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Top 10 Next-Gen Calendar Apps (2022)
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Top 10 Next-Gen Calendar Apps (2022)

The best new tools defining the modern calendar.

Matthew Busel
March 2, 2022

🪦 RIP - Google Calendar (2006 - 2022)?

Every knowledge worker on the planet uses at least two tools: email and calendar. Traditionally these spaces have been dominated by Google, but that’s beginning to change. Superhuman opened our eyes to the massive opportunity in seemingly mundane tools. Today there are dozens of startups with ambitions of being the “Superhuman of calendars” or even more.

Below is a collection of the best calendar apps that launched recently or will launch soon. As a productivity geek, I’m fascinated by their potential. These calendar apps are beautifully designed, lightning-fast, and hotkey enabled. Some are already saving me hours each week. Let’s get into it! 📆

📌 Note: this list is in no particular order! All the tools below are fantastic. It’s also not exhaustive - if you think we missed one, let us know. 📌

Best Calendar Apps - 2022

1. Motion

Pricing: free trial, $19/mo

Motion is a powerful scheduling tool that goes way beyond the idea of “Superhuman for calendar.” The product is fast and modern. It combines your calendar and tasks all-in-one. Once you download the Chrome extension, ⌥-c pulls up Motion from anywhere, and ⌥-space lets you add new tasks. This alone has saved me from hours of opening up Google Calendar in new windows.

What makes Motion unique is its AI-powered scheduling engine. It takes everything you need to do - meetings, tasks, habits...etc. - and automatically plans the optimal schedule. When creating a task, you give Motion a few details about length and deadline, and it intelligently finds the best time on your calendar. When things inevitably take longer than expected or more urgent work comes up - Motion automatically re-shuffles your schedule to re-optimize your day. This eliminates all the manual work that goes into planning your schedule when things change.

Every aspect of Motion is designed to help maximize productivity and finish tasks on schedule. It revolves around the idea that we work best when we can focus on one thing at a time. The team moves lightning-fast and is constantly churning out new features including booking links, smart scheduler, flexible events, project management, and more.

Motion calendar tasks and schedule

Why We’re Excited About Motion

  • View everything (to-do’s, meetings, calendars) in one place
  • Intelligent planning based on deadlines, meetings, and work hours
  • Auto-shifts uncompleted tasks to new times and days
  • Daily meeting limit ensures you don’t get over-scheduled
  • Smart booking links with timezone conversion
  • Mobile app

2. Vimcal

Pricing: free trial, $15/mo

Vimcal has been a trailblazer for next-gen calendar apps. Founded in 2018, the team has innovated in the space for longer than almost any company on this list. The result is a truly beautiful calendar experience.

While their launch tagline was “Superhuman for Calendar,” the product intentionally feels different. Vimcal is beautiful and fast, but unlike Superhuman, it’s designed to be approachable. From the onboarding experience onward, Vimcal is fun, interactive, and playful. For example, you can type “aloha” into the command bar to pull up a feedback form.

Co-founder John Li manually onboarded the first 1,000 users (🤯), giving the team a keen sense of what users want. His efforts have translated into valuable features that other calendar apps have emulated. Innovations include availability dragging and the menubar calendar. Vimcal is one of the most fully-featured calendars with timezone conversion, booking links, keyboard shortcuts, integrations, and plain English scheduling. Pressing “F” flashes all the keyboard shortcuts on your screen for easy access.

One particularly impressive note is that all their features work together. When you want to share availability with someone in a different time zone, you can drag availability and time travel simultaneously. Users are also excited as they have a mobile app launching soon.

Vimcal top calendar example

Why We’re Excited About Vimcal

  • Beautiful and friendly design
  • Really, really fast
  • Mobile app coming soon!
  • Hover over events for details
  • Interactive onboarding experience

3. Cron

Pricing: in early access

Cron bills itself as the “next-generation calendar for professionals and teams.” Cron’s design feels the most like Superhuman’s of all the calendars on this list. Created by Swiss designer Raphael Schaad, Cron has a beautiful, clean, fast interface. It has all the features you might expect in a next-gen calendar, including dark mode, timezone conversions, plain-text availability, and lightning-quick keyboard shortcuts.

While the features are similar to others on this list, Cron differentiates itself with its principled design. Inspired by Sunrise (whose founder is an investor), it’s clear Raphael and team pay close attention to every detail. Their core principles are design, collaboration, and integrations. These attributes helped Cron take home ProductHunt’s Productivity App of the Year award.

With the ambitious goal of creating the “digital time layer,” Cron has secured $3.5M in funding from Initialized and YC.

Cron best calendar screenshot

Why We’re Excited About Cron

  • Beautiful, fast design
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • PH Productivity App of the Year
  • Menu bar calendar lets you quickly see your schedule
  • Natural language scheduling
  • Cron API

4. Cal.com

Pricing: free, paid starting at $12/mo

Cal.com asks the question, “what if Calendly was open source?” In short, it’s a fantastic tool for anyone that needs calendar links or scheduling infrastructure in their organization.

