Apps I love: Fantastical

My love for Fantastical was born out of my
disdain for what Apple did to iCal. I dont think Im alone in this, but I
used to be an avid iCal user. It was great and the first calendar app
that I really used consistently. Then it all went to crap in Lion (Mac
OS X 10.7). My biggest gripe aside from the hideous leather UI was the
removal of the calendar sidebar and usable monthly navigation overviews.

In light of that I sought out alternatives. BusyCal was a throwback to
the iCal of old but was just different enough that I couldnt get behind
it. And then along came Fantastical. Admittedly I was skeptical at first
until I tried it.

The way you interact with Fantastical is nothing short of magical. Just
type in your calendar event and it parses the language automatically. So
for instance,

The Dark Knight Rises at midnight on July 20 at Alderwood Mall

Gets added as a calendar event called The Dark Knight Rises at 12:00 AM
on July 20 with the location set to Alderwood Mall.

The more I play around with how it recognizes criteria of what I type
the more surprised I get. From recognizing people on an event and
inviting them to setting up repetitions automatically I am always amazed
by what it can do.

The big thing that held me up from getting it was the price. I wasnt
really a fan of spending $20 on a calendar app since I had been used to
iCal which was free with OS X. I let the 14-day trial expire and went
back to iCal for a while before deleting my preferences to reset the
trial. But In the end I sprung the $20 for it and really havent
regretted it.

Thats a shift Ive been seeing in myself more lately: I enjoy supporting
small developers who make great apps. Most of the apps that Im planning
on writing about in is series are all from small developers and its a
huge part of what makes the iOS and Mac ecosystems so great.

I urge you to check out Fantastical. The price is normally $20, but
right now its on sale for 50% off at the Mac App Store and I cant
recommend it enough.

$9.99 on the Mac App Store for a limited