A calendar is an essential tool for keeping your life organized.
Whether you’re using it to keep track of work meetings and deadlines, when your bills are due, or even if you’re just using it to keep track of social events and holidays—we all use calendars in some way, shape, or form. And thanks to the explosion of digital technology, calendars have evolved with the times—instead of being a physical object that you have to remember to carry around with you and reference daily, calendars now live right on your phone or computer.
While a lot of people choose to rely on the pre-installed calendar apps that come standard on iPhones and Macs, there are plenty of third-party calendar apps available that offer some pretty enticing features. So how do you decide which one is best for you and your needs? Here’s what I think:
Best Calendar App Ios
The 6 best calendar apps for iPhone
- Apple Calendar for a simple, free iPhone calendar
- Any.do for keeping your tasks and calendar together
- Fantastical for power users
- Google Calendar for Gmail and Google users
- Microsoft Outlook for keeping your work email and calendar together
- Timepage for a beautiful design and function
Best simple iPhone calendar
The pre-installed calendar app on your iPhone showcases all the simple views, ease of use, and design that Apple is known for. Tap the month or year in the top-left corner to zoom out from day to month to year. Tap Today in the bottom-left corner to return to today. It all makes sense.
It isn’t designed to be pretty—it’s designed to be seamless on iPhone, and it is. It’s the perfect base calendar app with all the no-nonsense features you need and nothing you don’t. Sync your other calendars to add and edit all your events, and create and share iCloud calendars with a few taps. Apple Calendar automatically syncs with Maps to offer you intelligent alerts that take travel time and current traffic into account and notify you when it’s time to leave.
Apple Calendar syncs with other calendars like Google and Outlook, so you can bring work and home life together. Sync as many calendars as you need, and the native calendar app will show all your events. It’s as easy as going into your settings, selecting Calendar > Accounts, and logging in to your email. Choose from five widget options for a bird’s-eye view of your schedule on your home screen and Today view.
Plus, you can even delegate control of any of your calendars—to an assistant, for example—by tapping Calendars > Delegate Calendar and selecting the calendar you want to delegate.
Apple Calendar Price: Free
Best iOS calendar and to-do list combined
If your iPhone calendar app is a crucial part of your productivity workflow, Any.do is a great option. The app combines task management and calendar features that work seamlessly together—so you can keep track of all the demands on your time in one central place.
Previously packaged as a separate app called Cal before being rolled into Any.do, the app offers thoughtful and functional calendar features like recurring events, location-based reminders, and natural language event creation. One of our favorite features is Moment, a guided rundown of the day’s events and tasks to help prioritize and schedule your day.
Any.do offers four different view options for your calendar—agenda, day, 3-day, and week—and you can toggle the full month view open and closed by tapping the caret beneath the month. Head to settings to choose your preferred home screen for the app, opening up to Tasks, Calendar, or whichever you viewed last. Choose from eight different widget options to add a bird’s-eye view of tasks, calendar events, or both to your home screen and Today view.
Like all the apps on our list, Any.do works with Siri. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, allowing you to create events and tasks from a number of devices.
Plus, Any.do integrates with Zapier, so you can seamlessly connect Any.do tasks with your favorite project manager, for example, or create new tasks based on calendar triggers.
Any.do Price: Free; upgrade to Premium for $2.99–$5.99 per month to get advanced recurring reminders, location reminders, and unlimited use of the daily planner feature
Best all-around iPhone calendar app for power users
Fantastical is one of those apps that makes it onto almost every “best of” list—and it more than lives up to the hype. The Fantastical app marries attractive, intuitive design with the robust features power users need. It’s all the simplicity of your native Apple Calendar, but with more advanced features.
The default DayTicker view is clean and succinct. Colorful bars along the top help you visualize multi-day and overlapping events and judge how busy a given day is with a glance. Colors show which calendar an event belongs to—in the screenshot, purple events are on my personal calendar and blue ones are on a subscribed calendar for Seattle Kraken hockey games. Pull down from the top to view the entire month.
Natural language event creation is where Fantastical really sets itself apart: as you type, the app shows how your words “fall” into the event details below, so you don’t have to double-check the details after the fact like you do with other apps that have natural language capabilities. (Here’s what that looks like on my phone.)
On top of that, Fantastical offers a whopping 14 different widgets for your home screen and Today view.
Fantastical Price: Free; upgrade to Premium for $4.99/month or $39.99/year to get additional productivity, scheduling, and collaboration features
Best iPhone calendar app for Gmail and Google users
If you use the Google Calendar web app, you’ll feel right at home in the iPhone app. It goes without saying that the calendar integrates seamlessly with the entire suite of Google products. Automatically add events—like flight reservations or out-of-office settings—from Gmail into your calendar. And when you start typing a location, the app will offer suggestions from Google Maps.
Tap the multicolored + in the bottom-right, and you can choose to create a new out of office, goal, reminder, or (the default) event. Invite guests, add web conferencing details, or attach files from Google Drive right from the event creation screen.
One of my favorite features in Google Calendar on iPhone is event illustrations. Google uses info from the event details to come up with a visual for the event—like an image of food for events that include “dinner.” If you look at the far right screenshot above, you’ll see how the app featured an image of the location for the hockey game on my schedule. It’s a fun (and helpful) way to see what’s coming up on your schedule.
