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Updated by Dan Price on October 12th, 2016

Calendars in some form have been around for as long as humans have walked the planet. From the ancient Egyptian’s “Sothic Cycle” to the Mayan civilization’s “B’ak’tun” long-count calendar, understanding the passage of time to allow communities to organize events, farmers to monitor agricultural seasons, and religious followers to offer sacrifices to the gods has been a feature of civilizations for all eternity.

While most people in the western world no long make regular sacrifices to the gods, they do still need an effective way to manage appointments 5 Calendar Management & Scheduling Tools for the Year 5 Calendar Management & Scheduling Tools for the Year Keep on top of everything in your schedule. Here are five free tools that can be particularly helpful for keeping your calendar in order. Read More , meet deadlines, and remember birthdays and anniversaries.

Here we look at some of the best free calendar apps that are currently available on the Android system.

Google Calendar

The most obvious starting point for any list of free calendar apps, Google Calendar comes pre-installed on all Nexus devices and is available from the Play Store for everyone else. If you use Google’s other productivity services (such as Gmail or Keep) this should unquestionably be installed on your device.

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Google revamped the app in 2014 to align with Android’s new “Material Design”. Craving Some Material Design? Download These Great Android Apps Craving Some Material Design? Download These Great Android Apps Android 5.0 Lollipop is here, but to get the full effect, you need apps that stay true to the Material Design philosophy. We can help you find the best of them. Read More  It now looks better and works more effectively than ever.

Browsing the calendar from month to month is a simple swipe away, and it can now be set up to automatically pull events, such as hotels reservations, flights, and event tickets directly out of your inbox and add them to your schedule.

Finally, they also added a schedule view, which just shows you a continuous list of upcoming entries, rather than offering a daily or weekly display.

Business Calendar 2

Business Calendar 2 is the successor to the award-winning app, Business Calendar.

Don’t let the name fool you, this calendar is just as appropriate for students, retirees, and everyone else in-between as it is for business people.

The main selling point of the app is its alternative approach to usage and displays. Instead of the typical dropdown menu that gives access to day, week, and month views, the app uses an intuitive swipe and tap approach to navigation.

Business Calendar 2 also introduces some noteworthy improvements over the first edition. They include:

  • A task view for managing to-do lists.
  • Live search
  • Custom event templates and a new dark theme
  • New and improved user interface

It also makes use of Android calendar sync, which allows it to synchronize with other popular calendar services like Google Calendar and Exchange.

Cal

Cal is hugely popular; however, we feel it only really excels ahead of the competition when used in conjunction with the Any.do task Any.do Launches Cal For Android – Adds A Touch Of Elegance To Your Schedule Any.do Launches Cal For Android – Adds A Touch Of Elegance To Your Schedule Any.do Cal wants to make calendar planning pleasurable. With the launch of Any.do Cal on Android, they attempt to give you a better overview of your days with a smart calendar app. Read More list app.

It certainly looks great thanks to a range of background images and a visual timeline, but its functionality can be confusing at times (for example, the way to navigation between months isn’t immediately obvious).

Given it is developed by the same people as the Any.Do app Any.Do: A Simple & Easy To Use Task Manager [Android] Any.Do: A Simple & Easy To Use Task Manager [Android] Read More , it naturally syncs tasks between the two very well, but if you need a full-featured app that you rely on regularly, there are better options out there.

Jorte

Jorte is another one of the big-hitters in the free calendar world and is one of the most popular downloads in the Play Store.

It stands out from some of its rivals thanks to its cloud-sync service that lets you manage calendars directly from the web. It biggest attraction, however, is its incredible levels of customization. Things like colors, backgrounds, themes, and the size of widgets can all be altered. There is also a store that lets you purchase additional backgrounds and a vast range of icons.

Further features include the ability to download sports teams’ fixture lists, a clickable location that takes you directly to a map app, and a more detailed day-by-day view than Google Calendar offers.

aCalendar

With better widgets 5 Excellent Lock Screen Widgets for Android 5 Excellent Lock Screen Widgets for Android One of the perks of having an Android device is that you can natively add widgets to your home screen. Some widgets are highly specific and only useful situationally, but then there are those amazing... Read More than Google Calendar, more colors than Jorte, and easier navigation than Cal, aCalendar is yet other leading contender for the title.

acalendar

One productivity feature that is particularly useful to power users is the fact that its day and week view both include small monthly views on the same page. This means you can organize yourself more efficiently without the need to constantly hop between different screens. Swiping sideways on the phone allows you to quickly navigate between its monthly, daily and weekly

Swiping sideways on the phone allows you to quickly navigate between its monthly, daily and weekly planners, while flicking up and down moves you through the calendar in increments based on your current planner selection. This feature doesn’t seem quite as smooth as Google Calendar, and unfortunately it lacks the “tap to expand” feature of Business Calendar.

It can also sync photos from your address book for birthdays and anniversaries, and it features NFC sharing for quickly disseminating information between a larger group.

