Scroll by Weeks. Traditional monthly calendar views suffer from the problem where less and less of your calendar view is useful as the month progresses. The worst-case comes on the last day of the month, where only ~1/30th of your month’s display is usefully editable.
Compounding the problem is having to page between two months when a work-week happens to span them to get a attempt to gain a coherent view of your week.
Scroll by Weeks turns your month view into a stacked-week view — each week is a row in an infinitely-vertically-scrolling table. This is kind of hard to explain, and unfortunately somewhat jarring to use (see my last Bad point, below) but means you’re not ambushed by stuff coming up the week after the end of the current month.
The best features of Datebook+ were its event-entry interface (which blows away my iPhone 3GS’s awkward seven-tap-minimum event-entry-workflow), its week-view (something I wish my iPhone could do whatsoever) and floating events.
Floating events were events you could assign to a specific time, but were also like to-do items that could be marked as completed. If you didn’t mark them as done, they’d carry-forward to the next day until they were marked as completed or deleted altogether.
I loved floating events since they allowed me to schedule uncritical tasks in the future, ensuring I wouldn’t forget about them while keeping them off my radar until relevant.
BusyCal implements this feature, but I haven’t really tried it yet. Long ago I gave up on calendaring software authors understanding the beauty+utility of floating events, so I restructured my life to cope without them.
I want to fall in love again, but I’m scared I might get hurt.
Inspector split view. BusyCal has an option of displaying and editing event info in built-into-the-main-window split view, a la iCal 1’s drawer (but more modern). Avoids the annoying pop-up window that obscures calendar content and annoying double-click-event-then-click-edit-button-then-click-field workflow.
Simple text box for entering times. You can actually type out “4:23p” into a new event’s start time instead of navigating iCal’s awkward segregated time field.
Remove Alarms, Attachments and To Do Items from subscribed Calendars. Previously my alarms would ring on Victoria’s iCal and iPhone. I think I discovered a way to suppress this, but I’m unsure and unwilling to go back just to verify.
Animation. Moving from month to month is animated with a simple but effective slide effect.
Alarm Window. Does away with iCal’s annoying ringing-alarm animation, and allows fine-tuning of snooze duration.
Need to keep BusyCal running to stay in sync. Adds to my Dock pollution. BusySync used to work in the background. BusyMac support says “We’re well aware of the demand for that feature and hope to provide it in the future.”
Uglier than iCal. BusyMac diverged cosmetically from iCal in a few ways, all bad. iCal uses a 12pt Helvetica while BusyCal uses an awkward and attention-stealing 14pt Lucinda Grande. Weekend days (Saturday+Sunday) have an unnecessary light-gray background and for-the-love-of-god red month day numbers. Red!
Instead of iCal’s simple, elegant inverted-roundrect denoting all-day events, BusyMac attempts an unnecessarily visually-complex shiny-bubble look whose multiple elements adds even more distraction from understanding the data at hand.
SSL is off by default. BusyCal offers SSL encryption for local syncing, but for some inexplicable reason they don’t turn it on for you automatically.
Scroll by Weeks delimiters. While I appreciate the functionality of Scroll by Weeks, BusyCal doesn’t do a good job denoting when one month ends and another begins. They do so textually (the last day of Dec reads “30” and the next day reads “Jan 1”), however their UI is noisy enough that the text gets lost. Here, I think a green-bar effect could be tweaked to become useful yet subtle.
Scroll by Weeks animation. While the month view is nicely animated, Scroll by Weeks is not. This is unfortunate, since Scroll by Weeks mental model is less familiar than the traditional month view, and would greatly benefit from an animated up-and-down slide effect.
Indeed, I couldn’t understand the Scroll by Weeks feature at all at first due to its jarring transition (even your currently-selected-day is lost).