Software Review: BusyCal

We spend most of our day in front of a computer. That’s not necessarily my ideal lifestyle, but that’s the reality right now.

As such, I put quite a bit of thought into which programs I use to make my computer life easier and more enjoyable. So I thought it would be lovely to share some of my favourite programs on here, in the hopes that they might make your computer life more enjoyable! Hurrah!

Disclaimer: We use Mac, and only Mac. Sometimes we have to boot into Windows to run QuickBooks and it makes me cry. I’m sorry to all our Windows fans, but most of the software we recommend will likely be Mac (though I’ll always let you know if it’s Windows compatible as wel!).

P.S. If you haven’t considered using a Mac, I honestly can’t recommend it enough. Save for playing hard core computer games, I have a hard time seeing any benefit of Windows over Mac for creative professionals. That’s just my opinion though, use whatever makes you happy :)

Today I’m going to tell you about BusyCal, a calendar program that makes me smile.

If you’re like us, I suspect you use a calendar a LOT. Ours is constantly full of meetings, shoots, weddings, chores, birthdays, etc. and so on. If I ever lost my calendar….I can’t even think any further than that. It would be bad news bears.

So for the longest time I used iCal, the default calendar that comes on a Mac. It was pretty good, and did the job. It played nicely with our iPhones, and using MobileMe we were able to keep the calendar on my computer and Rob’s computer nicely synced.

I had made a note that I wanted to clean it up, and make sure I was using it as productively as possible. One day I sat down to do that, but stopped. I wondered if there was an even BETTER calendar I could be using.

A quick search and I had found it. BusyCal. And all the reviews I read insisted that I begin using it immediately. Thanks to a 30 day free trial, I gave it a shot. I’m two weeks into using it, and love it. The full version is $49, which might seem like a lot for a calendar, but if you use it every day (which I’m sure you will!) it is seriously worth it.

Awesome Things About BusyCal

  • Weather reports built right in, so you can easily see the forecast without opening a browser. This gives you a quick heads up if you have a shoot that might be affected by rain. Keep on top of that!
  • Shows the sunset time in week view: Now you can easily make sure you’re scheduling shoots for golden hour!!
  • Can sync it with Google calendar so you have access to your calendar at any time
  • Tons of small tweaks that make adding events MUCH easier than iCal (like automatically displaying the event time, and the ability to edit the event without clicking in. They are small things, but trust me they save a LOT of time and really make using the calendar much more enjoyable)
  • Looks just like iCal, so you don’t have a new interface to get used to
  • Syncs with iCal if you ever want to stop using it you’re totally up to date
  • Can add a Birthdays calendar that syncs with your Address Book
  • Easily make events into To-Do items
  • Add a Holiday calendar so you actually know when holidays are (we never do!)
  • Automatic backups so you’ll never lose your calendar. Phew!

There are a ton of other neat features, like great syncing tools, side scrolling and timezone support. Those are just some of my absolute favourites!

I think though, with the inclusion of the live weather and the sunset time, that this calendar is seriously perfect for photographers! You can see at a glance if your shoot has a chance of rain, or if you’re cutting it close with the sunset.

So head over the BusyCal website and give the free trial a try. It will automatically pull in all your iCal info so it takes no work to set up, and if you decide it’s not for you any changes you’ve made will show up when you go back to iCal. No risk, and the potential for making all your scheduling much more enjoyable! Score!

Anyone here use BusyCal? Or have a different calendar app that they really dig?

Lauren Lim

Hey friend, I’m Lauren! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I’m downright obsessed with photography, and love sharing it with super cool folks like yourself. When I’m not shooting, or writing, you can find me cooking (and eating!), traveling, and hanging out with wonderful people.

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Comments

4 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. This comes at the perfect time! I was wondering my husband and I both have iMacs and Macbook pros do you need mobile me to keep them all synced or is there a way to do that without mobile me? Just out of curiosity.

  2. Hey Nikki! So glad it helped! I think BusyCal has a lot of options for syncing. A good one would be through Google Calendars, and then subscribing to those calendars from different computers. Or you can sync via LAN. Here is there user guide section with all the different ways of syncing: http://www.busycal.com/busycal/userguide.html#lan

  3. THANKS! :)

  4. a calendar that's easier to use than ical and fun to look at? REALLY??? COOOOLness!!!! where do i sign up? (: (: (:

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