is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
For the past few weeks I’ve been using beta versions of Flexbit’s Fantastical 2. It sports a handsome new interface with a dark left pane that flanks a light reworking of the standard iCal day/week/month/year view. There’s also a natural language engine for freeform creation of new events—these are becoming standard for calendar software, but Fantastical uses a clever animation to visually parse your words as you enter them.
My actual calendar data is powered by Google Apps, and Fantastical has synced with that service almost perfectly—I did catch one bug where it wasn’t saving an event’s location data, but the Flexbits team was incredibly responsive in working with me to diagnose the problem and correct it on their end.
When it comes to mail, contacts and calendars, I’m less adventurous than a lot of folks and generally stick to Apple’s stock applications. I just haven’t found that much benefit from the alternatives I’ve tried, but after a few weeks of Fantastical I was surprised that I was still sticking with it. It’s an elegant, almost seamless replacement for Apple’s calendar.
Fantastical 2 is in the App Store starting today. More at flexibits.com.+