30 of the Best Calendar Apps and Utilities for Mac

We’ve scoured the Mac App Store and the web in search of the very best calendar apps for OS X. Some serve as full on iCal replacements while others are must have companion apps that extend iCal far beyond what it currently offers.

We found apps that put calendars on your desktop, in your menu bar, on a screensaver and just about everything else you could want. If you’re in the market for a new calendar utility of any kind, this is the roundup for you. I’ll even help you cut through the clutter by pointing out my favorite app of all!

Featured App: Fantastical

Some people love app roundups, they provide you with a quick glimpse of the best options available in a given market and allow you to decide for yourself what is worth pursuing further. Other people however are overwhelmed by so many options and just want to know which is best.

For the latter of these groups, I chose to single out Fantastical. It’s my absolute favorite calendar utility and as far as I’m concerned, if you only download one thing on this list, this should be it. Fantastical is so much more than every other menu bar calendar I’ve tried. It’s a full on scheduling and reminder assistant.

The interface is super slick and the feature set can’t be touched. The thing that I like best is that Fantastical uses natural language for input. So to insert my upcoming dentist appointment, I simply entered “Dentist on Tuesday at 11am” and the app automatically created an iCal event called “Dentist” for the upcoming Tuesday at 11am.

The developers have really thought through how users would want to use Fantastical. For instance, I like having reminders for iCal events, but I hate setting them up with every new event. Fantastical lets me choose to automatically add reminders as events are created, so I’ll get a notification one hour before my dentist appointment even though I didn’t manually go in a create a reminder.

Don’t use iCal? No problem Fantastical works with Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar, Outlook, Entourage, BusyCal and more. Check out the free trial and you’ll be hooked in no time.

Price $19.99

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Fantastical

Other Top Picks

QuickCal

If you like the natural language aspect of Fantastical but aren’t crazy about the price tag, check out QuickCal. It’s not really a calendar app so much as it is a quick and easy way to add events. Just hit a shortcut, then type in the event using natural language and it will be added to iCal. You’ll likely want to pair it with one of the menu bar calendars below.

Price $2.99

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QuickCal

Today – Daily Calendar & Task Manager

A simple but effective app that doubles as a calendar and todo list. It’s perfect if you like to take one day at a time rather than being overwhelmed with everything for the week or month. Today syncs with iCal and allows you to both view and add events and todos to iCal.

Price $9.99

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Today - Daily Calendar & Task Manager

BusyCal

While most of the apps in this list serve to supplement iCal, BusyCal seeks to replace it. Dedicated users often say that BusyCal is everything iCal should’ve been. Notable features include a non-modal Info Panel for easier data entry, to dos that display in the calendar and auto-forward until completed, repeating to dos, customizable calendar views including a list view and scrolling month and week views, adjustable font styles and sizes, live weather feeds, moon phases, graphics, and sticky notes. If you like iCal but wish it did a lot more, BusyCal is the way to go.

Price $49.99

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BusyCal

Alarms Express

Alarms Express is the menu bar calendar completely rethought. It’s a really fantastic application that pops out an interactive timeline that makes it easy to set up alarms for specific dates and times. You can even drag in items like contacts, URLs and files to associate with the Alarms.

Price $7.99

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Alarms Express

Menu Bar Calendars

CalendarBar

An attractively styled list of all your upcoming iCal and Google Calendar events and tasks. Rather than focusing on the calendar like the others, this interfaces places the emphasis on the list of pending items.

Price $4.99

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CalendarBar

Calendar PA

Another simple menu calendar that shows your upcoming events from iCal. One bonus here is that you can use the menu bar item to show both the time and date, which means it serves as a great, more functional alternative to the default OS X clock menu item.

Price $4.99

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Calendar PA

Calendario

Yet another menu bar calendar that shows your iCal events. This one has a very minimal interface with almost no extras.

