Flexibits, makers of Fantastical and Cardhop, for the first time ever, are having a sale on their subscriptions. From now until November 30, you can get 50% off an annual subscription or 50% off your first month of a monthly subscription!
This lets you create a link where Fantastical’s web server can see your availability but not your appointments and then let folks schedule appointments with you against that. This is the first time I’ve seen someone pull off a feature like this without requiring you to hand over your account credentials. Nicely done.
These have been in Fantastical for a while now, but this latest iteration also lets you create a link so you can have multiple people weigh in on your proposed times. It even reports the results to you directly in Fantastical.
I’m going to take some credit for this one. I’ve been requesting/begging/harassing the Flexibits team. I like to work in quarters, and there were no calendar apps that would display your calendar in a quarterly view … until now.
I know many folks don’t like the subscription software model, but it is here to stay. I will say, however, that Flexibits is doing it right. All of these features are now just in the app. There is no upgrade fee or requirement for a higher subscription tier.
I made the demonstration videos for Flexibits. You can watch them below.
Flexibits released a nice update to Fantastical. This update continues to put the pedal down and simplify virtual meetings with the addition of Webex integration. This version also improves the toolset for big meetings with public meeting proposals via URL, granular control over guest permissions in Google events, and general performance improvements when dealing with lots of invitees.
My favorite thing about the new version, however, is the Shortcuts support. The Fantastical developers jumped in with both feet with their Shortcuts for Mac integration with a pile of new actions. If you want to automate calendar events on your Mac, make sure to check out this update. (I’ll be covering all of these Fantastical actions in the upcoming Shortcuts for Mac Field Guide.)
I routinely keep my appointments listed in my menu bar when working on my Mac. As someone who does a lot of block scheduling, this is just one more reminder of where I should be as I work through the day. I also use Bartender to thin down the menu bar so truly useful data, like this, can be visible.
There are a few ways to pull this off. Fantastical has a setting that lets me put the next appointment in my menu bar with the “Show Upcoming Item in Menu Bar” checkbox in the Appearance settings. Fantastical also gives you a calendar and list of events if you click on the menu bar icon.
There are also some apps to scratch this itch. MeetingBar is my favorite. It gives you plenty of control over exactly what will show up and also a nice scrolling list if you click on the menu bar item. Both MeetingBar and Fantastical work with the meeting services like Teams and Zoom so you can launch meetings from the menu bar. Also, MeetingBar has a cool flip board-inspired icon, and I dig flip boards.
There are only so many settings a developer can put in a setting screen. Along the road of development, there are often niche settings that don’t make the cut. For better apps, developers often leave hidden settings to access via Terminal or URL callback.
I set many calendar events via Fantastical, and many of them are block schedules that I sometimes delete. That deletion always requires a confirmation, which was making me nuts. I asked the team at Flexibits about this, and they turned me on to the URL below, which, when you put in Safari and execute, turns off the deletion confirmation in Fantastical. Note the SkipDeleteWarning name and the value=1 (which means “Yes”).
To make this work, quit Fantastical, paste what’s below in Safari, and press return:
There are more cool Fantastical hidden preferences.
Full All Day Row in Display. This puts all day events in one row rather than showing multiple all-day events on one line. This one is iOS only. x-fantastical3://defaults?key=FullAllDayRowInList&value=1&type=bool
Always Show All: Set to YES (“1”) to have the details always visible in the event and reminder popover. x-fantastical3://defaults?key=AlwaysShowAll&value=1&type=bool&group=1
Dim All Past Items: Set to YES to dim all events and tasks on days in the past. This affects Mac and iOS, List, Month, Week, and Day View. x-fantastical3://defaults?key=DimAllPastItems&value=1&type=bool&group=1
Do Not Dim Passed Events: Set to YES to not dim passed events in the list.
