The Best Calendar Apps of 2020
Calendars are among the most ancient and basic inventions of mankind. Refined through history, reformed and unified, in the XXI century we have just a few calendar systems (solar, lunar, with various zero years) that prove precise enough, and many devices to navigate through it, from wall calendars to mechanic watches and clocks, computers and mobile devices. Can anything else be invented in 2020?
Yes, and it’s all about user experience. The best calendar apps of 2020 deliver all the necessary tools a calendar should include, plus a little extra. They are here to assist scheduling meetings, reminding names and numbers, doing jobs on your own, contacting other people to collaborate or just to say Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas. They access your mail, process tickets you order, and plan your flights and rides. They make your life ordered and leave more space for creativity.
It’s all about timing today, so a calendar app should offer you the best time to get a reminder: a day before, so you can plan a ride or buy a present, or 10 minutes before, if it’s just a call. See your entries interfere and cross each other to move them to a more suitable time and remind other participants automatically by just entering their emails. View your day, week, month, and your agenda the most convenient way. See, no wall calendar, even with your favorite picture on it that takes half the wall, is capable of that!
But even given all that, there are better calendar apps, more competent and just more fun to use. Every mobile OS has its own built-in calendar by its developer or the vendor of the phone or tablet. Still, there’s enough space for numerous third-party apps that offer all that and a little more to satisfy your personal requirements for your perfect calendar. And here are the best apps we recommend you try; probably one of them is your future favorite. And with it, the year that has barely begun will be better organized, and you’ll do more during it, with more pleasure and satisfaction!
Platform: OS X, iOS, watchOS
Briefly: the best for Apple ecosystem, but quite expensive
If you’re using an entire Apple ecosystem, your third-party calendar should sync seamlessly across all the devices as well as the native service. Fantastical 2 does it. Among its other features, the most noticeable are integration with Siri and natural language processing. So you can just create events with voice commands, or type descriptions, and the calendar will process them and create events based on it.
As for its interface, it’s quite user-friendly on any platform by Apple, from big iMacs to the smallest Apple Watch versions. The events are easy to create or edit, and any view mode is quite glance-friendly, making your agenda quickly readable. It forms an internal event map showing locations for them, easy to navigate, regardless of the size of your screen. And, along with iCloud, it integrates with Google services well – great if you also use Google Calendar or Gmail.
It’s not even the issue that it’s paid; many great services for the Apple ecosystem are paid. The most irritating is the fact that you have to buy apps separately for separate platforms. The OS X version is $49.99, the iPad version is $9.99, and the iPhone version with the Apple Watch extension is $4.99. It lacks an Apple TV version (for extra $9.99 or something), but we won’t be surprised if one day they roll it out, and we’re sure it would make the most use of the TV screen, integrating with other platforms as well. You can try it for free for 21 days and then decide whether it’s worth it.
Business Calendar 2
Platform: Android 4.4+
Briefly: The most serious calendar for Android
The name assumes that the calendar is optimized for business routine, with endless meetings and travels, events causing other events, and dependencies programmed. But even if you’re not running your own business or managing a sector of a big corporation, you can make much use of this calendar in your everyday life. And, given that you probably already have Google Calendar on your Android device, Business Calendar 2 has enough extras and differences to make you want to switch to it.
First of all, it’s open for customization. Apply themes that are widely available, fiddle with settings to make it look exactly the way you want, install the widget you like the most to access the calendar from your home screen, and so on. The view is also highly customizable, with all the features of a good calendar. It also has a built-in task manager that syncs with Google Tasks.
Like a good app should, it supports multiple local or cloud calendars, including Exchange, Outlook and, of course, Google. Switching between calendars is easy, plus you can share each of them with certain people separately and see them all at once to prevent overlays. As for pricing, the basic ad-supported version is free, and the Pro version requires just a single $6.99 payment.
Platform: iOS, watchOS
Briefly: The best-looking calendar app for iOS
Do you know people that bought the iPhone just for the way it looks? So do we. No wonder that apps for iOS are also developed with greater attention to its appearance, and Timepage is among them. No wonder: it’s designed by Moleskine, the manufacturer of the world’s most loved notebooks with recognizable style (and now available as an iPad app as well). Its interface is minimal, with as few details as possible, and each element is just where it belongs. No matter if it’s a day, a week, a month, or the agenda, the view is strictly lined and readable at a glance.