Price $2.99

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Calendario

Desktop Enhancements

DateLine

DateLine is a really slick way to put a calendar where you can actually see it: on your desktop. The number line format is clean and attractive, which should appeal to the design conscious among you. The functionality is actually pretty impressive as well, with nice little notification windows for events and tasks and double-click access to iCal.

Price $4.99

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DateLine

Blotter

If you like the concept of DateLine but want even more functionality, check out Blotter. This app takes all your calendar information and overlays it beautifully onto your desktop. It’s not just passive, you can conveniently add events through the menu bar item. Fans of GeekTool and similar utilities will definitely love Blotter.

Price $9.99

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Blotter

TimeWorks

TimeWorks displays your iCal events right on your desktop in a timeline similar to the one in iCal. You can choose to show the events all the time or only when you press a shortcut. As a cool alternative, you can place the timeline in a screensaver instead of on your desktop.

Price $9.99

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TimeWorks

Zipline

Zipline is a way to place important information in a little ticker on your desktop. You can grab iCal events and todos, RSS feeds, social network notifications and more.

Price $9.99

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Zipline

CrisCalen

Why have a one month calendar on your desktop when you can have five months? CrisCalen places up to five calendars on your desktop with a nice little inset bezel look.

Price $1.99

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CrisCalen

Specific Use Calendars

iStudy Calendar

iStudy Calendar is a calendar specifically tailored to helping you get organized with your homework. It’s lacking a bit in functionality but it does have basic support for dates, notes and subtasks.

Price $1.99

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iStudy Calendar

Bills

Bills has a quirky interface that you’ll either love or hate. It definitely provides a unique way to track upcoming bills so that you can stay on top of your expenses. It’ll also help you figure out where you’re spending too much and how to cut back.

Price $9.99

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Bills

Nifty Niche Utilities

Calendar Cleaner

Calendar Cleaner analyzes, reports, and fixes problems that result from iCal syncs gone wrong. Quickly and easily fix duplicated events as well as invalid calendar dates and alarms. If iCal has gotten away from you, it’s time to clean it up!

Price $4.99

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Calendar Cleaner

Dupe Devil for iCal

Just like the previous utility, Dupe Devil helps you recover from messy sync remnants. Quickly spot and remedy duplicate entries, alarms, etc. It also allows you to easily merge two calendars while automatically handling duplicate events.

Price $0.99

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Dupe Devil for iCal

Calendar Notes

This app is a little like a journal/calendar hybrid. It allows you to easily add notes, images and even documents to your day. It might serve as a decent way to track your work in a given day.

Price $0.99

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Calendar Notes

OddCal

OddCal is a really interesting utility that helps you add duplicate events that appear in an unpredictable pattern. So let’s say you’re putting on a show with ten event dates that appear at seemingly random intervals over the course of the next few months, OddCal makes it easy to quickly add these to iCal without the hassle of copy and paste.

Price $1.99

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OddCal

Date Calculator+

Calendars are weird, some months have 31 days, others don’t, then leap year jumps in and really complicates things. For these reasons, performing math on dates can be quite difficult. Date Calculator + helps you calculate the gap between two dates without making your head explode.

Price $2.99

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Date Calculator+

OneThingTodayX

OneThingTodayX isn’t a todo app but a way to help you accomplish your goals. Instead of creating a list of items that you want to get done every day, you focus on only one goal that you want to complete for each day. It helps you get things done without overwhelming your already busy schedule.

Price $4.99

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OneThingTodayX

Week Event

Some people need to frequently access the current week number, whether for invoicing or other purposes. This app helps you out by placing the week number in your menu bar as a convenient little icon.

Price $0.99

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Week Event

ClipDateTime

If you frequently enter the current date and time into forms, spreadsheets, timecards or anything else, then ClipDateTime can save you loads of time. Simply open the menu bar item and click on the format you want to copy it to the clipboard. If the format you want isn’t built in, you can set up a new one with custom options.

