Looking for a dead simple iphone calendar app
March 8, 2016 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Every calendar app I can find is too finicky and bogged down with details. I would like an app that is literally a blank calendar where I type in appointments. Does this exist?

I've always carried around a small datebook but I'm wondering if there is a digital calendar app to suit my simple technology tastes.
Ideally the app would be a calendar, I would click a day and manually type in "8am, community health center." I hate how the apps now you need to click a billion things in order to actually add an appointment which is why I have stayed with a paper datebook.
It does not need to be design-y. I don't care about day view/week view/month view. I don't need any type of sync, I don't need notifications. I just want as few clicks as possible so I will actually use the dang thing.

If such a thing does not exist I will continue with my pen and paper system.
posted by pintapicasso to Technology (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I like Fantastical a lot for this reason. The calendar itself is a little unusual—it's set up kind of like an infinitely scrolling datebook—but there's a + sign in the upper right-hand corner, and you can add an appointment anywhere in your calendar by touching it.

For instance: You open the calendar, it's scrolled up to the current day, but you want to add a doctor's appointment in July. You tap the +, it takes you to a text box, you type "Doctor's appointment at Community Health Center at 8 AM on July 8," and it creates the appointment. (It understands natural language pretty well; the point is that you don't have to type it in exactly in that format.) There are other options if you want them, but you can get through an entire calendar entry without having to tap from one text box to another or click a checkbox.

I have it set to sync with my iCloud Calendar because I often use Fantastical to set up my appointments, even though I spend most of my time looking at my appointments on my Mac.
posted by Polycarp at 9:41 AM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I add Fantastical appointments with Cmd-Shift-SPC, "meeting with Foo tomorrow at 10am", Enter. Only downside is that it's comically expensive... and for Macs, of course.
posted by katrielalex at 9:46 AM on March 8, 2016

I use the MS Outlook app on Android - maybe someone here can talk to the iphone version - and it does exactly what you ask: select a day, enter the event name, save, the end. If you want reminders etc that's all there too, but it doesn't get in the way of just saving the date.
And of course you can access your calendar from any browser through Outlook too.
posted by forallmankind at 9:49 AM on March 8, 2016

Another vote for Fantastical—it's killer feature is natural-language recognition. You can just long-tap on a date to create an event on that date. Type the title and time and it figures it out. Or tap the "+" and enter title, date, and time.
posted by adamrice at 9:51 AM on March 8, 2016

For the reasons everyone gives, Fantastical is the only iOS calendar app I've found that lets me keep up with whatever I'm being told at the counter at the doctor's office.

In case it matters: If you include an address or a specific location in your entry, it can show a small map and/or go to a driving directions app. The entry itself will have a small map -- tapping it gets you to the directions. But you don't have to use any features that you don't want to, and that's the beauty of Fantastical, too.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:36 AM on March 8, 2016

another vote for fantastical, it's wonderful. i hated the built in iOS calendar with a white hot rage.
posted by koroshiya at 1:09 PM on March 8, 2016

What you're describing sounds like the iPhone's built-in Reminders app, and it's pretty much exactly how I use it. Just tap to add a new reminder/appointment/whatever, set an optional alert based on place or time, and you're set.
posted by monospace at 1:15 PM on March 8, 2016

i will say one thing, though - be careful if you are adding events in fantastical with friends who have names that can also be construed as date related (i.e. april, friday), it will sometimes handle them as dates.
posted by koroshiya at 1:27 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the suggestions. I actually think the app Teuxdeux is closest to what I'm looking for because I simply click a day and write what I need.

It's neat that fantastical can recognize "Dr appointment at community health center at 8am" and then put that information into the relevant categories of place and time, but I don't actually want the app to do any "thinking." I need dead simple.

If anyone has any simpler suggestions I would be happy to hear them; otherwise I will try teuxdeux and can always go back to my paper planner if need be.
posted by pintapicasso at 3:51 PM on March 8, 2016

A cheap option is Sunrise which works for both iOS and Android. I think it is dead simple (double click the day and start typing) but has the capability of syncing a lot of calendars (ical, gcal, exchange, trello, etc.). It is free and there is a web based version.

I also used Fantastical, for reference.
posted by jadepearl at 7:39 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I wanted to update that I am now using the app Shifts. It took a tiny bit of configuring but it basically works for now.

I like it because it is month-at-a-glance and I hit one button to "stamp" the date and then add a small note.
posted by pintapicasso at 4:37 AM on April 23, 2016

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