For many people, phones are the primary way to stay connected and perform everyday tasks. A great calendar can mean the difference between remembering that customer encounter and being your company’s hero – being forgetful and missing out on a great opportunity.
That said, not all calendar apps are created equal. Some lack the features that make them really useful, while others lack the colorful look and feel of the default calendar.
The following list of calendar apps are some of the best choices for iOS users due to their ease of use, variety of functions, basic convenience, and most importantly, price – all for free.
Best for changing calendar appearance: Vantage (App Shop)
The first thing you will notice about the Vantage is its design. It looks a lot like the scrolling text from the Star Wars movies, and let’s face it – that’s awesome. But in addition to being eye-catching, it also changes your calendar into a stacked view, providing a quick overview of all the events for a given day. Vantage also provides to-do lists and hourly displays.
A few things to know about the app. The free version gives you five “credits” that allow you to take any action. It’s basically a trial of the app, and the most powerful features are sealed here. In a nutshell, the app is only free in the sense that you can view previously entered entries through it.
Vantage is a great way to get a different look at your calendar but is useless for entering new entries unless you want to drop above $9.99. These details aren’t revealed until you download the app, so users don’t realize Vantage isn’t free until they start setting it up.
The screen looks great and has an interesting approach, but it detracts from the main point of ill-advised tactics.
The best family calendar app: Cozi (App Shop)
Cozi is the perfect family alternative. In today’s busy world, it’s hard to keep track of everyone’s personal schedule, but Cozi gives each family member their own schedule. The calendar view can be set to show everyone’s schedule, or broken down to see only what a particular family member is about to do.
Cozi also includes other features, like grocery lists, wholesale items, and “other” listings for anything that doesn’t fall into the other two categories. Anyone can add items to the list, which makes it perfect for keeping track of household items that can fall through cracks.
There is also a to-do list that is similarly divided among family members. A final feature is the recipe list, which provides a list of easy-to-prepare recipes for family dinners. Just open an item and add it to your list of saved recipes for later reference.
Cozi has a paid version, but the app gives users free access to most of its features without forcing them to pay any fees. If you need to keep track of business meetings, your kid’s soccer game, and your wife’s upcoming trip, Cozi is the perfect app for that.
Best for all-round use: Google Calendar (App Shop)
Google Calendar is a popular choice for many people (and the go-to option for most Android users.) It’s easy to see why. The calendar provides a clear picture of any upcoming events without a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles. The added email reminders are helpful reminders that make you unforgettable about important events.
A quick tap on the sidebar lets you break down your schedule into a day view, a three-day view, or a week or month view. You can choose to be reminded of your friends’ birthdays and federal holidays, and you can choose to see events and reminders you’ve set up. Best of all, Google Calendar is completely free.
If you’re not a fan of the default iOS calendar, then Google Calendar is a great alternative. That said, there are quite a few reasons to consider the default calendar.
Best for iOS users who like it simple: iOS Calendar
You might not have noticed before, but the basic Calendar app shows the current date on the home screen. It’s also integrated with the Apple ecosystem by default, so if you rely on other Apple-centric apps throughout the day, the Calendar app is a no-brainer. It also automatically pulls other calendars (like your email and Gmail calendars) into one place for quick reference.
The default calendar app also has natural language processing capabilities, which means you can say something like Make an appointment at 9 a.m. Friday to visit the doctor. The entry will automatically be created at 9am next Friday. While it’s not entirely accurate, it’s an easy way to create calendar entries without a lot of typing.
You can also pull up Inbox to see how many entries were created by email, which the app excels at. If you receive a confirmed flight ticket or ticket to an upcoming concert, iOS Calendar automatically creates an entry so you don’t forget.
It may lack many of the advanced features of the alternatives, but it gets the job done for the vast majority of people.