Calendar planner

How to Choose the Right Calendar App to Boost Productivity

If you’re not using the right calendar app, you can get stuck switching between apps. Although most calendar apps offer some flexibility, going generic isn’t always the best solution. Chances are you need to focus more on some functions than others.

Here are five calendar types, with tips on how to select a good calendar for each. By making an informed choice, you can increase your productivity.

1. Basic calendars

Basic calendar with highlighter
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Basic calendars are simple, no-frills calendars. They can be a minimalist option for those with static schedules. It’s also good for people who need a bit of everything. Choose a basic calendar if you don’t need specialized features.

This simplicity works well if you tend to get distracted by a lot of specific options. If setting up a new event or note takes too long, it can become its own waste of time. You should be able to hide or disable any features you don’t need.

A good basic calendar should keep things simple. It should let you add items with just a click or two. Look for a calendar that has pre-made templates to speed things up even more.

Finally, flexibility is key. Choose a calendar that can integrate with many other apps. But if you’re starting to use these other apps more than basic calendar functions, it might be time to consider specializing.

2. Plan calendars

schedule a calendar on a desktop computer
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A calendar helps you manage a complex array of events and appointments. It can help students manage their classes, clubs, and jobs. It’s also good for freelancers with multiple clients.


Good calendars offer a down-to-the-minute scheduling view. This precision helps you avoid over-commitments and double bookings. Other features to look for include traffic and weather estimates.

The best planning calendars are also flexible. Colleagues and other guests shouldn’t need an account to view it. You may also want to control who can make changes. Integration with a wide range of chat apps is also helpful.

3. Project schedules

Project calendar on laptop
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A project management calendar is good for detailed plans. They combine a standard calendar with a robust to-do list. If you often have many interdependent tasks, a good project schedule is essential.

Often you have to look outside of the calendar category in project management software. These apps support a calendar view, but the calendar itself is only one aspect. Tasks and division of labor are better focused.

A good project schedule should allow for plenty of detail for each part of the project. Users must be able to attach files, web links, locations, etc. This should allow you to prioritize tasks and break large tasks down into smaller steps.

The option to display the timeline as a GANTT chart of the project is also useful. The application should use this default view, if possible. It should also have functionality for progress reports and time estimates. Reliable, real-time synchronization is crucial.

4. Newspaper Calendars

Diary prompt calendar on wooden table
Cathryn Lavery / Unsplash

For a focus on wellness, choose a journal calendar. These calendars create a record of your wellness journey. They work well if you want to organize your thoughts and feelings as well as your plans.

Journal calendars also work for those who want to stretch their creative muscles. You can find calendars with daily prompts and inspirational quotes. These are available in paper and digital versions.

For an effective journal calendar, customization is essential. The calendar must support multimedia attachments, such as sketches, voice recordings, and photos. It allows you to capture thoughts and feelings that are not easy to put into words.

Quick typing is also useful for taking notes on the go. As with basic calendars, templates that you can fill out quickly are a great feature for this type of calendar. Finally, you can add journal entries as events in almost any calendar, but the best one will also feature built-in mood tracking charts.

5. Monitoring schedule

Goal tracking calendar in a paper diary
Isaac Smith / Unsplash

While reviews focus on creating a record, trackers are looking to the future. With a tracking schedule, you decide what you’re aiming for and when to work on it. The calendar keeps you accountable and motivated by tracking progress toward your goals.

A good follow-up schedule will prompt you to set aside time to actually pursue your goals. Ideally, he should do this taking into account your current commitments. For example, Google Calendar goals avoid overlapping with your other appointments.

The best tracking schedules also offer accountability. Look for sharing options that allow you to compete with your friends. These apps should also integrate with social media, so you can share your progress.

Use the right calendar to boost your productivity

Like anything else, selecting a calendar app is all about understanding your needs. Once you know what kind of calendar you need, you can choose an app that suits you and optimize it.

By focusing on the features you need most, a specialized calendar can help you manage your time.


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