BusyCal: Calendar & Reminders App Reviews

0 add

It’s OK. But it’s missing a few things

It comes to Fantastical and BusyCal. Fantastical has all the better integration with other apps on IOS and Mac, Busycal has the more open and complete presentation, specially on week and month views. Fantastical works, Busycal sort of works. Busycal IOS is missing some very important items like custom repet events (how can you be a business calendar and not have those?, While Busycal for Mac has almost everything…. So I feel liuke I have tomake events and function on fantastical but then I like the views of Busycal better…..but that’s two apps that combined cost 100 bucks.

It just works.

I like BusyCal because I don't feel like the application gets in the way of the job I need it to do. There are three things it does well that are particularly important to me. BusyCal loads very quickly and doesn't use a ton of resources. Some calendar apps I've tried took far too long to load. This meant I couldn't add or change something unless the program was already running. Having to wait took me out of the moment and broke my flow. BusyCal doesn't have this problem. My calendar is always available. BusyCal puts an icon in the menu bar. Other programs have done this, but the program had to be running in the background for the menu bar icon to be available. The BusyCal menubar icon is ALWAYS there whether or not the program is running, so I can see my schedule whenever I want and can enter things on the fly. Finally, I really like BusyCal's monthly view. It lets me see up to 12 weeks at a time and can scroll indefinitely. Using BusyCal, I feel like I'm interacting with my schedule, not my calendar program.

More desktop notifications i don’t need

Not helpful. How can I get a refund?

Great functionality, slow performance

For a calendar app BusyCal seems to offer a lot of interesting features and visual presentation also works for me pretty well. Unfortunetely adding my main calendar (which has a lot of events) makes the UI slugish. Day view is crap to use (about 3-5 frames per second), but switching to week view it goes bellow 2fps. The same calendar in Outlook renders smoothly (60fps). I have a lot of repeated meetings, I have found online that for more then 200 reps the devs recommend splitting them up - none of mine are above 200 though (they are either infinite or about 20 reps). So that doesn't seem to be an issue. Anyway, that performance makes this software unusable for me. For 50$ that performance is not acceptable.

Good calendar, still has a little work to do

I have been using busycal as a replacement for outlook. I like the fact that busycal places my to do list where I can see it alongside my calendar. Busycal works well with my exchange calendar as well as family google calendar. What needs work: Inviting multiple people to an event does not work well. Once the invite event has been placed, it is difficult to modify it. Also, as an aesthetic preference, it would be nice if multiple day events were highlighted according to their tag color. That way I can easily see the extent of the event. I like the calendar much better than other App store options.

Best Mac Calendar

I have hundreds of calendars, organized into groups, each group shared with different people. In Apple’s app they show up as an unusable list of hundreds of calendars. In Busycal I can put them into groups, collapse each group and show or hide whole groups at a time. This is essential if you have a large number of calendars. I have several different iCloud and Google accounts all syncing easily with BusyCal. The menubar dropdown is well thought out. Great calendar!

Favorite calendar app for Mac

I really like BusyCal! Especially the drop-down interface for the menu bar. It’s very handy to see a concise graphical representation of the month and the upcoming events and meetings. My favorite part is the graphical design of the app. It looks really nice. I was for a time torn between BusyCal and Fantasitcal, however I am glad I decided to stay with BusyCal. I do use Fantastical on my iOS devices, however. I do like those apps. They just seem to quickly grow old since I feel like I am looking at the same thing every day whereas with BusiCal - it seems to be changing and changeable. Like life. I also broke down and bought BusyContacts. Although I do like that app, I would never be happy until I had both apps paired together. Maybe you will like it as much as I do?

Do not purchase

This is no better than iCal and you pay 50.00 for nothing. Then no one responds to your emails.

I would hate to use anything else

I have been using BusyCal for several years now, and I love it. I love having my events and to dos in the same calendar. I love the ease with which everything syncs between my devices (MacBook, iMac, iPhone, and iPad).

can’t download after update

stopped working after update - removed the app and I can’t download again (w/o paying).

Works for iCloud, Gmail and Exchange PERFECTLY

I just want my apps to work and services to work together. This works beautifully. I am a heavy user of iCloud, MS Exchange and Gmail but Outlook for Mac doesn’t play well with iCloud and iCal doesn’t ever seem to do a good job of keeping my MS Exchange invites in sync. I was close to giving up but someone suggested BusyCal… within 5 mins I had it downloaded, configured and working. It JUST WORKS! Love it. Finally! Something that works like it should.

Would have given it 5 Stars if….

I would like to see graphic icons attached to the Event Calendars. Birthday calendars would automatically have your chosen icon appear when you add a birthday. As it is, you have to add your icon every time you add a birthday, or event. I use icons as a quick way to scan my day or week. An envelope at the top of my day tells me a bill is due, a cupcake with candle reminds me of a birthday, etc. These all have to be added individually, it would be nice to just add them to Event Calendar preference pane so they would appear automatically.

Great and extremely professional

BusyCal is extremely professional and addresses all my needs, particular in conjunction with BusyContacts.

Productivity booster

I like that this calendar doesn’t seem to get in the way, yet it also has all the power features I want. I had been using Fantastical. I liked it, but it din’t flow as smoothly as BusyCal for me. It was not nearly as plain vanilla to work with as BusyCal. And although the iOS version of BusyCal isn’t terribly pretty, it gets the job done. The BusyCal approach is just plain simple. And uncomplicated is what I need when it comes to throwing appointments at my devices. I kind of think the prettier UI of Fantastical comes at a price - the shiny wrapper tends to get in the way of functionality just a little bit. If you are looking for a truly simple and easy to manage calendar/todo package for your Mac and iOS devices, with enough horsepower to manage a busy life, give BusyCall a try; it should serve you well. It’s certainly checked all the boxes for me.

