Best Free Calendar, Reminder and To-Do Program

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Introduction

Wouldn't life be easier if it was more organised, or if we all knew what we were supposed to be doing and when?

Well that's where this article should help solve some of these problems. Take it from me, a super un-organised person, a free and good calendar program with reminders and to-do lists that can make a difference in your life.

 

Calendar Programs

Rainlendar Lite  

A calendar program with a reminder and a to-do list built in


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Limited features)
Free product complements the Web based application.
Shared calendars are available only for Pro version.
Read full review...

EssentialPIM  

A capable all-round organiser with a calendar, reminder, to-do program, address book and more


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Lots of features, a free iPhone and Android app also available.
Maybe too many features if you just want a calendar program.
Read full review...

Online Calendars and Browser Extensions

Google Calendar   

Great accessibility across web browsers and mobile devices


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free
Available across browsers and devices without the need to download additional software.
Calendar can't be edited offline.
Read full review...

Lightning  

A calendar extension to Thunderbird


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
An extension to Thunderbird; no need for a separate application
Thunderbird must be running.
Read full review...

ReminderFox  

A Firefox add-on to view and manage lists of reminders and to-dos


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
No need for a separate application.
Firefox must be running.
Read full review...

Zoho Calendar  

Similar to Google calendar but has a more attractive interface


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Search events feature, import calendars from file or subscribe via url, embed the day's agenda on a webpage and export calendar ics.
No copy and paste function, so you can't copy and paste an appointment or event from another calendar to Zoho without using keyboard short-cuts, right click won't work on the calendar.
Read full review...

Yahoo Calendar  

Keep track of your appointments and to-do lists


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Easy to access while checking your email, attractive interface and simple to use.
User needs to be logged into to Yahoo email account to use or view it, with no offline functionality.
Read full review...

Basic Reminder Tools

GMinder  

A very lightweight Google calendar offline viewer


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free (Open source)
Adds great offline functionality to Google Calendar.
Only works in conjunction with Google Calendar.
Read full review...

Kana Reminder  

A lightweight tool to set a reminder to be triggered at a specified time


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Simple, Very low CPU usage.
Category Option to save reminders is not available, also no synchronization with any other online or offline reminders.
Read full review...

Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 

Editor

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Comments

Cottage,
I have just the thing for you (and anyone else who wants a simple reminder)
UK's Kalendar
It runs quietly in the Sys Tray (aka Notification area) with just a tiny icon showing the date (EG 17).
You click on it and you get a fullscreen calendar (42 squares). There are other views you can use, but I have always had it like a wall calendar.
To set a reminder you can right click any day's square, and choose New to set a reminder. The reminders have various settings, and should meet most/any needs.
You can use the page up/down keyboard keys to view other months.

I was an Analyst in large IT companies for 20 years (with a few years programming as well), and I worship 'KISS'.
I could not develop a better program if I tried.

I have had ver 2.3 for a few years, and it has never failed when I needed reminders.
I just Googled and here are some links to ver 2.4.4 -
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Diary-Organizers-Calendar/UK-Kalender.shtml
http://www.ukrebs-software.de/

If you look at Softpedia's screenshots the view I use is screenshot 4 (of the 17).

I accept PayPal donations,
Rob

Do you know of anything basic that can be used purely as a calendar, without any reminder or 'to do' features? I really need nothing more than the equivalent of a physical wall calendar, but for a Win7 desktop -- don't even particularly want it permanently open/displayed, so a shortcut to a small piece of installed software to use whenever required would be fine and less clutter (maybe take up less hard drive space too, than something with features I wouldn't ever need), but it should be capable of going back to any year in the past. Thanks.

Rainlendar is pathetic. Use it if you like "skins" else it's a lousy piece of software.

It does not show future events in the Events list, it only shows the "Today's" Events and ToDo in the respective list. Why the event list is even there.
It shows events and todo in a pop up which - obviously - disappears after some time.

Desktop iCalendar Lite is also a good option.
Rainlendar shows events in a pop-up, if you click on a future date it doesn't show the events of that date in the Events List.

In Desktop iCalendar Lite you can select a future date and it will show the events and to-dos of that date.

