Looking for a better iPhone calendar

Club AppleVis Member
iOS and iPadOS

Lately, I've been using the calendar a lot more. Between school, streaming, and other stuff, my life's getting busier. The stock iOS calendar is fine, but "fine" is no longer good enough. I find myself having to do much more swiping and exploring by touch than I'm comfortable with, and it just doesn't organize events in a way I like. There's empty timeslots everywhere that I have to move past, and it makes it a real drag. I've been doing some poking around here, and it seems like Month Calendar 2 is a good step up, and I was wondering what recommendations others have that's fully accessible with Voiceover. Bonus points if it can sync with external calendar apps so I can have it on my Windows machine.



Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Sunday, October 10, 2021

Hi, there!

While I don't have an app for you, I do have a tip that may make using the calendar app more tolerable.

I use the IOS calendar app all the time as well. It helps me keep track of my meetings, which days they're on, what times they are, and it puts it in my time zone automatically when entered into my calendar!

However, I do have a couple tips that'll make life a little more tolerable until you find a better solution.

1. If you're school has links that you can click on to import the event into the calendar, you won't have to create an event! It'll already be created for you. All you'll have to do is select what calendar you want it on, and whether you want an alert, and, a secondary alert. I usually set mine up for an hour before an event. This is one I've done with Hadley, Braille Institute, and Clubhouse! :-)

2. Use Siri!

Another thing I do is use Siri for those times when I need to create an event manually. I just say; "her name, create an event for tomorrow at 2 PM called test". She'll ask if you want details for confirmation, and she'll create it for you! If you want alerts before events, you'll need to turn those on. She can also cancel appointments for you too! Also, I use Siri as my personal secretary. :-)
She tells me not only what my calendar looks like for the day, but, she tells me what's going on in the week! I say, "her name, what's my calendar look like for tomorrow?" and she dutifully tells me! :-)

Those 2 tips might make things more tolerable, @ least until you can find a solution that works for you!

Submitted by tyler chambliss on Monday, October 11, 2021

VO Calendar is pretty good, Google calendar is good but the interface could be better, and microsoft calendar is good too. I wish they'd make a mode where it just shows all your events in a list regardless of what day they're on, like KeyPlan on the BrailleNote Touch.

I love and recommend fantastical. This is what I use for my work's office 360 exchange.

Submitted by Faruk on Monday, October 11, 2021

I will also vote for Fantastical. It has this great feature called "Natural Language Processing" which is really efficient and quick at creating events and filling in the related info. You type the details of the event in a natural English expression like quire practice on October 11 at 5 pm in Xxx address, after which the app parses the text you typed and fills in the relevant sections of the event automatically. What's left to you is to check its work and confirm. If you can't or don't want to bark at Siri to do the same thing, Fantastical may be worth looking into.

If you haven't before, you might also reevaluate using the native calendar app when you try the listing function, which brings up a list of already created events and turns each day that has an event in to a navigable heading. Accessibility is a bit funky while navigating between events by heading but it does the job. To turn it on, Go to the top left corner in the native calendar app and tap on the toggle called "list". There is even a podcast episode in which a member of the Applevis Team demonstrates how listing works.

Hope this helps.

Submitted by tyler chambliss on Monday, October 11, 2021

Yeah that's cool, but it's still annoying because it makes you look through each individual month, unlike KeyPlan where it just shows you a never ending list of all your events from the event on the nearest day to you going into the future. So say I have 3 events, one on November 1, 2021, February 14 2022, and march 17 2022, in the calendar app I'd have to know what month something is in, find that month, then see the list. With KeyPlan it doesn't matter, it'll just show your events in a way that's way easier to find things.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Monday, October 11, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

First off, that list toggle in the native app has made it significantly more bearable. This makes it behave much more like I would expect without having to scroll past empty time slot after empty time slot. In the meantime, I'll take a look at the other apps suggested here. Fantastical sounds pretty sweet.

Submitted by DurDevil on Monday, October 11, 2021

Have you tried using Apples Reminders app? It has similar functions to the calendar app but it does have a better listing option and can show you just the events rather than scrolling through the entire week/month to find events like the calendar app does.

Submitted by Troy B on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

I use siri to enter appointments into the native calendar but once I do that I often want to add an alert. To do this though I have to open the calendar and find the appointment then click on it to add the alert, is there a faster way either with the native calendar app or another calendar?

I need to unclutter my calendar and just put appointments on it and that'll make it a bit easier, right now I get deliveries every 2 weeks on the same day of the week so I have that on my calendar instead of using the reminders app for that, but if there are any other suggestions I'd appreciate it. I occasionally have doctor's appointments for 3 or 4 months in the future, and when I enter those and then have to open the calendar and swipe right to find the right appointment that takes time.

Submitted by bawtawman on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

If I want to know what my next appointment is, I simply ask Siri, what's my next appointment?
She will then tell me I have an appointment at such and such day and time, called bla bla.
I never have to scroll my calendar.
However, if you have to know the next 2 or 3 appointments ahead, it's a bit more tricky, but not much.
Just ask, do I have any appointments in November?
She'll then tell all of them.
You may later scroll through the list when red.

Submitted by Matthew Whitaker on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

I suggest an app called Fantastical. It has a lot of features and is better than the regular calendar app. Very accessible with Voiceover on all devices, and I first started using this app a few months ago. Someone on Applevis suggested it and I think you will enjoy using it.

Submitted by Troy B on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

I will try fantastical, thanks. I saw that app mentioned earlier in the thread.

Submitted by Troy B on Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Once I start only putting appointments on my calendar I can use siri to find out when certain appointments are, but since I have other things on the calendar those are considered appointments as well, and as such siri reads my every 2-week deliveries as appointments as well.

Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Does anyone else find that swiping through days sometimes does weird things with focus? I was swiping through this week and focus jumped all the way to January of 2022.
If this is a consistent pattern, I probably wouldn't recommend fantastical.

Submitted by Larry on Thursday, October 14, 2021

In reply to by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯

Maybe this was not what you meant, but it is possible to set a standard calender reminder, so when you add an event using Siri she will automatically use that standard setting. You can do this under settings->Calender.

Although, sometimes you might want a different reminder time and then you have to edit it after creation :p

Submitted by Dawn 👩🏻‍🦯 on Sunday, October 17, 2021

Hey! Does anybody know if you can add an event using the Fantastical app or the iOS calendar app, will it show up in either app? So if I add an event using Fantastical, will it show up in the iOS calendar app? And vice versa? Also, if I import a event into my calendar will it show up in Fantastical? Because this looks like something that I might use, plus, I sign up for meeting sometimes, and I always click on the link that they give you to export to your iOS calendar. And not only that, but that’s what zoom syncs with. My iOS calendar.

Thank you for this awesome tip! :-) Sorry for the late reply, but I’ve been a little busy these last few days. :-)
I just set that up right now! Now, hopefully I won’t have to do it per event anymore! :-) The only ones that I will have to change, are the ones for Clubhouse! :-)

Submitted by Jo Billard on Wednesday, October 20, 2021

I use the native calendar and love it. The rotor is your friend so you can go to events and swipe down so you'll only see the events of the day. The list feature is pretty good, and you can use headings to get to your appointments faster than just swiping.