Posted in App

Fantastical for iPad 2 – Your Digital Calendar Hub


Fantastical 2 for iPad is like a digital hub for your calendar, reminders, and contacts. This is a place where you can organize and plan events or tasks to be performed on a particular day with ease. Fantastical allows you to enter the information in plain English (or other supported language) and the event will be created in your calendar(s).

If you have not already done so, take a moment to adjust some preferences in the app. For example, in settings (the gear icon), under New Events, select default alerts you would like to receive before an event – like 1 hour and 2 hours before. Choose your default calendar there too so when you enter an event, it will automatically be placed there.

Another thing that is helpful is to turn on the Share feature. This allows you to be in another app, tap and select information and then share it with Fantastical.

To do this, in an app like Mail, select the text you want to send to Fantastical and then tap on the Share… pop up. Scroll along the apps visible and select Fantastical. If the app is not there, scroll until you see More, tap on it and slide the selector to turn on the Fantastical app. Now, Fantastical will be available to share your selections to create events, etc.

For example, lets say you get an email reminding you about a dinner meeting.

First, select the language you want to send to Fantastical.

Then, from the pop up share menu, tap Fantastical.

Then, tap Add on the top right.

Last, make any modification that may be necessary.

As seen below, Fantastical automagically, created the event, time, etc. from the selected text.

Other tips and tricks for using Fantastical 2 for iPad can be found here.

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Posted in App

BusyCal – Calendar


BusyCal is a useful and powerful calendar app for working with events and to dos. The app works with iCloud, Google Calendar, Exchange, Office 365 and other CalDAV Servers. This helps with coordinating and syncing all the various calendars you may have into one place.

There are different calendar views and you can even see the upcoming weather. You can use pinch gestures to zoom in and out of weeks.

To Do items are also displayed in the calendar and will remain until completed. You can sort the items in various ways like date, priority, calendar, etc. The app can even sync with Reminders on your iOS or Mac.

If you need help with the app, check out the help page.

All kinds of personalization is available to make this app a nice way to unify all your different schedules into one place. Your productivity can be greatly improved using BusyCal.

 

Posted in App

Fantastical 2 for iPad Update


Fantastical iPad icon

Fantastical 2 for iPad has been updated to version 2.4. The improvements include:

– Full support for Japanese, including natural language event and reminder creation
– Accessibility improvements
– Fixed an issue where the Today widget would appear incorrectly
– Fixed a crash when using Dictation to create a new event or reminder
– Various fixes and improvements

Fantastical iPad2 Screenshot

If you are looking for an app that makes it easy to enter and review your dates and reminders in a calendar app, check out Fantastical 2 for iPad.

Posted in App, Commentary, Review

Fantastical 2 for Mac Released


fantastical-icon-big@2x

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.

fantastical2-mac-screenshot-dark

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.

Posted in App

Fantastical for iPad Updated


Fantastical iPad icon

Fantastical for iPad has been updated to coincide with the update for Fantastical 2.0 for the Mac. There is an iPhone version too.

This update addresses the following:

– Fixed an issue where Fantastical could crash when using overdue recurring reminders
– Fixed an issue where long notes would appear clipped when viewing an event
– Various fixes and improvements

This app is very good at taking your plain english entry and turning it into a calendar event, reminder or repeating action. For example, typing “Lunch with John at 1 pm” turns into a calendar event.

Posted in App

Pocket Informant Update


Pocket Informant icon 2014

 

Pocket Informant, an all in one calendar and task management app, has been updated to version 4.54.

According to the developer, the following improvements have been made:

• Toodledo Authentication and sync – you may need to sign out and then back in if you experienced and issue before
• Search View Options and performance
• Natural Language Entry now supports “/:” as a parameter for the calendar and we now only need the first few characters of the calendar title as well (2 or more)
• Add to Informant now supports events
• Performance Optimizations
• TextExpander Touch update
• Fixed a long-standing map pin drop problem
• Fixed several issues with our ETA not showing
• Next Action processing in Sequential Projects have been improved
• Completed Tasks now sort at the bottom at all times
• Exporting ICS files now works for iOS Events
• Fixed a crash deleting an event on iOS 7 devices
• Fixed a crash directly editing the date/time from an event viewer
• Updated our selection of Google Calendars to Sync
• Fixed an issue where template locations would get lost
• Fixed All Day Recurring events in the Day View not opening to the correct occurrence
• Some fixes for Dropbox
• When grouping by Completion, we now sort by completion
• Settings reorganization
• Fixed the Task Editor switching location alerts to No Alert
• Fixed editing a notebook sync account
• Converting a checklist to an event now copies the checklist items to the notes field
• Fixed an issue where editing multiple tasks and changing their sync account would not change their children
• Double Tap Day View entry now automatically uses the current filter for tag/calendar defaults
• Fixed editing a Saved Filter that contains both task and event tags
• Location Region/Beacon notifications only alert if the last alert was over 45 seconds ago
• Fixed a bug where creating an event by swiping a contact will create the event twice
• Notes editing now shows the selection buttons properly
• Other bug fixes based on reports from our support and beta teams

Posted in App, Review

Fantastical 2 for iPad


Fantastical iPad icon

Fantastical 2 for iPad has been updated and is on sale for the holidays for a limited time for $7.99. This iOS 8 app gives you the ability to help manage tasks, appointments and more in one app.

Calendar task view

 

One of the many reasons to get this app is the ease of entering events and information in plain English and have the app translate that into the task or event entry for you.

Screenshot event entry

Like its cousin Fantastical for the Mac, Fantastical for iPad makes entering events into your calendar simple. There are many built in short cuts and ways to make entering or searching information easier. When you add information, you can toggle whether that is a task or calendar event by tapping the icon to the left of the entry. If you click on details, you can enter the location, alerts and other notes as well.

Other shortcuts are available. For example, swipe from the right edge of the screen and a search window appears. Swipe from the left edge of the screen and reminders appear.

If you want further tips and tricks, go to the Flexbits support page here.

Fantastical Today Widget View

Don’t forget the Today widget that allows you to view today’s events and information from Fantastical by simply swiping down from the top of your iPad from any home screen or app. You may have to add Fantastical to the today widget.

Conclusion

With the inevitable new years resolution to be more organized next year, buy this app now and begin your path to better time management and organization.