The best calender software for iPhone:CalenGoo (sync with Google Calendar™) Review

Introduction

I gotta give a shout out to Dominique from CalenGoo for facilitating this review. I would say out of all the intriguing software on the app store CalenGoo interest me the most.

I am big on planning and scheduling in a Getting Things Done kind of way and i make use of Google Calendar as my main calendar so it is natural that i would make it a criteria in choosing my GTD device.

In this review i would break down why this would rock more than the native Google Calendar sync and where it will not be that good in.

Why you would want to sync your calendar to google

Ubiquitous Calendar Assess

A good reason other than Appigo ToDo that sways me to the iPod Touch 2G was due to its ability to sync google calendars and contacts via exchange protocol from Google  to my iPod Touch.This means that you can assess to your events and schedule offline, you don’t need  a constant internet connection.

Ubiquitous Calendar Assess

What this means also is that you make your google calendar your base where you house your events and schedule. If you are using an iPhone your calendar synchronize with it. If you are using an Android phone your Android phone calendar gets synchronize with it.

When you get home or in the office and want a better view of your calendar, you can view the same events and schedule from your desktop internet browser.

Auto-Backup of Calendar via web synchronization aka Offline Mode

Remember those windows mobile days where you need to put your windows mobile phone into a cradle and sync your contacts and calendars to your desktop through ActiveSync? Well in web 2.0 you don’t have to rely on that any more.

Offline Sync

Offline mode for iPhone,Android and Adobe Air for desktop allows you to assess your calendars when you do not have an internet connection and automatically or manually synchronize your events and schedules when you have one.

In each device the application will make use of the local database in your iPhone. If there is an internet connection, the application will invoke a sync request to sync your data with the web database. What this means is that should you lose your phone, you will still have assess to your data as it is last sync this morning to the web.

Thus for this concept to work well your software must periodically poll to see if you have an internet connection, if it has, it will sync it.

Through iPhone Exchange services you are able to sync your calendar to google and will periodically update. It works very well and i am satisfied with it.

Continue after the break for review of CalenGoo with screenshots

Why would you consider an alternative to this?

The stock calendar software in iPhone is pretty nifty and it integrates well with Google Calendar. however it does have its flaws and thats where third party applications comes in.

Month View

If you take a look at the Month view you will realise that there is much waste of space. If there are events on that day then it will be represented by a dot. you need to click on the day to see the events for that day below. And most of the time you can only view at most 2 events then you got to start scrolling.

Day View

Day View

The solution is to proceed to the Day view. The day view as compared to Calengoo later is pretty much spaced out. If you are reviewing events that day you want to see more for that limited spaace. This is where Calengoo will excel as you will  observe later.

Calengoo as a Mobile Calendar

Pricing

CalenGoo is the cheaper solution on the App Store that synchornize with Google Calendar. It will cost you USD 6.99

You will need a Google Account

Its a given that if you want to assess google calendar you will need to sign up for a google account thereby giving you assess to google calendar. Creating the account is free (Which is why we use it!)

Google Web Calendar

Google Web Calendar

[Sign up for Google Calendar here >>]

Link your Google Calendar Acct to CalenGoo

Sign in to your google acct

Sign in to your google acct

On first installation and use of CalenGoo you will be asked to sign into your google account.

The First Sync is pretty long

CalenGoo will then prompt how u want to download your events. Will u download future events only or all the events. I chose all the events

If your calendars are pretty big, and if you choose to download the full calendar, then do expect a very long first synchronization. You can’t run away from this. I have probably 8 calendars:

  • Work
  • Money&Finance
  • Personal
  • Reminders
  • Secret Milestones
  • Work-not-involved
  • Singapore Holiday 2008

The biggest chunks are the Work and Reminders and together these 8 calendars took 7 mins to sync.

Sync in progress

Sync in progress

When it is syncing you will be able to see a spinner and which calendar it is trying to sync currently. The usage will be slow while this is happening and should be understandable.

Subsequent Sync More Pleasurable

Toggling AutoLogin AutoSync and Remove Login Screen

Toggling AutoLogin AutoSync and Remove Login Screen

The developer told me that you should be advise to turn off Show Login and Auto Sync for subsequent use. I am agreeable with the former but as a user of Appigo ToDo, I can tell you that you will frequently forget or just not sync manually, so it is best to turn it on.

Alot of people u see in the review at App Store complain that it is slow. I think there is no way around this really if the developer uses an api unless he has assess to something even lower level to help him optimise better.

Sync softwares like this will need to parse the data to and from the server, and that takes up processing. And if you are not an understanding user and just expects to have it auto sync yet expect it to be fast then i would suggest you get an iPhone 3GS cause there is really performance improvement in this area according to the developer.

