Looking for the ULTIMATE calendar sync reference

For quite some time, I’ve been in calendar sync Hell. I get multiple notifications for some events and none for others. Some events show up in the iOS calendar, but not in my Google Calendar, and vice versa.
Now that I’ve just bought the Balck Friday Fantastical deal, (thinking that I’ll retire BusyCal on Mac and iOS), I need to get this fixed.

I would like to coordinate and sync the following calendars.
My google calendar
Fantastical on Mac and iOS
My Outlook Calendar for work (one direction only.
Can I also retire the default iOS Calendar, since I now have Fantastical??

Can I have my work calendar appointments synced to Fantastical, but AVOID my personal appoinments from my Google calendar getting synced to Outlook? If I have an interview, I want that in my google calendar, but obviously don’t want that showing on my work Outlook calendar. Outlook calendar events are public where I work, everyone can read them from their Outlook calendar).

I’ve heard @MacSparky speak very highly of Fantastical many times, I’m really looking forward to getting organized (finally).


Fantastical - like most 3rd party calendar apps - pulls calendar data from the calendar data your Apple OS retrieves. And Apple Calendar can be configured to sync Google calendar info. So, as long as you sync to your GC then just about any app that pulls Apple Calendar data should let you be able to ignore (I wouldn’t have “retire” = delete) the stock Apple calendar app.

I bought Fantastical on sale to try on my iPhone and frankly hated the user interface. It sent me running back to Readdle’s Calendars5. I live inside Google Calendar (and have multiple calendars including a 2-way sync with tasks created in Todoist), and on iOS the Readdle app works seamlessly with GC calendars as well as data from Apple Calendars (though I currently don’t think I have any). Readdle Calendars5 has several calendar views. I spend most of my time in the Day view:

but there’s also week, list, and month views.

Fantastical at least on mac should be able to connect to exchange calendars. Disable notifications from other calendar apps.

Can’t recommend fantastical on iOS, it is very simplistic and does not really do anything better than apple’s calendar app. Go for readdle’s calendar, which was mentioned here. Connecting to google calendars should not be an issue. Just don’t forget to switch off notifications of all other calendar apps.

Thanks, but doesn’t switching off notifications seem “after the fact”? Shouldn’t users be able to configure the syncs so that users don’t need to tirn off notifications?

As far as I understand, most calendar apps on iOS use calendar engine which is provided by iOS. If you remember, you have to configure them system-wide as an account. Apps like fantastical don’t even have an own calendar engine, they simply read the DB and calendar settings of apple’s Calendar app. Thus, the Calendar app will run in any case, you can just disable which calendars to show in the app, but it will not affect the syncing of the underlying engine. See it a frontend to the calendar framework in iOS. What you do is just disabling the notifications for apple’s frontend and use another one.

Fantastical’s excellent natural language parsing is well worth the price of admission for the iOS version for me.

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This, is, honestly, not enough, since Siri is very error-prone and setting events via dials in iOS is not such a big deal. Typing is no fun on an iPhone, too. Where most iOS calendar apps fail is to get a week overview of 2-3 pretty full calendars. Apple’s is a mess in such situations, and so is Fantastical. I have a situation, where 3 day-wide events will sit on top of each day - and then all the other events. Every app which is not visually clear fails.

I would much rather type that use the iOS date picker (even on an iPhone, much less on an iPad).


That is true. Interestingly, Readdle also allows you to simply log into calendar.google.com directly and bypasses Apple’s calendar plumbing if you’re just using GC. Works great, not sure why they offer the extra functionality, though.

Readdle Calendars does the same thing. “Meeting with Jim next Thursday at 3pm” sets an event for Thursday 11/29 from 3-3:30pm (I’d set my app default for a half hour*), and with Contacts access (given via Privacy>Contacts) “Jim” is highlighted: if I tap on it I can choose which Jim from my contacts I’m referring to, and then fills in the calendar entry with the full name. And then that contact info appear in the calendar entry, and if I touch the contact’s name I’m able to call, email, text or FaceTime him.

*(And if I speak/write “meeting from 3-to-5pm” the app would enter that properly as well.)

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I like the Fantastical implementation a better than Readdle’s. On the other hand, Calendars does do a better job displaying calendars than Fantastical. I used the Readdle app as my main iOS calendar for quite a while, but what ultimately pushed me off of it was how long it takes to launch. I spent a ton of time looking at Calendars’ splash screen, whereas Fantastical always seems to be right there the moment I launched the app.

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If you have it try re-downloading and trying it now. Maybe the code has been optimized in recent updates. I just launched it and it opened in a fraction of a second on my XS Max.

It still takes a while to launch for me if I haven’t been in the app recently.

There is a thing where it downloads exchange calendar for a long time. I have a suspicion, that since our company introduced MDM it is forced to download it with every start again.

Is there a concise reference for configuring/syncing all of my calendars (my calendars setup posted in original msg), from scratch?

I especially don’t know how to keep my personal appointments from my gmail calendar, so they don’t get synced to my work outlook calendar.

Been wondering for a couple months. How recently have you tried the app. (Based on a similar response from way back then.)

I just switched back to Calendars on both iPad and tablet. This not a like my app post I’m curious about your experience.

No, I haven’t.

I’ve been able to get Fantastical working, so that I only get one notification for each event. When I create an event in Fantastical, it shows up in Gmail calendar, and vice-versa.

I think the one-way syncing with my work Outlook calendar is working too, but I’m still testing that also.

I’m a happy camper now.

I’m a big fan of week cal it doesn’t have natural language , but I love all the colors you can pick and the different views of your calendar. I tried fantastical but not really a fan, I wish there was a month view with where I could see everything. I enjoy trying different calendar apps, but so far always come back to week cal.
Do you guys feel that natural language is a big deal for a calendar app?
Do you like having reminders in the calendars? Not sure how I feel about that, trying to get use to that.

Yes & no… natural language calendar.

My impressions using Readdle’s Calendars

  • Typing in data natural language ok but not a big deal
  • Voice entry of data natural language is sweet

Does anyone know what the difference is between Calendar 5 and the Calendars by Readdle in the App Store?? They seem like the same to me.

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Readdle has a page on their site describing the differences:


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