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Get More Organized and Productive With BusyCal for Mac

Get More Organized and Productive With BusyCal for Mac

The OS X Calendar (formerly iCal) has become a stable application since the operating system was released. Many Mac users are not been too very pleased with the latest design of replacement app Calendar, though the beta relieve the OS X Mavericks version of Calendar includes several updates and a redesign with the application.

Many other Mac users have considered an award winning third-party calendar called BusyCal ($29.99). This powerful productivity tool contains most all the features found in Calendar, just about all includes unique features like customizable calendar views, scrolling month and week views, event icons, live weather feeds and moon phases, and menu bar entry to the application.

Who Is BusyCal For?

BusyCal is a little pricey for a calendar application, so I would mostly recommend it for Mac users who're scheduling events, meetings, and activities on a regular basis, and then for those who may happen to use multiple calendar application. BusyCal supports iCloud, Google Calendar, and other CalDAV servers, in order to easily sync data from other calendars.

BusyCal 2.5, which can be now available for public beta, will also include Exchange support, including tasks, calendar sharing, and scheduling meetings. The Mavericks update of Calendar will incorporate features out of stock in BusyCal, most notably integration with GPS map information (see image below.)

Calendar inspector

Basic Features

You can add calendar events and meetings in BusyCal equally as you do in Calendar. BusyCal includes Calendar’s Create Quick Event feature, and when you add events from a Mail app, those events will demonstrate up in BusyCal.


BusyCal can even be accessed from the menu bar, that's a feature still out of stock for Calendar. The menu bar view lists your upcoming scheduled events, to-dos, and meetings, and yes it provides a text box for quickly adding events. You can simply type, for instance, “Meeting tomorrow with Kate, 9 a.m.” and BusyCal will set up the event in your case.

BusyCal 2

BusyCal displays alarms in their own Alarm Window or even in the Notification Center. You can set snooze alarms for virtually any duration, and you can set default alarm intervals for first time events, to-dos, birthdays, etc.

As with Calendar, you will add different calendars in BusyCal that could be set to sync via iCloud with BusyCal placed on your other Macs. There’s no iOS version of BusyCal, but any dates you add are certain to get synced while using iOS version of Calendar, and in turn will show up in third-party iOS apps like Fantastical.

BusyCal calendars

You may use a two-finger gesture to scroll through the day, week, and month views of BusyCal, and there’s a handy Today button in the menu bar to obtain back where you started.

Advanced Features

While I don’t use BusyCal as my daily to-do manager, some of its advanced and unique features help it become my default calendar application in my Mac. First off, I like how BusyCal enables you to set up customizable views of calendars, in doing what is called Smart Filters. Similar to iTunes’ Smart Playlists, you can set up rules based on the type of events, tags, dates, notes and so on.

BusyCal smart filter

Smart calendar views are specially great in case your unfiltered calendar view is cluttered with many different dates and you simply want to give attention to selective data.

BusyCal muo calendar

Unlike Calendar, BusyCal also includes a List look at events that may be displayed by day, week, month, and year. As with traditional calendar views, calendar lists may also be printed or saved as PDFs.


You may add image icons from BusyCal’s Graphics Panel, containing hundreds of keyword searchable images for all occasions. Some from the images are a little traditional, but they’re useful for viewing, locating, and navigating calendar events.

BusyCal graphic panel

BusyCal’s Preferences offers advanced settings inaccessible in Calendar. For instance, you recruit a lot more options for setting up default alarms for timed events, all-day events, to dos, birthdays and anniversaries.

BusyCal alarms

You also can customize the font sized calendar numbers, event data, and banners. BusyCal, that features a time zone feature that’s not unlike its counterpart in Calendar, changes the event times you previously intended to reflect a whole new time zone. You also have the option to disable this time shift feature.


If you find Mac OS X’s default calendar application limiting, you should definitely download a trial version of BusyCal to find out if it fits your needs for a Mac-based home business office. I’ve got my default Mac calendar, and I suspect that, over time, it'll probably include the map integration feature inside forthcoming Mavericks version of Calendar.

Download: BusyCal ($29.99, trial available)

What think of BusyCal? What feature do you want to see in a very calendar app? Add your thinking, below.

Image credit: Vintage Perpetual Desk Calendar (Adelle & Justin)

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