Have you ever needed to schedule a meeting with someone over email, especially a meeting between a large group of people? If yes, then you’ll agree with me when I say that this is one of the biggest pains for the one in charge of scheduling. I went through the same rigmarole for every meeting until I came across Fantastical, which (along with its various amazing features) was a game changer for the way I scheduled my meetings. So I thought, why not share it with others like me who want to get rid of all the hassle that is scheduling a meeting.
Fantastical app: a quick look
Fantastical app, created by Flexibits, improves on the concept of the Apple Calendar. Unlike the bare bones app provided by Apple, the Fantastical app has a lot of practical and exciting features that make scheduling and managing your day-to-day affairs a lot easier and more practical.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to schedule your personal affairs or your business meetings, the Fantastical app provides you with everything you need to manage your workflow in a hassle-free manner. Its various features such as Scheduling, Openings and Proposals make managing your workflow a lot smoother.
Fantastical Scheduling: what’s in it for you
In the recent Fantastical 3.6 update, Flexibits has added new features in the app that allow you to streamline your appointments and workflow directly from your iPhone or MacBook. The Scheduling update in the Fantastical app has two parts or features:
Open up with openings
Being able to see the available appointment times of a business is a great facility for people looking to book a slot for a meeting. The old method of emailing the business with your request for an appointment has fallen to the wayside both due to the hassle and, of course, the availability of alternate scheduling means. That’s where the Openings feature of the new Fantastical app update comes in.
Using the Fantastical Openings you can easily share your available appointment times with anyone wishing to make an appointment with you. This is especially handy because you can set the available time frames in the app, and people looking to book an appointment can easily see the available slots and book according to their needs and schedules.
How it works
The way this latest feature works in the Fantastical app is that people requesting appointments can be sent a link to your Fantastical Calendar via an automated response. That link will take the person to your Openings page in the Fantastical app, where they can view all the available time slots that can be booked for an appointment. When they find an agreeable time slot, they can book an appointment for that slot with just a click. Afterwards, you need to confirm that appointment, or you can enable the app to automatically confirm any appointments booked in an available time slot. The best part is that the person booking an appointment doesn’t need to log into Fantastical to make the appointment, so it’s a hassle-free method for clients as well.
Plan meetings with Proposals
Another exciting new feature in the Fantastical update is the ramped up version of a previously existing feature: Proposals. In the new Fantastical 3.6 update, this feature has seen a lot of improvements in various areas.
In the current configuration, the Proposals feature allows you to send a proposed meeting time frame to people you want to meet with. Think of it as a flipped up version of Openings that’s used by the business owner instead of the client.
This feature is especially handy if you would prefer to have your meetings during a handful of time slots. This is a boon, especially for business owners and entrepreneurs who find themselves swamped in work and meetings, and consequently don’t have enough time to meet with a lot of different people at their convenience.
How it works
Using the Proposals feature of the Fantastical app you can easily send a proposal to people you want to meet with, with the available time slots listed in the Proposal to let the other person see what time slots you have available. They can then tally your proposed time slots with their own schedule, and select a time that is agreeable to both parties. The app can automatically confirm these appointments, or you could take the time to do it manually.
This feature is really helpful when you want to meet with a group of people, let’s say suppliers or different teams in your company, and allows each one of the concerned people to agree on a suitable time slot to get a meeting or session out of the way. A lot of users of Fantastical have come to appreciate this ramped up version of Proposals.
Fantastical Scheduling: what about privacy?
Like every sane person who has an online presence, I bet you’ll be concerned about your privacy and the risk of your personal information getting leaked by using the Fantastical app for your meetings and appointments. Well, the creators of Fantastical had this in mind too. When you use this app to set up your meetings, only the really basic information like the time slots, booked slots and available slots are shared with the person on the other end.
That way, anyone looking to make an appointment can get the information they need to know to be able to book an appointment. While the client gets this information, all the rest of your data like who you’re meeting with, the agenda, contact information etc. are safe on your device. In fact, that data doesn’t even make it to the server, because all the computing needed for the scheduling is done in the app itself. In short, you can rest assured that all your sensitive data is safe and secure when using the Fantastical app for scheduling meetings.
Other highlights in Fantastical
Other than these features, there are also a few other new features in this update. Let’s have a quick look at those too.
One such feature that’s going to make life a lot easier for entrepreneurs and business owners is the Quarter View feature. Using this feature, you can easily make a roadmap for the next three months to make plans for upcoming projects and get a rough idea of the logistics and timeframes for these projects. You can also use the stair-step line in this feature to shift from a 3-month to a month-by-month view to make the process a whole lot easier.
Similarly, another update to be noticed in terms of scheduling is the Up Next button which allows you to jump past the current day’s tasks to the scheduled events by double pressing (Command + T) on your keyboard. This allows you to take a look at your timed schedule without needing to navigate through all the tasks you’ve listed for that day. Pretty neat, right?
Another feature we see in this update is the improved version of Fantastical Integrated Weather. This feature allows you to know about the projected weather and upcoming updates for the days you want to schedule a meeting. This way, you won’t have to cancel your appointments due to bad weather. And let’s face it, cancelling an appointment leaves a bad impression on everyone who cleared his schedule to meet you. So that’ll help you prevent any ruffled feathers over cancellations due to bad weather.
Pricing and availability
The Fantastical app has both free and paid versions. There are a lot of awesome features available in the free version, but the premium version has a lot of extra features that can take your scheduling to the next level. Some of these include Openings, Proposals, calendar syncing, notifications for the leaving time you set for a meeting, Apple watch support, and a really good collaboration suite.
The pricing for the premium version is also nothing outrageous. You can use the individual premium plan for as low as $3.33 a month with a 14-day free trial, and if someone in your family also wants to use Fantastical, you could go for the family plan costing $5.42 a month. However, if you want to use Fantastical for corporate use, you’ll need to contact Flexibits and they’ll devise a plan according to your requirements.
Before we get to the crux of our conclusion, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of using the Fantastical App.
- A large number of features.
- Great for busy people and power users.
- Lots of tools to make scheduling easier.
- Great UI.
- Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly viewing options.
- Ease of usage.
- Convoluted pricing and subscription system.
- Desktop app limited to macOS.
- A Premium subscription is needed for lots of features that are free in other apps.
- Removal of some features in the new update.
In our opinion, using the Fantastical app is a sure-fire way of streamlining your appointments and schedule. The interface and features provided by the Fantastical app are superb, which is something we see more and more in every update. For anyone facing the need to schedule appointments regularly, the Fantastical app is a game changer.