Exploring BusyCal vs. Fantastical in 2024

I guess I’m not as busy as I thought I was :wink:

Fantastical has been a great time saver for me for years. I also rely heavily on the Openings feature which saved me the cost of a separate subscription for that functionality.

Two Fantastical features I don’t know if BusyCal has:

  1. Mini calendar drop-down from my menu bar, which also allows natural-language input of new events
  2. Menu bar display of the next upcoming event

Does BusyCal have anything like this?

  1. Yes, it has a mini calendar in a drop-down with natural language input.


  1. Yes and no – it will show time to the next conference call when there is one, but not for other events.

An important difference for me is how widgets handle upcoming events. I have a widget which shows upcoming events for a subset of my calendars. There may be multiple days in a row with no events. Fantastical will always show the next few events no matter how many days out it is. But BusyCal will only show me today and tomorrow, which means that for my specific subset the widget will often be blank. That is a failure! I want to see the next few upcoming widgets no matter how far out they are and BusyCal does not provide an option for that in their widgets.

I bought Fantastical when it was possible to actually “own it”, I am still using it, years later every day on iPhone & Mac — and i am getting updates that provide compatibility with every new OS.
That’s fantastic value for the price (back in the intel days, 60$?).

Companies “going subscription” don’t usually have a plan that, and while i have some issues with FantastiCal’s design, i still think it is the best calendar app i have used.

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I’m in the same boat. I wasn’t happy when they went subscription (it hadn’t been that long since I’s bought it) and the transition was a bit rocky, but they were very fair to us. They could have released the subscription version as a separate product and abandoned us. Instead, I’m still getting all the features I paid for and compatibility and security updates. I haven’t needed the newer features so far, but if I ever do, I’ll be much more inclined to subscribe than I would have otherwise.