top of page
  • Writer's pictureDenis Yankovsky

How To Choose The Best Calendar App for Mac In 2024? (Free & Paid)

Photo by Pixabay

I never understood calendars growing up because usually, they were hanging on the wall and somehow always ended up showing the wrong month, or even the previous year when the picture above it was particularly good, so it basically became a poster.

Thankfully, now our iPhones and Macs are also our calendars, and they can actually remind us about important things, and help us plan stuff, instead of making us keep up with updating the calendar itself.

In fact, the variety of calendar apps is vast with both generic options, as well as custom apps for Mac computers, iPhones, or Android-based devices. That means you can always find the best calendar app for Mac that fits you perfectly, but the features, price, and interface of different apps will vary widely. Some solutions are more of a full-blown desktop calendar Mac software, others work as a simple planner widget for your Macbook. Some of them will allow you to sync your Mac calendar with an iPhone, while others won’t.

And it’s only natural, as everyone likes their calendar a bit differently. Some people only need to check the days of the week, and maybe occasionally add some birthday reminders, others use it as a personal planner, adding notes, to-do lists, and planning the week, while others use it daily to communicate with teammates, book their work meetings and schedule employees.

So, when there are that many options, the question is what’s the best Mac calendar app for YOU?

We at BestSoftwareTests are sure that finding the best software for your needs is important but should not take too much of your time and effort. So we went ahead, researched the top meeting scheduler apps and booking software, and created a shortlist of the absolute best calendar apps for Mac in 2023.

What To Consider, Looking for The Best Calendar App for Mac?

Before you start your search for the solution, think about what you need this app or software to do and how you intend to use it. The best calendar app for you is the one that matches your needs and lifestyle.

  1. Would you like to get help from notifications and reminders, or do they bother you?

  2. Do you need the calendar app on your Mac for work and team planning, or just for your personal schedule?

  3. Would you prefer a full-featured Macbook planner app or a simplistic Mac calendar widget addon?

When intended for personal use, you can set it up to remember annual events like birthdays and one-off events like medicals, day trips, and family visits, while for business purposes, this can be a great way to cover all of that and deadlines, meetings, and events.

Another important thing to consider is if using this calendar app alone is enough for you, or would you need to sync it with your iPhone calendar, email, or other online calendars. This way, you can be sure you will get all the important reminders and notifications for both work and personal schedules or multiple planners.

How To Tell The Best Calendar App for Mac Apart From The Rest?

As mentioned above, different apps have different features and are designed to cover a variety of needs, but overall there are some key characteristics that best calendar apps for Mac all share:

  1. Clean, minimalist interface, native or matching the original MacOS interface. This means following Apple’s design language and integrating well with MacOS by offering native keyboard shortcuts, notifications, menu bar icons, and even features like Today widgets. That means the best calendar apps will look and function very familiar to Mac users, so no learning curve is required to start using it.

  2. Simple and quick to block times, add entries, and set reminders. When it comes to a Mac calendar app, time-saving is key, because that’s why we are looking to organize time in the first place. If you can’t add events in a few seconds, you’re much less likely to keep it up to date. In fact, it’s much better to use the time saved on redundant actions, and liven up your calendar with some pilates sessions online for a change.

  3. Quick to overview in a glance with daily, weekly, and monthly views. Calendars are only useful if you can actually see what you have coming up, so the best calendar apps will let you set it up for your taste and easily switch between the views.

  4. Seamlessly integrates with existing appointments from iCloud, Google Calendar, and other software. Your calendar should be available everywhere at all times—that’s the point of using an app, so if you could also sync your Mac calendar with your iPhone, that would be ideal.

Those are the key features and capabilities we were searching for when creating our shortlist of the best Mac calendar apps and widgets.

So What Is The Best Calendar App for Mac in 2023?

Considering all the above, this is the shortlist we came up with after researching and testing a bunch of calendar apps for Mac.

