When I think of iconic Mac apps, Fantastical is one of the first that comes to mind.
With Fantastical, Flexibits (the mastermind developers) made it easy to add new calendar events with their parsing engine, made it quicker to view your calendar with the menu-bar view, and now with Fantastical 2, they aimed to make the best calendar app, period.
As much as I loved the original Fantastical, I still needed to open iCal (or Calendar) to view my schedule from time to time. Everyone has a different approach to using a calendar, and for me, it’s week view or bust.
With the release of Fantastical 2, Flexibits aimed to kill all other calendar apps by making Fantastical a full-fledged calendar app. It takes the old menu-bar app and transforms it into a fully-functional desktop calendar application. In fact, it’s probably the biggest feature of Fantastical 2.
Fantastical 2 utilizes a clean, two-pane interface with a running agenda on the left and full calendar on the right. And since it syncs with the Reminders.app, you can also view your Reminders from within Fantastical.
This isn’t all to say that the menu-bar style of Fantastical is dead and gone – far from it actually. Fantastical 2 features a redesigned menu-bar experience that allows you to view your entire calendar and create new events and reminders, all from your menu bar (accessible by a keyboard shortcut). The best part is, now with Fantastical 2, the menu-bar app is now detachable. That means you can now have the minimal-view of Fantastical anywhere on your screen.
If you’ve used Fantastical on either the iPhone or iPad, you’ll feel right at home with the design of Fantastical 2. Flexibits kept their design similar across all platforms, without looking out of place on Yosemite. I personally love the colourful interface of Fantastical – it’s the perfect example of how to adopt a design language, but still have a unique look.
One of the best new features of Fantastical is ‘Calendar Sets.’ Calendar Sets allows you to setup different versions of your calendar for various parts of your life. If you’re anything like me, you have 8 different colours on your calendar representing various parts of your life. Instead of simplifying your calendar, they end up creating a confusing, cluttered look.
With Calendar Sets, I was able to setup individual calendars for my home and work life, as well as separate calendars for my other projects. The best part? You can setup geo-locations associated with each calendar set which means Fantastical 2 will automatically switch to your work set when you arrive at the office and automatically change back to your home set when you return home.
Now that I’ve had a chance to setup and use Fantastical 2 on a daily basis, I love using it as my only calendar app on all platforms (iPhone, iPad and Mac). It’s beautiful design makes using my calendar fun, and Calendar Sets allows me to stay better organized.
When it’s all said and done, Fantastical 2 is the best calendar app available for Mac, bar none.
At $49.99 (or a limited-time launch price of $39.99), the price may turn some people off, but if you’re like me and rely on your calendar to stay organized and efficient, it’s a small price to pay.