This Week's Sponsor:


Ensure that if a device isn’t secure it can’t access your apps.  It’s Device Trust for Okta.

Fantastical 1.3 Adds Reminders Integration

Flexibits’ Fantastical, a menubar-based calendar application to quickly enter new events with natural language recognition, has today been updated to include native integration with Reminders, a feature that Apple rolled out with its own app in iOS 5 last year. I have been testing the new Fantastical (version 1.3) for the past weeks, and its integration with calendars, reminders, and natural language input is as solid as ever.

One of Fantastical’s biggest advantages over similar apps to quickly add items to synced calendars is its built-in CalDAV engine, which ensures the app can directly communicate with online calendars without having to leave iCal open in the background. As with events, Fantastical 1.3 lets you create reminders with a few keystrokes, using reminder lists already configured in your calendar app of choice, such as iCal or Outlook. Because Fantastical is capable of directly communicating with the syncing engine behind Reminders – not just the calendar application that displays them on the desktop – you’ll be able to add reminders in Fantastical and have them synced across devices without leaving iCal open. In my tests, Fantastical 1.3 indeed took reminders I added from the menubar, and synced them to and other iOS devices within seconds. If iCal opens, as Flexibits explains in the FAQ, it’s because of a Lion default setting related to push; switching iCal’s refresh rate to 30 minutes doesn’t compromise Fantastical’s ability to create events and reminders independently of iCal.

Fantastical can create, edit, and delete reminders with natural language recognition. In testing the app, I told Fantastical to “remind me to take out the trash”, and the app intelligently parsed the command as just “take out the trash”, interpreting the initial portion of the sentence as a reminder input. Similarly, commands like “remind” and “todo” will trigger reminder creation in Fantastical 1.3, which, generally speaking, tries to associate every new item without a date to a reminder list. This, however, can be reverted at any time, as the interface to switch between reminders and events includes a handy switch to jump through both options.

Reminders can be given a specific date or priority, assigned a note, but they don’t support location and time-based alerts, as those features are exclusive to iOS’s Reminders and Siri. In the app’s UI, reminders are displayed alongside calendar events, and they use the same floating popover windows for modifications.

In testing Fantastical 1.3 with my iCloud calendar and reminders, I found the app to be remarkably fast and reliable. As you would expect from Fantastical, adding new reminders takes seconds thanks to keyboard navigation and shortcuts, and the syncing engine didn’t miss a beat when communicating with iCloud and iOS. Unsurprisingly considering previous versions of the app, the parser doesn’t disappoint when it comes to automatically switching between event and reminder creation (try to add a date to a reminder, and check out the animation).

Fantastical 1.3 is a great update if you’ve been looking forward to Reminders integration, and another solid release for an app we’ve previously recommended. Fantastical is $19.99 on the App Store.

Unlock More with Club MacStories

Founded in 2015, Club MacStories has delivered exclusive content every week for over six years.

In that time, members have enjoyed nearly 400 weekly and monthly newsletters packed with more of your favorite MacStories writing as well as Club-only podcasts, eBooks, discounts on apps, icons, and services. Join today, and you’ll get everything new that we publish every week, plus access to our entire archive of back issues and downloadable perks.

The Club expanded in 2021 with Club MacStories+ and Club Premier. Club MacStories+ members enjoy even more exclusive stories, a vibrant Discord community, a rotating roster of app discounts, and more. And, with Club Premier, you get everything we offer at every Club level plus an extended, ad-free version of our podcast AppStories that is delivered early each week in high-bitrate audio.

Choose the Club plan that’s right for you:

  • Club MacStories: Weekly and monthly newsletters via email and the web that are brimming with app collections, tips, automation workflows, longform writing, a Club-only podcast, periodic giveaways, and more;
  • Club MacStories+: Everything that Club MacStories offers, plus exclusive content like Federico’s Automation Academy and John’s Macintosh Desktop Experience, a powerful web app for searching and exploring over 6 years of content and creating custom RSS feeds of Club content, an active Discord community, and a rotating collection of discounts, and more;
  • Club Premier: Everything in from our other plans and AppStories+, an extended version of our flagship podcast that’s delivered early, ad-free, and in high-bitrate audio.