The biggest difference between Cal.com and Calendly is in their belief system. Cal.com has been an open-source company since its inception. They fundamentally believe infrastructure software needs to be open and accessible. To this end, they’re public about accessibility and openness as two of their foundational operational philosophies.

Cal.com integrates with virtually any calendar, providing an availability link for people trying to schedule with you. They give you complete control over your hours, availability, and meeting types. You can integrate with Zoom, Google Meet, Jisti Meet, Huddle01, and many more. In addition to their team product, they also offer a white label solution.

Cal.com screenshot

Why We’re Excited About Cal.com

  • Fully open-source
  • Customizable meeting templates
  • Hands-on, 24/7 support
  • Connect multiple calendars at once
  • Useful for both personal and business

5. Dotcal

Pricing: free trial, $10/month

Dotcal is an online scheduling platform that allows users to customize booking pages to make the best first impressions for their brand. Design-forward with a much more modern feel than other calendar apps, Dotcal is a fresh take in a world of similar-looking competitors.

In contrast to the classic barebone booking pages, Dotcal allows its customers to choose between many different templates with the ability to easily customize each of them. Whether you’re a working professional, yoga instructor, or simply scheduling a meetup with friends, Dotcal’s booking pages are flexible enough to many different use cases.

Despite Dotcal’s simple and straightforward UX within their app (you can create a beautiful booking page in seconds), their platform is as full-featured as many other calendar apps that have been around for much longer. With dozens of integrations, workflow features, website embeds, and much, much more, Dotcal is a one-stop shop for design-focused schedulers.

Why We’re Excited About Dotcal

  • Customizable Booking Pages
  • Design-focused from the ground up
  • Built for teams and personal use
  • Ability to connect up to six calendars
  • Integrates with major platforms

6. Superpowered

Pricing: free, paid starting at $10/mo

Superpowered is a desktop app that lets you easily join meetings in one click. Instead of scrambling for the meeting link when you have a meeting coming up, Superpowered gently alerts you with a button to join directly.

You can also easily view both you and your teammates’ availability at any time through Superpowered and quickly schedule meetings with them. With the Slack integration, you can set your Slack status to show when you’re in a meeting and when you’ll next be free. You can also easily message teammates when you’re running late.

Superpowered takes almost no setup time - just connect your Google Calendar account, and you’re good to go! The product is beautiful and particularly well designed for those working remotely.

Superpowered menu bar

Why We’re Excited About Superpowered

  • Join meetings in one click
  • Quickly see your daily schedule
  • Easily message attendees when you’re running late
  • See when your teammates are free and schedule quick meetings with them
  • Set your Slack status to “Busy” when you’re in a meeting

7. CommandDot

Pricing: free, paid starting at $50/mo

CommandDot is a Chrome extension you can trigger with (you guessed it) CMD + period 😜. It’s “the fastest and friendliest way to get more meetings you want” and one of the more unique apps on this list.

CommandDot’s two main products are plain text availability and availability links. Unlike competitors, CommandDot offers unlimited links, unlimited event types, and unlimited calendar connections - all on their free plan. This gives users high-resolution control over how their time is booked. Instead of sharing a single availability link with everyone you know, you can share one for coffee chats and another for investor calls. By setting certain events to high priority and others to low, you can ensure there’s always time for your most important meetings.

From start to finish, CommandDot’s design is opinionated in the best way possible. Their availability links are beautiful and mobile-first. You can paste any other availability link into CommandDot to see open slots side-by-side. They have a handful of other features I haven’t seen anywhere else, like “vibe checks” before meetings and a color store. Even the marketing copy on CommandDot’s site is bold.

What underpins all these features is a unique philosophy about time management. CommandDot is built around providing smart suggestions but ultimately giving you final edit over availability. They can make increasingly ambitious attempts to save you time by bringing you into the loop. CommandDot doesn’t want to automate all time; they want to automate away the busy work and let you keep the valuable parts of your day.

CommandDot

Why We’re Excited About CommandDot

  • Vibe check before meetings
  • Beautiful, interactive onboarding
  • Unlimited links, unlimited event types, unlimited calendar connections.
  • Beautifully designed availability links
  • Mobile-first scheduling page
  • Plant a tree for every hour they save customers

8. Rise

Pricing: in early access

Rise is all about finding time for you and your team. Early previews show a beautiful UI, and a feature set comparable to other next-gen calendars. This includes keyboard shortcuts, join links, and time travel. Where Rise sets themselves apart is their powerful Scheduling Engine.