Google Calendar offers five different view options (Schedule, Day, 3 Day, Week, and Month), and switching between them is as simple as tapping the top-left menu and selecting the view you want to see. I’m partial to the Schedule view (middle screenshot above), which is the right combo of detail and bird’s-eye view. You can also enable and choose from three widgets to view upcoming events on your home screen and Today view.
Google Calendar also integrates with Zapier, which means you can automatically do things like adding new Google Calendar events to your to-do list app or syncing your time tracking app with your calendar.
Google Calendar Price: Free
Best iPhone calendar for keeping your work email and calendar in one place
Microsoft Outlook Calendar
Microsoft Outlook is geared toward Windows users, but its calendar app is more than capable of being your go-to iPhone calendar. Once an app you’d only use if your company told you to, Microsoft has upped their design game—today’s Outlook app is as simple and easy to use as the best iPhone calendar apps.
The design offers several view options (Agenda, Day, 3 Day, and month): at the top of your screen, tap the icon on the right to switch views. On Agenda and Day views, the default shows you a one-week block—pull down on that week to see and scroll through months.
If your company already uses Outlook email, it’s the best calendar option to bring email, schedule, and contacts together in one place—making it a no-brainer download. On top of that, you can sync other calendars you may use with Outlook, so it’s easy to centralize your work and personal schedule in one app. Your Outlook calendar is automatically shared with those across your company, too.
Outlook comes with your choice of six widgets for your home screen and Today view. Plus, thanks to Microsoft Bing, you can even subscribe to your pick of public calendars to add your favorite professional sports teams or TV schedules to your calendar.
Connect Outlook with Zapier to automate tasks like adding new events into your to-do list or project management app and syncing time blocks from your scheduling tool.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar Price: Free to use with existing email and calendar accounts
Best iPhone calendar app for beautiful design and function
Moleskine’s Timepage app is easily customizable when it comes to looks: you have your choice of 25 color themes (including black and white). The app only offers three main view options. It opens in Agenda view; swipe right to view the month and a roundup of today’s events. Tap to expand the day’s schedule or tap and hold individual events to preview. Swipe left again to return to your agenda.
But Timepage is more than a pretty face. Unique features like a smart heatmap (shown in the top-left screenshot above) make scheduling a breeze, showing you which days are jam-packed or wide open. The more opaque the circle around a date is, the more events you have scheduled for that day. You can even hold and drag the colored circles at the bottom of the screen to filter the heatmap for each calendar.
Swipe right to fine-tune your settings or turn on Smart Alerts from the menu to get notified when it starts to rain, when it’s time to leave, or to receive a daily briefing of your upcoming schedule. You’ll also find your RSVP list here, which shows any pending event invitations you need to respond to.
The app is fully compatible with Siri, and offers a whopping 17 widgets to choose from, so you can manage and view your calendar without even opening the app. It’s these unique features and customizability that convinced me to switch to Timepage for my own personal use.
The app also makes quick work of adding events by using natural language processing. It’s not as seamless as Fantastical, but this is a relatively new feature for Timepage, so we can expect to see it get even better.
Timepage Price: $1.99/month or $11.99/year; or choose the Moleskine Studio bundle (which also includes Moleskine’s to-do list and notebook apps) for $19.99/year
best calendar app for iphone and mac
- Apple Calendar for macOS for the best free calendar app for Apple users
- Fantastical for the best-designed Mac calendar
- BusyCal for the most flexible Mac calendar
- Microsoft Outlook for Microsoft Office fans and syncing with Windows and Android
- Calendar 366 II for the best menu bar icon for Apple’s Calendar
- Other options that might work for you
What makes the best calendar app for Mac?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
Let me start with this: there’s no Google Calendar app for Mac. But any of the apps on this list sync with Google Calendar to bring you the best of both worlds.
In addition to that requirement, the best calendar apps for Mac all have a few key characteristics:
- Offer a clean, native user macOS interface. This means following Apple’s design language and integrating well with macOS by offering native keyboard shortcuts, notifications, menu bar icons, and even features like Today widgets. The ideal app, like macOS, is easy to use at a glance, but not in a way that compromises on functionality.
- Make it quick to add appointments. Speed is everything when it comes to a calendar. If you can’t add events in a few seconds, you’re much less likely to keep it updated. Ideally, you only need to click one button or use a keyboard shortcut to start typing and add an appointment. Natural language processing, which allows you to add appointments by typing something like “Drop off dog at the vet Monday at 5pm,” is a big plus here.
- Make it quick to see your appointments at a glance. Calendars are only useful if you can actually see what you have coming up, so the ideal calendar app needs to be easy to arrange however you prefer. Daily, weekly, monthly, and agenda views should all be offered, and they should all be easy to parse.
- Offer syncing, both to mobile and other computers. It doesn’t matter if this is via iCloud, Google Calendar, Exchange, or some combination of those three—some sort of syncing is a must. Your calendar should be available everywhere at all times—that’s the point of using an app.
Apps that can’t do these things weren’t considered, but the best apps offer even more. Also, with one or two exceptions, I only looked at pure calendar apps. Lots of to-do apps, email apps, and other types of productivity apps have some kind of calendar functionality, but it’s not quite the same as being a dedicated calendar app.
To test all the apps that potentially met the criteria, I connected my personal calendars and used them over the course of a week to get a feel for how they worked on a daily basis. (There were a lot of date icons in my Mac’s menu bar for a few days.) Since I’ve been writing about productivity for almost a decade, I was already familiar with most of the apps, but I made sure to evaluate how they’d changed with recent updates to macOS.
Here they are—hopefully one of them is right for you.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.