Hide Location In List: Set to YES to hide event locations and reminder geofences in the list. x-fantastical3://defaults?key=HideLocationInList&value=1&type=bool&group=1
Default Event Duration: Specify the default event duration in seconds (gives finer control than the presets in the app). For example, to make a default event duration of 25 minutes, use 1500 seconds. x-fantastical3://defaults?key=DefaultEventDuration&value=1500&type=int&group=1
Days Per Week: Change the number of days per week in Week view. This can be set to anything between 3 and 21 (gives finer control than the app’s presets). x-fantastical3://defaults?key=DaysPerWeek&value=10&type=int
My thanks to Michael and Kent at Flexibits for passing along these additional settings.
Congratulations to Fantastical for earning the “Mac App of the Year” award from Apple. I pay a lot for app subscriptions. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting ripped off but not with Fantastical. In the year since they’ve gone to the subscription model, they’ve continued to keep the gas down on improvement and new features and this honor from Apple is well-earned.
With both Big Sur and Apple Silicon shipping in the last week, I’m behind on some of the software updates. Fantastical released version 3.3 with a new Big Sur design and support for adding Microsoft Teams meetings in an interface similar to their Zoom integration. The other big update here is the widgets. The Fantastical widgets (there are a lot of them) for iPhone, iPad, and even Mac put Apple’s calendar widget to shame. I’m using the large size month calendar and event list on my iPhone home screen.
It’s a nice update and already out. I continue to use Fantastical daily to manage my calendar appointment and block schedule.
Flexibits has released Fantastical Version 3.2, with 12 new widgets for iOS and iPadOS 14 and Scribble support for iPadOS 14.
You can now customize the exact views of Fantastical how you want on your Homescreen with 12 unique widgets to choose from. Do you want small widgets to simply show the date or the next upcoming event or task? Maybe you would prefer medium widgets to show a bit more information or side-by-side monthly calendars? How about large widgets that provide an in-depth agenda? Goldilocks this and find out what works best for you.
Of course the Fantastical widgets are gorgeous. I immediately kicked the Apple Calendar widget off my home screen and replaced it with the one from Fantastical. It displays my calendar data better, includes the current date on my home screen, and adds the weather to boot. One final advantage, putting it on as widget allowed me to pull the app out of my dock. Win-win.
Last year I built an intricate Shortcut to turn my agenda into a PDF and then save it as the home screen. It all fell apart when Apple pulled the rug from under me by removing the “Set image as wallpaper” shortcut action. Having Fantastical on my home screen is way better.
Today Flexibits announced Fantastical Premium for Families. With it, you can get up to 5 family members in Fantastical for $7.99 a month. If you’ve got more than a few members of your family on Fantastical, that’s a nice discount. It’s also an excellent excuse to put the rest of your family on Fantastical. With Fantastical’s power features, it runs circles around the built-in calendar app. Want to learn more about Fantastical? There is a free Field Guide for that.
Today Flexibits released a major update to Fantastical with version 3.1. This is the “working from home” update with a bunch of new features aimed at people surprised to find themselves working from home:
Time-Based Calendar Sets
Calendar sets have always been a cool feature. Now you can have them trigger automatically at a specific time of day.
Better Conference Calling
Fantastical’s Zoom integration is excellent. You can add a zoom call straight from the app. With this update, Fantastical can now auto-detect conference calls with several popular conferencing services, and it adds a one-click “join” button to your calendar (and your menubar) as the event approaches.
And More Improvements
They also added new Mac appearance options customized for both light and dark mode, added iMessage stickers, and made several other improvements and optimizations.
This is a free update for Fantastical subscribers. I made a few videos for Flexibits showing off the new features. Below is one, but you can find several more on Fantastical’s website. I like the way Flexibits has continued to release features of consequence since the app launch. I am using both the new time-based calendar sets and zoom integration daily. Learn more about Fantastical at their website.
If you subscribed to the Fantastical Field Guide, these new videos are also now available in the course for viewing and download.