As a student, time is your single most valuable resource. You've got classes to attend, assignments to submit, extracurricular activities to participate in, and a social life to maintain.
But how on earth do you keep track of all that? That's where calendar apps can come in handy.
Just like investment apps help you save money, calendar apps are a fantastic way to organize your life, save time, and reduce stress. With just a few taps, you can take control of your schedule and make sure you're on top of everything.
In this article, we'll cover some popular calendar apps and help you find one to meet your needs. We’ll also dive into a few lesser-known calendar apps and give you our recommendations.
Apple Calendar can be found on all Apple devices. It's a solid choice, but lacks in-depth scheduling and customization options.
- Integrates with email, links, text messages, etc.
- Cross-syncing and automated calendar suggestions
- Convenient and simple
- Can't view calendar at a glance
- Limited customization options
For basic scheduling needs, the Apple Calendar performs well. In particular, it allows you to add calendar events from emails and text messages, saving you the time and effort of entering events manually.
As with most Apple products, it’s clean and fast, and functions very well. Other than that, there’s not much else to say about it. A big drawback is the inability to view your schedule at a glance, especially on your iPhone. Having to select each individual day to see what events are listed is cumbersome, to say the least.
Overall, this calendar is well-suited for basic scheduling, or if you simply want a free option with convenient texts and email integrations.
Google's free online calendar works with other tools in the Google Suite and offers collaborative functions.
- OS-agnostic calendar sharing (iPhone and Android)
- Color-coded scheduling options
- Ability to add repeating events
- Alerts and reminders for appointments
- Mobile app has a limited User Interface (no picture uploading)
- Does not interact well with non-Google apps, such as MS Outlook
- Multiple calendars can create a cluttered view
Google Calendar is exactly what you would expect from the tech giant: A powerful free application that plays well with other Google Workspace apps, like Gmail.
Schedule view, in particular, is a handy way to see what you have lined up for the day. As a busy student, you can tackle your schedule, one assignment at a time. This is especially helpful during exam season.
You can also create tasks and reminders so you don't forget to move money into savings, make your student loan payments, or pay your cell phone bill. And collaborative features allow you to share your calendar via a link, making it easy to stay in sync with others.
Unfortunately, Google Calendar's mobile app has a limited User Interface (UI). You can't upload pictures and other files into the calendar, which is inconvenient if you're looking for an all-in-one schedule planner.
Having too many calendars can create a messy view when zoomed out. Combined with the lack of color customization options and themes, this can make it hard to see what you have going at a glance.
Overall, its sharing capabilities and Google Suite integrations make Google Calendar a great choice for basic calendaring needs. But if you need more in depth scheduling tools, you may want to consider other options.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar
Not to be outdone by Apple and Google, Microsoft's Outlook Calendar is a simple and powerful scheduling tool with a heavy focus on integrations and connectivity.
- Integration with MS Office tools
- Powerful scheduling features
- Cross-platform compatible
- Lack of integration with third-party apps, like Google Suite
- Complicated UI with a steep learning curve
As part of the Microsoft Office suite, Outlook Calendar integrates seamlessly with other tools like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, allowing you to easily schedule appointments, meetings, and tasks.
Outlook Calendar also offers a range of scheduling features, such as recurring appointments, meeting invitations, and the ability to view multiple calendars side-by-side, making it a powerful schedule management tool.
The calendar is available on several platforms including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, so you can access and edit your schedule from any device.
That said, the complex UI (especially on mobile) can be intimidating, and the inability to integrate or collaborate with Google Calendar and other non-Microsoft services limit its usefulness.
My Study Life
My Study Life is a powerful tool designed specifically for students, and combines a calendar and planning app all in one.
- Class reminders
- No ads
- Cross-platform compatibility
- Simple, clean user interface'
- Easy to navigate
- Lacks social interactions and shareability
With My Study Life, you can schedule classes, set reminders for important exam deadlines, and create task lists - all for free.
The cross-platform compatibility lets you enter your schedule from your computer and check it later on your phone. And with its simple, clean UI, time management becomes a much more enjoyable experience.
A major downside is the lack of collaboration. There’s no easy way to share your schedule, nor are there any integrations to popular platforms like Google Drive or Slack.
That said, if you’re a solo planner, or just looking for a calendar app to keep your personal classes and schedule organized, My Study Life is a solid choice for students.
Designed with collaboration and simplicity in mind, TimeTree aims to please the modern socialite.
- Shared calendar scheduling
- Automatic time zone adjustment
- Ability to create and manage multiple calendars
- Attach comments and videos under calendar events
- Live notifications of added events
- Clunky on PC and tablet, although usable
- No email integration for scheduling–events must be entered manually
TimeTree is a personal favorite due to its collaborative nature. With the ability to create multiple shared calendars, you can easily sync your schedule with family, friends, coworkers, and others.
Developed with worldwide collaboration in mind, one of TimeTree’s interesting features is that it automatically syncs events to the user's time zone. This can be especially helpful in our modern virtual environment, where time differences can be confusing.
TimeTree also offers the option to attach comments and videos under calendar events, and with up to 100 users on a shared calendar, collaboration is simple and fun. Live notifications and color coding keep you updated on what your family and friends are adding to the calendar, as well as your own important events.
That said, TimeTree is not without its downsides.
The app is primarily designed for mobile devices, and has limited support for tablets. The desktop view is functional but far less intuitive. There are also limited integrations with other apps. While you can easily import events from Apple Calendar, there's no one-tap suggestion feature to add events from emails or text messages.
All things considered, for students with busy social lives who need to plan around everyone else's schedules, TimeTree is a one-of-a-kind tool that offers excellent collaboration features.
Fantastical is an intuitive and powerful calendar app with a staggering array of features.
- Ultra-sleek design and user interface
- Attach files and photos through iCloud and Google integrations
- Templates for quick event creation
- Seamless syncing across all Apple devices, including Apple Watch
- Widget support for easy viewing
- Paid app; free version is very limited
- Only available on Apple devices
Fantastical's award-winning design looks great on all Apple devices, even on Apple Watch. Natural language processing lets you quickly type in basic scheduling notes (for example, “Go grocery shopping at 4”) and Fantastical will make a calendar entry for it.
The "Focus Filters" feature allows you to categorize tasks by personal, school, work-related, etc., making it easy to manage your schedule. This is particularly handy if you have a lot of commitments.
The convenience does come with a price tag of $4.99/month or $39.99/year, which may not be worth it for those who don't plan to use the added features. The weather forecast implementation, for example, might be an unnecessary addition for some.
Overall, if you are an Apple user with a love for convenient scheduling tools and room in your budget, Fantastical is definitely worth a look.
Which Calendar App is Best?
So, which calendar app is best for time-strapped students? All of the apps featured above have plenty to offer, it really comes down to the features that make sense to you.
For example, if you have a Gmail account and use several other Google products, Google Calendar might be your best bet. However, you want use your calendar to collaborate with your fellow students or colleagues, than an app like TimeTree is worth checking out.
Just remember, time is your most precious resource, and a good calendar app is key to unlocking its full potential. Whether you prioritize a sleek interface, social collaboration, or strong integrations, we can confidently say there’s something out there to suit your needs.
With a little effort, you’ll be able to take control of your schedule, and hit your deadlines.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
Editor: Colin Graves Reviewed by: Chris Muller