Posted in App, Commentary, Review

Fantastical 2 for Mac Released


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Flexibits has introduced a brand new version of Fantastical. This calendar and reminder app has been known for the ease of typing in plain english and watching the app convert it into the desired event or reminder. There are many improvements in this latest version, including the big screen calendar and reminder list. No longer is the mini calendar locked to the tool bar.

For those not familiar, there are really two main categories of entries: Reminders and Calendar events. Think of an event as an appointment and a reminder as a task to be performed. This app allows you to enter this information in no time using plain text and even your voice as shown and explained below. The app also works with and syncs with your iCloud and CalDav calendars. Minimal set up is required to get the app fully loaded with existing calendar events and reminders.

As in the past, this app can sit in the toolbar ready for easy entry.

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New is the full size calendar to allow easy reference to upcoming events and reminders.

Built in Integration with Existing Calendars

There is built in integration with LaunchBar and other similar apps. To create an entry using Launchbar, enter an event by invoking your LaunchBar, tapping space and then entering your event or reminder. Press return and its automatically added to Fantastical.

One of the nice new time saving features is the ability to create a default reminder set for every time event or all day event. In the preference panel of Fantastical, add as many alerts as you may want before each event so when you create an event, more than one alarm will automatically be added if you want. Apple’s iCal app limits you to a default of one alarm. Many times it is helpful to have more than one alarm. For example the day before the event and 1 hour before. In iCal, after creating an event, you have to add the additional alarms each time you enter a new event. This takes time and you may forget.

In Fantastical, go to the preferences pane and set the defaults in the Alerts section.

Fantastical Alarms

Entering Events With Your Voice

About 54 seconds into the below video, you can see what appears to be a Siri like method for entering a reminder into Fantastical with your voice on your Mac.

In order to achieve this functionality and dictate into this and other apps, follow the instructions from Apple found here. This dictation feature is part of Yosemite and can be found in the System Preferences. Note, if you choose Use Enhanced Dictation, additional files will be downloaded from Apple so an internet connection will not be required in the future to interpret your voice.

Dictation Preference Pane

There is a full collection of videos showing the app in use at the developer’s web site. Make sure to watch these to see the app in action and understand the full power and potential available.

Of course, the app works with the iPad and iPhone version of Fantastical. If you have Yosemite, the handoff feature is also available.

If you have any questions with using the app, check out the FAQ page.

Conclusion

This app costs $49 and is on sale for the introductory price of $39. There have been some who have commented on the price. You need to consider how much of your life depends on a reliable calendar and reminder system that is easy to use and speeds up the process of entering this information. If you save just a few minutes a day, this app will pay for itself in no time. The developer provides a download for a free 14 day trial from its website. Try it out first and see how much easier it is to get your calendar events entered and more organized you can be.

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