Fantastical / Calendar Event Tags

Hey everybody,

I use Fantastical and have half a dozen calendars for various areas of my personal and work life, as I imagine most of us do.

However, in the last 6 months I’ve been wishing I could visualize them by their role/context as opposed to project. @MacSparky has posted a fair amount about the Maker - Manager - Consumer trio, and I’m essentially wishing I could see my events based on time spent in these areas, regardless of which project they belong to (and thus which calendar and its corresponding color).

I’ve considered redoing all of my calendars but that seems to solve one problem and create another one. It occurred to me if we had the ability to “tag” our calendar events and set view customization it could be extremely powerful. Is this just my idea? Curious if anyone has done this or has leads I could follow.



One option might be to create separate calendar sets for each context. So one set for Maker, one for Manager and one for Consumer. The downside is that the way calendar sets work in most apps, you can only see the events for one of those at a time.

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I think a shortcoming of Fantastical and other calendar apps in this case is that they don’t work well for qualitative information about events. Notes, etc., are buried inside events.

You might benefit from looking at NotePlan or Agenda which are less “calendar-centric” and more note centric. They are similar but different in their approaches and appeal to different tastes in information management. Either of these apps can associate tags, notes, etc., with the calendar events, and that info can be used for self-analysis.

If you really want to get granular, then something like Timing might be useful. Timing requires a lot of discipline to be useful, but can over time can help with understand the role-based aspects of your time flow.

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Be sure to write to Fantastical support to ask about this and build support for a feature request. I expressed my request as the ability to save a search as a calendar set.


Oh man love that idea - that would be very useful. I reached out to them on Twitter and they were kind enough to reply, sure enough does not currently exist.

Thanks so much - I love Timing and have used it on/off in the past. I’ll check out those apps!

I’ve tried that actually but have learned that it’s best for me primarily to have events organized by “project” if you will - how we normally use calendars. I have 2 primary jobs which each have a calendar, plus a few personal ones. But if I spend an hour doing email at both jobs, clean my home office, and run errands with my kids, none of those are really in the “move the needle category” regardless of which area of life they are in. We tend to look at this with work, but at home, spending 4 hours in the yard is directly moving the needle if that is a high priority. Just wish there was a quick way to tag things so I could look at the colors after a day or week and see how I did, without choosing this as a primary organization system and losing the project-based mode we typically rely on when setting up our various calendars. Thanks for the thoughts!!

This is silly, but don’t forget that calendar event titles can have emojis in the name. By having a set of emojis that you use like tags you can search Fantastical by emoji and all events with that emoji in the title.

Have you seen Woven? It’s the one calendar app I’m thus far aware of that has event tagging built-in.

For i*OS, there’s also TimeView. Hasn’t been updated for a minute, but the developer has an iOS14 widget builder app on the market, so it’s not hard to imagine that TimeView might get some attention.

Likewise, I’m surprised there isn’t more support for this kind of thinking. That said, it’s better than the old GCal2Excel days… :wink:

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Woven looks very interesting! They are moving even further upmarket than Fantastical, but are unapologetic about it. I’ll have to do some testing. The tagging feature seems smartly implemented. Thanks for linking it.

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Updating this thread with a quick mixed review of Woven. For context, I juggle a lot of calendars for work, a few for home, and I use Fantastical because it saves me enough time every month to justify the cost. Frustrations with Fantastical are a) the Watch complication not keeping up, b) no ability to add metadata (tags) to calendar events, c) no ability to save searches, d) no ability to quickly toggle calendars outside of calendar sets.

I really like the tags. You can add them to events pretty quickly, including to ones you were invited to, not just the ones you create. The same tag can be applied across multiple calendars.

I also like the analytics (how much time you’re spending in each kind of tag, an estimate of your focus time, and how much time you spend with each person.) However, I’m not sure if its maker schedule time estimates provide much more benefit than just eyeballing the weekly calendar view.

Keyboard shortcuts are also appreciated.

Everything else is not done as well as Fantastical: it’s a web app (or some web views in an electron container, or something like that), not a native Mac app, so doesn’t perform as well, and several views are functional but not fully thought through. Woven does sync and display changes to calendar data more quickly, but that’s because it comes from the cloud, which I see as a major weakness despite Woven’s rather good privacy policy. Fantastical protects themselves from access to my data by design.

On the iPhone, Woven makes pretty good use of the bottom tab bar, so it feels more organized, and the performance seems more in line with my expectations. However, it’s not nearly easy enough to view different calendars here either as the app prioritizes things like viewing analytics, sending meeting time finders, and managing templates.

Woven doesn’t appear to have a watch app, or at least, I couldn’t get it to activate.

Woven also costs $120/year for premium and I’d rather pay $40/year.

I could certainly see Woven being someone’s favorite app, but I feel more confident that Fantastical is the current best tool for me, despite its limitations. I really hope that Fantastical catches up a bit with Woven’s best features, though.

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