Apps
Best Calendar Apps for Teachers

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Staying organized as a teacher is extremely important. With meetings almost everyday, children’s birthday’s to remember and school events happening on an almost daily basis (not to mention my own family life to keep track off!), it is always difficult to remember everything that is going on.

My iphone has become indispensable to me in keeping track of everything and there are lots of apps that are available to help you keep track of everything. However, each app comes with different features, looks and ability to connect to various accounts, etc. It can be hard to find that perfect app for the teacher.

Here are four apps that I have tried in my quest to find the perfect calendar app for teachers. I have picked these apps solely due to the fact that I have used them and, because because I use an iphone exclusively, some may only be available on Apple hardware. I have also copied the list of features from each app’s site to make it easier

1) Sunrise

sunrise2

Sunrise is a free calendar app made for Google Calendar users. It has a beautiful design that is fairly easy to use. Features include:

  • 100% free calendar app with a gorgeous design.
  • Compatible only with Google Calendar for now.
  • A completely redesigned calendar experience for your iPhone.
  • Synchronization that just works, in real-time.
  • Quick Add Event just by typing “Lunch tomorrow at 9pm” (long-press on the +).
  • Reminders.
  • Timezone Support. No more headache when travelling!
  • Facebook Events and Birthdays included.
  • See faces and profiles of people you are meeting with using LinkedIn.
  • Weather forecast based on your location.
  • Smart icons.
  • Tag location to events.
  • Use Google Maps for Directions.
  • Connect multiple Google Calendars.

I liked the look of the app. I love nicely designed apps and this one certainly fits the bill.  It was nice having the facebook events and birthdays automatically added in and with the connection to my contacts directly, the synchronization was very nice to have. However, there were some features that, as a teacher app, I didn’t really need including the invite feature. Also, if you don’t want to connect your facebook or google account, you have a bit of a problem as it forces you to sign in with one or the other. And while I love nicely designed apps (and this one is nicely designed) sometimes the focus is more on the design than the functionality. They are continuing to update the app, which is nice. For awhile, the app wouldn’t show you on the calendar view that you had events on that day. That was a big thing for me, but they did eventually add it.

2) Calvetica

calvetica_large

fast-calendar-calvetica

Having used Calvetica 4, to me, this is the best calendar app for use as a teacher. It’s features include:

+ Universal. Made for any iOS device
+ Continuous scrolling month view on iPad
+ A rich month view that lets you see how events span days and overlap
+ A continuous scrolling week view on both iPhone and iPad
+ Works out of the box with all your existing events
+ Relies on the default calendar app for syncing with Google, Exchange etc
+ Quickly add an event by long pressing on a day, typing the time with our fast number pad
+ Custom Calvetica alerts can fire after the default apps alerts and give you a “Snooze” option
+ Custom Calvetica alerts allow you to set a sound thats louder and longer than default apps alert
+ Manage tasks right along side your events. Tasks sync seamlessly between iOS devices
+ E-mail an iCal file to share with others or SMS an event description to someone
+ Highly customizable complex repeats (e.g. The first thursday of every month)
+ Manage attendees
+ View a location on a map or use the map to set a location for an event
+ Tappable email addresses, phone numbers, etc in notes
+ Lots of awesome gestures for power users to get things done quicker

I think probably the only deficit is that it is only available for iOS devices. However, besides that, it is a beautifully designed app albeit without the nice images, etc that the other apps have. It’s easy to use, manages all my calendars and allows me to quickly see what events I have throughout the month with the default full month view. The iPad version has an even nicer interface with the events actually labeled right onto the month. It’s quick and easy to add events and it doesn’t get bogged down with all the other features of adding in contacts, maps, locations that other apps have included in an attempt to streamline all the organizational tools you use. The main thing is that it is quick. When I want to use the calendar, I typically want to be in and out quick. I don’t want to be fiddling around with other things. It’s not perfect. Multi-day events can sometimes be tricky and not come out right but it’s speed and efficiency make up for that. I also have it connected to my google calendar for the class which is on the blog. I can add an event on the app and it will appear on the blog calendar. You can do this with the other apps I imagine but it just seems easier on Calvetica.

