(Mynd + Fantastical2) = Calendar Control

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I continue the search for the perfect calendaring app on my iPhone. I wrote a few months ago about Tempo, from the makers of Siri. Although I used Tempo for several months, another contender, Mynd reached my radar screen.

I don’t find the Mynd interface (or colors) aesthetically pleasing, but the app has so many cool features it’s worth a look. Mynd connects to your calendars locally and then mines data for each appointment.

When I first opened the app, I noticed the Mynd View. This view includes the time of my next appointment, the current weather conditions, the people I’ll meet with that day, the locations of my meetings, and the total number of events for the day. I can click on any of these boxes to drill down further. I can connect Mynd to Evernote (appending relevant notes to each meeting) and to LinkedIn (appending further information to each meeting attendee).

Mynd is also location aware. It estimates how long it will take to drive to my next meeting and tells me when to leave my current location. If I’m running late, I can text, email, or call any one (or all) of the meeting attendees from within the app.

In addition, Mynd has a new feature called the Scheduler, that facilitates scheduling of meetings. The Scheduler scans my calendar and suggests free times that might work for a proposed meeting. Mynd aggregates all the potential times I choose and formats an email to my prospective meeting attendees.

Although I’m a big fan of Mynd, I still find making calendar entries clunky. For this, I often turn to Fantastical2. Fantastical is able to make appointments from english sentences (e.g. Meet with Sir Ken Robinson at Weaver Street Market in Durham, NC for lunch tomorrow at noon). I’ll often type (or dictate) my appointment details into Fantastical2. The dictated appointment is instantly translated into a calendar entry that quickly becomes available in Mynd.

Oh…and Mynd is free. Get Mynd in the App Store

Addendum: a reader asked if I was truly meeting with Sir Ken Robinson. Sadly, the answer is no. I admire the hell out of the man and do hope that someday.....

Addendum 2: Although I was very high on Mynd at one point, I’ve gone back to Tempo. Many of the features that were free in the original version of Mynd, are now premium (paid) add-ons. In the end, the change in feature set and the ugly interface scared me off.  Life is too short to live with an ugly interface (especially on a frequently used calendaring app)!

Tempo: The Smart Calendar for your Smart Phone

I have slowly been putting together a narrative of my iPhone home screen for MacSparky (David Sparks). One of the questions he asked me was what app was still missing from iOS. Before last week, I would have answered a decent calendar. That was before I discovered Tempo.

Tempo, is a new app by the makers of Siri (Stanford Research Institute). I’ve been testing it for about a week and have been incredibly impressed.

First, I had to link my personal email account, Facebook and LinkedIn. I was able to set this up in 2 minutes (I avoided linking my work address, due to concerns over corporate privacy). Once this was done, Tempo went to work.

What does Tempo do? All the following and more:

  • Scans email for documents and attachments relevant to my upcoming meetings.
  • Imports key information about attendees into my Tempo calendar entry (things like contact information, phone number, email addresses)
  • Allows me to quickly reach any or all attendees via phone, email or text from within Tempo.
  • Dials conference call numbers, including passcodes! Hallelujah!
  • Sends a pre-configured "running-late" email or text.
  • Reminds me to wish my contacts “Happy Birthday!”
  • Let’s me browse meeting attendees LinkedIn Profiles.
  • Integrates with Siri
  • Prompts me to send a pre-configured text if my phone rings during a meeting.

Tempo’s motto is “Your smartphone deserves a smart calendar – you’ll love the difference.” And I do! Download your free copy in the App Store.