Google Calendar is the default choice for most people to set their calendars. But as we said before, there are some great Google Calendar alternatives that do things differently or even better than GCal itself. And they’re all free too.
The purpose of most of these apps is to manage schedules, find meeting slots, block time for your tasks, and keep you overall productive. Although we have mainly focused on apps, there is also a printable calendar that has proven popular for years on the internet.
1. Tracking (Web, macOS, iOS): Powerful Calendar with Day View and Shortcuts
Track is a powerful calendar app that focuses on productivity, speed, and simplicity. It uses a combination of pre-made templates, hotkeys, and intuitive connections to let you manage your schedule and share availability with others.
Press Cmd + K or Ctrl + K to bring up a launcher-like command center for performing quick actions. With just a few taps, you can block time for a task, schedule a Zoom or Google Meet call, create recurring meetings or video calls, schedule a Pomodoro time block, and find how your schedule matches up in different time zones, and more.
Track puts a lot of energy into making it easy to share your available time slots with others to set up meetings. There are default templates for this, and it’s quick and easy to select the available slots. Once you share them as a link, the app automatically converts the time zones for the recipient and shows them a simplified view to select a common time slot.
By default, Track shows you today’s activities and not the whole week, because the team thinks that you are focused on completing the day’s tasks and you only need a weekly view when you plan ahead. You can switch to a 5 or 7 day view at any time, but the day view is a good way to understand why you’ve blocked time. You can also act on these tasks with shortcuts. For example, there’s a shortcut for sending an email saying you’re late for a meeting event.
To download: Follow for macOS | iOS (Free)
2. KosmoTime (Web): Manage Asana Calendars and Tasks in One Place
Calendars tell you when you need to do something, while to-do lists tell you what you need to do. KosmoTime integrates both, syncing your Google or Outlook calendar with tasks in Asana, one of the most powerful project management tools.
Your new KosmoTime Calendar syncs all your calendars and tasks so you can block out time to get things done. There are two essential ways to block time in the app. The first is to simply create a task and assign it a start and end time. You can drag and drop your tasks to any location in the calendar for this. The app includes keyboard shortcuts to create tasks faster and Slack integration to create tasks from Slack itself.
When your calendar shows a larger free slot, you can create a “focus block” consisting of several tasks. You can drag and drop multiple tasks into this block and complete them in the assigned slot. All unfinished tasks will automatically move to the next focus block.
KosmoTime also tries to help you avoid distractions with a browser extension for Chrome. This extension can disable all Slack notifications and stop new tabs. It can also close all current tabs to keep you focused on the task at hand. But you can still use the app without installing the browser extension.
It’s one of the most creative ways to use Asana to its fullest potential, and I hope KosmoTime will integrate other task apps in the future. If you are someone who already uses Asana and Google or Outlook Calendar, KosmoTime should become your default calendar app.
3. Teamup (Web, Android, iOS): Best Calendar to Manage Team Schedules and Tasks
Managers who want a simple calendar app to see all employees’ schedules and upcoming events need look no further than Teamup. It is remarkably easy yet also flexible to use for various purposes.
Teamup lets you create eight sub-schedules (in the free version), giving each member their own sub-schedule. When you create a calendar entry, assign it to that person(s), add a description and location if needed, and a “type” (such as vacation, travel, work from home).
At any time, you can filter by sub-calendar, type or keyword to find the events you are looking for. Apart from the usual calendar view, Teamup also displays all events as an individual timeline of each sub-calendar. There’s also a table view with all events available as a spreadsheet, and you can sort by any column. And there’s an agenda view for daily overviews.
Teamup encourages you to watch live demos of how it is used for different business purposes. There are demos for hotel booking, staff scheduling, lab bookings, event itinerary, and industry event planning, in addition to a team calendar.
To download: Teamup for Android | iOS (Free)
4. Just a Calendar (Web): Simple Web Calendar with Marking and Date Sharing
Sometimes apps do so much in their quest to beat their competition that there is no simple version left. Luckily, there are always developers like Shrikant, who make adaptation no-frills and hassle-free and make it universally free. Just a Calendar is the calendar app that lets you quickly find dates, mark them, and share them.
By default, you’ll see all the months of the year in a simple grid, each marked with dates. The days of the week are on a white background, while the weekends are on a gray background to distinguish them.
You can choose the start day of the week if you don’t want to show Monday in the settings. You can also add surrounding dates (an outline of the dates of the next month or the previous month in the blank spaces of a month). And Just a Calendar will even give you the number of the week in the year.
When you click on a date, it is marked in orange. Click anywhere else to select from first click to new click, marking the entire period in orange. If you want to select only one date, double-click it. You can change the colors of marked dates (up to four options) and download or copy your marked calendar.
Just a Calendar also makes it easy to share your marked dates. You can either share it as a link after you finish tagging or print it on paper. The “2 pages, 6 months each” layout is the best for visibility, but there are different options to choose from.
5. Compact Calendar (PDF): Best Printable Calendar for Planning
DSri Seah is a popular designer who creates free online printable productivity templates. Its compact calendar has been an online hit for over a decade, especially popular among those who want to print out a calendar when in a meeting or for writing down notes. The main reason is that it fits on a single page while still leaving plenty of room for all sorts of pen and paper ideas.
As shown in the photo provided by Seah above, you get the entire year’s calendar in a single column on the left side of the page. The right is an open space where you can mark different dates and write notes. A few experienced Compact Calendar users on the Internet have suggested ways to refine the system using markings such as boxes around important dates, circles to signify deadlines, and crosses to signify deadlines.
Of course, you are free to use Compact Calendar as you wish, and you can even print several sheets to take to a meeting. “They’re great for taking notes at a planning meeting! I’ve also heard of people using them to estimate the gestation period of pregnant animals and plan family vacations,” Seah writes in the blog. .
Seah created several versions of the compact calendar. You can either download US Letter size or an international A4 size, available as zip packages. The package contains calendars for the current and upcoming year, with two versions of the appearance of the week: starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday, or starting on Monday and ending on Sunday.
Use your calendar to record what happened
Most of us only use a calendar to schedule events and block our tasks in time. But what about the things you didn’t plan but did anyway? It’s never recorded, and so when you look at your calendar, you get an unfair picture.
So try to write down unforeseen events in your schedule. For example, if a friend invites you to lunch in ten minutes, you will not schedule it in your calendar, but it is an event that has happened. And you won’t see it in your calendar when you check it. This simple act of treating your calendar not just as a planner but also as a recorder will dramatically improve your time management skills and forecasting.
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