The rule of thumb for me is that, regular syncing of minor delta difference means smaller chunks of sync time compare to one big delta and one big sync time with a bigger probability that your calendar will get screwed up!

And since this is a major point why we use the native calendar with google, which is to backup, not backing up or having latest data to be work with will be a minus point for this software.

The presentation of the Calendars

ah this is what we are probably most interested in. CalenGoo like alot of good PIMs in the past (Pocket Informant for Windows Mobile for example) provides a Day view,Week View, Month View and Agenda View.

The Day View

The Day View

The developer did a splendid job working with the limited screen real estate. All day events are housed to the right of the date.

You will notice that compare to the stock calendar software, he managed to squeeze almost the whole working hours into one glance! Thats almost 16 hours! Which means u only need like 2-3 swipes to view the full day and normally you don’t plan stuff when you are sleeping right!

Swiping left and right brings you to the previous and next day. The whole day view is a canvas in itself that loads on the fly.

You will notice that when you swipe left and right, the next day will roll up and down if there are tasks that takes place out of view. A very good idea there.

One negative thing about squeezing is that it does make touching and editing a task very difficult sometimes. you have to touch at a very accurate spot. This is for small events like the Stock Research Chunk up there.

The Week View

The Week View

The week view is something additional. Its good to finally have this and its well presented

The month view

The month view

The month view is a present change from the stock software. You can view every thing in a glance. Of course you will complain that you can’t see shit as the words are too small. Fret not. This is iphone. And in iphone you can always zoom in on that section by squeezing your 2 fingers together.

Zooming into Month view

Zooming into Month view

Creating new event

Creating a new Event

Creating a new Event

You can pretty much do what you can do on the stock calendar software here on Calengoo. What i like about it is that when you click the + to create a new event, it immediately brings u to input the event title because it is something necessary. saves alot of effort to navigate one more step to that.

The color of your calendar will depend on what you set in your online google account, so if you want to change change there.

Some would wonder why SMS is not working. You will need to set your handphone no on the online google account in order for it to work. Likewise for email.

One really good function is the ability to duplicate this event to create a new one.

Customized settings

I shall not mention much here cause there are a ton of things you can mess with for the layout of your calendar views! Including fonts and font sizes. Its gonna take me some time to figure this out.  but i have attached a view of the configuration in one glance after my conclusion. (I have a reason why i need to put it after the conclusion. Its freaking long!)

Conclusion

All in all, this is a very well thought out application and the as far as i have explored other than Saisuke at 9.99 this is the only good solution to sync google calendar to iphone. But its got so much upside that at USD 6.99 its definately worth a purchase if you are into productivity and have limited cash to spend.

To know more about Calengoo do go to its site FAQ here to find out more.

Best iPhone apps at AppStoreHQ

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Kyith is a blogger with interest in all things on Wealth Mastery, Technology, Business and Productivity.

Comments

  1. Marc says

    How does CalenGoo compare with Pocket Informant for the iPod iTouch? What are the pros/cons over each other? They seem to be the top two iTouch apps.

    • says

      Hi Marc,

      personally i have not tried Informant on iPhone. But informant have always been known to be very robust and you get a good integration since it does Task and Calendar. But the latest version of CalenGoo also does Google Tasks (compare to Informant which syncs to Toodledo)

      At the end of the day, I am still a satisfied Calengoo user. Its strength is that you can view your calendar in various forms and can multitouch zoom them with ease. There are many customization options for them as well.

      Informant or Calengoo they are both good.

  2. Michelle says

    Does this offer push alerts with snooze functions with the reminders? I know my ToDo does and it has the option to snooze if you aren’t ready to address the appointment yet, or multiple push alerts.

    • says

      Hi Michelle, the alerts comes best when you set it in your google calendar. i was told this by the developer. It works because if you sync not just Calengoo but also your main iphone calendar with it you get the notifications.

  3. Robot Llama says

    I just want to say this is the most comprehensive, and awesome, review I have seen for any iphone app! It’s great, and detailed reviews are exactly what I need because I’m super cheap and I hate spending money on apps :)

    Thanks so much for the review!

    ~ R. L.

  4. mark H says

    Kyith,
    This was an extremely well done review! I am trying to explain the power of Calengoo to new iphone/itouch users and your website is absolutely perfect.
    You rate 5 Stars on this one!!

    Mark
    Mpls, MN

  5. mark H says

    Kyith,
    Don’t know if you plan any more reviews in this area, but if you do, one iPhone/iTouch app that I found to work very well with CalenGoo is a little app called TouchToDo

    It has a nice prioritization list, can handle multiple projects with sub/tasks and most ENJOYABLE is how the to do items from this little app show up in green at the TOP of each CalenGoo day and you can drill into work items simply from there. These two little apps were MADE to be “married”

  6. Janet says

    Don’t see a response to a question asked in April. How does CalenGoo compare with Pocket Informant for the iPod iTouch? What are the pros/cons over each other? They seem to be the top two iTouch apps.

