iOS calendar app - better adding of events

I find the way of creating new events on the iOS Apple Calendar very frustrating. I often end up adding events on the wrong day—and so I’m looking for an app that’ll do this better.

My problem is that on the list view (that’s my default), when I want to add a new event I start by scrolling to the day of the event (that way I’m also reviewing what else is happening that day). Then, whilst that day is ‘current’ (i.e. at the top of the screen) I click the + button and add a new event.

The problem is, the date of the event is rarely the day I expect. And I’m terrible with dates, and so I don’t notice this until I’m reviewing my calendar later and start wondering if I got the date right.

Is there an app that has a better way of adding events? (I’m not sure if ‘natural language’ is what I want…I’m happy tapping away. But maybe that’s the solution.)

Another way to add events on iOS:

  1. Open Notes.
  2. Create a new note.
  3. Type the date and time of the event.
  4. Example: Friday April 21 10:15 am.
  5. Tap Done.
  6. The event in the Note will be linked/underlined.
  7. Tap the linked event.
  8. You will see a pop-up menu. On the pop-up menu, tap Create Event.
  9. The Calendar will launch and display the New Event Screen.
  10. The date and time are pre-filled; add any other data you want (scroll down for more options).
  11. Tap Add at the top right of the New Event screen.

Note that on the pop-up menu in step 8 you can choose Show in Calendar, which displays a list of recent/upcoming events. If you tap the red + sign at the top right the date and time from the note are pre-filled, and you can change them.

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In the iPad Calendar, all you need do is tap and hold on the day of the event and a highlighted area will appear for the details.

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I agree that the screen for adding a calendar entry on the iPhone in Apple’s Calendar is not great. It doesn’t emphasize the critical things — date and time — enough for me to avoid mistakes. Add to that the somewhat erratic date-picking that @funkydan2 described, and it’s a mess.

Since I gave up on Fantastical (too expensive for my needs), I’ve begun using BusyCal and TimePage. BusyCal at least uses color to help make some of the information more clear, and tapping on the date brings up a scrolling month view (which is excellent). However, changing the time switches to the day view, which requires dragging handlebars to edit. I find that utterly frustrating to use because it’s hard to be accurate (I frequently make changes to short events). But it may work for you. (I like and use BusyCal on the Mac; it’s my default.)

So, on my iPhone I mostly use TimePage (by Moleskine) to add events. This has a radically different interface with a distinct point of view. There are a few things I don’t like, but they are not dealbreakers for me. Unfortunately, their web site doesn’t do a great job of showing what it’s really like; I think you need to try to to really see. They have a 7-day free trial, and you will really need to take some time to learn the gestures.

I wish IOS had a couple more options, I use week cal and I like how I can add my contacts to events and it adds the address also. I tried fantastical and didn’t like it much, going to check out busy cal. I’m not big into the subscriptions for a calendar.

That’s a great idea for using notes to an an event.

Yeah, but 11 steps to add an event? Seriously? Tap & Hold, followed by inputting info is a lot easier.

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I use Siri for adding calendar events and it works perfectly for me. It will add to the default calendar which I can easily edit to whatever specific calendar I want. But it’s easy and fast to just say Hey Siri, add “Event Name” to my calendar for May 2 from 2pm till 6pm. If not start time is specified it will go in as an all day. If only a start time is specified the default is to schedule it for 1 hour.


Thanks for the suggestion of TimePage. It’s subscription is half that of fantastical, so I’m giving it a try. It’s layout is a bit different, so it’s taking some getting used to—but I’m liking it so far and I think it’ll get around my problem.

I also realised there’s a toggle in the Apple Calendar to get out of the ‘list of events’ view—which gives you a day view. This makes it easier to add events on the right day, but it doesn’t give enough of an ‘overview’ on my iPhone screen (only a few hours are visible).

Siri’s a good option—though the main place I make problems is when I’m with someone making an appointment. Speaking into Siri feels a bit socially awkward to me, I prefer typing on my phone—though maybe that’s just me, and I need to get used to talking to Siri in public!

If you’re wearing an AirPod you can speak very softly. And I avoid having to say ‘hey siri’ by pressing the power button on my phone while it is in my pocket.

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