Rise’s Scheduling Engine focuses on figuring out the best slots for meetings given dozens of different parameters. When you sign up, you design your “perfect week” based on how you like to work and collaborate. Rise takes these preferences, as well as hundreds of other signals, into account when scheduling meetings. This ensures you and your teammates preserve much-needed focus time in your week.

While some of the calendar apps can feel similar, Rise seems to be taking a particularly opinionated approach. The scheduling engine promises to make Rise the smartest calendar instead of simply the fastest one—features like flexible events and auto-buffer support this mission. Still in private beta, they’ve attracted $3M in funding from the likes of Lachy Groom and Stewart Butterfield.

Rise top 10 new calendar

Why We’re Excited About Rise

  • Advanced scheduling engine
  • First-class support for tasks
  • Auto-buffer
  • Flexible events
  • Design your perfect week

9. Akiflow

Pricing: free trial, $15/mo

Akiflow is a beautiful, easy-to-use task manager and one of the few calendars on this list to treat tasks as a first-class citizen. Using their powerful integrations, you can bring tasks into Akiflow from other tools, including Asana, Gmail, and Notion.

Akiflow’s primary feature is its inbox consolidation. It allows you to import tasks from all your tools into a unified view. For example, if you want to add an email to your to-do list, starring it on Gmail will automatically add it to your Akiflow inbox. From there, you can triage and work towards inbox zero for your tasks. It also has nice features for organizing tasks like labels and a “someday” inbox for those without a specific due date.

Akiflow’s combination of tasks, calendars, and integrations makes it particularly well suited for time blocking. In Akiflow, you can easily drag and drop tasks into your calendar to block time for work. This eliminates the need to toggle back and forth between your tasks and calendar to block off your day.

As expected, Akiflow has several other productivity-enhancing features, including smart notifications and keyboard shortcuts.

Akiflow calendar and tasks example

Why We’re Excited About Akiflow

  • Auto import tasks from other tools (Asana, Gmail, Slack, Trello, etc.)
  • Tasks and calendar side-by-side
  • Inbox zero for your tasks
  • 1 referral = 1 tree planted
  • Join meetings instantly with smart notifications

10. Amie

Pricing: in early access

Amie

Amie next-gen calendar

11. Katch

Pricing: in early access

Bonus! This was supposed to be a top 10 list, but we just couldn't leave out any of these amazing new tools. Katch is different than the other calendars on this list. They've rethought the way you manage your time, eliminating the need for planned meetings entirely. Katch lets you categorize meetings and calls by priority level. This enables calls to happen spontaneously based on times that are best for you. Their slick, intuitive interface is unlike anything you'd expect from a calendar app. Katch has an opportunity to change not only work meetings but how we interact with all the important people in our lives.

Why We’re Excited About Katch

  • Eliminates 30-min meeting blocks
  • Adaptive availability
  • Incredible, experienced team
  • Set office-hours
  • Prioritizes most important calls

Honorable Mentions

12. Hera (edit->shutting down as of 6/22 😥)

Pricing: currently free

Hera is the latest next-gen calendar app to launch and one that particularly excites me. At first glance, it may seem similar to some of the others on this list, but they’ve made a few key decisions that differentiate themselves.

Hera is a remote-first app that helps you protect and plan your time without leaving your calendar. They offer Calendly-like booking links, instant scheduling, meeting templates, keyboard shortcuts, a menu bar tool, and plain-text scheduling. As expected, Hera’s UI is a beautiful, modern take on Google Calendar.

Unlike several others in the space, Hera wants to embed collaboration into the calendar versus staying single-player only. In Hera, you can comment and tag a teammate beneath any event. This makes it easy to share access to your meeting notes or ask a teammate to reschedule. Additionally, Hera has a unique concept of an “activity” different from an event. Typical activities like “focus time” stand out from the rest of your events with distinctive colors.

Alongside their product, Hera has worked hard to cultivate a strong community. Vocal users have helped Hera develop particularly handy features. For example, holding “⌥” shows an uncluttered view of your calendar. Also, because Hera is a macOS desktop app, you can instantly use the CMD-E shortcut to pull up the calendar from any screen.

Hera best new calendar example

Why We’re Excited About Hera

  • Hotkey to pull up Hera works anywhere, not just in the browser
  • Activities (like focus time) are automatically color-coded
  • Holding ⌥ shows a clean “uncluttered” view of your calendar
  • Availability sharing + create events in plain language
  • Easily take meeting notes
  • Strong community

13. Track

Pricing: in early access

Track

14. Magical

Pricing: in early access

Magical

Magical calendar and scheduling

15. Daybridge

Pricing: in early access

Daybridge

Daybridge new calendar

16. MayDay

Pricing: in early access

MayDay

MayDay example

17. Ready

Pricing: in early access

Ready

Ready upcoming cal
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew Busel

Matthew is the co-founder of Whalesync. He's been a no-coder since the ancient days of WordPress and thinks a lot about product.

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