    • says

      hi janet not sure if i reallly missed out cause i really can’t find it.

      in terms of pocket informant it is essentially from a very establish software house and first and formost it does task + calendar. Compmare that to calengoo, which does Mostly Calendar and task via google task.

      if you need both the one you should consider is pocket informant. but calengoo has alot of good points if you are looking at a pure calendar.

  7. steve says

    Hi Kyith,

    I currently have Appigo ToDo which I use daily. Would you recommend also getting Calengoo as well given how their features appear to overlap (i.e, what do you use Calengoo for that you cant do on Appigo?).

    And how do you use both on a day to day basis.

    steve :)

    • says

      hi steve, when i saw your email i thought you are a day trader and that is interesting because i am into investments as well.

      for daily work i do use a calendar such as calengoo. I normally block out chunks of time to do major time consuming tasks. so for each project there will be these chunks allocated. this is done via calengoo. after that i look through my contexts or tags to see what needs to be done.

      then i just rinse and repeat. do note the important one is tagging things according to how long it takes to do them, and scheduling chunks on your calendar for them.

      all these are actually concised in this article here >> http://www.productiveorganizer.com/getting-things-done/gtd-series-part-5contexts-tags-and-executing-tasks/

  8. says

    I just want to say this is the most comprehensive, and awesome, review I have seen for any iphone app! It’s great, and detailed reviews are exactly what I need because I’m super cheap and I hate spending money on apps :)

    Thanks so much for the review!

    ~ R. L.

    • Kyith says

      hi peter i don’t think it will but it uses Google sync which is like its exchange. perhaps you need an alternative solution.

      • Eline says

        hello! i am wondering if there is an update on this info. does calengoo sync with an exchange server or with outlook on my PC? have a mac, but use outlook for my mails as i use exchange. thanks for great info, i also need a good calendar as i work in 3 different clinics in 3 different countries and different time zones, so its a calling getting it all right.!

  9. Roman says

    Hi Kyith,

    Thanks for the great review!
    I am considering the CalenGoo application for both calendar and task management. Knowing that you are using the 2Do application as well for task management what do you thing about CalenCoo vs 2Do for task purpose?

    Thanks in advance,
    Roman

    • Kyith says

      they are entirely 2 different things to achieve different purpose. if you check out http://www.productiveorganizer.com/getting-things-done/ you would realise that according to GTD, 2Do enables you to plan all that you need to do. Calengoo is use to schedule what you need to do. without scheduling and making time for the activity nothing gets done. so thats how these 2 comes in and serve me.

      for disclosure my current system involves calengoo + 2do w toodledo.

  10. says

    Hi Kyith,

    Now that Calengoo has integrated Google Tasks, why do you use Toodledo? What specific advantages does ToodleDo have over Calengoo’s tasks from the GTD approach?

    Thanks for the great review! I don’t want to spend too much money on organizational apps, but I do love how Calengoo gives a full view of the calendar. Thanks!

    • Kyith says

      i think much of why i still have a to do list is that certain things you don’t schedule them immediately you collect them in various lists and plan to do them by putting it on your calendar.

      these are things “kerry to get back to me on the project documents” or “call ken to book the conference room and projector” these things just dun look right on the calendar. you want a list that u can review to see if you have carried them out.

      Calengoo is more of a schedule to show your resolve to allocate time to do things on your list at that specific time.

  11. says

    Thanks Kyith – I get what you’re saying about blocking out a certain amount of time for getting your list taken care of.

    What I don’t understand is why you use 2Do when Calengoo integrates with Google Tasks. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have it all in the same program?

    I ask because I am using Calengoo for both it’s calendaring function and the newly-added To-Do List function.

    I’m just wondering why you use a separate app for your “To-Do List” when Calengoo does that.

    I’ve thought about paying the $6.99 for 2Do, but I’m not sure what added benefit it has over Calengoo’s To-Do List functionality…

    What specific advantages does 2Do have over Calengoo’s To-Do List? Thanks!

  12. Dustin says

    Hi Kyith,

    A few days ago, I was in the hunt for a Calendar app that is fully synced with the built-in calendar (and therefore, with Google Cal, Microsoft Exchange, etc.). I ran into Calendar At-A-Glance (here it is: http://bit.ly/cJq4Bh).
    Did you have the chance to check it out? Most important: what do you think of its Month view compared to Calengoo?

    Thanks,
    Dustin V.

  13. Grace says

    Hi my name is grace and i am an iphone user and love it and have talked nearly all my friends into getting one. I am a surgical assistant to two orthopedic surgeons. They currently because of me, use iphones and we are looking for an app where we can manage their appoinments/surgeries from our computer and send it to their phone to view and it update periodically . will this app work for that?

