While the default iOS calendar on the iPhone is no frills, new calendar options are appearing in the App Store. Mynd Calendar is a new free calendar app that recently launched. It's built by a group of former Good Technology employees, and it lets you integrate LinkedIn and your Evernote account.
I've been running Mynd on my iPhone 5 for a few weeks now, since Max Wheeler and his development team graciously gave me access to developer builds.
Mynd Calendar is a beautiful and elegant app. The opening screen makes excellent use of the iPhone's screen real estate to give you instant access to calendar scheduling information. Figure A shows the Mynd Calendar main screen:
Mynd Calendar at a glance.
As somebody who utilizes calendar reminders, I especially like how the main screen shows what's next on my calendar and how many events I have remaining before I call it quits for the day.
Tap on Day to get a view of your calendar for the day. The color and calendar layout are very calming and affirming. Figure B shows the Day view of the Mynd Calendar:
Day view of the Mynd Calendar.
The calendar setup did pull up some old calendar data that I thought I had long deleted from my personal Gmail account and business Google Apps accounts. A check of each account couldn't find the data. It was weird but far from a showstopper to prevent me using this first generation app.
Tap on List from the main screen and a List view of your calendar events will appear. The List view (Figure C) is an area where Mynd gets the design just right, because it's easy to tap on a List entry and bring up the event.
Mynd List view.
Tap on the plus sign [+] to open the Add Event screen. While the Add Event screen doesn't diverge much from the Add Event screen in the default iOS calendar, it is very easy to enter calendar data into it.
When you open up an event from the Day or List view, you can edit any of its information. If you want to take advantage of Mynd's travel time and alerts, you need to make sure the event has an address. Another pleasant surprise and super convenient feature is one-tap access to conference call phone numbers, including access codes.
I tried out travel times in Mynd when I went to a trade show. The the Mynd travel time predictor did a credible job of adjusting real time to traffic in the Washington, DC, morning commute, but the developer reports it can take up to a week for the app to learn your commute.
I came across an interesting issue dealing with travel time. I had a meeting scheduled at a well-known bakery café that's part of a national chain. I didn't have the address input as part of the meeting. Mynd insisted that the meeting was at different location of the national chain, not where the meeting was taking place.
Evernote and Mynd
If Evernote plays a role in your workflow, then you'll be happy to know that you can link the Mynd app to your Evernote account. Since I'm a big Evernote user, it was a big draw for me to review this app.
When you link the app to your Evernote account, you have the option to Attach a Note to the event. Optionally, you can choose a note or create a note. The Attach Note feature is clean and well laid out. Mynd does try to present some related notes (Figure D). However, I didn't find the notes the app returns to be very related to the given calendar event. Perhaps this is due to how I currently name my notes. Nonetheless, I could see myself creating new notes using this feature.
Evernote notes available for a Mynd Event.
LinkedIn and Mynd
When you link your LinkedIn account to the Mynd app, you can see information about other meeting attendees. I began to like this feature after a round of product briefings and other meetings, because I got a quick appreciation of being able to access the other attendee's LinkedIn Profile directly from Mynd.
Settings in the Mynd Calendar app are available from the gear icon. Here are some of the Settings you can control:
- Select Calendars
- Linked Accounts
- My Places
If you want to take advantage of travel time, make sure to fill out your important addresses in My Places.
While I consider myself following a rigorous calendar discipline, to get the most out of Mynd Calendar, you really need to enter in addresses, contacts, and phone numbers for your meetings and/or events.
Wheeler told me in an email that Mynd is going to remain free as an app with a corporate-grade version coming available for purchase. After flirting with both Tempo Calendar and Sunrise Calendar, I'm now happily using Mynd Calendar and look forward to seeing future app updates.
Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management applications, Google Apps, Microsoft technologies, and online collaboration for TechRepublic and other sites. Will also works as a contract technical writer for clients in the Washington, DC area and nationwide. Follow Will on Twitter: @willkelly.