In a nutshell: free calendar app built into every Mac computer

Let’s address the obvious and get it out of the way. Every Macbook or desktop Mac computer is by default equipped with a built-in calendar app, similar to the one your iPhone has. So if you’re a fan of keeping all things Apple, or only need the Mac calendar to cover the most basic needs, this built-in and simple calendar might be it for you.

It works well with iCloud and your Apple ID but that’s it. Apple Calendar has a native Mac interface and does everything a basic default calendar should do, but nothing more than that. As soon as you’d want some customization options or some additional capabilities, you’d quickly realize it’s pretty limited, and many calendar apps for Mac can offer a better package and even, at times, a slicker, more modern look.

Price: Apple Calendar comes free with all Apple devices.

In a nutshell: a calendar app for Mac similar to Apple Calendar but with additional, powerful features.

Fantastical is a calendar app for Mac that features a similar to the Apple Calendar design but packs more advanced settings and neat capabilities, and the interface incorporates an agenda view alongside your calendar. In addition, you can choose between the quick menu bar version to quickly glance only at the upcoming day, and a full-featured calendar view.

It also includes natural language input, which means that you can simply type in what you need to add an event or reminder, and it will parse out what you mean.

Another neat feature is that the Fantastical Mac calendar app will recognize the accidentally scheduled duplicate events, and show you only the original, but flag the duplicate copy for you.

When it comes to syncing options and integrations: it’s not easy to find an app Fantastical isn’t compatible with. It will easily sync with iCloud, Exchange, Google, Yahoo, and more.

Price: A paid plan costs $4.75/month for the individual or $7.50/month for the family plan, corporate plans are also available and the price will be quoted upon request. You can start with a free 14-day trial.

2. calendar, taks-management & productivity app for Mac

In a nutshell: a neat calendar & task management app that integrates with most messengers & management platforms is a powerful all-in-one calendar, task management, and productivity app for Mac. Sleek and packed with features, is the optimal calendar and daily planner app for Mac users, and it was even called Apple’s official editors’ choice for an all-in-all to-do list, reminders & calendar for Mac.

You can customize the way it looks by choosing from different background wallpapers and themes. Similar to any decent calendar app, you can fill up the event details with relevant information such as Notes, URL, location, and more. The software simply shines with the third-party app integration. supports over 1500+ (Yep, that’s right) services, including some heavy-hitters like Evernote, Trello, Slack, OneNote, and more.

Price: $2.99/month (When billed annually for the premium version)

In a nutshell: another native for Mac users calendar app with handy features & rich customization

Another very sensible option is BusyCal. You can integrate this calendar app with an email account on your Mac, or even a CRM, and have them sync automatically in real-time. On a side note, if automation is your thing, check our recent complete guide about the top AI tools you should know and use to enjoy the most technologically advanced automation tools out there.

BusyCal app is simple and clean from the design perspective, but it hides some impressive capabilities up its sleeve — with a weather forecast and moon phases, there is more to it than it seems. You can customize how your events will be displayed with the Smart Filter, and, for example, only show birthdays or repeating work meetings, plus you can apply multiple rules at once to organize your calendar app for your goal.

Other features of BusyCal include a sidebar view, travel time calculation, matching the user’s time zone, free text input, and a ton of customization options including intake forms, changing font face, size, colors, time format, and much more.

Unlike Fantastical’s subscription model, BusyCal offers a purchase model, so you can pay once and enjoy it however long you want.

Price: BusyCal costs $49.99 and comes with a 30-day free trial. BusyCal is also available with a monthly subscription on SetApp for $9.99, along with over 200 other Mas & iOS apps.

In a nutshell: desktop calendar & to-do-list widget for mac

Task Office is one of the best Get-This-Done apps, offering a calendar, to-do lists, projects, and contacts management app for your iOS and macOS devices.

