Organization is crucial for greater productivity and we all know the famous saying, “A failure to prepare is a preperation to fail.” On Macs, you’ve got a whole range of programs designed to help you become more productive and improve your organizational skills. You can use the traditional option of iCal, which has been given a much-needed rework in Lion, or if you prefer to have your calendar synced across all platforms, you can use Google Calendar. Facebook also comes in handy for keeping track of those house parties as well as your friends’ birthdays.
But there are times where you want to see exactly what’s happening across all your calendars without having to look all over the place. Enter CalendarBar. It’s a lightweight application available exclusively from the Mac App Store that runs quietly and nonchalantly in your menu bar and lets you view all your appointments from all your synchronized calendars with one click. The developers, Clean Cut Code, state on CalendarBar’s website that it’s a “unique way to keep track of your events”. Let’s take a closer look at CalendarBar and see whether this claim holds up.
CalendarBar is a small, discreet application that runs merrily away in your menu bar and gives you an overview of all your different calendars with just a single click. For the price of $4.99, you can integrate iCal, Google Calendar and Facebook into one application and setting them all up is an absolute breeze. Your iCal events are automatically synchronized and authorizing Google Calendar and Facebook takes no time at all.
The user interface in CalendarBar is simple and uncluttered. Your events are grouped by day from all of your calendars and color-coded depending on whether they are from Facebook, iCal or Google Calendar. This is especially useful if you use different calendars or if you want to separate your work and social life!
CalendarBar places a little icon next to each event letting you know whether it is a birthday or calendar event so you’ve now got no excuse for “missing” your friend’s birthday. If your friend’s year of birth is also entered in on Facebook, CalendarBar will let you know which birthday your friend is celebrating (this obviously helps you choose a suitable birthday card!).
Clicking on any event takes you to the full entry in either iCal, Google Calendar or Facebook, allowing you to see all the information about that particular event. You can specify exactly which date range you want to see, ranging from a day to a month.
The app is also extremely customizable and allows you to tweak and tailor virtually every aspect of the program to suit your likings. If you’ve downloaded Growl (and who hasn’t?), then you can set up CalendarBar to give you a Growl notification before an event is due to start.
CalendarBar reminds us all of why we bought a Mac. It’s a simple, no-frills application that does what it says on the tin. It provides the easiest way to view all your calendars simply and easily and without having to check all your different calendars.
It’s not full of wonderful, innovative features and yes, the user interface is very basic, but why would you want something that is complicated to use? Clean Cut Code seem to extend this principle to its other applications, and there is an version of this program available for the iPad, called Cloud Calender, which has pretty much the same features.
CalendarBar is a bit of a rarity. You’d expect that for such a cheap program, the developers would leave out vital features or disregard certain aspects. But every little detail in CalendarBar has been accounted for. The moment you start using it, you notice the attention to detail that has been paid, the design has been kept clean and clutter-free and that the developers have really concentrated on simplicity yet still preserve important features.
It’s really a joy to use and you certainly won’t mind parting with $4.99 for this program, a (very) small price to pay for such a useful little tool. I certainly got my money’s worth out of it and does seem that the developer’s claim of CalendarBar being a “unique way of keeping track of your events” holds up. For anyone who really wants to get organized but who wants to do it in a simple, yet intuitive way, then CalendarBar is definately a program worth considering.