An essential part of staying organized as a professional is having a reliable calendar. Some will add that a task list or reminders is just as important. There is no shortage of productivity apps to help you be a productivity ninja. I’ve tried many of them and I always come back to Fantastical. In this post I’ll describe my favorite features and show you how to optimize it as your primary calendar & reminders app on Mac, iPhone and iPad.
What I love about Fantastical
- A common app for all my Apple devices.
- Real English event creation. Input ‘admin meeting Thursday at 9am’ and it will make that event.
- On OSX it has a menu bar app that gives you a quick glance at the calendar, events, and tasks.
- Supports Exchange, Google Calendar, and iCloud calendars.
- Simple and easy reminder management.
- Syncing with several devices is painless and reliable.
Background on my setup
I have four calendars inside Google Apps that I use regularly. One is my own professional calendar, one is a calendar I have edit rights to, and two are company read only calendars. I prefer a simple reminders system which is held in iCloud. One list of reminders is shared between my wife and I.
How to optimize it all
I found it wasn’t just as easy as installing the apps. I had multiple reminder and event notifications coming from not just Fantastical 2 but the built in calendar app and reminders app. Additionally, I had to setup my calendar account a certain way otherwise I’d only see my primary calendar and not the other three. Here are the steps I took to my the whole system run smoothly:
- Install Fantastical 2 on your iPhone and iPad. It’s $4.99 and $9.99 but worth it.
- Install the Fantastical 2 app on your Mac. It’s $39.99 and again well worth it.
- On iOS and OSX add your Google Apps account using the ‘Google’ settings not ‘Exchange’.
- Make sure you have ‘Reminders’ enabled under the iCloud settings.
- On iOS configure the Fantastical 2 settings how you wish. Below are the ones I modified from default:
- App Icon Badge = ‘Date’
- Today Widget = All options enabled
- Highlight Weekends = ‘Enabled’
- Default Calendar is set to my professional Google Apps calendar.
- Show Completed Reminders = ‘Disabled’
- Show All Empty Days = ‘Enabled’
- List -> Show = ‘Selected Day Only’
- Advanced -> Show Event Location Map = ‘Disabled’
- Advanced -> Notifications = All options enabled
- On iOS we want to disable notifications from Apple’s calendar app and reminders app.
- Settings -> Notifications -> Reminders = Disable all notifications
- Settings -> Notifications -> Calendar = Disable all notifications
- On OSX configure Fantastical 2 settings how you wish. Below is the one I modified from default:
- Appearance -> List Shows = ‘Selected Day & Next Day’
- On OSX we want to disable notifications from Apple’s calendar app and reminders app.
- System Preferences -> Notifications -> Reminders = Disable all notifications
- System Preferences -> Notifications -> Calendar = Disable all notifications