Wave Calendar

Wave Calendar is one of the most visually pleasing apps on this list.

Just because it looks pretty, it doesn’t mean it comes up short on features. It includes multiple calendar views, integrated event invitations, multi-calendar syncing, and event notifications.

The app also offers three downloadable widgets – one for weather, one for adding attachments to events, and one for adding custom tags to events. Unfortunately, these are paid add-ons, but if you’re a power user they are money well-spent.

Which One is Best?

As with all these types of articles, it’s very difficult to choose one clear winner; it all depends on what you want your calendar app to do for you. I am hugely reliant on the Google suite of services, and as such, I use Google Calendar. There is no denying, however, that some of the other options are more feature-rich and less clunky.

For productivity and organization 6 Simple Time Management & Productivity Apps for Windows 6 Simple Time Management & Productivity Apps for Windows Could your computer help you get more work done? It certainly can. Great organization software can make you more productive. It's a matter of working smarter rather than harder. Read More  junkies, Business Calendar 2 is the clear winner, for those who value personalization above everything else, you need to look no further than Jorte.

Did we miss one? Do you use one of the apps we discussed? As ever, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you perceive to be advantages and disadvantages of our selections in the comments below.

  1. Diane
    November 29, 2016 at 7:04 am

    I am having trouble finding a calendar that does everything I need:
    1) Must be able to color-code. I have 7 schedules that I need to keep track of.
    2) Needs to have a day, week, and month view available.
    3) Stickers would be nice - I like to personalize.
    4) HAS to be able to delete 1 item within a series. That one is a deal-breaker. Sometimes practices or meetings get cancelled. I don't want to have to re-enter all items "from this point forward" if I only need to delete 1 calendar item.
    5) It would be nice if my family can have access & editing ability from their phones, but that's not a major need for me.
    Can anyone point me in the right direction? The stock calendar on my Note 3 did all of this, but once I upgraded to a Note 5 most of these were gone. HELP!!! :-)

  2. D. Hale
    October 7, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Back in Sony Ericsson SJ-22 days, the Pocket Informant calendar app was ahead of its day, matching and surpassing A5 and LauncherX bells and whistles. It's alive and well for Android, albeit user-friendly according to Android UI vs vintage pda UI. Still, the slight dollars are again so worth such seamless integration. Enhancing it's original landmark ample tailoring, Informant doesn't disappoint, adding gps capable Files and Folders to its wing of Tags and specialty FC and GTD view options. Plus, the newest Android cal app add-in inovation of late bridges the final hurdle -- to either integrate or convert emails, calls and texts into tasks, events, and follow up alarms by way of Google's email 'Starred' field. Informant allows all choices, not the either/or mentality that drives some of us - well - mental. Yeah, crazy. But as a quick fix start, it resonates with every geek, or those who can remember writing a $200 check for video rentals and not even caring that everyone's checks were kept in an open-face shoebox beside the cash register. Google and Microsoft can compete for the winning 'real' solution - while I add a few Tags, Templates, and calendar gps events that auto-store in my Files and Folders. Thanks to Informant's gurus at Fanatic Software, Inc. for this calendar, my 'old friend,' available in the Android Store.

  3. John
    September 11, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I like calendardc, it has flexible options for reminders and it has desktop version also. It can sync with google calendar so It with to calendardc easily.

  4. michel.merlin
    February 27, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    AUDIBLE NOTIFICATIONS, the very reason for a calendar, while destroyed in Google Calendar, aren't even mentioned in this "article"!!
    Versailles, Sat 27 Feb 2016 15:06:10 +0100

  5. Monica
    November 29, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Fantastic article. I'm using 2 of the apps - Google Calendar and Sunrise. I just wonder if there's a better way for me to sync my Outlook desktop calendar to my Google Calendar.

  6. David Stinnett
    July 14, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Every calender I've tried automatically sees all calenders known by google, so I'm not suer why the writer thinks he has to stick with google, unless he hasn't tried them on his phone that is already connected with his google account.

  7. Impact
    March 18, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Take a look at ISO Timer. Completely free, it instantly impressed me much more than google and acalender+, due to its very friendly and easy interface. It is productivity at it's best. It has a pleasant look, easy to use, with a To Do list or activity/shopping list. Day, week, or month views, with with easy forward and backward swipes. It imports birthdays and information from Google calendar.

  8. Otto
    March 11, 2015 at 1:44 am

    WAVE Calendar is the best i've tried so far.

  9. Jeff Schallenberg
    March 9, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    +1 for Cozi. Any family or team member can update the shared calendar, todo list and shopping list at any time on any device, and it's updated on all the others. We are just husband and wife with no kids but each with our PC and tablet, and Cozi helps us function as a team.

  10. Chris
    March 9, 2015 at 11:37 am

    What about cozi....my daughter and I use it to keep track of out appointments I can add an appointment and it comes up on her phone also they have a to do list and a shopping list so if I'm at work and she needs something from the store she can add it to the list..we are very happy with it.

