Get organized by optimizing Fantastical 2 for Mac and iOS

An essential part of staying organized as a professional is having a reliable calendar.  Some will add that a task list or reminders is just as important.  There is no shortage of productivity apps to help you be a productivity ninja.  I’ve tried many of them and I always come back to Fantastical.  In this post I’ll describe my favorite features and show you how to optimize it as your primary calendar & reminders app on Mac, iPhone and iPad.

What I love about FantasticalFantastical 2

  • A common app for all my Apple devices.
  • Real English event creation.  Input ‘admin meeting Thursday at 9am’ and it will make that event.
  • On OSX it has a menu bar app that gives you a quick glance at the calendar, events, and tasks.
  • Supports Exchange, Google Calendar, and iCloud calendars.
  • Simple and easy reminder management.
  • Syncing with several devices is painless and reliable.

 Background on my setup

I have four calendars inside Google Apps that I use regularly.  One is my own professional calendar, one is a calendar I have edit rights to, and two are company read only calendars.  I prefer a simple reminders system which is held in iCloud.  One list of reminders is shared between my wife and I.

How to optimize it all

I found it wasn’t just as easy as installing the apps.  I had multiple reminder and event notifications coming from not just Fantastical 2 but the built in calendar app and reminders app.  Additionally, I had to setup my calendar account a certain way otherwise I’d only see my primary calendar and not the other three.  Here are the steps I took to my the whole system run smoothly:

  1. Install Fantastical 2 on your iPhone and iPad.  It’s $4.99 and $9.99 but worth it.
  2. Install the Fantastical 2 app on your Mac.  It’s $39.99 and again well worth it.
  3. On iOS and OSX add your Google Apps account using the ‘Google’ settings not ‘Exchange’.
  4. Make sure you have ‘Reminders’ enabled under the iCloud settings.
  5. On iOS configure the Fantastical 2 settings how you wish. Below are the ones I modified from default:
    1. App Icon Badge = ‘Date’Fantastical 2 iPad
    2. Today Widget = All options enabled
    3. Highlight Weekends = ‘Enabled’
    4. Default Calendar is set to my professional Google Apps calendar.
    5. Show Completed Reminders = ‘Disabled’
    6. Show All Empty Days = ‘Enabled’
    7. List -> Show = ‘Selected Day Only’
    8. Advanced -> Show Event Location Map = ‘Disabled’
    9. Advanced -> Notifications = All options enabled
  6. On iOS we want to disable notifications from Apple’s calendar app and reminders app.
    1. Settings -> Notifications -> Reminders = Disable all notifications
    2. Settings -> Notifications -> Calendar = Disable all notifications
  7. On OSX configure Fantastical 2 settings how you wish. Below is the one I modified from default:
    1. Appearance -> List Shows = ‘Selected Day & Next Day’
  8. On OSX we want to disable notifications from Apple’s calendar app and reminders app.
    1. System Preferences -> Notifications -> Reminders = Disable all notifications
    2. System Preferences -> Notifications -> Calendar = Disable all notifications