The Fourth Agenda



Today, Agenda 4 is out. It’s a calendar app for the iPhone and it’s awesome.

The core of Agenda is its gesture-based navigation — something that has gone pretty much unchanged since version 1.0. This navigation style makes it so easy to quickly get between the different calendar views. And once iOS 7 makes its debut this fall, we’ll be pining for gesture-based navigation even more.

Agenda’s “left-most” calendar view shows a high-level look, displaying a traditional calendar view with visibility into 6 months at a time. The “center” view is a one-month calendar with view of today’s events. The right-most view is a running list of all your events in chronological order, with dividers separating each day.

My preferred calendar view is the right-most pane in Agenda: the running list. At a glance I can usually see a quick overview of what I’ve got going on today, tomorrow, and maybe even the next day. And I can quickly scroll down the list to see future events, or scroll up the list to see past events.

But, when setting up an appointment, my visual-thinking brain usually wants to see on a traditional calendar where a date lands. Which is why I love that I can quickly swipe over to the month view and see a particular date, or range of dates, in context to the week and month they’re in.

What’s new in Agenda 4?

I’m glad you asked. For one, the app has a brand-new icon and a fresh coat of interior paint. Giving it a nice iOS 7 vibe that will make it feel right at home this fall.

Also new are some options for how you can create new events. In the settings pane you can chose your preferred method for entering a new event. Agenda gives you 4 options:

  • The new “Agenda Mini” pane which lets you type in the name of an event and then quickly select a start and stop time.
  • The Agenda expanded pane which is an improved version of Agenda’s traditional event creation pane. This view lets you pick different alarm times, add notes, adjust which calendar the event belongs to, and more.
  • The default iOS event entry card.
  • And a text box which you can type in natural language and then send to Fantastical. Using URL-schemes, your text is opened in Fantastical, you can then adjust if you need to, and once the event is added you’re sent back to Agenda 4.

At first consideration, all these event entry options may seem like overkill. But a large part of what makes or breaks a calendar app for people is how it handles event creation. Everyone has different need and different taste when it comes to viewing their calendar and adding events.

I for one never liked Agenda’s previous event creation view. Which is why I would often use Siri or Fantastical to create a new event.

However, the new “Agenda Mini” pane for creating a new event is excellent. Since almost all of my events exist on just one calendar, and a default alarm of 15-minutes works well for me, this quick-entry pane is a breeze to use.

Agenda 4 is two bucks in the App Store, and is a paid upgrade for existing Agenda users.

This app has been my primary iPhone calendar app since the day it launched as a 1.0 back in the summer of 2011, and it just keeps getting better. Which is why, two years later, it continues its reign as the calendar app sitting on my home screen.