IOS users love utilities such as the Calendar, Reminders and Notes. They save trees by digitally writing stuff down instead of using Post-its. They also succeed in keeping you, your thoughts and your commitments organized. But what if you could take their features a step further by integrating them all into one app? That’s the aim of Awesome Calendar.
The all-in-one app pulls features from these apps (or, more specifically, their Google counterparts) to give you a more comprehensive view of your daily tasks. Can Awesome Calendar’s one-screen view and use of visual aids streamline all of your to-do lists and tasks? Find out after the break.
Awesome Calendar strives to be a one-stop-shop that combines three often-used utilities. First, appropriately, is the calendar, with the Awesome Calendar version syncing with your Google account and events placed on it called, well, Events.
The second main feature is called the ToDo list, which might be more familiar to online Gmail users as Tasks. Just like the calendar, Awesome Calendar will sync items on your list between the online Tasks and this app’s to-do tracker.
Finally, there is Notes. This function is pretty much what you’d think it would be: a place to type text. The benefit of writing in Awesome Calendar, though, is that you can include photos in your note, can share it via email or a program called Awesome Share and can even print your note if your device is connected to a printer.
The Choices Are Yours
Upon connecting your personal calendar to the Awesome Calendar app, you’ll be given multiple options in the settings. One of those is selecting which country’s holidays you’d like to include on your calendar out of the nearly 40 that are present. Of course, you can include more than one if you want to be a citizen of the world.
Want even more choices? Scan through theme color options, fonts, badge options and much more to customize the look of Awesome Calendar to your standards.
You’ll also be able to choose which of your own connected calendars you want added to the app if, for example, you have multiple calendars within your Gmail account.
But how does the calendar look? Well, the monthly scope will showcase as many ToDos, Notes and Events that it can cram into the tiny boxes on a given day. If you want a closer look at your day, tap the appropriate date. A box will pop up with enlarged text of your upcoming tasks. You can also tap the arrow that shows up in the border next to the “week of the year” number. That will take you to a tiled look at the week’s events.
Adding a new Event, Note or ToDo is simple. Put your finger on the day you’d like to schedule something and hold it in place. From there, a menu asking what you’d like to add will appear and from there you’ll be taken to the proper set-up process. To delete an item, just click on it within the calendar and then tap the trash can icon to make it disappear.
Speaking of icons, if you want to jazz up the look of your monthly calendar, tap the top-left button on the screen when the calendar is on monthly display. A menu full of little pictures will appear.
To add any of them to your calendar, just tap and it will appear on the screen. This is handy for dates with holidays or birthdays, as you could put the appropriate icon on the desired date. Once you move it wherever you like but you later change your mind about having it present, all you need to do is click its red X to make it disappear.
If you want more visuals, tap the button in the top-right corner and select Photo Cal. From there, the calendar will flip and images from your camera roll will start populating a new screen on the days which you have events scheduled. As mentioned before, Notes can also involve pictures, either from your camera roll or by taking a fresh pic. Just tap the correct icon during the note-writing phase to add the image you want.
Additionally, Notes are saved in an ongoing state of draft, which allows users to go back and add to them later.
Another helpful visual is the weather box, which appears above the monthly view of the calendar (that is, unless you swipe it to the side in favor an inspirational quote). When setting up Awesome Calendar, you can select your city and its five-day forecast will be added for your viewing convenience.
But Is This Calendar Awesome?
Technically, with the addition of the weather features, Awesome Calendar includes four utilities in one app. That said, Awesome Calendar has the potential to be the all-in-one app that replaces your other utilities ⎯ especially once it makes a few tweaks. But in the meantime, you’ll probably be fine using the utilities that come with your iOS device.
The calendar is nice in that you get more details about your schedule presented visually than is capable in the iOS equivalent, which only notifies you that something is taking place with a simple dot on a date. However, the alerts that can be programmed to let you know about upcoming Events will still come from the iOS at the same time, though the iOS alerts come with more frequency, especially in the case of alerts added to ToDos.
The ToDo lists are handy in that you are able to include checkboxes, essentially breaking up tasks which can be completed over time. It is also nice to have them show up in the calendar as a whole. What was disappointing was that despite adding alerts to the ToDo lists, they either failed to pop up on time or at all. There’s also an Inbox feature among the lists, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.
The same can be said of some of the visuals. While nice, they don’t necessarily add any value or efficiency to the intended performance of the combined utilities — which will hopefully be the goal for future updates.
But they do add visuals that are fun and add some flair to an otherwise run-of-the-mill set of apps. It’s possible to rely on Awesome Calendar for managing your life, but just be warned that some things may slip through the cracks.