Quickcal: The Fastest Way to Create New Calendar Events

Keeping up with a calendar app is one of those things that I need to do, but am too lazy to do. I could maybe keep it up for a few days, but after that I would feel burnt out and just tired of the whole process of opening an app to write down something that I need to do later.

That’s why I felt that I clearly identified with the slogan of Quickcal, which says, “Don’t let creating an event be an event.” Does that catch your attention as much as it did mine? Then read on!

Getting Started

Quickcal

Quickcal

To get you to know the app, once you start it up for the first time you’ll get a small welcome window describing how to create new events (Cmd+Shift+C) and a brief explanation on how to use the menu bar component of the app. QuickCal will reside in your menu bar and it will by default sync with iCal, although it also has support for Google Calendar as well.

Quickcal isn’t exactly a fully-fledged calendar app; in fact it’s barely even a calendar app at all. Instead, it will help you optimize how you add appointments to whatever calendar app or service that you already use. Let’s see how this works.

How It Works

How it works

How it works

To create a new event, you can go into the menu bar and click on the “New Event” button, or you can use the keyboard shortcut that I described earlier. Be careful with that shortcut though, as it is already used by some apps like Google Chrome. The command should bring up a small window with a text box where you can write your event in a natural language (say, “Dinner at 6 pm tomorrow”).

As you type this, below the text box an event will show up with the arranged information that you’ve given to the app. This will show the start and end time (the end time will be calculated automatically, usually one hour later) of your event, and once you finish typing up your information you have the option to just schedule it, open it in iCal, or add another one. That’s it, your event will be added.

Smart Recognition and To-dos

To-dos

To-dos

One of the main features of this app is the intelligent recognition of dates, places and set times. You can quickly type in something like “Meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm at my office”, and without having to move anything else it will schedule that meeting from 7 to 8 PM with the said subject, date and place. It’s an easy feature to break, but if you are giving it everyday use it will work just fine, for the most part.

The app is also smart in other ways. For example, it will automatically recognize if you already have an appointment scheduled for the same time that you are trying to create an even. Instead of events, you can also create to-dos, which are handled completely different. You can add them by using the word “by” in your description of the task, and you can prioritize them by adding exclamation marks at the end of them.

Other Features

Menu bar component

Menu bar component

The menu bar component does more than you might think. Other than letting you add new tasks, it also works as a quick view of your upcoming events and pending to-dos. They are even displayed with the color of the calendar folder that they belong to.

You can also tweak the usual features, like the calendar folder you want your events to be sent to and what features you’d like to activate for each calendar folder. Perhaps the most interesting of the settings is the one that lets you set the reminders by the time at which the event was added. For example, if you add an event more than a week away, you can by default set the reminder for one day before instead of the usual 5 minutes. This also works for events that are a month away.

Conclusion

Calendar apps are a dime a dozen, but Quickcal excels at removing the entry barrier that most calendar apps (in fact, most apps in general) have. You could go into this app knowing nothing about it and having to set up nothing inside it, and it would work wonderfully in more than one sense. It’s a prime example of how you can make an intuitive, automated and very simple app. It reminds me of how the Wunderlist app has been updated, by adding keyboard shortcuts to maximize time and also by making the app sort out stuff by itself, automatically recognizing things like dates.

This app has even made me consider using iCal again. I stopped using it ever since to-do apps like Wunderlist replaced my need for them. But Quickcal makes it very easy and simple to use a calendar again. Some of you might prefer it if it had its own calendar system and if it didn’t rely on iCal or Google Calendars to function, but I think the fact that it integrates with them makes it so much better.

What about you? Do you use calendar apps, and if so, which ones? How do you keep them all in sync, and how do you make them work with your GTD/to-do apps (if you use any)? Let us know in the comments!


Summary

Quickcal is a fast and easy way to intuitively add events to iCal or Google Calendars

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  • Ben

    It’s still gonna be hard to take me away from fantastical

    • Kristan

      I compared the two and decided to go for Quickcal.

      It didn’t have the purdy eye-candy of fantastical.. but the practicality (.. hmm.. BTW “PractiCal” would be a good name for a calender app, no?) of the dropdown menubar tipped me towards QC.

      As I recall, the actual calendar in Fantastical didn’t really do so much ..

      • Joseph Cotton

        “PractiCal”. Has a nice ring to it!

        :-)

  • http://quickcalapp.com Christian

    Thank you for your kind review!
    Make sure to check out our blog or follow us on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook for the latest news, hints and such. We have some great news coming very soon!

  • Scott

    I looked at several apps of this type and settled on QuickCal, which is quite a gem IMHO and unless I’m missing something it has one key differentiator from others in that it does To-dos!!

  • Michael Solis

    I tried both QuickCal and Fantastical for about two weeks before I settled on Fantastical. I liked how similar Quickcal and Fantastical were but for me it came down to wanting an app that does it all, a calendar app that had a calendar that could replace the stock calendar on my menu bar and I liked how easy Fantastical was at doing that. Granted, Fantastical is really expensive and probably overpriced for what it does, that being said, it has become one of my go to apps on a daily basis. I think for those who want to be able to control their calendar quickly and affordably, and not have to actually mess with iCal, Google Calendar or BusyCal you can’t go wrong with Quickcal.

  • Ben

    The reason I chose QuickCal is because of its integration with Alfred. Now I use the hotkey for alfred, preface what I type with “cal ” and it’s as if I typed it into the QuickCal prompt.

  • http://www.technovalley.in Ayush Agrawal

    It is a great utility. Next time i am on my mac i will surely get this!

  • Daniel

    I’m testing fantastical and QuickCal but leaning toward QuickCal because it integrates with iCal, BusyCal and Google Calendar and also manages tasks from Wunderbar, Things and Alarms while fantastical doesn’t seem to offer any support for tasks at all.

  • http://about.me/boastboy Marcel

    Read half of the review and then purchased it! I love it, natural language, it’s like fantastical… but cheaper. Love it so far

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