Your calendar app houses your schedule, so you need it to be accessible wherever you are. That means finding an app that fits your iPhone like a glove. Personally, I used both Apple Calendar and Google Calendar (for years) before settling on Timepage.
Bring context to your calendar by connecting other apps
Apple’s pre-installed calendar might do the trick if you’re looking for a simple, no-frills app. But if you need something more, there are plenty of other options to consider for your iPhone calendar app.
To find the best, I spent several days researching dozens of apps made for your iPhone and testing the top 30 contenders. Here are the best of the best: the top calendar apps for iPhone users.
The 6 best calendar apps for iPhone
What makes the best calendar app for iPhone?
How we evaluate and test apps
All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who’ve spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it’s intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We’re never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.
There are iPhone calendar apps designed for just about every niche need, but there are a few must-haves when it comes to the best ones:
Easy to use: No one wants to spend hours configuring their calendar or entering events and reminders. Your calendar app should be intuitive, easy to learn, and effortless to maintain.
Customizable views: When it comes to something as personal and vital as your life’s schedule, you should be able to manage it the way you want, tapping into the features you need and tailoring the look and feel to your taste.
Notifications and alerts: Unlike giant wall calendars of old, your iPhone calendar isn’t always right in front of your face. That doesn’t mean you can afford to forget about that meeting next Tuesday. Your calendar app should have customizable notifications and alerts, so you can stay on top of your schedule—not the other way around.
Integrations: iPhone calendar apps should work with the rest of your apps seamlessly—and that includes Siri, your go-to for all things iPhone, and Maps, to help you keep track of traffic and travel time.
Advanced features: I also looked for feature sets that really top the native Apple Calendar, going beyond just showing you your calendar. Scheduling features, natural language event creation, recurring events, templates—things like that.
How I tested the calendar apps
After filtering the initial list by the criteria above, I tested each of the top 30 contenders on my own phone (an iPhone 13 running iOS 15).
For each app, I followed an in-depth testing workflow that included:
Walking through any guided onboarding
Syncing events from my existing Google Calendar accounts
Checking out view options and selecting the most streamlined and useful
Creating a new event—both manually and via natural language event creation, for those apps that offer it
Editing an existing event
Adding locations, invitees, video conferencing details, and more to new events
Customizing settings like theme colors, defaults for event duration, which calendar new events get added to, and notifications
Getting a general feel for the app’s design, UI, and any unique features
After this first round of testing, I was able to narrow the field by quite a bit. Then, I went back into the top 10ish—testing out more advanced features like recurring events, scheduling, and advanced alerts and looking at available widgets.
I also kept the apps on my phone for a week to see how notifications, widgets, and calendar syncing perform on an ongoing basis. The top calendar apps you see here are the best I found.
Best simple iPhone calendar
The pre-installed calendar app on your iPhone showcases all the simple views, ease of use, and design that Apple is known for. Tap the month or year in the top-left corner to zoom out from day to month to year. Tap Today in the bottom-left corner to return to today. It all makes sense.
It isn’t designed to be pretty—it’s designed to be seamless on iPhone, and it is. It’s the perfect base calendar app with all the no-nonsense features you need and nothing you don’t. Sync your other calendars to add and edit all your events, and create and share iCloud calendars with a few taps. Apple Calendar automatically syncs with Maps to offer you intelligent alerts that take travel time and current traffic into account and notify you when it’s time to leave.
Apple Calendar syncs with other calendars like Google and Outlook, so you can bring work and home life together. Sync as many calendars as you need, and the native calendar app will show all your events. It’s as easy as going into your settings, selecting Calendar > Accounts, and logging in to your email. Choose from five widget options for a bird’s-eye view of your schedule on your home screen and Today view.
Plus, you can even delegate control of any of your calendars—to an assistant, for example—by tapping Calendars > Delegate Calendar and selecting the calendar you want to delegate.
Apple Calendar Price: Free
Best iOS calendar and to-do list combined
If your iPhone calendar app is a crucial part of your productivity workflow, Any.do is a great option. The app combines task management and calendar features that work seamlessly together—so you can keep track of all the demands on your time in one central place.
Previously packaged as a separate app called Cal before being rolled into Any.do, the app offers thoughtful and functional calendar features like recurring events, location-based reminders, and natural language event creation. One of our favorite features is Moment, a guided rundown of the day’s events and tasks to help prioritize and schedule your day.
Any.do offers four different view options for your calendar—agenda, day, 3-day, and week—and you can toggle the full month view open and closed by tapping the caret beneath the month. Head to settings to choose your preferred home screen for the app, opening up to Tasks, Calendar, or whichever you viewed last. Choose from eight different widget options to add a bird’s-eye view of tasks, calendar events, or both to your home screen and Today view.
Like all the apps on our list, Any.do works with Siri. It’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, allowing you to create events and tasks from a number of devices.
Plus, Any.do integrates with Zapier, so you can seamlessly connect Any.do tasks with your favorite project manager, for example, or create new tasks based on calendar triggers.
Any.do Price: Free; upgrade to Premium for $2.99–$5.99 per month to get advanced recurring reminders, location reminders, and unlimited use of the daily planner feature
Best all-around iPhone calendar app for power users
Fantastical is one of those apps that makes it onto almost every “best of” list—and it more than lives up to the hype. The Fantastical app marries attractive, intuitive design with the robust features power users need. It’s all the simplicity of your native Apple Calendar, but with more advanced features.