Price $9.99

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ClipDateTime

iPlanner

If you’re not really into the whole digital revolution, tree saving thing, iPlanner will let you print your iCal data as day planner pages. The price seems awfully high for the fairly limited functionality but other similar utilities share the same price point so it seems fairly standard.

Price $29.99

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iPlanner

Miscellaneous

Caliander

Caliander is a unique looking iCal replacement that shows your items in a horizontal timeline that’s very different than the iCal interface in that it places more emphasis on items in the near future. Like some of the other apps above, it uses keyboard shortcuts in conjunction with natural language so you can add and schedule new events at lightning speed.

Price $18.99

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Caliander

Opus Domini

I’m personally not a fan of the interface but I have to admit, this app packs a serious punch of functionality. Weather, goals, planning, master tasks, subtasks, repeating tasks, and password protection are just a few of the awesome built in features. If you’re looking for an all in one solution to plan your daily life and can get past the cheesy book metaphor, this may be your best bet.

Price $8.99

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Opus Domini

TimeTable

iCal makes for a great way to track your time at work, but extracting that information into an invoice can be a pain. Enter TimeTable, a great little application that calculates the hours spent on specific tasks and exports the information to invoice and spreadsheet apps.

Price $19.99

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TimeTable

Free Apps

Calendar

A super useful free menu bar client that shows you your upcoming iCal and Facebook events. It’s definitely not as fully featured as some of the other alternatives but you can’t beat the price.

Price: Free

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Calendar

RememberOn

Want a faster way to create iCal reminders without forking up any cash? RememberOn quickly adds events and alerts to iCal in a very basic interface. As with the previous app, it’s certainly no award winner but since it’s free you should check it out and see what you think.

Free

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RememberOn

Google Notifier for Mac

This is Google’s free menu bar utility for keeping an eye on your Gmail and Google Calendar accounts. As you would expect from Google, the functionality is fairly limited but functional.

Price: Free

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Google Notifier for Mac

Organized

Organized is probably the best free utility on this list. It’s an awesome dashboard widget that serves as a calendar, todo list and world clock. The design is very attractive and the developer is iSlayer (creator of 1Password and iStat Menus) so you know it’s a high quality utility. I doubt that it’s actively developed anymore but it still works great.

Price Free

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Organized, a Dashboard Widget by iSlayer

Which Is Your Favorite?

Now that you’ve seen our roundup of other thirty awesome calendar apps, it’s time to chime in and tell us your favorite. Tell us which apps above you’ve tried and what you thought of them and also be sure to point out any that we forgot!


  • robert

    good roundup. I was considering fantastical, but found quickcal suitable for my needs as a student. It allows quick creation of events with natural language input which is clutch and is also quite affordable.

    Could you do a writeup of text editing applications for OS X? I’ve recently purchased four. Day One(which is great and encourages me to write), iawriter, ByWord, and WriteRoom. There seems to be some confusion about what to use with all the choices we currently have.

  • Aleksander

    You completely forgot iStudiez. Cloud sync, calendars based on semesters, adding teacher info, assignment info and exam info. All in all, perfect organizer for students!

  • Sarah

    (new reader, first time commenter here, Im in love with your blog! Its how I discover alot of new apps, and I have abit of an app obsession).
    Fantastical is the best, Ive only had it for about a week or so, but I love everything about it. It have a beautiful interface, and it’s so simple to use. I know $20 dollars may seem alittle too steep for an app, but trust me its worth it.

  • Tim

    BusyCal is great, but the $50 price tag is a bit steep. The developer would probably sell more if he lowered the price to half that. Considering that this is only a calendar app and not a PIM.

  • http://www.appforthat.de Julia Altermann

    I went for Fantastical. The reason was that the developers promised integration with iOS Reminders with the next big update. It’s nice to create iCal events based on natural language, but to create Reminders so quickly from the menu bar will be really, really useful for me.

    • http://quickcalapp.com Christian

      QuickCal already supports reminders … and its localized into German. Just saying.

  • http://8stars.org/ Adam Rice

    I was a longtime user of iOrganized—I used it together with the Amnesty widget browser, which kept it on my desktop.

