Your phone has a built-in calendar, but is it your best option? A good calendar app should offer multiple views, make it easy to create events, and let you share events or your whole calendar. Google Calendar is our pick for best calendar app, because it does all of these things, plus offers smart suggestions and a new Goals feature to help you find time for resolutions like going to the gym.
Not sure Google Calendar is for you? We have two other options: Outlook is about to absorb Sunrise's most fabulous features, and UpTo has a unique hidden feature that could cure your FOMO.
Apps in this guide
Create events easily: The best thing about Google Calendar: It scans your Gmail for events to add, and links days and dates in your messages, so you don't have to manually input all your to-dos. If you've bought a show ticket or emailed a friend about a meetup, chances are it's already in your Google Calendar or can be easily added by clicking a link. And when you must manually type in an event, the app makes smart suggestions to streamline the process, such as calling up locations from Google Maps.
Customize your calendar: Google Calendar is both simple and customizable. You can create events, alerts (including when you should leave if you want to get there on time), and goals. You can see your upcoming events as an agenda; a vertical list; or a Day, 3 Day, or Week view. You can search your calendar by keyword and sync with all your other calendars.
Set goals: Calendar's new Goals looks like a star feature. Just input your objective, such as "Go to gym three times per week" or "Sunday funday brunch." Calendar will ask a couple questions to figure out the most appropriate times and will pencil in the goals. If you later add an event that conflicts, or if you need to defer, Calendar will automatically reschedule your goal time.
Tip: Set up Google Calendar Goals
To create a Goal:
- At the bottom right, tap Create and then Goal.
- Select a suggested category or tap Custom to create your own.
- Follow the instructions and then tap Done.
Goals will add sessions automatically, but if the suggested times and dates don't work for you, you can always change them.
Microsoft is shutting down popular calendar app Sunrise, but the good news is that you can expect some of your favorite Sunrise features -- custom calendars, event icons, and in-app services -- in Outlook. Like Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook's calendar has Agenda, Day, and 3-Day views, and it syncs with other calendars. Outlook also integrates with Skype and connects to Evernote, Facebook, and Wunderlist.
Think outside the calendar grid with UpTo. It offers all the features you'd expect: a streamlined UI; syncing with Google Calendar, iCloud, Outlook, and Facebook Events; and the ability to share your calendar. But UpTo's special power is helping you find events aligned with your interests. Just follow your favorites -- music festivals, TV series premieres, game releases, and more -- and you can easily pinch and zoom to uncover everything that's going on.