Tag Archives: To Do

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

The Best Calendar App for iPhone

You have tons of options for calendars on iPhone, many that are free, but when it comes to the best, we recommend Fantastical 2, even if you have to shell out $5 to use it.

Fantastical 2

Platform: iPhone (and iPad)
Price: $4.99
Download Page

Features

  • Compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange
  • Quickly add new events with natural language (“Lunch with Alan tomorrow”)
  • Notification Center support
  • Map view for event locations
  • Week view in landscape mode
  • Integration with Facebook events
  • Widget support
  • Quick Actions on iPhone 6s
  • Light and dark themes
  • Reminders integration with notifications

Where It Excels

A lot of things are great about Fantastical 2, but what separates it from the pack the most comes down to its design. Fantastical 2 is incredibly easy to use, fast, and it’s powerful enough for most people. As a basic calendar, you can view your events on a calendar and they’re visualized in a readable and easy to understand way. You can add new events without a lot of taps and the natural language entry means you can type out an event just like you’d say it out loud.

Fantastical also offers up just enough options for viewing your calendar to make it useful for a variety of people. You can check out a list view in portrait mode that offers both a week ticker and a month calendar at the top, or flip your phone to landscape view to see a more detailed look at your week. These three views make it pretty easy to glance at your calendar to get a gist of your schedule at any given moment.

Fantastical 2 is updated consistently with new features, but more importantly it’s always kept up to date for new versions of iOS and any new features that might come along with a new iPhone (like Quick Actions on the iPhone 6s) or in the operating system itself (like widget support). Finally, Fantastical 2 is just as reliable as Apple’s built-in options, which, when it boils down to it, is one of the most important aspects of a calendar. Syncing always works, crashes are very rare, and notifications always happen when they’re supposed to.

Where It Falls Short

The most obvious downside of Fantastical is the $5 price tag. While paying for the app means you’ll get continued support and you don’t have to worry as much about the app getting acquired by another company (which are oddly common in calendar apps), not everyone wants to shell out cash for a calendar app. We do cover some free options below though.

Beyond that, Fantastical is missing some of the social or third-party integrations that you’ll find in other calendar apps. While it does support Facebook events, that’s pretty much it. You won’t find detailed views of your weather, Evernote reminders, or anything else here. On one end, that means Fantastical is a solid calendar app on its own, but on another, it means you can’t auto populate your calendar using other services.

The Competition

You have a lot of good competition in the calendar space on the iPhone, so if you don’t feel like shelling out the $5 for Fantastical, don’t worry.

Let’s start with Sunrise Calendar (Free). Sunrise Calendar was our previous pick for the best calendar on iPhone. It’s free, supports the big three calendar services, integrates weather forecasts, and links up with tons of other services. The problem is the app’s now dead after Microsoft acquired the team who made it. A lot of the Sunrise features are now being integrated into Microsoft’s Outlook app, but the iOS app for Sunrise will never get updated again.

Any.Do Cal (Free) is another decent free option, but it hasn’t seen an update in a year. Cal is a little more fun and playful then Fantastical, integrating a lot of images into its design as well as working well with the Any.do to-do list app. As a calendar, it does everything it needs to, but doesn’t go too far out of its way to do anything new.

Finally, as far as free options go, it’s worth mentioning Google Calendar (Free). If you’re deep into Google’s ecosystem, the Google Calendar app is great. It shows you events from Gmail, to-dos, and even gives you little added features like flight information. The problem, of course, is that most of the usefulness relies on other Google services, so if you’re not using any of them, Google Calendar is far less useful.

In the paid space, the biggest competitor to Fantastical is Calendars 5 ($6.99). Calendars 5 is a very capable app that includes natural language input, a task manager, and a variety of view options to glance at your calendar. The week view in Calendars 5 is good, better than Fantastical’s in some ways, but the rest of the interface is a bit lacking. Calendars 5 is also a universal app, so if you use your iPad a lot, it’s great to just purchase one app instead of two.

