If you're using a calendar app that supports multiple calendars across multiple Google accounts, such as Fantastical, Vimcal, Google Calendar (on mobile), Apple Calendar, etc, or if you've shared a calendar with your Google account, there is a good chance you're going to see the source calendar alongside the target calendar.

For example, if your source calendar is shared in Google Calendar's web interface, you might see something like this:

In a scenario like this, if you established a sync between your personal calendar and your primary calendar, you would see this:

What's really going on

When you're viewing the source (because it's shared or your calendar app supports multiple accounts), two things are happening:

  • On the left: You're seeing the "original event" -- that is, the event that Reclaim synced to another calendar.

  • On the right: You're also see the "synced copy" of the original event -- that is, the copy of the event that Reclaim created on another calendar and keeps up to date

This ends up looking like a duplicate event, but they're actually two separate events.

The original event, on the left, is the one that isn't visible to others (besides you) and the synced copy, on the right, is one that gets created in order to provide visibility and availability to others without sacrificing your privacy.

How do I avoid the clutter?

By establishing a calendar sync, you established universal availability, without risking your privacy. But you've also introduced additional events into your workflow, and that can get overwhelming.

The simplest thing to do is to hide the source calendar from your view. If you're in the Google Calendar web interface, you can do it by checking the colored box next to the calendar name:

There are similar capabilities in calendar apps as well, but due to the sheer number of calendar apps out there we can't document the procedures here.

But now I can't see the details!

The main problem with this approach is that, by hiding the source, you may have hidden the details you care about, such as which personal commitment you have coming up.

This is where you may have to make a tradeoff:

  • 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.

  • Live with seeing the duplicate events.

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 the company leadership on your work calendar!

Is there a world where I can have it all?

Yes, if you're willing to try a new calendar app.

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 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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