The default DayTicker view is clean and succinct. Colorful bars along the top help you visualize multi-day and overlapping events and judge how busy a given day is with a glance. Colors show which calendar an event belongs to—in the screenshot, purple events are on my personal calendar and blue ones are on a subscribed calendar for Seattle Kraken hockey games. Pull down from the top to view the entire month.
Natural language event creation is where Fantastical really sets itself apart: as you type, the app shows how your words “fall” into the event details below, so you don’t have to double-check the details after the fact like you do with other apps that have natural language capabilities. (Here’s what that looks like on my phone.)
On top of that, Fantastical offers a whopping 14 different widgets for your home screen and Today view.
Fantastical Price: Free; upgrade to Premium for $4.99/month or $39.99/year to get additional productivity, scheduling, and collaboration features
Best iPhone calendar app for Gmail and Google users
If you use the Google Calendar web app, you’ll feel right at home in the iPhone app. It goes without saying that the calendar integrates seamlessly with the entire suite of Google products. Automatically add events—like flight reservations or out-of-office settings—from Gmail into your calendar. And when you start typing a location, the app will offer suggestions from Google Maps.
Tap the multicolored + in the bottom-right, and you can choose to create a new out of office, goal, reminder, or (the default) event. Invite guests, add web conferencing details, or attach files from Google Drive right from the event creation screen.
One of my favorite features in Google Calendar on iPhone is event illustrations. Google uses info from the event details to come up with a visual for the event—like an image of food for events that include “dinner.” If you look at the far right screenshot above, you’ll see how the app featured an image of the location for the hockey game on my schedule. It’s a fun (and helpful) way to see what’s coming up on your schedule.
Google Calendar offers five different view options (Schedule, Day, 3 Day, Week, and Month), and switching between them is as simple as tapping the top-left menu and selecting the view you want to see. I’m partial to the Schedule view (middle screenshot above), which is the right combo of detail and bird’s-eye view. You can also enable and choose from three widgets to view upcoming events on your home screen and Today view.
Google Calendar also integrates with Zapier, which means you can automatically do things like adding new Google Calendar events to your to-do list app or syncing your time tracking app with your calendar.
Google Calendar Price: Free
Best iPhone calendar for keeping your work email and calendar in one place
Microsoft Outlook is geared toward Windows users, but its calendar app is more than capable of being your go-to iPhone calendar. Once an app you’d only use if your company told you to, Microsoft has upped their design game—today’s Outlook app is as simple and easy to use as the best iPhone calendar apps.
The design offers several view options (Agenda, Day, 3 Day, and month): at the top of your screen, tap the icon on the right to switch views. On Agenda and Day views, the default shows you a one-week block—pull down on that week to see and scroll through months.
If your company already uses Outlook email, it’s the best calendar option to bring email, schedule, and contacts together in one place—making it a no-brainer download. On top of that, you can sync other calendars you may use with Outlook, so it’s easy to centralize your work and personal schedule in one app. Your Outlook calendar is automatically shared with those across your company, too.
Outlook comes with your choice of six widgets for your home screen and Today view. Plus, thanks to Microsoft Bing, you can even subscribe to your pick of public calendars to add your favorite professional sports teams or TV schedules to your calendar.
Connect Outlook with Zapier to automate tasks like adding new events into your to-do list or project management app and syncing time blocks from your scheduling tool.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar Price: Free to use with existing email and calendar accounts
Best iPhone calendar app for beautiful design and function
Moleskine’s Timepage app is easily customizable when it comes to looks: you have your choice of 25 color themes (including black and white). The app only offers three main view options. It opens in Agenda view; swipe right to view the month and a roundup of today’s events. Tap to expand the day’s schedule or tap and hold individual events to preview. Swipe left again to return to your agenda.
But Timepage is more than a pretty face. Unique features like a smart heatmap (shown in the top-left screenshot above) make scheduling a breeze, showing you which days are jam-packed or wide open. The more opaque the circle around a date is, the more events you have scheduled for that day. You can even hold and drag the colored circles at the bottom of the screen to filter the heatmap for each calendar.
Swipe right to fine-tune your settings or turn on Smart Alerts from the menu to get notified when it starts to rain, when it’s time to leave, or to receive a daily briefing of your upcoming schedule. You’ll also find your RSVP list here, which shows any pending event invitations you need to respond to.
The app is fully compatible with Siri, and offers a whopping 17 widgets to choose from, so you can manage and view your calendar without even opening the app. It’s these unique features and customizability that convinced me to switch to Timepage for my own personal use.
The app also makes quick work of adding events by using natural language processing. It’s not as seamless as Fantastical, but this is a relatively new feature for Timepage, so we can expect to see it get even better.
Timepage Price: $1.99/month or $11.99/year; or choose the Moleskine Studio bundle (which also includes Moleskine’s to-do list and notebook apps) for $19.99/year
What’s the best calendar for iPhone?
Your calendar should work for you, which means you need to pick one that feels easy. All of these apps offer the basics, so focus on things like aesthetic appeal, intuitive (for you) interface, and special features that make you say “ooh!” There’s no shame in picking Google Calendar because you like the images it adds or Timepage because you like the pretty colors. Whatever works for you.
This article was originally published in February 2019.