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At the heart of the Fantastical 3.6 update for Mac and iOS is “Openings,” a way for users to easily suggest meeting times for people to book.
Previously added fantastic meeting integration features, including the ability for a user to set up a Zoom call directly in the calendar app. Now the highlight of a major update is the ability for a user to designate times when they are available and allow others to book meetings.
In Fantastical 3.6, a user can set up a meeting template with a range of times and days. They must then specify whether they are moderating meeting requests or accepting them all.
Fantastical then provides a link that the user can email or pass around. Anyone who gets the link — whether they’re a Fantastical subscriber or not — can then see an online calendar view listing those slots.
If they book an opening, they and the user are notified by email. The user can choose to approve the meeting and in that case it enters the user’s Fantastical calendar.
It’s the key new feature of what’s called Fantastical Scheduling, but there’s more. With the new Proposals feature, a user can set up a range of possible meeting times rather than just one.
Whoever is directly invited into the meeting entry, or whoever gets the auto-generated Fantastical link, can then choose one or more times. The user who initiated the meeting can then see the dates and times that most people have chosen and schedule them as a meeting.
Bringing Planning to Small and Medium Businesses
Between Opens and Proposals, Fantastical supports services like Doodle.com and makes some inroads in offering the features that business users get in Outlook.
Corporate calendar systems will go one step further and automatically schedule a meeting when all invitees are available. Additionally, if a user who proposed a meeting decides to decline someone’s request to join, business and enterprise systems allow a message to be sent explaining why.
Fantastical 3.6 doesn’t offer that answer yet, nor does it fully automate group meetings. But since it works through a link that can be sent to non-fantasy users, it’s much more convenient for the original user. And it’s no more inconvenient for guests than having to go to Doodle.com
The new features of Fantastical Scheduling are included in the Flexibits Premium subscription. This allows users of Fantastical and its stable partner, the Cardhop contacts app, on macOS and iOS.