3) Tempo

TempoCal

Tempo intelligently finds and neatly organizes everything you need for each meeting, including contacts, locations, and related emails and documents. Tempo is like having your own personal assistant prepare you for what’s next, making sure you never miss a beat. You don’t need to jump between apps, hunt for phone numbers or addresses, memorize conference call passcodes, or waste your precious time on the go.

Features

  • Quickly reach attendees via phone, email or text
  • Send a pre-populated “running late” email or text
  • Dial into conference calls – Tempo handles the passcode
  • Know your flight status
  • Review emails that pertain to the meeting
  • Open related documents
  • Get directions, parking suggestions and estimated driving time
  • Find the exact location even when you don’t have the address
  • Wish friends happy birthday on Facebook & easily send them a gift via Yiftee
  • Browse attendees’ LinkedIn profiles
  • Connect to Foursquare and Yelp
  • Use Siri to create your next calendar event or meeting
  • Tempo intelligently connects your calendar to your accounts and apps, including Exchange (2007 and up), Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, IMAP, POP (Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, Comast.net, etc.)

I’m trying to use Tempo again. It seems to be a nice cross between a nicely designed app and a good tool for organization. However, I’m still on the fence. I like it because I can connect all my accounts including my school account, Linkedin (which more teachers should use). However, I’m not sure about the smart email function which embeds emails into my agendas. I can’t see any rhyme or reason for how they are associated with that particular day. I also don’t know why all these apps insist on a week view. I haven’t seen a week view that looks good. Additionally, while all these features are good, entering in all the data can be time consuming if you want to take advantage of the features which are otherwise in the way. The issue I find is where making the app look beautiful gets in the way of just making something quick and easy to use. If you are looking for a cross between a calendar and a tool that brings in your contacts, email, etc. than this app might work for you.

4) Cal

cal-app

Cal is a free, simple & smart calendar app for your iPhone. With Cal:

  • It’s really easy to create an event – As you type Cal recognizes who you want to meet and where you want to go.
  • It’s easy to find free time in your day so you can do the things that make you happy 🙂
  • Each day starts with a fresh & gorgeous photo to celebrate the day in a fun way.
  • Your events will come to life beautifully with smart maps, contacts, apps and social integrations.
  • Seamlessly connects with all your existing calendar services so you’re always up to date.
  • Daily Planning is made simple. By connecting Cal with Any.DO you can check out your Any.do tasks for the day.
  • It’s always someone’s birthday. Write on your friends wall, call, or send them a message.
  • It’s easy to find great places, restaurants & bars nearby for your events.
  • Easy to navigate – Simply jump to a specific date from the month view.

Cal is almost the same as Tempo and Sunrise plus or minus a couple of features. It is beautifully designed and connects a to-do list into the calendar which can be helpful. It also allows you to sync to all your other calendar services. It also has an ipad version which is nice; not just an expanded version of the iphone app that looks pixelated. The one thing with this app that I don’t like (and I think this is the same for the other apps) is that it doesn’t show the whole month as the default. I know what they are trying to do in terms of saving screen space so they can show images and your agenda for the day but to me, I like to see the whole month view at a quick glance so I can see if things are coming up a couple of weeks in the future. Overall, it works nicely, is easy to navigate and would probably be the app I would use if Calvetica was not available.

There are lots of choices out there and personal preferences will definitely come into play. While I liked the fresh designs with the beautiful images, ultimately I just felt that the other apps were trying to do too much. As a teacher I don’t need all my facebook, linkedin, contacts and maps in my calendar. I just need something that is easy to use, lets me stay organized and lets me get on with my day. Calvetica does all that.

What calendar apps do you use as a teacher?