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Best calendar apps of 2021

A tablet displaying a calendar.
(Image credit: Pixabay)

The best calendar apps make it simple and easy not just to set up and manage reminders, but also integrate with popular office software platforms.

For personal users a calendar app can simply be useful, but for business users a calendar app is essential.

When for personal use, you can set it up to remind of annual events such as birthdays, as well as one-time events such as medical appointments, day trips and family visits.

For business purposes, it can be a great way to cover all that, as well as ,more important business-focused issues such as deadlines, meetings, and events.

The best calendar apps won't just work as a standalone but will also integrate with other essential apps you use, such as your email program and office software. That way you can get sent notifications in good time of anything coming up on your calendar.

Unlike a paper calendar, it's also a lot easier to change and edit entries, which is especially useful in the event that appointments or meetings have their schedules changed.

Either way, a really good working calendar can be a figurative life-saver, so that no matter how busy you are, you can manage all those events you need to keep on top of. Here then are the best calendar apps currently available.

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The best all-round calendar app

Reasons to buy
+Free version+Plenty of tools+Great for touchscreens+Color-coded events
Reasons to avoid
-Free version is limited is our pick of the best all-round calendar app. It is available on mobile and desktop platforms, but it really shines on mobile thanks to an easy-to-use interface that gives you all the tools and information you need on smaller touchscreens. 

It easily connects to existing calendar apps to import events, and it color codes various calendars and events to help keep everything in order. 

It's not as in-depth as some specialized business calendar apps, but for most people this is a brilliant way of keeping your meetings and appointments in order. 

Best of all, there's a free version you can try.


(Image credit: Google)

2. Google Calendar

The best cloud calendar app

Reasons to buy
+Free to use+GMail integration+Email reminders

Google Calendar may not seem like a first choice for Android users compared to some of the more feature-packed rivals, but it does the job it needs to do. Better still, it works nicely with Gmail and other Google Workspace apps, with notifications sent by default to your Gmail account. 

Additionally, for those with larger screens, Google Calendar will run alongside the emails in your Gmail account, making it easier to see upcoming events and notifications, even before you've been sent them. It also allows reminders to be set according to birthdays, tasks, or general reminders.

The big strength of Google Calendar is that it's a cloud-based app that can sync through all of your devices, if you sign into a Google account. This means that it doesn't matter whether you're on a desktop or on the go with a smartphone, you can still have the same calendar available, and notifications, too.

While Google Calendar is relatively simple and straightforward, lacking some of the bells and whistles of other programs, not least color coded entries, that can be as much of a strength as anything. And as Google Calendar is free to use, it's hard to go wrong with it.


(Image credit: Fantastical)

3. Fantastical

The best calendar app for Apple fans

Reasons to buy
+Designed specifically for Apple devices+Support for Mac, iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Reasons to avoid

If you've got a wide range of Apple devices, from MacBooks to iPhones and even an Apple Watch, then Fantastical is the best calendar app for you. 

It has an app for pretty much every Apple product, and has been built from the ground up to support macOS. Best of all, it all syncs seamlessly between your devices, making this a powerful and useful calendar apps for Apple fanatics. 

You can quickly and easily set up meetings and events, and it can also check to make sure your coworkers are available for a proposed meeting using Google Apps or Exchange, making it a more powerful app than Apple's default calendar.

There's a free version with basic features available, which means it will do a similar job to other free calendar apps. However, there's also a premium version available as required, which allows for collaboration, such as for Zoom video conferencing, and is also customizable.


(Image credit: Google Play)

4. Business Calendar 2

The best calendar app for Android

Reasons to buy
+Easy to manage multiple calendars+Large choice of widgets
Reasons to avoid
-Ad supported

Android users are a bit spoiled, as the default Google Calendar app is so good, however, the best calendar app for Android devices is Business Calendar 2

Don't be put off by its name, as although this is an app that's geared towards business use, it is an attractive and easy-to-use calendar app that is perfect for home users as well. 

It comes with a number of themes and widgets that lets you customize the look and feel of your calendars. It does an excellent job of handling multiple calendars and displaying them in an easy-to-understand layout and it comes as a free download. 

Although the basic version is free, it is supported by ads. However, there is also a pro version that removes ads and includes a few extra features, all for a reasonable price.


(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Outlook Calendar

The best calendar app for Windows

Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Integrates with Windows and Microsoft Office
Reasons to avoid
-Interface is a bit ugly

If you're a Windows 10 user, then Microsoft's very own Outlook Calendar is arguably the best calendar app for you. 

It integrates closely into Windows 10 and uses the same Microsoft account you use to log into Windows, which means your contacts, events and calendars should all be waiting there for you. 

It's free, but if you subscribe to Microsoft 365 then you get premium features that makes it an essential business calendar app as well. You can even connect your LinkedIn account. 

Despite it being made by Microsoft, the Outlook Calendar is available on a huge range of platforms, including Android and iOS, and you can view your calendar online as well.

Another plus is that if you're already using Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar can import your dates and events directly in, so you can have been at hand if you need to.


(Image credit: Mozilla)

6. Lightning Calendar

The best calendar app for Linux

Reasons to buy
+Lots of features+Easily configurable+For Thunderbird
Reasons to avoid
-Dated appearance

There are a number of open source calendar apps for Linux, but in our view the Lightning Calendar for Mozilla's Thunderbird email client is the best. 

It has an easy to use (if slightly dated) interface, and as an add-on it integrates easily with Thunderbird, allowing you to turn emails into events, as well as respond to meeting invitations. 

You can easily manage multiple calendars and to-do lists, and it's easily configurable as well. The downside is that it's not a standalone app, so you need to use it with Thunderbird (and install it from the Thunderbird add-ons website). 

However, Thunderbird is also one of the best email clients, so we'd recommend installing it anyway. It also works with Windows PCs.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.