Task Office offers a simple user interface with separate tabs for Projects, Contacts, Tasks, and Calendar entries across the bottom of the screen, plus a fifth Home button for Today and current week-related reminders only. From here you can tackle the most current tasks in a color-coded timeline, quickly making sense of even the busiest of weeks.

The two-way syncing works with Apple iCal, Google Calendar, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, and others. Once you’ve set up your connection, everything updates automatically.

Price: Task Office desktop calendar widget for Mac costs only $19.99 as a one-time purchase.

In a nutshell: Itsycal is a highly accessible & handy menu bar calendar widget app, conveniently accessible through an icon.

As good as MacOS is, it sometimes misses some pretty basic and natural features. For example: clicking on the time in the corner of the home screen to open up a calendar, as Windows does for ages.

Itsycal is not a full-blown calendar app, but rather a widget, but it’s still better than the macOS built-in default calendar app, and it’s also free to use. Itsycal calendar widget for Mac has a great menu bar that shows you the current date, and once you click on it, a miniature calendar pops up, which is what you need as an instant simple reference tool.

You can configure a global keyboard shortcut to see this icon. Below the calendar, you’ll see your appointments, and you can even use the keyboard to search for dates. From here, you can also quickly add appointments to your calendars.

For what it is (a simple mac OS calendar addon widget), Itsycal is also relatively customizable. You can toggle between light and dark modes or even change its icon appearance. For easier access, you can also pin this menu bar onto your screen to glance at anytime, or when you need to refer to it while composing an email or note.

Price: It offers a free plan for up to four users and a few more advanced options to upgrade for starting as low as $5 per month.

In a nutshell: Calendar 366 II is a versatile and powerful menu bar calendar widget for MacOS

Calendar 366 II calendar widget for MacOS was designed as a supplement to the default Apple calendar, but it’s pretty comprehensive and could as well replace it entirely in some use cases.

Calendar 366 II is different from some other macOS calendar apps because there is no full-screen view available, so it’s only a menu-bar-based calendar widget for Mac.

You can still choose from various views though, such as yearly, monthly, weekly, schedule, current day, etc., and even choose from 8 different views and 9 themes to perfectly fit your needs and taste.

Calendar 366 II offers most standard syncing options, and it’s well optimized to use with the native macOS interface: for example, it’s really simple to use Spotlight Search to search for calendar entries from Calendar 366 II, or even use Calendar 366 II instead of the default macOS clock widgets. and iOS.

Price: $14.99 (with a 30-day free trial). Calendar 366 for iPhone and iPad costs $6.99.

In a nutshell: Calendly is a very friendly free mac calendar & scheduling app that allows you to collaborate with multiple team members.

Calendly is a calendar app and an appointment scheduling app designed for small businesses to simplify scheduling and save time and effort on back-and-forth emails usually required to book a meeting, and instead, simply schedule appointments with partners and customers in a few clicks. Although Calendly was not custom-made to be the calendar app for mac only, and it works with other devices too, it’s a worthy tool to consider for your MacBook.

Small businesses can create rules for their schedule and availability using Calendly and then share their custom Calendly link to customers so it’s very easy to invite others to pick a date and time. This way it functions as a “book me app”, and clients can book appointments with you, in a self-service manner, based on their preferences.

A very smart and useful benefit of Calendly is its buffer feature, meaning it will automatically create an adjustable buffer around your meetings, preventing overlapping appointments and back-to-back meetings. This free appointment booking and reminder app also offers some unique features, like round-robin, collective, and one-on-one meetings.

To finish off, the Calendly meeting scheduler app offers multiple 3d party integrations, so it can sync with multiple calendars as well.

Price: Calendly offers a free version with basic booking capabilities and a single calendar view. Paid plans, with team solutions, cost $8 to $16 per month.

In a nutshell: A simple calendar management software for mac or android to integrate all of your different calendars into one.

