sentence into a scheduled calendar event.

So, let’s say your friends invited you to go see a movie on Friday night. Click on the Fantastical 2 shortcuts in your Mac menu bar and then simply type something like “See Avengers on Friday with Nate at 6.” Fantastical 2 is designed to understand natural language and to parse the relevant info. So, from that string above, it would take “Friday” and place an event “Go to the Movies” and grab “Nate” from your contacts info and schedule it for 6 pm. Why 6 pm? Because they don’t show movies at 6 am, and Fantastical 2 would be able to figure that out.

Now, this feature in itself justifies the price tag, in our opinion. Not having to fiddle with menus or press “add calendar event” and clicking drop-down menus and typing in text is worth its weight in gold. Fantastical 2 really does finally fulfill the promise of a digital assistant, dedicated to managing your schedule with as little stress from you as possible.

Other Benefits

However, even if you choose to skip the natural language features, adding events manually could not be simpler. Once you click an event, you’re given a quick breakdown of all of the data fields – date, time, notes, etc. You don’t have to click on anything else or visit a separate menu. Right there you’ll be able to change the data in any of these fields, a feature that is shockingly absent from many other calendar apps. In other apps, you often have to go to the event and then click on the separate time and date fields be taken away. Instead, all of the info is in one convenient location.

The calendar itself has a solid design that is both simple and packed with information. You’re given a lot of clean white space and high contrast, making it easier to both find and identify text.Combine that with availability scheduling with work associates, compatibility with Google, Outlook, and iCloud, different visual themes, travel notifications, ease of access, and even time and geo-tagged alerts (alerts that only go off when you’re in a specific location), you have yourself a true digital schedule that you won’t regret purchasing.

Pros

  • ​​easy to use
  • ​solid design that is both simple and packed with information
  • designed to understand natural language and to parse the relevant info

Cons

  • ​paid only but offers 21 days free trial

Quality

Price

​Rating

Best Quality

​$$

Best Calendar App for Mac: Apple Calendar

apple calendar best calendar app for mac that sync all your schedule across all devices

Another obvious entry for the best calendar app for Mac, certainly, but one that pretty much has to be on the list.

While some of its competitors are more robust (SmartDay, Fantastical 2), Apple Calendar is so well-integrated in the ecosystem of both iPhone and Mac that it still remains a great option for an everyday calendar for many, many people.

The fact that Apple Calendar (the iCloud calendar) is so deeply embedded in all iOS and Mac OS features means that you won’t have to work to make it all compatible. Anything you enter in your Apple Calendar will give you notifications on all of your Apple devices without a fuss. You won’t have to install anything, update anything, or try to find the right app to download. All of your Apple devices will already be raring to go with iCloud.

Language

Like Fantastical 2, Apple Calendar can take the natural language like “party at Ben’s next Thursday” and transform it into a calendar invite. While we found it wasn’t quite as robust as Fantastical 2, it’s still fairly decent and will work for most everyday usages.

Apple Calendar is also designed cleanly, free of clutter, and fits perfectly into the Apple design philosophy of ease-of-use and clean lines.

Plus, it’s free and already included on your devices! For convenience sake, it stands up strongly against the competition.

Pros

  • ​cleanly designed
  • ​free and already installed on an apple device
  • ​syncs with icloud to all devices

Cons

  • ​not robust enough compared to other products

Quality

Price

​Rating

Best Quality

​$

Best Calendar App for Mac: Blotter

blotter best calendar app for mac renders your whole week as a part of your wallpaper

The blotter is an interesting app because it does something a little different than the other items on this list. Instead of being a separate app, or a quick bar, Blotter instead integrates with the wallpaper on your Mac’s desktop and provides you with a transparent overlay that shows your calendar however you want to see it.

Whenever you minimize a program you have your calendar right there, a see-through interface that still shows your desktop background (so you don’t lose sight of your children, favorite movie, funny quote, or landscape) while you get your work done.

You can choose what kind of view you want – do you want quick access to your monthly view, your weekly view, or a daily view? Either way, not only can you decide in advance, you can also quickly change views on your desktop if you need a different perspective on your schedule.

Pros

  • ​integrates as a wallpaper
  • ​simple and elegant
  • ​you’ll stop forgetting appointments because they are right there, in your face, all the time

Cons

  • ​ no sync to all mac device feature

Quality

Price

​Rating

Best Quality

​$$

The Best Calendar App for Your Mac is the One That Works For You

While reading reviews is a great start, remember that not everyone needs the same kind of calendar in their life. A Type-A might work better with a Fantastical 2 or SmartDay calendar, while a more relaxed person might enjoy the background element of a calendar like Blotter.

The nice thing is that all of these calendars are either a) free or b) have a free demo you can download, install, and play with whenever you like. Make sure to try out a calendar before you end up inputting all of your events and dates and really committing.

It may seem like a simple decision, but your schedule can determine the course of not only your whole day, but of your week, or month. It could be the difference between organizing all of your events and all of your events burying you under a pile of bricks.