I had to switch from FF to Chrome because FF just kept hanging and crashing and there didn't seem to be any fix for it except to run it without ABP, which I refuse to do. I really relied on Reminder Fox and one other add-on which have no comparable extensions in Chrome, so I'm having to go to a software solution. I don't really like Google Calendar. I wish there was just something simple with the capabilities of ReminderFox that I could run on my desktop. All the desktop applications seem to be so complicated, or have very limited capabilities.

I second Anupam's suggestion (below) for ublock origin which I use with Chrome. I would also suggest taking a look at Rainlendar Lite. It is very versatile with tons of custom options. There are 127 pages of additional skins on WinCustomize alone.

http://wincustomize.com/explore/rainlendar

This is a screenshot from my Linux installation showing Rainlendar. MC - Site Manager.

http://i.imgur.com/D6bsqdJ.jpg

If you are looking for an alternative to ABP, then "ublock origin" is an excellent adblocker that is getting very popular these days. I myself have been using it. If Firefox is crashing, then most probably it is because of an add-on. If you have narrowed it down to finding ABP is responsible for it, then it's time for a change.

Thanks for Kana Reminder.
All I was looking for was a simple reminder tool which can show a pop-up window with specific intervals.
Kana Reminder is good.

I used ReminderFox but something was wrong with it. First my browser started freezing, it never does that.
While I was checking reminder ReminderFox just stuck and hanged the browser too. I uninstalled it when everything was normal again.

the Kana Reminder is very basic but also very simple to use. it has worked well for me for a long time. the only thing it does not have which i would want is the ability to save past reminders. it gives you the alert then when you ok it, it stops beeping and closes, losing the reason for the alert. easy enough to work around. some others just get too complicated, which is not bad, just different.

I checked out this review of reminder programs because I was looking for an alternative to Google Calendar. I had been using FireFox Reminder & loved it. Then I started having problems with FireFox on my old computer & deleted it, when meant I also lost Reminder. I switched back to Internet Explorer on Windows 7, which is what I use at work, and started using Google Calendar. When I got my new computer, I continued with Internet Explorer & Google Calendar rather than go back to FireFox. Recently, Google Calendar has become unaccessable to me (even tho I can still access my g-mail acct). It tells me I'm using an unsupported browser (Internet Explorer!) and I MUST switch to Chrome in order to be able to access my Google calendar. For that reason, I highly recommend Google Calendar be avoided. I have heard nothing but bad things about Chrome, but even if that weren't the case, I do not like being virtually blackmailed into switching to a program I have no interest in just to be able to use my Google calendar. BTW, my cell phone provider is Verizon which is highly integrated with Google and another reason I wanted to continue to use Google calendar. I am now using the Outlook Calendar which I have set to email me reminders. I was looking for something similar to FireFox Reminder to use in conjunction with Internet Explorer. I loved FireFox Reminder, but don't want to switch back to FireFox at this time.

Interesting, I don't use IE myself but I tried it a minute ago just of curiosity and google calendar appears to work perfectly.

Could it be something particular to your own set up?

Of the reminder / to do programs (reviewed or ones mentioned), do any have more flexibility than others, to enter new times (once a reminder pops up), for "remind me AGAIN in x minutes / hrs," etc? Or have far more times to choose from in a drop list for "remind again," than some do? Times that don't jump from 2 hr > 4 hr > 1 day. And have far more "remind again" times than Windows Calendar has?

Some only allow picking times from a very limited drop list, to "remind me" or "remind me again" . Often no user entry allowed. If drop list jumps from "remind me again in" 4 hrs to 1 day, & I want reminding in 6 hrs, too bad.

Probably the rest of features in most any would suffice. I looked at a bunch of screenshots - none showed this detail.
Thanks.

Thanks. I mentioned I wanted a wider range of time choices (or just enter times) for "remind me again in" times, when reminders pop up. Not just 10, 15 min., etc. But the choices not jumping from 2 to 4 hrs, either. Yes, the widely spaced times often work, but sometimes don't. That's the problem w/ a pre-defined snooze time list vs. a field to enter times, perhaps with pre-defined times.