Week Calendar ($1.99) is another app that once sat in our App Directory. It’s packed with a ton of features, including multiple views, your choice of navigation app integration, templates, widgets, and more. It’s also quite possibly the ugliest option available, but that hasn’t prevented it from being one of the most popular calendar apps out there.


Lifehacker’s App Directory is a new and growing directory of recommendations for the best applications and tools in a number of given categories.

Keep a Rolling Grocery or To-Do List on a Butcher Paper Roll

Keep a Rolling Grocery or To-Do List on a Butcher Paper Roll

If you want a simple, cheap way to keep a grocery or to do list in your kitchen, or wherever else, try a roll of the ever useful butcher paper.

It’s a pretty simple idea, but I do like the thought of having a list that’s easy for everyone to find and write on, but that isn’t on the fridge or sitting on the counter somewhere getting in the way. And it serves as it’s own reminder. When the list gets long enough that it hits the countertop or floor, it’s time to take care of some things. You can use butcher or kraft paper or, as At Home In Love suggest, painter’s masking paper from your local hardware store. It’s cheaper, the paper’s a bit thinner, and the rolls are a good size.

DIY Kraft Paper Grocery List | At Home In Love via Apartment Therapy

Turn Your Goals Into If-Then Statements to Account for Roadblocks

Turn Your Goals Into If-Then Statements to Account for Roadblocks

With any goal, pitfalls are usually inevitable. You want to eat healthier but your coworker brings cupcakes. You want to save money but your car needs work. To stay ahead of setbacks, give your goal an if-then plan.

We’ve talked about this concept before in terms of building your willpower. To connect the impulsive part of your brain with the calm, methodical part, use an if-then statement to control your behavior. For example, you might say, “if I feel angry, then I will count to ten.” It’s a simple example, but you get the idea.

Similarly, you can use if-then statements to safeguard your ambitious goals against any potential setbacks. As O Magazine editor Jihan Thompson puts it:

“Ambitious plans are commendable (‘I’m going to lose 30 pounds this year!’), but they don’t account for inevitable roadblocks. If you want to have a fighting chance at sticking to your resolutions, you would do well to develop if-then plans: if someone brings cupcakes or pizza or candy to work, then I….”

Researchers from Utrecht University have been studying the ins and outs of self-regulation, and researcher Denise de Ridder suggests the if-then method, too, explaining why it works:

If-then plans work well because a specific situation is defined in the ‘if’ part: if people subsequently find themselves in that situation, they will be reminded automatically of their good intentions.

The key is to make your “then” statement actionable, specific, and, as Thompson suggests, positive. Simply saying, “If someone brings pizza, then I won’t eat it” won’t do much good. But something like, “If someone brings pizza, I’ll treat myself to hummus and crackers” is a lot more effective. You can read more about the concept at the link below.

Create If-Then Plans to Stick With Your Goals | Sources of Insight

Photo by Clever Cupcakes.

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

HashtagToDo Turns Google Calendar Into a To-Do List

A new add-on for Google Calendar, our favorite online calendar app, turns it into a usable task list. Just append an entry with #todo to turn it into a recurring task. Plus, it works across platforms and you don’t need to install anything.

Some experts reckon you should schedule tasks in your calendar to get things done. HashtagToDo builds on that principle with Google Calendar. Grant the app access (you can see their Privacy Policy here) and you’re done. Next time you create an entry in Calendar, add #todo at the end. HashtagToDo recognizes that hashtag as a to-do item, and adds a bracket at the start of the entry, which serves as a check box.

http://lifehacker.com/5848603/progra…

When you’re done with the task, edit it to add an “X” in the bracket/check box. If you don’t add that X, HashtagToDo recognizes that your task is still pending and automatically pushes it to the next day.

It’s a nifty way to use your Google Calendar as a to do list, especially since it works on any device or third-party app connected to GCal. The only issue is that entries made on mobile don’t get that check box till the app syncs with your Google Calendar.

Meanwhile, you can get a simple list of all your pending tasks if you go to HashtagToDo’s web app and sign in there.

HashtagToDo