Calendars by Readdle for Mac
The user interface of Calendars is beautiful and very easy to understand. It feels very much like an evolutionary step up from a basic system calendar. The app is easy to use, but it would be nice to see additional integrations included for task management. While I would love to see the price be lower than $20 per year, this is a space that needs to be constantly updated and developed. As long as new releases are rolled out often, this seems to be a reasonable yearly cost as it breaks down to around $1.66 per month.
- EASE OF USE
Calendars by Readdle keeps users on top of their entire schedule.
There are many different applications that focus on scheduling, calendars, tasks, and productivity. These applications allow users to manage their lives and tasks in a more organized way. They can also help users stay on track with their plans and goals. Because there are so many different types of users out there, there are a lot of apps designed to help people manage their time.
Some of the most popular applications available in the market include Todoist, Fantastical, and Things. These applications are all very different from one another but they each serve a similar purpose: to keep the user on-task and productive. This is also the goal of Calendars by Readdle, which has recently been released for macOS devices.
Readdle was founded in 2007 when four friends from Odesa, Ukraine got together with a desire to build something valuable for the newly released iPhone. Today, the company boasts a team of more than 250 professionals working in 12 different countries.
ReaddleDocs was one of the first 500 apps to ever be released on the App Store when it was launched in 2008. Since then, Readdle has made a successful business by focusing on productivity apps. Its mission is to make people more productive by enabling technology to millions.
Readdle’s apps have won multiple Apple Editor’s Choice and Apps of the Year awards and they exceeded 194 million downloads worldwide between their apps PDF Expert, Spark email, Documents, Calendars, and Scanner Pro.
Calendars is an app designed to provide a single repository for all of a user’s schedules, calendars, routines, and tasks so that they can get a full picture of how their time is being spent. The app features drag-and-drop functionality for items on your calendar and the ability to connect to external calendars from Google, iCloud, Exchange, or Outlook.
Calendars by Readdle is already a successful iOS app (more than 20 million users) and now, users can enjoy the same level of productivity from the comfort of their macOS device. The goal of the app is to help users own their time and find a balance between their personal and professional lives.
- Optimal day/week/month/list views
- Easy event creation with natural language
- Video call support – Integration with Zoom, Meet, GoToMeeting
- Customizable recurring events
- Interesting calendars
- Weather updates
- Task management
- Universal subscription – works across all Apple devices
According to the Mac App Store, Calendar by Readdle’s privacy policies include the following data handling practices:
- The following data may be collected and linked to your identity: Identifiers & Usage Data
- The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity: Contact Info & Diagnostics
Pricing and Availability
Calendars by Readdle is available across all Apple platforms.
- Mac – Requires macOS 11.0 or later
- iPhone – Requires iOS 14.0 or later
- iPad – Requires iPadOS 14.0 or later
- Apple Watch – requires watchOS 5.0 or later
The app has two versions – a free option and a PRO Plan. The free version only includes the basic calendar with a handy overview of upcoming events and easy event creation with color-coding for one external calendar account (and a local calendar on your device). Basic Calendars features will work in sync across all Apple devices.
The PRO Plan is $19.99 for a one-year subscription. The PRO plan gives the user access to Calendars across all Apple devices. It also includes unlimited use of Planner on Mac, tasks, multiple accounts, recurring events, natural language input, reminders, and more.
Users who already have already subscribed to the PRO Plan to Calendars for the iPhone can get Calendars for Mac at no additional charge.
Because the app can be found in the Mac App Store, installation is quite simple. You simply search for “Calendars” and you will find “Calendars – Planner & Calendar.” The first thing the app will do is take the user through a series of onboarding screens. It starts by assessing your goals by asking, “What would you like to achieve?” You can select multiple answers.
The next screen asks you to define your work time during the day. I set my for 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Truth be told, it is sometimes earlier and later than that, but since the idea behind this app is to provide the user with the opportunity to regain some of their time during the day, it’s best to be honest about your working time – or at least what it should be. The app also asks you to define some planning time so that you have time set aside specifically for that task.
The next onboarding screen provides you with the main process of the app. “Master your time in three easy steps with Planner.”
- Add all your meetings, events, and routines to your calendar
- Write down all the tasks you want to accomplish
- Drop the tasks into your calendar to allocate time for them
When I read through this, I thought, “This is something I typically do – just not formally.” That’s part of the charm of this app. It takes something you are probably already doing and wraps it into a single package.
The next part of the onboarding process is to connect your calendars. I can tell you that I end up doing this manually. I have a work calendar (Outlook) and a personal calendar (iCloud). I will usually add the Outlook calendar as a separate calendar inside my iCloud calendar. That way when I am making appointments on my iPhone (my primary device for appointment-making, I can see all the time that is available AND the calendars stay separated. The only hindrance in this is that I end up getting invites on my Outlook calendar AND my iCloud calendar.