UK's Kalender (program is kalender.exe, but Kaspersky shows as Calendar?) has ability to enter any time desired for min., hrs, days. It won't remind for ToDo items - only for "Events," which is fine. Must click icon to see ToDo list.
Seems pretty decent as far as creating events, setting reminder time & changing snooze times. In the main scheduled ToDo's or Events (these are separate), can look at ToDo list, or events by Week, "Fortnight," Month or Year views by clicking tabs.

I'm using these in Vista x64. Once, when hovered mouse over a scheduled Kalendar event, a long, vertical list of ? times popped up & flickered rapidly. But I couldn't repeat this.

Kalender's (pretty decent) included manual says don't get pop up reminders for ToDo items, but it's "sign" [tray icon] should turn "yellow sign if the todo enters the forewarn* time and a red sign if the todo reaches the deadline*. * (If it reaches the times set / entered for these values).

Tray icon didn't turn yellow for me when it reached forewarn time, but turned red after reaching deadline. Not sure of value of only seeing an indication that a deadline has basically passed. I guess you'd enter deadline times before the * actual * deadline.

In Vista w/ 8 GB RAM, Kalender uses only ~ 6.7 MB private / 21.4 MB working set memory - not much.

On FreeAlarmClock, I probably don't want to edit the orig. entry, every time a reminder for event still > 1 day away. Often, reminders appears in late PM & I want reminding again, say 10 AM next day. But there's no time choice to "remind me in (12, 14, 16) hrs." That appt may be at 11 AM. Reminding again in 1 day from the reminder - 6 PM, will (should) be 6 PM the next day - too late.

I've used UK Kalender for couple of weeks now & got the kinks worked out. Corresponded w/ the dev, Ulrich, a few times & he was helpful. Only real issue I had, which turned out not to be a Kalender (portable) problem, was I couldn't get it to start with Windows (Vista), even though it was supposed to have that capability.

It was Kaspersky IS (2014) that placed Kalender.exe in a less than most trusted group & was silently blocking it from making any registry change. Once I gave it permission, it worked fine. Just placing a shortcut for the executable in the Windows startup folder will also work (for me).

I've not used it on other OSes, but so far in Vista, it does exactly what it says it will. There's a very short learning curve. Almost everything in Kalender is customizable for font style, size & color; for background color. Similar to Windows appearance customization. Not your Grandpa's computer calender / pop up reminder.

It's a pretty flexible - pop up event reminders - allowing choosing background & text colors; size of text. Most time related fields allow entering custom times & selecting from drop lists. If you want reminders in 7 or 11 minutes / hours / days, you've got it. Edit all aspects of reminders from one screen on pop ups. I find it more intuitive than Windows / Vista calender.

It allows changing calender fonts & colors, for various objects - both on calendar UI objects & entered events. Customizable fonts for almost everything. No more "one font selection fits all" - no sir! :) If you like customizing UIs & entered data, you'll like this.

Haven't used a lot of other reminder apps w/ snooze, but it seems unlikely that others w/ the same functions could have *more* intuitive, straight forward options & menus. It's about as straight forward as most apps get. Or that many free ones would be this customizable for almost anything. Though some calendar / reminders may be *as* good.

I can't vouch for Kalender in other OSes - maybe others can check it out. I have no way of knowing how well it will be maintained in the future.

Thanks for reporting back. I'm glad you like it and it does what you want. I myself have only been using it for a few weeks on Windows 8.1 and I like it too. Previous to this I tried the portable version of Rainlender Lite which was nice but it's 10 times the size of UK's Kalender. :-O

For me when it comes to reminders / pop-ups Google calendar with various browser extensions or synchronized with ReminderFox in FireFox serves me well and the reminder pop-ups can be snoozed but you can't put a wider range of reminder times in like you want to, to get around this I just set multiply reminders for events.

The main thing I don't like about Google calendar is... Google. There may be other issues w/ it - or not, but I personally don't want to support a company that's made a career from privacy invasion. In spite of lawsuits they've lost over privacy issues, they're ramping up gathering even more *personally identifying* data.