  14. Linda says

    Is there currently an android calendar app that syncs with google calendar that has an audible alarm feature? Not just reminders, SMS, pop-up mail, emails, but an audible alarm?

    Thanks,
    Linda

    • Kyith says

      Hi Linda, not sure about that. its a unique thing really but i thought you should be looking for a reminder app. that would be more appropriate.

  15. Michael_correiaalum says

    I would like to know how to sync my phone and the secretary’s phone. Please let me know dying to use this app
    Thanks Mike

    • says

      the trick is to have a Google calendar in your account and share it with your secretary.

      whether your secretary have a google android device or an iphone device, she will be able to view it, if her google calendar adds your shared calendar to it.

      you do not need CAlengoo to do that. her smartphone should allow her to view this.

  16. Vernonlee says

    Hi, interested in a calender & todo software. Is it better to get Pocket Informant compared to getting Calengoo & ToDo separately?

    • says

      Hi alot will depend on your budget. Buying those 2 are good but i feel that for a budget user Pocket Informant can serve the functionality. It is just the little things that may get on your nerve. Why not try the trial to see if it serve your needs?

      • Vernonlee says

        I wanted to but Pocket Informant & Calengoo do not have trial version & i car’t really see how it works for me.

        Th thing of concern to me is does the “ToDo” within Pocket Informant closely integrated into the calender?

        One basic need for me would be to be able to set a “todo” with a list of actions i need to complete & then directly allocate a time in the calender.

        So when i see the calender with a “todo” task & clicking on it will bring to straight to the list of actions i have created.

        Would Pocket Informant do this or which software would be appropriate?

        Thanks

        • says

          Hi Vernon, ah i see the use case there! Sadly i don’t think Pocket Informant does that. It does say that it will follow the GTD methodology and its to do function does that on a 2 level subtasking level and you can set repeating tasks and integrate with Toodledo as a form of sync or backup.

  17. Fat Lip says

    i cant stand scrolling around the poorly designed cheesey week view and especially that wheel interface to change date and time, thats why i left ical in the first place, i have been using calenmob and calnedars, calenmob looks great on iphone and ipadn sadly no task support, however calendars 5 does have it and looks as good, calengoo is only missing one feature i like about calenmob and calendars 5 and that is no WHEEL interface, i can simply choose the time and date on the fly.

    • says

      hi thanks for your comments. I am of the opinion that no one should use the wheel! it never matches what your brain needs! which is a vantage when to schedule it.

      • Fat Lip says

        you know whats ok, awesome calendar, because you can sync tasks, collapse the menus (rather then scroll through a list with subs) an deven sync reminders (ios) and notes, this is nice, but i cant stand the idea of clicking on the date and scrolling through the events after trying their demo, ppl say their demo is bad news

  18. Fat Lip says

    what i want to know is if the tasks view in calengood is any better then week cal or calendars 5 (which is killer) but tasks views do not collapse leaving one scrolling down down down down tasks and sub menus

  19. Fat Lip says

    ok for now i went with calengoo, it even allows you to switch between that garbage wheel to set the date and buttons, i have to say its UGLY AS HELL, CalenGoo’s week views does NOT show al day activities on top as the normal google calendar, or the tasks,

    i mentioned before that i like to work with tasks and was going crazy trying to find an app that allows you to collapse sub menus etc, well calengoo does let you do that atleast, but…. like calendars 5 (which uses circles lik gTasks which is $5) Calengoo uses squares instead but you can drag them under a task creating a sub-menu of the one below,

    anyway i found a free task app called GoTasks which blows every single task GUI out there out of the water, not only free but allows you to create the sub menus and collapses the set making it easy to browse your tasks, i work with TONS of tasks, delegating projects, Family, artistic projects, marketing etc and i like the idea i can also sync reminders ios and notes.,

    To also mention i have been testing Awesome calendar which is ok but i cant stand the way it works.

    I like Calengoo all in all, but to be honest i rather have the calenmob or calendar week views that look identical to google calendars with the all day events on top, colors match etc, sadly the only thing that kills me still is calendgoos tasks, i wish it was like GoTasks

    Calengoo also syncs with local calendars, but anyway look its freaken UGLY both day and week view, month view is useless since its tiny, and you cant pintch and zoom anything like other apps, i would return it and rather buy calendars 5 (i have been checking a friends copy out cause only the paid version lets you use tasks) but calendars 5 does NOT allow you to collapse menus but only scroll EVERY SINGLE TASK with sub menus, eh???? anyway if i can return calengoo to the app store i will to get my money back and just use GoTasks and the native ios 6 calendar.

    • Fat Lip says

      btw i was talking all iPad versions so you all know, i just synced the iphone and Calengoo is ok for that., not worth the 6 bucks with the ugly week view though

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