It’s been a while since a calendar app made me happy. I mean, Tungle‘s great, but that’s a scheduling app more than a calendar–and, almost by definition, if I’m interacting with Tungle it’s to set up Yet. Another. Meeting. So there’s mixed feelings involved, to be sure. I think when I started using 30Boxes, or maybe when 30Boxes started using tagging for events, rather than different calendars–that’s probably the last time I was genuinely delighted with anything having to do with a calendar.
CalendarBar, a new OS X menu widget from Clean Cut Code, comes pretty close. What’s delightful about it is its simplicity: CalendarBar offers menubar access to events from Google Calendar, Facebook, and iCal. To invoke it, you just click this button:
This menubar icon is configurable: In addition to this plain view, it can also show you today’s date, or the number of events you have scheduled for the day–and it can do either of these within or beside the icon. Clicking on the icon gives you an at-a-glance look at your calendar, without lots of extraneous details. It looks like this:
As you can see, the app indicates the source (Facebook, Google Calendar, or iCal) of each event. (This screenshot is taken from the Clean Cut Code website, in order to show off precisely this. You can see more screenshots at the App Store.)
It’s perfect for those times when you just need a quick peek at your schedule for the day, or for the week ahead. Right now, my schedule is largely *outside* my control in many ways (it’s literally the case that I’m not the only person who can write to it), and so it’s handy to quickly be able to absorb the shape of the day.
CalendarBar isn’t a calendar app, in that you can’t add, edit, or delete events. It’s just a dashboard or interface for your calendar–which is perfect. Judging by reviews on the App Store, users want to be able to manage their events from CalendarBar, which seems wrong to me. If I’m actually going to add something to my schedule, then usually I want to open my calendar and think about what the new commitment means for my week. I use CalendarBar just as a way to check and see what the day looks like, or as a way of answering the question, “Do you have 10 minutes tomorrow?” Having said that, the newest version of CalendarBar, released yesterday, supports reminders (via Growl), so I suspect that the app will become more feature-rich over time. Right now, though, it’s fast and unobtrusive.
It’s $2.99 in the App Store, which isn’t bad for such a nicely-crafted bit of work.
Do you have a favorite at-a-glance widget or shortcut for your calendar? Let us know in comments!
Photo by Flickr user aplysia_06 / Creative Commons licensed