Behind its simplicity, though, great power is found. The calendar analyzes your schedule, so it suggests the time for new appointments. Its built-in map service shows you the locations of the meetings, and the weather service displays the weather where and when the event takes place. Its view is also more powerful than it seems. It supports split-screen view, especially great on iPad, and double view that displays extras like weather or maps alongside your schedule or timeline.
Finally, it’s great at integration with other services, like iCloud, Google, Outlook, Facebook, and CalDAV standard. You can access Timepage from your widget page. So, as you see, it’s rather a service than an app. No wonder it requires subscription instead of a single purchase; it’s either $11.99/year or $1.99/month. A 7-day trial will help you to make up your mind.
Platforms: OS X, Windows, iOS, web
Briefly: the best service for collaboration on scheduling meetings
It’s always been a calendar feature to invite other members of your scheduled meetings as you plan them and remind them as the time is near. At least as long as we remember calendar apps and services, they have been capable of that. But Woven takes this art of collaborative calendar to a new level.
No wonder, as it’s been founded by Timothy Campos and Burc Arpat, Facebook execs gone free that wanted to make the most social calendar service. “Social” doesn’t mean that all your plans get exposed. They rather offer an AI-assisted calendar service that can process natural language and thus enable users to talk informally to each other while the app gets the message.
The service (and the app) is desktop-oriented, so it has no Android version (so far), but there is an iOS app, primarily for iPad. It’s advertised as “the calendar app for busy professionals”, tying together all the scheduling process. Grant it access to your email, and it will parse your inbox and offer potential meetings. If you confirm, the meeting you’re invited to appears in your calendar. This service makes sense if you schedule lots of meetings with many people; otherwise, you’ll be just as good with any other calendar, including the default one.
It lacks a lot so far, including the official Android app and support for Microsoft services like Office 365 and Outlook. But the developers announce constant updates, so these gaps will soon be filled.
My Study Life
Platform: iOS, Android, Chrome
Briefly: the best academic calendar for both students and teachers
Given the specifics of the studying process, it requires special calendars, either paper or digital ones. My Study Life is a specialized service with dedicated mobile apps that keeps you aware of your lectures and homework, cabinets and labs, textbooks and other sources necessary, and so on. And it’s one of the best in its field.
It offers native support for routine elements of study life, like rotation schedules that change from week to week, deadlines for your assignments, timetables, and so on. The feature that seems essential is exam dates. With it, you have all it takes to prepare for your exams… and not miss them. All these elements are already built-in, so you won’t have to adjust generic calendar apps for your study needs when you have a dedicated one.
One of the best things about My Study Life is it's being free. Another great idea is about being equally useful for students and teachers because they share the events the app is focused on. It has some limitations, though, so you cannot plan really far. On the other hand, that’s what vanilla calendar apps are for.
The project has now ditched its Windows apps, offering web services and the Chrome extension instead. It’s enough to have iOS and Android apps along with the web version.
Platforms: OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, watchOS, Wear OS, Chrome,
Briefly: the most ubiquitous and task-oriented calendar
It’s the opposite of Business Calendar 2 or Woven: if those services and apps are great for corporate and business use, Any.do is the perfect choice for your personal life or freelance activity. It’s task-oriented, so if you set yourself your own deadlines and schedules, it’s the best productivity solution. Any.do has an integrated task manager, making it a 2-in-1 tool for planning tasks. As for everyday tasks, it includes even its own grocery list tool, making it just as good for planning your shopping.
Being a web-based service, it’s available through the web as well as through apps for desktop, mobile, and wearable platforms. It syncs with multiple cloud services, including iCloud, Outllok, Google Calendar, and so on. It also integrates with voice assistants, like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and others. There is a Slack extension, as well.
The free version is ad-supported, and it lacks the most advanced features, like location-based reminders, recurring tasks, unlimited collaboration, space for unlimited attachments, or color schemes for your calendars. The premium is subscription-based, being $5.99/month.
The Best Calendar for You
So, we have collected calendars for certain needs, from business to education. Which one is best for you? Have you met other apps as good as these? If you have something to add, drop a comment to share your thoughts, and we’ll appreciate that.