If you’re anything like me then your calendar is really important. You could arguably live without any of the information in your world, but delete your calendar and things really start forming pears. In the digital world calendars can be messy and unreliable, however, which is why Fantastical for Mac has become my new best friend.
The magic in Fantastical is its ability to understand natural language. All you do is hit a key combination on your keyboard and then start typing. You could say, for example: “Lunch with John next Tuesday at 12:30 at the Wimpy,” and Fantastical will create a calendar entry at the right time with location fields and other information correctly filled in. So far it has understood everything I have thrown at it with some minor exceptions.
For one, this means you’re saving time. Hit a few keys, type a sentence, hit enter and you’re back doing whatever it was you were doing. But it gets better.
The same keystroke pulls down the miniscule Fantastical interface on your desktop where you can also see your upcoming meetings and tasks – so quickly dipping into your calendar and check-
Calendaring without the mess ing dates and stuff becomes really quick and easy. Win!
Another advantage of using Fantastical is that it pulls all your calendars together in one place with support for Excel, Google Calendar and other standards.
In my case I have a family calendar shared with my wife in Google Calendar and an Exchange calendar for my company, along with a travel calendar that is automatically generated by Tripit. Fantastical puts them all in the same place with a far better interface than any other calendaring application I’ve used.
Set-up is easy and Fantastical is free to try for 14 days after which you have to pay $20 to continue using it. This was a no-brainer for me. It’s not often that you install something and just start using it continuously without a learning curve, but that was my experience with this software.
There’s also an iPhone version of Fantastical that wasn’t included in this test but brings similar functionality to your phone. There is no Windows version, however, so this is strictly only for Mac users.