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to do listUsually I’m the last person in the world to write about a calendar system or a to-do list. I usually just stick to using Google Calendar 10 Awesome Google Calendar Features That You Should Try Out 10 Awesome Google Calendar Features That You Should Try Out Read More for my scheduling needs, and Workflowy Zen-Style Listing And Project Management with WorkFlowy Zen-Style Listing And Project Management with WorkFlowy Read More as my online to-do list. It takes a lot to impress me about any calendar/scheduling system. So I was a little bit hesitant to try a new calendar system that I came across, and more than a little surprised to discover that I loved the new system. It’s called Coolendar, and in my opinion it revolutionizes scheduling for people that are too busy to mess around with calendars and to-do lists. Coolendar is both of those things combined into one system.

The beauty of Coolendar is that even though it has a simple interface, it quickly becomes very clear that the online organizational tool is not the least bit simple. It is an innovative way to make scheduling and organizing tasks more efficient. It does this by making the ability to add new tasks or events as quick and painless as possible, while making the highest priority items displayed in a way that will maintain your focus on those tasks until they are done.

Simplify Your Schedule With Coolendar

The first thing that struck me when I visited the Coolendar site is its simplicity. Logging into the site doesn’t even require a sign-up, you can just log in using your Google account. In fact, the simplicity was initially a turn-off to me, and I almost didn’t even bother writing about it. But then, I noticed an odd line below the task entry field with various time period filters – and what’s up with the red dot?

It didn’t take too long playing around with Coolendar to see that there are a bundle of awesome organizational and planning features buried underneath the facade of simplicity.

to do list

For example, there is an intelligent “engine” of sorts that’s buried within the task entry field. You can type certain keywords that instantly flag the built-in calendar to format your task entry in a certain way. This lets you create your calendar on the fly, one task entry at a time.

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As you can see above with my two to-do task items without a date, you can also just enter straight to-do items. These will also show up on your list as you enter them. All of the items are initially just added to your schedule list, organized by date. You can also go beyond the standard date syntax and just type simple words like “tomorrow”, and the calendar engine immediately looks up the date for you and adds that date to your task item.

best to do list

You can do the same with real days of the week. Coolendar is smart enough to know that if you type “Friday”, that you mean this coming Friday, and it’ll automatically add the correct date to the front of your task. This approach completely streamlines the process of adding new events to your Calendar because you don’t have to point and click any pop-up calendars – just type. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

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If you forget any of the commands or available syntaxes, just click the “?” next to the task entry field and a pop-up guide will appear with examples.

free to do list

Want to quickly organize your to-do list with your calendar items? No problem, it’s as simple as grabbing your to-do items on the list and dragging them to the location in the calendar where you want it to be. This lets you prioritize your date-less to-do items alongside the events or appointments you’ve entered into Coolendar.

free to do list

Another nice feature is the filter bar at the top, with “all plans” on the left. By default, all of your calendar/to-do plans are shown on your list, but you can filter the list to only show today’s or tomorrow’s items, the week’s items, or a special “red dot” flag.

free to do list

The way this works is you “flag” certain top-priority items by clicking the red dot to the left. This way you can click the red dot on the filter bar and view just those items.

It doesn’t take very long using Coolendar that you start to realize just how much better this format for a calendar is over the traditional grid-style calendar. With the Coolendar format, the critical items that require your focus and attention are at the very top of the list, where your eyes naturally gravitate to. This style of Calendar helps you to remain on task and work through your plans, whether they are dated or not. You make the priorities and then accomplish each goal. Checking off the “Done” checkmark on the right side of the task or planned event becomes a very gratifying act.

One final, very cool feature is the ability to “tag” keywords in your plans. By adding a hash in front of a word, you transform it into a “tag” – a searchable keyword that you can use to find all tasks related to a particular thing or place.

to do list

Even though I used to be an avid user of Google Calendar and WorkFlowy, I do have to say that Coolendar has me hooked and convinced that it may be a much better option. Staying focused is my one major weakness, and this looks like a perfect scheduling system that can help with that.

It also helps that Coolendar is accessible just about anywhere you are – from your Android device, on your iPhone or iPad and even from your GTalk account (just invite coolendar@appspot.com and type “help“).

Give Coolendar a try and see if it helps you to stay more organized and on task. Share your thoughts and experiences about the service in the comments section below.

  1. Christine Smith
    January 21, 2016 at 2:01 am

    I am looking for a different calendar and to-do list than Google. I found this and thought Great. Was a little concerned no updates since 2011. Went to take a look and this is NO MORE. Reed the "bye" page and to bad. I'll keep my search going.

  2. charlyarg
    April 16, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks a lot, I entered in google "simple to do list with calendar" to find a tool to hold ideas/things to do quickly - thing is you know, sometimes you have a date for something to do.. and sometimes not, you just need to write down and then assign dates. So I'll go for it, seems interesting! PS Also the offline version would be great - i'll look around maybe since the original article this has been implemented (4 years!).

  3. 303frankel
    September 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    link has server error

  4. RapGamer
    September 8, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    I was sold, SOLD until I read the comment about it not having an offline version. Having to see for myself I looked and nope, no dice. Hopefully they'll release an offline version for those who aren't always connected to the net sometime in the foreseeable future.

    • Ryan Dube
      September 17, 2011 at 1:22 am

      Thanks RapGamer - for some people, an online version is all they need. But I can understand if you require a desktop/offline version then this one probably isn't for you.

  5. Rossana Triaca
    September 8, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Reminds me of the sorely missed IwantSandy...

  6. Joy Harmon
    September 8, 2011 at 12:05 am

    So, it is not available as an off line calendar? I need both and I need them to sync.

    • Tina
      September 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Joy,

      where do you want to use your calendar in offline mode, i.e. under what operating system or on what device? And what do you want to sync it with?

      If you could give us a few more details about what functions exactly you are looking for and how you want to use the calendar, this would make an excellent question for MakeUseOf Answers.

  7. Phoenix Stormcrow
    September 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    This sounds like the exact functionality that I've always wanted from this kind of app, but could never find.  I'm going to check this out!  Thanks for writing it up.

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