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Chris,

      I've never used Cozi, sounds great though, especially if you've got kids.

      Dan

  11. Dejjem
    March 8, 2015 at 7:54 am

    UpTo because it straddles the fine line between productivity & time wasting...

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Haha, a fine balancing act!

  12. Shane
    March 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Although it is early in the testing phase, my favorite calendar app which will be making it's move from Apple to android is Tempo. Great ai and ui that ps all kinds of important information in one place from multiple calendars and emails.

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      I'll keep my eyes open for that one, cheers Shane.

  13. Andre
    March 7, 2015 at 8:14 am

    What about Sunrise Calendar? I use it and think it's very good alternative, for instance, for Google Calendar.

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Hi Andre,

      Yep, Sunrise was very close to making the list, it's definitely a good alternative.

      Dan

  14. Pricepoints
    March 6, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    ever heard of calenGoo?

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      No I've not, what features make it stand out?

  15. cy
    March 6, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I've been using Today Calendar for awhile, now. I find it's interface is much nicer than Business Calendar, and it's fairly easy to use.

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Thanks for that Cy, I've never used it.

  16. Mario
    March 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Did you know that there's a Business calendar 2 app?

    • Dan Price
      March 9, 2015 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Mario,

      No I did not, what's the difference?

      Dan

  17. Harry
    March 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

    EssentialPIM is excellent, available on both Android and PC with resync.

    • Dan Price
      March 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I've never used that, I think I'm getting enough recommendations here for a part 2!

  18. A.
    March 5, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Digical should have made it too.

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      It was close!!

    • Dan Price
      March 6, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      It almost did!

    • Jessica
      March 31, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      My calendar of choice. Love it!

  19. Oficientes
    March 5, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Sunrise Calendar is the best widget!

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      I wasn't really looking at widgets so much, good to know though... Thanks!

  20. dan kennedy
    March 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I'm currently using Business Calendar, but I've tried at least a half dozen other brands, but I'm still waiting for an Android Calendar that will sync seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook. (Not Exchange). This has been my go to desk top application for years and I'm addicted to it.

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      I fear you'll be waiting a while Dan.

    • Lee
      March 14, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Maybe sooner than you think as Microsoft have bought Sunrise.

    • Joy
      March 19, 2015 at 2:42 pm

      Yep, check out Sunrise. They now support Outlook (and Exchange).

    • dan kennedy
      March 20, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      I also have Sunrise (because of the Microsoft connection) But I can't find a way that it will sync with Outlook. I have even written to them but they never replied.
      Maybe down the road....

  21. Ken
    March 5, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Why Checkmark All In One Calendar was included in this review is totally beyond me. Aside from being bloatware, it uses the stock calendar and, quite frankly, crashes a wee bit too often to be listed among the top recommended calendar apps.

    In this user's opinion, Jorte, aCalendar and Business Calendar are well deserving of being in this article, and while I'd never use Sunrise, partly because it's now owned by Microsoft, which means bugs will soon appear, it's a much more worthy candidate to appear among the top calendar apps than does Checkmark All In One Calendar...

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your input. As I say in the article, Checkmark is a terrible calendar for productivity - but not everyone wants that kind of calendar. Some people will find Checkmark's photo features and horoscopes etc a lot more fun and beneficial that being able to tap a day to compare it to another day. I'd never use it, but some people will like it...

      Dan

  22. bam
    March 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm
  23. Caking
    March 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    To NOT include Sunrise is...frankly absurd.

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      What makes it so much better than these Caking? I considered it....

      Dan

  24. Glenn Szevinky
    March 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I think you have to include PocketInformant. For me the best calendar/agenda in the store

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks for the tip Glenn, I've never used it myself.

      Dan

    • Ron
      March 6, 2015 at 12:29 am

      I have been a big PI user since the day of my Palm. I love the way it puts to-do's and calendar items together. It really fits the way I work instead of switching between calendar & to-do's.

  25. Pete Borini
    March 5, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Would have been useful to include Sunrise. I've read a lot of good reviews and am giving it serious consideration. I'll keep with Google Calendar until then.

    • Dan Price
      March 5, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      I almost included Sunrise... Let's call it the one that got away...!

    • SpoonmanWoS
      March 5, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Agreed. I find Sunrise to be a bit clunky to use, but love that it pulls in my calendars from Facebook, Google, and Eventbrite. I used to miss things that got planned on Facebook....now, I can intentionally avoid them. :)

    • Robert
      March 11, 2015 at 7:18 am

      CalenGoo is the best I have found. It is well thought out and has more customization features than any other calendar I have found. And or the defaults can be used without delving into all the options. The task integration syncs across accounts flawlessly. Multiple events in calendars can be displayed from multiple sources as colored entries. I have used it to sync my Google calendar across cell phone, tablet pc and Outlook (although I have just about abandoned Outlook by now). I also like the SMS notifications for my smart watch.

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