Calvetica: Beautiful, Fast, and Functional Calendar Management

For a long time, Calvetica has been the most praised calendar app available for the iPhone. Fast, yet feature rich, beautiful, yet minimalist. It’s no wonder Calvetica was recommended by so many. Its only downfall? Followers of Mysterious Trousers’ amazing calendar app were left longing for a native iPad version to grace their 9.7 inch display.

Well, the wait is over. Mysterious Trousers have released version 4.0 of Calvetica and not only does this new version make the app universal, it boasts a complete overhaul of the entire design, doing the impossible and making Calvetica even more beautiful! Calvetica is finally the only calendar app that you need!

Why Do I Need Calvetica?

If you are yet to purchase a calendar app, you may be thinking to yourself, “Why do I need to purchase a calendar app, Apple includes one with iOS free?” This is true, the standard calendar app that ships with iOS is useful, the design is good and most importantly the app is functional.

Despite all that, Calvetica manages to go one further in each case. Calvetica is easier to use, Calvetica is faster, Calvetica is more fully featured, and Calvetica is beautiful.

In comparison, the only thing Apple’s calendar app can offer is the fact that on the home screen, the icon auto updates to show the current day and date (admittedly a very useful feature for a calendar). But Calvetica still manages to compete, using the iOS ‘badge notifications’ to display the current date on the app icon.

To get Calvetica to display the ‘Day of Month badge’ go to the in-app settings and under notifications, select ‘Icon Badge and Alerts’. From there you can choose to display the badge.

Design & Interface

For me, Calvetica’s best feature is its amazing design. Open the app up and you are immediately greeted with this stunning view.

Design flair, Helvetica style.

Design flair, Helvetica style.

On the left, Calvetica displays around 3 months worth of meetings, dates, birthdays and deadlines, whilst on the right you see your daily agenda. Let me take a moment to ogle at that design with you. You will notice that the design is very minimal and makes full use of the legendary Helvetica font from which Calvetica’s name is derived.

If you switch your iPad to landscape, you will notice that only around a month or so is displayed on the left and fewer hours are displayed in your daily agenda. This isn’t a bad thing, but I definitely prefer being in portrait orientation for this app.

Whilst we’re on the subject of design, let me take the opportunity to show you this:

Calvetica's awesome week view

Calvetica's awesome week view.

By pinching on the daily agenda, you can switch between day and week view. Week view displays, as you would expect, all your events for the upcoming week, but sprinkled with Helvetica deliciousness.

You can change the day your week starts on by going to the in-app settings, scrolling down to ‘International’ and selecting the right date from ‘Start Week On…’

Getting Started

You may have noticed that my calendar was already populated with lots of dates, this is because, like many calendar apps available in the App Store, Calvetica syncs flawlessly with the iOS calendar. Add an event to either Calvetica or the default calendar app and the event appears in both. This means you have access to all your local calendars from within Calvetica.

The problem with local calendars, however, is that they are… local. They remain on your device until you sync it with your Mac or PC and unfortunately this is a bit of a pain if you have multiple iOS devices (until we see the arrival of iCloud this fall!).

For now, the best solution is to use Google Calendar which in itself is great and means you have access to your calendar anywhere, but that’s another story. Fortunately, Calvetica also works great with Google Calendar and if you’re struggling to get set up, they even have this handy tutorial. Follow those instructions and Calvetica will sync flawlessly between all your devices and the web. Of course, if you have already set up a Google account before on your iPad, then everything will just work right from the start.

Creating Events

So now that we are fully synced between devices, let’s add an event!

Adding an event in Calvetica

Adding an event in Calvetica.

Now I claimed that Calvetica is faster and easier to use than the standard iOS calendar, let me prove this to you. To add an event in Calvetica press the plus sign located at the top, this brings up the menu as shown in the screenshot where you can quickly type in the start time and a title. The event is then added to the day you have selected in the calendar view on the left. If you need to add notes, attendees, repeats etc. you can do this by pressing the ‘More…’ button.

Now that may all sound quite longwinded, but trust me, it’s much faster than the iOS calendar. The length of the event and the calendar (e.g. a local or a Google calendar) to which the event is added are determined by your default settings, changeable in the settings menu or by pressing ‘More…’.

There is however, another, even faster way to create new events just in case that method isn’t fast enough. By tapping on a specific time in the daily agenda view to the right, the same menu as before pops up, but the date and time are already filled in, meaning all you need to do is add a title to the event. In case you weren’t counting, that was two taps (and a little typing) to create an event.

Functionality

I hope I’ve proved to you so far that Calvetica is both fast and beautiful. I’m about to show you that Calvetica is functional too, even more so than the standard iOS calendar.

An example of just how 'in-depth' the settings for Calvetica are

An example of just how in-depth the settings for Calvetica are.

I couldn’t show you the entire settings menu, but I hope that this calendar-colour-selection-submenu portrays how in-depth the settings actually are. Change every conceivable default setting, from the noise made when an alarm goes off to the default duration of an event. Choose when your working day/week starts, how events should appear in the calendar and of course manage your notifications and badges.

It’s so simple to add an alarm to an event, if you don’t already attach alarms by default. Simply tap the little alarm icon next to your event and be warned of an upcoming event as it happens or up to two months in advance (and everything in-between of course!).

Adding an alarm to an event with Calvetica is simple and quick

Adding an alarm to an event with Calvetica is simple and quick.