    But it seems to have stopped working in Lion. I haven’t found a replacement I’m 100% satisfied with, but I’ve been using Mindful.

  • http://quickcalapp.com Christian

    Thanks for the mention!

    Though we don’t have the goal to replace a full calendar like iCal, BusyCal … you can display events for up to 7 days and all your todos/reminders in our Menubar list.

    Cheers, Christian

  • http://appcrunch.co.uk Josh

    Calendar + Remind Me Later pretty much does the same thing as Fantastical but free.

    I also use the organized widget and several other awesome widgets by iSlayer/bjango.

  • http://bit.ly/BetaIQT Eytan

    This is quite an extensive collection! Even though it is not a desktop application, I would like to recommend IQTELL as an addition to the list.

    IQTELL’s main feature is aggregation – whether it is email, contacts, or calendars, everything should be in one place. Sign up here if you’d like to try it out and enter to win an iPad 2: http://bit.ly/BetaIQT

    • Truman

      Are you still giving out beta invites?

  • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stephanie

    Great round-up! I started with Qbix’s Calendar then moved on to Fantastical (a great decision, really). For adding events, I’d either use Fantastical or QuickCal.

  • orange
  • dorian_grey

    iSlayer is the creator of 1Password?

    • http://appcrunch.co.uk Josh

      No Agilebits develop 1Password the iSlayer site is just linking to 1Password with a partner offer. But iSlayer is where bjango started out and where they keep there widgets and legacy products with active development happening on the main bjango website.

  • http://magnuz.tk Magnus

    Really good list of apps, but most of them are very expensive. Thanks anyway!

  • Andrew D

    First of all- wow, who knew there were so many calendar applications! *overwhelmed*
    Second of all, you for got an app I just recently discovered- Day-0. It goes in replace of the date/time thats pre-installed on your Mac, and when clicked on, displays a calendar. Simple yet affective.

  • http://twitter.com/acaPAWN7 acaPAWN7

    Same goes with MagiCal, the calendar is accessible on the menu bar and it’s free too: http://www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/magical

  • Aaron

    Thanks for the roundup of calendar apps! However I am still in need. I manage full calendars for two executives (plus myself), and our company uses Google Apps (email, calendars, etc.). Google Calendar works great but is just a little too cumbersome, and BusyCal is great in many ways, but it’s expensive and has some sync issues with permissions, causing unnecessary headaches. iCal is the worst of the bunch for the type of usage.

    Do you have any recommendations for heavy power users in a work environment? Visibility, efficiency and functionality are key.

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  • Erick

    The calendar that I use was not mentioned. It is CalendarMaker by Prairie Group. The problem is that they have not updated it for Lion yet. But it is the only calendar program that I have found that does what I want. Which is, to be able to print the month view with the events located on each day in the approximate time frame they occur. It is not a list view of events, but a day with spaces between the events so morning events show first, and evening events show last.

    Does anyone know of another calendar that does this?

  • Bar

    MenuCalendarClock iCal (long name!) shows the date & time in the menubar and when you click on it shows month, daily schedule(s), and tasks, and lets you add/delete/edit items too. Free for some features, $20 unlocks the app. Very cool app, I’ve been using it for a couple of years.

  • Annie

    I need help.
    I just want an Mac Calendar customisable pre-alert app.

    So, for eg, my friends birthday is on 14th of November. At log on, I want to be reminded EVERY DAY (not just once at 8.45am 7 days before) for customisable amount of days before hand – so I don’t miss the alert and it bugs me to get a gift, card and send it.
    The pre-alert goes away when I’ve clicked it (done) or the day has past (when it’s no longer needed).
    Please please, someone, I’d pay for this and there doesn’t seem to be anything.
    Please help! Thanks Annie

    • http://palobo.tumblr.com Pedro Lobo

      Hey Annie,

      Your best bet for something along these lines would be Due App. With it you could easily setup a reminder to buy said gift card 7 days in advance and you can have this event repeat on a yearly cycle so no need to set it up again. Due has the advantage of an auto snooze that will bug you every hour of every day (customisable of course) until you mark it done or postpone it it for x amount of time.