When it came to choosing the calendars to add into the Planner, I selected Local Calendar, which meant that calendar information from my Mac Calendar app would be synced, and I attempted to connect to a Microsoft Exchange account, but I ran into some problems. After triple checking my user name and password, I ended up getting the following error:
Your email server is running an outdated version of Exchange that is not compatible with Calendars. Please contact your network administrator to upgrade.
This is something that is 100% out of my control and was completely unexpected. So, I closed out of that error screen and proceeded with a single calendar. The last two steps of the onboarding process were to sync tasks and allow notifications. Users are given two options for importing tasks – Apple Reminders and Google Tasks. This was a little disheartening to me because I keep app my tasks inside Todoist. With that in mind, I didn’t have any tasks to migrate into Calendars.
The last step in the process is to agree to the terms of the 7-day free trial. At the conclusion of the trial, you will be charged $19.99 for the first year of use. You do have the option to unsubscribe, but you have to do so within 24 hours of the trial expiring. So, if you think you aren’t going to continue with the Pro plan, I would recommend unsubscribing as soon as possible. The trial will continue until the expiration date.
Once you get past the onboarding process, the calendar is ready to be used. I’ve had the opportunity to use Calendars on the iPhone in the past so I was familiar with how the app functions. The initial import populates the calendar with your existing data so using Calendars is just a matter of daily management after that point.
There are three big features that Readdle included with the macOS release – Calendar Blocking, Planner, and Shortcuts.
Calendar Blocking – Connect Appointments & Tasks
While Readdle doesn’t refer to this feature as “calendar blocking” that phrase describes the method of productivity that is being used. Calendar blocking is the act of adding specific times to a calendar for when you plan to get a task completed. The theory is that this will help you maintain focus and accountability as you manage your time.
So, by adding the ability for users to include tasks on their calendar alongside the actual calendar appointments, Calendars is using this productivity method. This feature is, in my opinion, what sets Calendars apart from traditional calendars. Even though your tasks end up in your calendar with time allotted to them, they are still tasks that keeps them separate from your appointments.
As much as I like this feature, I do think it’s a little bit limited because there are only two options for importing tasks during onboarding. I’m hopeful that Readdle will include additional task manager integrations in the future
The Planner feature is really just a close-up view of your Calendar Blocking. It shows how tasks are related to each other and provide insights into how you can best allocate time to them. It’s colorful and gives you the option to color-code your events. Readdle refers to this activity as putting together a jigsaw puzzle. And it is. As someone who works with project management, this is similar to shifting tasks around within project statuses. I like the concept of including planning time in your daily schedule so you have dedicated time to look at your planner and organize it.
This is a feature that I wish more calendar, scheduling, and task managers included. The Shortcuts option allows users to essentially create a set of templates of time for specific tasks. I LOVE this feature because it means I can save blocks of time for activities that we do on a weekly basis such as grocery shopping, laundry, and mowing the yard. Since they are repeated tasks, I know approximately how long they take to complete and the Shortcuts feature allows me to save those times for repeated use.
Overall Thoughts & Conclusion
Calendars by Readdle is a very clean, intuitive interface for organizing your schedule. I feel like this app is a great system to step into from a standard calendar. It’s not as heavy as some other calendar/scheduling apps, but it still gives you more features than the base-level calendar apps.
One of the more advanced calendar systems out there is Fantastical by Flexibits. It’s been around for almost 10 years and is considered by some to be the epitome of calendar systems for Apple devices. It’s a robust system, but for many people, it’s just too much. When we learned that Calendars by Readdle was going to launch, we asked how it compared to other competitors and specifically Fantastical.
Compared to Fantastical, we prioritize user experience and simplicity over creating a multitude of features. Also, the Planner feature in Calendars on Mac makes it much easier to work with tasks, letting you quickly schedule them with drag & drop and then mark tasks as done right on your calendar.
In addition to that explanation, Readdle stated that the pricing structure was likely more attractive to standard users at $19.99 per year versus the $39.96 per year for Fantastical (based on current pricing for individual users at the time of this article publishing).
With Calendars by Readdle, people can get a user-friendly calendar and task manager with good value for the money.
I appreciate the value that Readdle provides with Calendars. I also really like the fact that you get all the Apple device apps for that single subscription price. The app is very easy to learn and out of the gate, you can start using it. That is a big perk in my opinion.
Would I recommend Calendars by Readdle? Absolutely! If you are trying to up your calendar/scheduling game and want some wonderful new features with a clean user interface, Calendars is the way to go. I’m very eager to see future integrations roll out for certain features like task imports, but Calendars by Readdle is a solid system with a clean interface and with a strong development company behind it.