The iOS calendar is a useful app, but Agenda Calendar is a great low-cost alternative that offers greater control over the presentation and accessibility of your calendar data. Will Kelly explains.
As it goes with many of the apps in an operating system, you may need more features or grow tired with the user interface. That is the point I reached with the iOS calendar on my iPhone. I went to Agenda Calendar as a substitute, because it has a minimal design, a great user experience, and more configuration options.
About Agenda Calendar
Like many smartphone owners, my iPhone calendar runs my life. It keeps track and reminds of meetings and deadlines, so I found a lot to like in Agenda Calendar, including:
- It shows more than 10 events in the day view
- It has a simplified Add Event screen layout
- It provides more options for repeat events (this is especially useful if you set calendar reminders)
Using Agenda Calendar
Agenda Calendar is a quick and responsive app with all of the features and options available within a couple of taps or swipes.
Change calendar viewsTo change the calendar view, simply slide the screen to the right or left. Agenda Calendar includes a Year view (far left), Month view, Week view, Day view, and Event view (far right). Figure A shows an example of the Event view. Figure A
The Event view on Agenda Calendar.
Search Agenda Calendar
Agenda Calendar includes a robust search feature. I use it frequently when I need to go back and remember a meeting time for a status report or when I'm writing an email.
To search Agenda Calendar:
- Go to the Week view, and tap 14 (it looks like a calendar icon)
- Type your search terms in the search field at the top of the screen, and then tap Search. Your search results will appear on the screen in chronological order, from the oldest first. Figure B shows the Agenda Calendar search field.
The Agenda Calendar search field.
Return to Today
Tap the status bar (the top most bar on your screen) to return to the current day.
Add an eventAgenda Calendar includes a very easy-to-use Add Event screen (Figure C).
To add an event:
- Tap +
- Type in an event title
- Tap the starts field, and then select a start time for the event
- Tap the ends field, and then select an ending time for the event
Tap + to add an event to Agenda Calendar.
Create a repeating eventFollow the steps to add an event, and then scroll down to repeat. Tap repeat, and then select the frequency you want the event to repeat. Figure D shows the Repeat screen. Figure D
Set the frequency you want the event to repeat.
Edit an event
If your schedule changes frequently, Agenda Calendar makes it easy to edit events.
To edit an event:
- Go to the Event view
- Select the event you want to edit
- Tap the pencil icon to edit the event
Add an all day event
Follow the directions to add an event, but tap the clock icon to create a full day event.
To import contacts when creating or editing an event:
- Scroll down to contacts on the Add Event screen
- Tap the contacts icon to launch your iPhone address book
- Tap the contacts you want to attach to the meeting, and the Import Contacts screen will appear
- Tap the email address or phone number for the contact to return to the Import Contacts screen
- Tap Add Event to return to Add Event screen
Invite attendees to an event
About the only drawback of giving up iOS calendar for Agenda Calendar is that it doesn't yet support sending event invitations. However, there's a workaround available.
To invite attendees:
- From Agenda Calendar, tap the settings icon
- Tap Extras
- Tap iOS Event Creation to send invites to people for your events
Synchronizing Agenda Calendar information
When I installed Agenda Calendar on my iPhone, it immediately began working with my other Google and iPhone calendars. You can see what calendars you already have setup on your iPhone by following these steps:
- Tap the settings icon, and the Settings screen will appear (Figure E)
- Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars to reveal your list of accounts
You can see your Accounts from the Settings window.
Adjust Agenda Calendar settingsAgenda Calendar has a number of calendar settings that you can customize. Figure F shows the Agenda Calendar Settings screen: Figure F
Agenda Calendar has more flexible settings than the iOS calendar.
To adjust Agenda Calendar settings:
- Tap the settings icon, and the Settings screen will appear
- Tap Calendars, and then select the cloud and iPhone calendars you want to view and access through Agenda Calendar
- Tap Defaults to set the defaults for your calendar, including the Calendar, Event Alert Sounds, View, Duration, Alert, and All Day Alert Time
- Tap Event Dots, and then specify the Event Dots you want to appear on your Agenda Calendar by sliding the options On/Off
- Tap International, and then slide On/Off to specify 24-Hour Time and to start the workweek on Monday
- Tap Status Taps, and then slide Status Taps On/Off; you also have the option to filter recipients and set message to Confirm, Here, Late, and Other
- Tap Extras, and then you have the option to turn On/Off options, including Date on Badge, Highlight Weekends, Goal View, Sync on Resume, iOS Event Creation, and Show All Day Text (there are also a number of calendar themes available as Extras)
Agenda Calendar vs. iOS Calendar
Agenda Calendar is a great low-cost alternative to the iOS Calendar. It offers greater control over the presentation and accessibility of your calendar data. Have you used Agenda Calendar or another calender app on your iPhone? Please share your experience in the discussion thread below.