Two-factor authentication

I like the BusyCal 3 app, but Apple now required two-factor authentication. I set up an app-specific password in BusyCal, but it never seems to work. And it is DRIVING ME CRAZY! I keep getting a prompt to enter the app-specify password. I put in the one I registered, and it doesn’t work. I keep getting the same prompt. So I enter my Apple ID (since the prompt shows my Apple username), but that doesn’t work! This constant pop-up prompt has rendered my use of the application impossible. I ran into this previously, but was able to disable two-factor authentication. But now Apple seems to require it and I can’t get this password-thing to work. So far, no problem with BusyContat, but maybe it’s a matter of time…….? Follow-up: I tried the BusyCal website and found directions for the set-up of the two-factor authentication. These directions were helpful; but the process is not intuitive.

Best calendar program, period.

I have a lot to keep track of and BusyCal is the easiest, most flexible, and full featured program out there. I looked at other calendars and they just didn’t offer the depth of functions that BusyCal does. Great program!

Paper-less Planning

I decided recently to discontinue my use of a paper planner, and my biggest concern for a digital calendar/task manager was finding an app that had to-do lists and calendar events in the same view. I found this app worked really well for my planning needs due to its combined calendar/list nature and ability to be used across all of my devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone). I have found it much more efficient than a paper planner. It has many customizable features that I am happy with and am still discovering as I use it; including basic integration with other apps like google cal, Asana, and Evernote. If I could add a feature it would be to be able to manually organize to dos on a certain day in the “Day” (not “to do list”) view since they automatically put them in alphabetical order.

Cleaner look

Love cleaner look of the calendar and brightness of the colors!!

Great calendar app

I have tried Apple’s calendar app as well as fantastical. If you are working with a lot of shared calendars via office365 this is probably the best one to you use. It is easier on the eyes than Fantastical. The bar widget is quick and easy to use. Excellent app.

Interface not as good

BusyCal 3 functions exactly like BusyCal 2 so if you liked what that does you will like this one. BusyCal 3 offers compliance with upcoming requirements of Google calendars in particular so it is necessary to switch to this from BusyCal 2 if you’d like top view a Google calendar with the application. The problem my business has with BusyCal 3 is that the interface has been ‘updated’ to a more ‘flat’ design I would guess to more closely match an Apple or Google calendar web view. This is not a good thing as it’s harder on the eyes to figure out what’s going on if you have a complex situation with multiple calendars, such as a business with a dozen users. The banners across the top can be switched back to ‘classic’ view giving the familiar one pixel border that helps distinguish one banner event from the other. This classic option is not available for calendar events themselves, however, and that is really too bad. PLEASE PROVIDE CLASSIC VIEW FOR CALENDAR EVENTS for increased functionality. Our business switched to BusyCal 2 because of the UI changes in Apple’s Calendar, and now BusyCal 3 is mimicking that flawed product. The other interface problem is that the highlight color for the current time and the current day has switched from a sedate blue to a distractingly garish vivid purple color (as seen in the screenshot above), irregardless of your selection for highlight color made in System Preferences > Appearance > Highlight color. No good; too distracting, too much visual impact. Dial it back. What were you thinking? Why not add functionality so that users can pick their own color, or provide a more neutral color. Also, the dock icon of BusyCal2 showed a neutral grid when the application was not active, and the day’s actual date when it was active. This functionality is lost on this version as it always shows ‘May 27’ when the application is not active, losing the quick visual cue to let you know that the app is not running. Bad interface design decisions all the way around here. In regards to the developer response: I appreciate that you have taken the time to share some words, but they do not actually address my issues. Your response re: the garish purple highlight is flatly wrong, and your other suggestions do not address the fundamental critique of your downgrades to the interface (although they claim to be solutions). Therefore I am lowering your rating from 2 stars to 1 because I cannot abide a response that attempts to disingenuously blunt the force of my review with obfuscation.


Its an amazing app and it meets all of my needs. I love the fact that I can handle siri reminders and also sync with google calendar. Hands down the best one out there, way better than fantastical.

BusyCal came recommended, didn’t disappoint!

This is a great substitute for Apple Calendar and so similar, there’s no learning curve. It’s almost like a new front-end to the same Apple program. And it’s a much better value than Fantastical. It doesn’t crash nor does it slow down my mid-2010 iMac. I would rate it 5-starts if it had one additional feature. Unlike Apple Calendar’s dynamic app icon, the BusyCal app icon has a static date of May 27th WHEN it’s not running. But BusyCal uses a dynamic icon AFTER you start the program. I first started using BusyCal at the end of the month and didn’t realize this suptle difference at first. It REALLY screwed me up when I was a day off so this is an issue with me. Admittedly it does show the name of the month in a super-small font but for years I’ve grown accustomed to only having to quickly glance down at my dock to get the date. And I limit the number of open programs running in the background. It’s a minor issue that cost a star but I would still recommend the program.

Not ready for prime time

You are considering updating from 2.X - do not. This version has many bugs and poorly designed UI changes. It is not as well thought out as the older version. Who knows is the upgrades will fix the issues or not. I wish I had not spent the money and just kept using the older version. Nothing gained.

  • send link to app