Organize Your Time with These 4 Linux Calendar Apps

Ivana Isadora Devcic 29-11-2015

People spend a lot of time thinking about time.


Many of us consider time as our most valuable resource, so we’re forever trying to make the best use of it. No wonder, then, that there are so many time-management apps 6 Simple Time Management and 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 : from reminders and Pomodoro helpers Cut Through Procrastination With These Pomodoro Technique Apps & Software Procrastination is a malady that pervades students and workers in all corners of the world and it infects amateurs and professionals alike. As a writer, I suffer from procrastination on a daily basis. Some people... Read More to web-based and mobile calendars The 8 Best Free Calendar Apps for Android Want to see which of the best free calendar apps for Android is right for you? We compare several great calendar apps to find the best. Read More .

It makes sense to use a calendar app on your phone: you can quickly check scheduled events and add new ones on-the-go. Web-based calendars The 9 Best Google Calendar Alternatives for Time Management When you are busy and need to manage your time better, one of these calendars might be the answer for you. Read More enable access to your events on any connected device, and make it easy to stay in sync with other people. But does it make sense to use a desktop calendar app in this day and age?


Of course it does. Whether you have to use it because your boss demands it or because you want to manage your schedule from a central, local point, a desktop calendar is still a reliable tool despite the mobile competition. Desktop calendars for Linux can sync with their mobile counterparts, either natively or via CalDAV, as well as with Google Calendar and similar services. Some sport a more spartan approach than others, so you can choose the one that suits you best.




If you’re a Gnome 3 user, California probably seems familiar. It was envisioned as a more flexible alternative to the default Gnome Calendar, with which it shares the general look and feel. California is still in development, so you won’t find a task/to-do list in it yet. What you will find is a simple, uncluttered interface with several views (Month, Week, Agenda) and reminders that integrate with Gnome’s desktop notification system. California can import calendars from .ics files and Google Calendar, and sync with mobile devices via CalDAV.


Reason to use it: the Quick-Add function. It can parse natural language, which means you can simply write “meeting in three days at 5pm” instead of having to specify the date and click through menus and tabs. Naturally, you can later edit any event, and preview its summary by hovering over it. You can set recurrent events, tag them by location, and even invite other participants. California’s wiki page has more information on how to phrase your Quick-Add commands.


Along with apps like KMail and KAddressBook, KOrganizer is part of KDE’s PIM (Personal Information Manager) suite called Kontact. However, you’re free to just use KOrganizer as a standalone calendar if you don’t need anything else. KOrganizer lets you reschedule events by drag-and-dropping them onto another day, search for and filter tasks and events, and manage multiple calendars at once. They can be local files, Google Calendar files, CalDAV resources, and KOrganizer can also import data from your Facebook profile.



The interface can be customized to detail (layout, colors, fonts), and you can enable a few plugins to make your calendars more informative. Apart from Day, Week and Month views that are standard for a calendar app, KOrganizer also offers Agenda and Timeline views, Time Tracker view, and the What’s Next option that shows upcoming events and tasks.


Speaking of tasks, you can quickly convert them to events by drag-and-dropping them in the Agenda view. KOrganizer works well with KDE’s desktop notifications, and syncs with mobile devices once you set up KDE Connect Using KDE Connect to Sync your Android Device with Your Linux Computer Have you ever wished your Android devices and your Linux computers worked together more seamlessly? KDE Connect is something you should check out because it alleviates the headaches of the multi-device experience. Read More .


Reason to use it: the Journal. Although there are more powerful features in KOrganizer, you’ll find most of them in other calendar apps. The integration of a journal into a calendar app is a smart solution, and you can use this feature to write notes, jot down ideas, or to actually keep a diary Start this Simple Habit to Rocket Your Productivity: Journaling Journaling is an underrated career tool and a core habit of many successful people. From increasing productivity, to maintaining accountability, we explore why you should consider introducing journaling as a productivity tool into your workday. Read More . KOrganizer can automatically record completed to-dos in the journal, making it easier to track your productivity 5 New Productivity Apps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Back to Work The trick to staying productive is to always keep changing your system. From Microsoft to small developers who started with an Excel sheet, here are some productivity apps worth trying out. Read More and habit-building progress.


The primary purpose of Evolution is email; it’s the default PIM application on Gnome How To Send Signed & Encrypted Email With Evolution [Linux] In today's technological world, sending encrypted messages between people has become an increasing standard. In order to secure your email communications, you need to sign and/or encrypt your emails. In Linux, this is an easy... Read More and it’s often compared to Microsoft Outlook. Many users recommend it as the best way to access Microsoft Exchange services on Linux, though this depends on the version of the Exchange Server. Alongside email, Evolution has a calendar module with Day, Work Week, Week, and Month views that can incorporate task lists and memos if you so desire.


Everything in Evolution is configurable down to the tiniest detail, and there are separate dialogs for creating appointments, all-day events, meetings, and tasks. Each of them can be assigned as many default or custom categories as you want, and you can set priority, status, and privacy/visibility for every new item you add to the calendar.



