Why I Switched to Sunrise Calendar

That's right… I've moved from the Apple Calendar which I've been using as my default calendar for years and am now using Sunrise Calendar to plan my time and stay organised.

A little bit of background context… I love Apple products. I'm heavily tied up in the Apple ecosystem with the iPhone, iPad and MacBook as my primary devices. I live on iCloud and have stuck within Apple's suite of default apps like the Calendar and Reminders for most of my productive life. So moving from the Apple Calendar is a big deal and part of me feels as if I'm cheating on Apple. I'd like to say it was a one time thing, but the truth of the matter is that the Sunrise Calendar is beautiful and it does things for me that the Apple Calendar just can't. Is this getting a bit creepy?

Okay, so I'm not moving fully away from the Apple Calendar. I'm still using iCloud, I'm just using it on a new third-party client is all.

Anyway… there are two main reasons for switching to Sunrise Calendar:

1. Beautifully Designed, Yet Still Familiar

I'm a big fan of design. When trying out a new productivity app it needs to look nice if I'm going to adopt it. Sunrise is beautifully designed. I love the cute little icons they add to your Events as a nice visual way of showing what your appointment is about. By linking Sunrise to your contacts and social accounts, you also get nice little pictures of your friends and families inside the app to show who's going to which appointments. There are also some really handy features, for example, when it's someones birthday, you can tap one button to instantly open a new email or text message to wish them a happy birthday. I love these little touches. Coming from the Apple Calendar, Sunrise has a sense of familiarity about it. All of the colours I set for my different calendars remain the same in Sunrise. This was a really nice touch and made the switch almost seamless.

2. Third-Party Integration – Oh, WOW!

Now this is the real reason for the switch. I only talked about design first as I needed something else to say in this post, but the third-party integration is what makes Sunrise a kickass calendar app to use. By linking to Asana, Evernote, Google, Basecamp, Todoist and tonnes of other great services, you can get a birds eye view of everything you're doing in one place. So I can plan my tasks for the week in Asana and they appear in Sunrise as all-day events. Likewise with Evernote reminders and so on. This really is the killer feature that the switch a no brainer.

The great thing is, I can click on any of these events and there's a link to take me straight to that app where I can edit or update my task/note etc…

I really think integrations like this are going to get more and more important in the future. There are heaps of great apps out there. It's when they talk to one another and work together that we get real value. More apps are going to have to mimic apps like Sunrise and CloudMagic if they're going to remain competitive.

So if you haven't already, I highly recommend you give Sunrise a go. It's available on the web, iOS, Android and OSX. Getting set up is super easy and there really is no learning curve. The one thing that still bugs me is that you can't tap and hold to drag and reorder events on the iOS app. But I can overlook this for now and have already Tweeted Sunrise to ask them to build this feature in. Hopefully they listen.

Let me know what calendar app you're using and why in the comments below.

Until next time, have a productive day!



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  • DJEB

    Am I doing something wrong when I make an event on Sunrise? No matter what time I set for the event, it always reverts to 1 hour when I click save. The only way to have a longer event is to post it on my Apple calendar and have it import, which defeats the purpose of using Sunrise.

    • I’ve never heard of an issue like that. Perhaps try disconnecting all your accounts, then log out back in and then reconnecting everything. Sometimes this helps with bugs. Otherwise try contacting their support. Usually their pretty good at getting back to you quickly.

      • DJEB

        I think I have the cooties or something. This type of “never happened before” problem is the norm for me.

        • Sorry I can’t be more useful on this occasion. But like I said, the Sunrise support team is pretty good and should be able to help.

    • Or have a look in your settings to make sure there’s nothing causing this…

  • DJEB

    Any suggestions for alternatives now that MS is killing off Sunrise at the end of August?

    I need a calendar, not calendar/email. Zoho.com handles my mail, and I am not keen on jumping into Outlook, which I never liked.

    • Hey, yeah good question. I’m currently trying to find a good alternative and have heard good things about Fantastical. While it doesn’t show tasks on top of your calendar, I hear good things about it.

      • DJEB

        I’ve heard the same. It doesn’t quite mesh with how cheap I am, though.

        • Yeah that’s holding me back as well. From what I can tell, it doesn’t do anything different to the normal Apple Calendar. It looks very nice and well designed, but I can’t see any obvious benefit…


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