Fantastical 3 and the Fantastical Field Guide

Fanstastical 3 Is Available

Fantastical, Version 3, launches today. Fantastical has always been known for its powerful text parser. Type a few words and create an event. This new version stretches the idea of a calendar app for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. 

I had a lot more involvement with the Fantastical 3 development than just running the beta. To begin, I served in a semi-official “calendar nerd” role over the last few years, as I sent the Fantastical development team unreasonable requests in my quest to have my “perfect” calendar app. No matter how ridiculous my demand, I sent it in and they just kept delivering. Second, I spent a lot of time on the app as it finished up development, and I made nearly two hours of screencasts on how the app works. You can see those screencasts on YouTube or get the new free Fantastical Field Guide.

So I’ve gone deep with this app, and I’m a fan. There are a lot of things about calendars that go beyond creating and editing events. Fantastical attempts to tackle those extra problems, and that’s where the app really shines.

Take proposed events, for example. For years, if I wanted to schedule a meeting with someone, I would send them an email with a proposed meeting time. If I was on top of my game, I would simultaneously create an event on my calendar with a question mark at the beginning to save the date. For example, “?Lunch with Stephen”. If Stephen later confirmed, I could edit the event to remove the question mark, and I’d be set. But what if I wanted to propose two or five different dates to Stephen? Things got tedious fast.

This new Fantastical solves this problem for me. I can propose multiple times to Stephen, and he’ll get an email which shows those options. Once he chooses, it will communicate back to my calendar, locking in the agreed time and removing all of the other proposed events automatically. Stephen doesn’t have to be a Fantastical user for this to work. Also, regardless of Stephen’s calendar app, the email will let him create an event for the agreed time. This solves a problem I’ve had with scheduling events for years, and it is just one of the many innovations with Fantastical 3. Here is a short video demonstration.

For the first time, you can get Fantastical for free, which gets you Fantastical’s core app and the date parser. For all of the premium features, there is a subscription version ($4.99/month or $39.99/year). If you were a Fantastical 2 customer, the new version gives you all of the same features from version 2 without requiring a subscription. There is also a free trial period with the premium features so you can kick the tires for yourself.

I love the idea of a calendar app that works harder for me, and Fantastical 3 does that. And if you would like to learn a lot more about Fantastical …

The Fantastical Field Guide

In addition, I am pleased to announce the release of a brand new free Field Guide, the Fantastical Field Guide. I have been using Fantastical since it was just a Mac menu bar app. I like the way this application works and the way it speeds up my interactions with my calendar. Over the years, the app has grown into something much more with versions for the iPhone and iPad, and a dedicated application on the Mac. In my opinion, it is superior to the Apple Calendar app in just about every measurable way.

When the Fantastical developers were getting ready to release version 3 of the application, they asked me to prepare an extensive screencast series on how the app works and how I use it. I was happy to do so. That resulted in nearly two hours of video screencasts with me working in Fantastical 3 and explaining how to use its many features. Along the way, I was able to drop in a lot of good general advice about how to use a digital calendar. When the project was done, we were all so happy with it that the Fantastical team gave me permission to release all of these videos as a free Field Guide.

So, here you go. The Fantastical Field Guide is a free download that is as close as I am going to get to a calendaring field guide anytime soon. I hope you enjoy it.