If you want to combine all of your meeting scheduling from different calendars on a single desktop or phone – Google Calendar, Apple’s iCal, and Outlook, for starters – is a solid pick. It helps you to simply schedule appointments, easily sync across all devices, receive reminders and notifications, and even receive meetings auto-transcriptions in the paid version.

The best part is its AI function, which monitors your schedule and can automate certain tasks without your input. Plus, you’ll receive valuable analytics that tell you how you spend your time.

Price: The paid versions range from $6 to $8 per month, and there’s also a free limited version.

In a nutshell: Instacal is another simple, but convenient mac calendar app that’s always a click away.

There is no full-page calendar view, instead, the Instacal calendar widget for mac opens up as a small pop-up menu. It can handle all the scheduling and reminders that other calendars provide and even sync with Google and Outlook calendars. The calendar app packs everything the competition does into a smaller, more streamlined package.

You can plan out a whole week or month upfront using the Instacal calendar view. Its minimal display is backed up by intricate scheduling windows that let you assign times and dates, schedule email alerts, and even send invitations. It also shows you all the upcoming events in the calendar every time you enter the calendar app, so it’s easy to stay on top of your meetings and appointments.

If you have working and personal schedules spread across several different calendars, you can consolidate them through the Instacal mac app. It allows for syncing easily with Microsoft Office, Google Calendar, and iCal. This sync even lets you respond to invitations from any calendar in the InstaCal window.

To finish it all, there is also an AI function, which monitors your schedule and can automate certain tasks without your input.

Price: Instacal is available for downloads from AppStore for a flat price of only $5.

In a nutshell: Default calendar app from Google, for Mac, or any other computer

Yep, Google Calendar also made it to the list of the best calendar apps for Mac. Although technically there’s no particular Google Calendar app to install on your Mac, you can access it easily through any web browser on any Mac device to use it. Plus any of the other apps on this list sync with Google Calendar, so you could probably get the best of both worlds by combining them.

Google Calendar is mostly popular because it comes naturally with Gmail, YouTube, or any other G-suite applications, and the fact that you can create multiple calendars with a single Google account in one place, and then transfer those entries to almost any other online calendar.

You can link your Google Calendar not only to other calendar apps but also to commercial apps and services that have calendars as part of their functionality, such as Trello and Asana.

Colored labels for individual calendars make it easy to see which area of your life the event relates to. You can show or hide calendars so that you can focus on specific types of events.

When used in an organization, Google Calendar lets you check your coworkers’ calendars next to yours. Inviting other people to your calendar is also very easy. But Google Calendar might not be the best option for employee team scheduling, for a bunch of reasons.

You can choose to share the entire calendar or use the call option to add people to the event.

Price: Google Calendar is completely free and accessible from any laptop, desktop computer, or smartphone.

So What Is The Calendar App for Mac of Your Choice?

If you get to this part, you definitely know by now that calendar apps and widgets for Mac are abundant and they vary quite a lot. And just like with any other tool or software, the best one for you is the one that fits your own criteria and workflow best.

For many Mac users, Apple’s default calendar app will do the job, for others looking for something more – such as an app that incorporates to-do lists, customizable calendar colors, availability sharing, and weather alerts – you might be better off with proprietary calendar apps for Mac like BusyCal or Fantastical. If you need to add a planning and task management aspect to it, apps like & Task Office should be a better choice. Itsycal will be a simple & neat bar widget if you want to keep it basic and clean. Or you can consider tools like Calendly to see the upcoming events and also open your calendar up for appointment booking.

Whether you’re a student, freelance worker, or business owner, having the right calendar app can help you stay on top of your daily tasks and weekly schedule.

So what is your favorite calendar app or widget for Mac?

A well-designed calendar app for Mac can help you stay organized, but did you know that optimizing its content for SEO can also improve your website’s visibility?

Did you find it valuable? Please rate to support our work!

4.9/5 - (15 votes)

0 views0 comments
bottom of page