Sharing calendars and inviting participants is possible directly from Evolution, as is working with Google Calendar. Evolution can show weather information in your calendars, notify you about events and tasks, and sync with mobile devices thanks to CalDAV support.

Reason to use it: you can manage multiple task and memo lists, both local and online. The principle is similar to working with several calendars at once: you can toggle their visibility, color-code them, and move tasks between lists. This helps you create contexts for your to-dos Separate Your To-Do Lists By Location And Get Things Done The sight of a long to-list can be overwhelming — even paralyzing. An effective solution is to maintain different task lists, based on the place you are at. Read More and makes you more organized, as you don’t have to keep all your tasks piled in one huge, messy list.

Lightning for Thunderbird

In the beginning, there was Sunbird—Mozilla’s standalone calendar app How To Setup Mozilla Sunbird As A Desktop Client For Google Calendar Read More . Sadly, its development ceased about five years ago, when it was replaced by Lightning, a calendar add-on for Mozilla’s popular email client, Thunderbird. (You can still download the last version of Sunbird if you don’t mind using outdated software.)


Lightning is somewhat less complicated than Evolution, and it doesn’t force you to use the email aspect of the software, which means you can just use Thunderbird as any other calendar app. Lightning works with Google Calendar and makes use of your desktop notifications to remind you of important events. The interface is neat, with two customizable sidebars where you can manage multiple calendars, and display tasks and events (both at once, or separately in tabs). Adding new items is easy, and you can make them recurrent, increase their priority, and edit other features in the dialogs.


Reason to use it: add-ons. Being Mozilla software, Thunderbird can derive more power from countless add-ons, just like Firefox 13 Essential Firefox Addons To Begin 2015 Right As always, the spotlight is on what developers did with the open-source browser's flexibility. The list of Firefox add-ons just got bigger and better over the past year. Read More . (After all, Lightning itself is a Thunderbird add-on.) With add-ons, you can introduce features like advanced reminders, birthday management, and integration with Linux calendar applets. There are also add-ons for customizing the calendar layout, changing event colors, and theming the entire application.

Apparently, calendars are not a popular type of software to make, at least not for Linux. If there were as many calendars as there are text editors or music players 3 Fresh & Lightweight Music Players For Enjoying Your MP3s on Linux If you're a Linux user who loves music, you've probably noticed that audio players come in all shapes and sizes, from iTunes alternatives to lightweight apps. Which lightweight music player should you choose? Read More , this list would be much longer. Still, we shouldn’t neglect command-line calendar tools, because there are Linux users who prefer to manage events from the terminal. They can take a look at khal, remind, pal, or gcalcli, and pick their favorite.

It’s entirely possible that I missed some cool calendar apps for Linux, so if you have any recommendations, feel free to share them in the comments. What’s your favorite calendar app for Linux—and why? We’d love to know, so you’re welcome to join the conversation.

Image Credits: perpetual calendar by plenty.r. via Flickr, Calvetica Calendar (iPhone 4) by Junya Ogura via

Related topics: Calendar, Organization Software.

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  1. fixitmanarizona
    April 19, 2017 at 4:19 am

    How about Orage?
    It's at least usable as a stand-alone application, and you CAN put in events and have notifications, even though it's a bit difficult. My annoyance with it is that there doesn't seem to be an option to change to AM/PM from metric time when you are setting up an appointment or event, and shows, by default, the metric time (such as 27:75 hours instead of say, 3:15 PM.) The other 4 mentioned are either not supported anymore or not ready for prime-time.

  2. China Mike
    January 23, 2016 at 8:11 am

    HI and Aloha! First off, thanks for a well written article. I recently added Ubuntu Mate to my Win 7 laptop because I missed my Penguin! =)
    Problem is, I don't recall having soooooooooo much trouble getting a decent "alert" from three of the top rated Linux calendar clients.
    I check all my email online through Gmail, save one--because Yahoo won't let you import to Gmail, days of old, you can use a stand-alone email client like Thunderbird or Evolution.
    My trouble began when I tried using the calendars in both of these clients. I set up a test twice in each one, selecting a sound notification, hoping I would get a pop-up or something, but NADA!
    I read about bugs online, so I thought I was stuck with just using ol' Google Calendar. I also ended up removing both Thunderbird and Evolution and going with a simpler client, Claws Email.
    Like you said at the end, must not be a lot of interest in making good calendar clients.

  3. Anonymous
    November 30, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Lightning does it for me.

  4. AndyK
    November 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Lightning Is totally Cross-Platform which is essential for anyone wanting to integrate with multiple platforms. Although I do not use Lightning myself I prefer Rainlendar Which is also cross platform, and very customizable. I prefer this over any others I have used.

    • Ivana Isadora Devcic
      November 30, 2015 at 8:23 am

      Wow, Rainlendar looks pretty cool. Thanks for sharing!

      The only problem with it, as far as I can tell, is that the free (Lite) version doesn't support Google Calendar and CalDAV. But if you don't mind paying for those features (or using a calendar that doesn't have them), then by all means, go for it. :)