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How to handle duplicate events from Calendar Sync
How to handle duplicate events from Calendar Sync

Calendar Sync creates duplicate events across calendars by design. Here are some ways to work around it.

Updated over a week ago

Calendar Sync is a powerful capability that creates copies of events from a source calendar and syncs them to another calendar. Calendar Sync has to create copies by design, because without those copies, your colleagues viewing the destination calendar wouldn't see time from the source calendar as blocked. However, there are ways to work around it.

What "duplicate events" will look like

A very common example is when you've synced your personal calendar to your work calendar. The "Primary calendar" shown below is the work calendar in this example, and the "Personal calendar" is the personal calendar.

If you use Calendar Sync to push events from the Personal calendar to the Primary calendar, and have both selected in Google Calendar, this is what you'll see:

  • On the right: You're seeing the original event—the source event that Reclaim synced to the target calendar.

  • On the left: You're seeing the synced copy of the source event — the copy of the personal event that Reclaim created on the work calendar.

This ends up looking like a duplicate event, but in fact they are two separate events on two different calendars.

The original Doctor event is the one that is not visible to others, and the synced Personal Commitment copy is one that gets created in order to provide visibility and availability to others without sacrificing your privacy.

Avoid cluttering your calendar

To prevent seeing duplicate events, the simplest thing to do is to hide the source calendar from view by unchecking the colored box next to the calendar name.

But now I can't see the details!

By hiding the source, you may have hidden the details you care about, such as which personal commitment you have coming up.

We recommend installing Reclaim's Google Workspace Add-on. It brings much of the Reclaim capabilities right to your fingertips while in Google Calendar. It's useful for showing the title of the source event with a link to open up the event from the source calendar.

This is what it looks like when you click on a source event:

And this is what it looks like when you click on a target event:

If you don't want to install the add-on or want to be able to reduce duplicates on mobile, you can also:

  • Sacrifice a bit of privacy and sync all details to the target calendar, giving you the context.

  • Toggle the source calendar on and off when you need to see the details or make changes to the source event.

Beware: syncing with full details, even when marked private, can still result in workplace administrators and superusers being able to see them. So if you choose this approach, be mindful if the event "Job Interview" lands on your personal calendar: it could be seen by IT or company leadership on your work calendar!

Other solutions

We are working with the creators of popular calendar apps to make it possible to not only have privacy-centric universal availability (courtesy of Reclaim Calendar Sync), but also not have to see any clutter or experience awkward workflows.

Today, the following apps support Reclaim Calendar Sync events:

  • Fantastical, a paid app available on macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.

  • Vimcal, a paid web-based calendar available on all platforms.

Both of these apps have a feature that will blend related events together to appear as one. For example, this is what the previous example looks like in Fantastical and Vimcal, respectively:

In addition, Reclaim's own Planner UI uses a similar technique and presents opaque sync events back to you (and only you) with the original source details.

Which event do I make changes to?

You should always make changes to original source events, not the synced copies. Reclaim automatically manages the synced copy and keeps it up-to-date with any changes, so no need to adjust it.

You can think of the original event as the source of truth, and the synced copy as a reflection of the original event that's used to protect your availability from others.

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