Worth mentioning is the comprehensive ‘Repeat’ function, whereby repeating tasks can be assigned daily, weekly, monthly or yearly schedules. Select how often you want an event to repeat and when you want it to end. It sounds simple, but a repeat function as in-depth as this is unfortunately lacking from the native iOS calendar app. This repeat function probably isn’t suitable for very complex repeating events however such as college timetables, but it definitely should be enough for everyone else.

Calvetica’s Secret Weapon

Calvetica let's you create tasks as well as events

Calvetica let's you create tasks as well as events.

If you’re still not convinced that you need Calvetica, let me try one more time to convince you. Calvetica also boasts a ‘Tasks’ function. Switch to Tasks view by tapping the tick icon at the top of the calendar screen and you are greeted with a very similar looking interface as before.

Much like the calendar function, all your tasks are listed in a month view to the left and day-by-day to the right.

Adding a new task in Calvetica

Adding a new task in Calvetica.

Adding tasks is even more simple than adding events, simply select the day the task is due and hit the add button at the top. Enter the task’s description and select a priority and you’re done!

If you need to add multiple tasks, tap ‘Add +’ to create another task without leaving the ‘New Task’ window.

The Task function is for those of you who feel awkward adding a “Remember to buy some milk” event on your calendar. You should be aware however, that this is not a replacement for your to-do app as there is a lot of functionality missing, for example, you cannot set alarms for your tasks. However, I don’t think this is the intended purpose of the Task function – it’s more suited to those general, menial tasks, not suited for your calendar, but not important enough for your to-do list.

There is also the option to create multiple ‘Task Groups’ similar to adding events to different calendars, this makes it possible to add tasks to different groups such as; Personal, Finance, College, etc. Personally, I feel that only one group is actually required, but by setting up different groups it does allow you to change the colour of tasks if you’re in to that sort of thing.

That beautiful week view is available in Task mode too!

That beautiful week view is available in Task mode too!

To sync tasks between multiple devices, you will need to set up a free Pocket Lint account from within the app which is run by the developers, Mysterious Trousers.

Final Thoughts

Calvetica is fast, functional and beautiful – even more so than the standard iOS calendar. The app implements the use of gestures well, which act as shortcuts to increase the speed of the app further (See the help section in settings for an overview of all gestures). The in-app support is also excellent, offering FAQs for when you get stuck with something and the developers’ customer support is second to none.

Calvetica offers a minimalist calendar experience whilst retaining superior functionality, which really comes across in the app, and because Calvetica has been available on the iPhone for some time, the developers have really had a chance to get to know what makes an exceptional calendar app.

My only criticism (albeit a minor one) is that as you scroll through the calendar view on the left, events can take a second to load into view after you stop scrolling – but for $1.99, a universal app such as this definitely isn’t worth missing.


Summary

A minimalist calendar experience which retains superior functionality. This app makes creating new calendar events both simple and quick.

9
  • http://www.moosedesign.com MooseDesign

    No surprise coming from a classically trained designer here, but this and the iPhone partner apps are both seriously gorgeous pieces of UI. I haven’t talked myself into buying them yet… but I am this | | close!

  • Chris

    Your article says the price is $1.99, when in fact it’s really $2.99

    • http://www.d-ink.co.uk James Watts

      Thanks for the heads up, prices on the App store are in constant fluctuation so it’s highly likely the price changed between writing and publishing.

  • http://modernisten.co.vu/ Robin Lundgren

    I bought this app, thought it looked professional and >easy< to use both on the iPhone and iPad. Was I wrong.. Waaaay steep learning curve, and the larger screen on the iPad did not help much either. Gimmicky gestures, I would guess about a thousand ways to add events, et cetera..

    Now I'm using Agenda on the iPhone instead, way more straight to the point calendar. "Savvy apps" got the calendar right on the money shot. Too bad they haven't received enough credit for their wonderful calendar app!

    • Jimmeh

      You battle hard.

  • http://modernisten.co.vu/ Robin Lundgren

    Oh yeah, how on earth is Calvetica minimal?
    When you get down and dirty with Calvetica you should also be hesitant to use the very powerful and hard to master word; minimal.

  • Karyn

    Although it is beautiful, I’ve found Calvetica to be unusable. It is supposed to support multiple google calendars, but doesn’t work as promised for me. Sometimes it updates, sometimes it doesn’t. The less beautiful Calendars iOS app is much more robust.

    YMMV of course.

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    Your review made me decide to purchase this calender app. I had some problems with getting it connected with my google calender, but that was more my inexperience.
    It looks great, and I am having fun with it…..not sure if I’ll use the tasks feature

  • Sharon

    Hey Karyn, I know this is late but do you have push on? If so everything should update smoothly. Without push you will see problems.

  • Daniel young

    I’m loving calvetica already and I’ve only had it for 3 hours but can you help me? How do I change colour for different events at the moment everything including birthdays are blue and it would be dummy proof for me if there where different colours for birthdays, work and personal events? Thanks

  • Ross

    I bought this because I could set multiple alarms for a single event. 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 days, etc. Now you’ve taken that away…why?

  • Bob Stilger

    For some reason, this will not install on my iPad. I’ve tried deleting multiple times, but it will not completely install. Suggestions? Thanks!

  • Joyce

    Is there a way to make the font bigger in calvetica calendar?