Quotidian Quest

I almost bought BusyCal 2

Category: productivity
#calendar #apps

I've been making little changes with my life in order to get more done instead of just talking about it. One of the changes that I've done is to become more committed to the things that I put into my calendar after hearing a couple great quotes from Merlin Mann's Back to Work podcast.

"A calendar is a map of your time." - Merlin Mann

"Don't let a calendar run your life, use a calendar to help you run your life." - Merlin Mann

It seemed like perfect timing that at the same time that I'm putting more effort into getting things together, one of flagship calendar applications - BusyCal - came out with a new version.

Getting Organized

In the effort to become more organized, I decided that it would be easier on me to start off by placing recurring events and events that I know that I will certainly be attending. The only problem being that I need to review my calendar to make sure that it is up to date and that all the activities on my computer are reflected on the family calendar hanging on the wall of the kitchen. I'm slowly building up the habit of making sure that the two are in sync and in a way this works as a little review of what is going on in my life for the purpose of time management. Another benefit is that I don't commit to a lot of different things because of the hassle it would take to make sure that I'm available at a certain time1.

In a way, this has improved how I function in my day to day life because I don't have as much stress about missing appointments. The stress I do have is generated because of my desire to do more things at once. The problem is that I'm getting a better idea of what I want/should be doing and it is kind of scary to see all the different things that are vying for my attention. I've been using OmniFocus to help me manage all the projects and I think I've moved a little bit past just pushing things around and doing busy work. I'm learning where things are getting lost and I think thats one of the key things you need to find if you really want to improve your life.

Ultimately, this has really shown me that there isn't a silver bullet to being productive and getting things done. It's a bunch of little bullets being fired from the gun called willpower2. And I am starting to trust in myself to follow the plan that I have set out. I'm still working on making sure that I do some kind of as often as possible and get things out of my inbox.

But that leads us back to the main point of this post.

Why did/didn't buy BusyCal 2?

Honestly, I'm on a budget. When you're constantly checking your balance to make sure that you have enough for food/rent/kids/spouse, it is hard to justify $303.

The other reason is that I already have the first version of BusyCal and fantastical. Both of these products provide me with all the calendar information that I need at this point. For the current date and to add things, I use fantastical4. When it comes to a wider view, BusyCal does that way better that iCal in the sense that it isn't a nightmare to look at.

If I had the money, I'd buy the new version as it looks really nice and company is focused on bringing a great mac experience.


  1. For a while, I would stress out about meeting people up at a given time. I wanted my word to mean something when it came to not being late. If I said 8AM, I meant 8AM. In my mind, I would chant "Punctual is not being on time, it's being respectful of other peoples time". I still think that, but I don't stress about it. 

  2. That has to be one of the corniest things I've written in the last couple of weeks.  

  3. It's currently on sale until the end of the month.  

  4. Although, I do have a problem adding repeating events. I'm going to give the software the benefit of the doubt for not being able to read me… Maybe next release.