This month we take a look and compare two shift calendar apps: Shift Calendar and Shift Work Days.
- Publisher: Little Fox Studio
- Devices: Android, iOS (reviewed on Android phone)
- Available from: Google Play and the App Store
- Price: Free, but has some advertisements. Ad-free version costs £0.77 as an in-app purchase.
Shift Work days
- Publisher: Limepresso
- Devices: iOS (reviewed on iPhone 6)
- Available from: the App Store
- Price: Free to use basic functions, £3.99 to unlock ‘Pro Upgrade’
Type of information: A time management apps to help those with shift based roles keep track of their complex work schedules.
For: Anyone who has a shift based role, , e.g. Nurses and Emergency Services personnel.
- Shift Calendar: Easy to use. Unlimited shift types can be created. Option available for creating memos.
- Shift Work Days: Easy to program your own shift patterns and create shift rotations for your job. App is easy on the eye. Option available for creating memos.
- Shift Calendar: Some advertisements on the free version, syncing with other calendar apps is limited. Not as visually appealing.
- Shift Work Days: Lots of content hidden behind paywall, such as the ability to add shifts more than one month away and export calendar to email. Only available on Apple devices.
This app is designed to help shift workers keep track of their work responsibilities. Users can specify the types of shifts they regularly work – Day, Swing, and Night, for example. There seems to be no limit to the number of different shift types that can be created, and users can customise their names and hours. It is then easy to specify which shift will be worked on a particular day or stretch of days. If users wish, they can also specify an hourly pay rate and use the app to calculate how much money they can expect to earn each month.
One of the best features of this app, which sets it apart from more typical calendar apps like Google Calendar, is the ability to copy and paste shift patterns over a range of days. This is particularly useful for those whose jobs involve rotating shifts. Additionally, it is also possible to have two different schedules operating side by side – this could be useful for individuals with two different jobs, or for couples where both work shifts.
Users who use Google Calendar will find that any appointments and events that they have scheduled in Google Calendar will automatically be pulled through to the Shift Calendar app. However, unfortunately it is not possible to export the information from Shift Calendar to other apps.
Shift working patterns can be shared with others as an image or as text, and can also be viewed as a widget. There is also a ‘Cloud Shift’ function that is in beta testing, which allows users to view the calendars of friends and family using the same app, or backup their data so that their information is still there if they should change devices.
Shift Work Days
Shift Work Days functions in a similar way, allowing users to set up and copy shift patterns, but there are restrictions on the free version.
With the free version, there is no option to export shifts to email or iCloud, you can only create three unique shifts, and you can only enter shifts up to one month in the future. This creates a problem for jobs in healthcare, where you have up to four shifts which you could be working each month, five if you are recording rest days as a shift. The free version also comes with adverts, but they are tucked away as to not cause a distraction.
However the app does enable users to add multiple memos to each shift, to keep track of important events during the day, or the fact that you need to go and buy milk after.
The cost of the unlock to ‘pro mode’ is £3.99, not extortionate, but the app could be difficult to use if you choose to stick with the basic option.
This review puts together a review of Shift Calendar by a St George’s Librarian, and a review of Shift Work Days by Rory Gleeson, an ICU Healthcare Assistant in Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Many thanks to Rory for agreeing to test an app for us.
All posts on this blog are subject to the SGUL Library’s guide to mobile resources disclaimer, please take the time to read it carefully.