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Review: Mynd calendar app for iPhone

Mynd app for iPhoneMynd (free) is an intuitive calendar app for iPhone. It takes the traditional calendar and aims to pack it full of useful information relating to your day-to-day events in order that you would manage those events more effectively. Or, another way of putting it would be that Mynd intuitively manages those events for you.

One of the first major things you'll notice about Mynd is its home screen. Instead of a traditional calender grid of dates with events inked-in, Mynd defaults to an attractive and well-designed home screen. It creatively displays a snap shot of what your day ahead will look like, based on your events and schedule. Alongside this, Mynd also displays useful information pertaining to your events, like the weather, distance to be traveled between events, alerts, and how you're spending your time.

In fact, Mynd will send you push notification alerts for upcoming appointments, tell you when you need to leave -- calculated by drive times (unfortunately not walking times) -- alert you to traffic conditions in your upcoming route, and it integrates with most navigation apps (Google Maps, Apple Maps).

What I love most about the home screen, though, is the display of profile pictures (drawn from your iOS contacts, which you've hopefully got setup and syncing with Facebook or Twitter) of people you're going to meet on a given day. To me, seeing a picture of a friend or colleague in my calender means a great deal more emotionally than simply seeing a name in text. So much so, I found I was mentally preparing for meetings -- even just thinking about those I was due to meet -- a great deal more than normal, triggered by seeing profile pictures.

Aside from the home screen features, Mynd handles general calender requirements really well, too. There's no need to create a new calender when using Mynd, the app simply utilizes the information from your existing calenders, whether it be iCloud, Google or Yahoo etc. Mynd also integrates with LinkedIn for additional profile pictures as well as info drawn from LinkedIn profiles. There's Evernote integration, too, but I'm not currently an Evernote user, so I couldn't test this feature.

Adding and editing events is a really easy, just like in the iOS calender app. However, viewing your events is a little different. There the home screen (as detailed above), which is the primary view. There's a list view, an hour-by-hour day view, and a month view, which is a little small and it doesn't give you a great deal of information on your events. There's no week view. I found I used the home screen and hour-by-hour day view the most. In other calender apps, when planning ahead, I default to looking at my diary in a month-like view. In Mynd, that's where I found the month view a little difficult to practically use.

Another great feature of Mynd is that it remembers locations, like home and work as well as regular meeting places you attend. Also, from within the app you can call and message people your scheduled to meet. For instance, if you need to say that you're running late.

I used Mynd for a week or so. It took me a little while to get used to it. For starters, to take full advantage of all its features, I had to overcome some longstanding, bad calender habits. Namely, filling out calender events with quick nick-names and abbreviated location titles instead of full names, times and location information. If you don't fill out events properly, Mynd will be even more lifeless than your current calender. However, once I started filling out calender events properly, I was pleasantly surprised at how much Mynd had to offer.

In summary, what I really love about Mynd is its use of profile pictures for those I'm scheduled to meet, route and map integration into events, intelligent alerts, and its generally beautiful UI design. It sounds cheesy, but Mynd has brought some personality to my calendar. My calendar has become a bit more about the people I'm seeing instead of the time slots I'm cramming meetings into. If you're looking for a bit of life and personality in your calendar -- a face to put a name to -- then Mynd is definitely worth checking out.

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