      It’s a great app and a real life saver in some cases ;)

      Hope this helps.

  • Tom

    I have medical conditions requiring dosage changes, one medication replacing another. “P” 10mg every other day, “P” 5mg opposite days. “A” 5mg 1xday for 2 weeks, then 2xday for 2 weeks, “P” Daily for 2 weeks, then every other day for 2 weeks. “A” 1 in morning, 2 at night. I would like to be able to print a monthly calendar and hang it where I take my medications
    I don’t need times, simply Px1, Ax1 at the top of the day and Ax2 at the bottom of the day. Skip P, Ax1. Simple, Huh?
    At the moment, I am printing a blank monthly calendar and hand writing it in. Is there anything better?

  • http://Lovedyourroundup,but.... Alton Ayer

    I’m a pretty heavy home computer user, and I’m 65 yrs. old. I, and others my age, really need a good OSX-compatible calendar that alklows us to enlarge its fonts. iCal, as good as it is, is impossible for people like me to read. Are there less-expensive alternatives to BusyCal out there with adjustable fonts? Any help is appreciated. My frustration level with Mac’s unresponsiveness grows exponentially.

    • http://techinch.com/ Matthew Guay

      Hey Alton, you can actually increase the font size in any OS X app – including iCal – by pressing Command and + at the same time while you’re using the app. Give that a try ;)

  • sprale

    For functionality, I’ll take Thunderbird+Lightning and the Provider for Google Calendar add-on.

  • David

    In ical I manage many calendars some of which subscribe to other websites. One of the calendars I subscribe to has a standard message “RESERVE” appear. What i would like iCal to do is recognise for this calendar only that a new event “RESERVE” has appeared and email me a notification 42 days before.

    I realise that I can set an alarm by going in and manually editing each item but this is time consuming. What I want is a tool or script that can automatically pick up this information.

  • Mark

    Thank you so much. You’ve provided a great service here.

  • http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/calendar-timeline/id551545191?l=it&ls=1&mt=12 Enrico

    Try my app, Calendar Timeline. Calendar Timeline provides you with a graphic description of your appointments counting the days between one event and the other. Is also available for iOS.

  • Nick Williams

    cant seem to find CALENDAR NOTES. Thre is a site called llivid but it wants you to register and this site does not say that the app is avalable anyway, otherwise i cannot find this super little app anywhere !!! I want to add free text to my Ical as in a journal and am amazed that no software house offers this.

  • Ollie Oldenburg

    Great round up, and some nice additions, too!

    The only function I need in a(ny) calender, is to send a alert (SMS text, or e-mail, or both) to the person i have appointments with, so NOT to me per sé.

    So far, I’ve been using Googles calender, works good enough for me.
    I’m a music teacher, and I ‘d like to give my students a reminder in, say, a day advance of their lesson. Any input would be great.

    Kind regards from Holland!

  • http://www.SteveShapero.com Steve

    My situation is a bit different as I’m currently a Windows user but soon to switch over to the Mac world because I can’t stand my Dell computer anymore. Currently I use a calendar program from 3M called Postit Notes. It is well designed, but it is very badly behaved and slows down my system. I’ve looked at web based calendars and iCal and iReminders (I like the latter better). What I’d really like is the ability to have almost unlimited calendars within my system of calendars (what Postit Notes calls Memo Boards). You can put up numerous sticky notes within a tab (think category) under each memo board. This allows me to categorize events and todo items in their proper categories. I can put alarms on these so I see reminders for work, for home, for bills, for field trips, for … you name it. I don’t mind a larger than normal price tag since this is vital to my ability to function. I don’t have a smart phone, so I’m serious about finding something for the Mac I’ll be getting in a few weeks. What’s my best bet? Steve

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