Some may not care, or know about it, or understand why they should care about certain practices of Google & similar companies. That's their choice. This is just general observation - not aimed at Juxxize. If we're (many of us) concerned about adware,etc., rolled in w/ "freeware," but not concerned about anything w/ the name Google attached, I don't get it. To be sure (& fair), there are other companies just as bad as Google - they just don't get the same press.

Those not well versed on Google's seedier side might do a bit of research, before supporting them - especially when there are alternatives.

I do care about the privacy issues related to Google but the trouble is for me anyway I've found it the most functional calendar especially across multiple devices which is why I use it set to maximum privacy ( all my events are set to private etc. ) but people are free to use which ever program they like , that's why I've listed/ reviewed so many different programs and services in the review in the hope that people can find one that suits them.

UK's Kalender [ http://www.ukrebs-software.de/ ] is a calendar, reminder and to-do program that may do what you want. When it pops up a reminder you can snooze for minutes, hours, days or weeks. There are also buttons to edit or delete the event on the pop-up reminder.

I've been using it for a while now and it's very light on system resources. If you try the portable version and don't like it you could just delete it's folder - no uninstalling.

In case none of the included holiday packs in UK's Kalender suit you, there's also a holiday generator program available from the same developer.

Using it some weeks ago and liking it.

Easy-to-use and not intrusive; very simple and nice.

I've not come across UK's Kalendar I might take a look at it , it sounds quite useful and light on resources .

For simple reminders, FreeAlarmClock has snooze with 1 minute increments from 1 to 10.

If I want to set a later reminder then I just edit the original entry. Easy.

The GUI of Google Calendar can be improved in Firefox with Grease Monkey scripts. I like this one - http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/107309 - which adds hotkeys to show/hide the sidebars and topbars. This makes the layout much more useable and more economic with your screen space.

I don't want a calendar-agenda-passwordmanager-cofeemaker that happens to also have the reminder function.
I just want a reminder program. Preferably one that won't forget what i want to be reminded of.

To be honest I've struggled to find more basic reminder programs that aren't ... well a bit rubbish. I would love to have some more programs in my 'Basic Reminders Tools' section of my article so if anyone has any suggestions throw them my way. I take it you don't think much to my suggestions it all depends on what your needs are I love a calendar program that as well as reminding you of events can serve other functions too like Google tasks integrated in to the calendar, many calendars also enable you to attach attachments to events . I my self love all this stuff and I'm now super organised ( all my friends laugh at me but hey ho ). but yeah for-sure if anyone out there finds a great little reminder program that's basic but not rubbish pop it in the comments section ( and don't worry if it doesn't make coffee I can't drink it the moment any how )

Maybe it's the Category that's not clear.
For me Calendar, Reminder and To-Do are 3 different types of software.
This is the "Best Free Reminder and To-Do Program" category, but there isn't a single To-Do program recommendation, luckily that's not what i need, but there are plenty of Calendars.

or maybe it's me writing about all the wrong stuff lol , but in my defence when I took over the category a couple of years ago it was already full of calendar reviews and I've just rewrote them, updated them, and added to them with new products . I might ask if I can have the review name changed to Best Free Calendar, Reminder and To-Do . The trouble is most reminder/ to-do programs I've looked have been lacking in features and all the calendars I've reviewed have these features so it ended up being a calendar party time on here . I have taken over the same review section on but the Android version and there are lot's of reminder/ to-do/ task managers available from Playstore ( as well as Calendars ) so I'm having a super organised time trying them all out :)I did mention when I took over that section that I wanted to pop a few calendars in the review as well but like I said I have plenty to choose from on android . Anyway I went totally off topic , did you manage to find something to meet your needs ?

My favourite is FreeAlarmClock - http://freealarmclocksoftware.com/ - nice and simple, very lightweight.

If you're worried about Open Candy etc then you can scroll down the page for the non-installer zip version. That download link scores 1/53 on Virus Total and the fileitself 0/50.

Ignore the "HotAlarmClock" button on the program itself, that's a link to their sponsor's website.

For longer-term and more permanent reminders I use Google Calendar which I can set to e-mail me a reminder of, for example, people's birthdays.

I'll take a look it, thank you

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