Calendar syncing: local vs linking service accounts

After my yearly one month purchase of a TickTick subscription, I have cancelled it and am back to other timeblocking options around my calendars and Reminders.

I use my iCloud calendar for personal stuff and Google Calendar for work. While setting up Readdle Calendars it came upon me that most of these apps (Calendars, Busycal, Fantastical… almost everyone) already allow you to use “Local Calendars” that one would have religiously configured on all devices for the stock apps, while at the same time allowing you to link your calendars directly (through OAuth2 authentication and authorization in the case of Google Calendar and an iCloud app-specific token for Apple’s iCloud, pretty obsolete)

So when thinking about if I should additionally grant access to Google Calendar to my calendar app instead of using local calendars…

  • PROs: I understand that granting the calendaring app direct access to the calendar service of choice perhaps gives it faster sync and tighter integration with some other features (like room reservation, people availability, or conference calls) that may not be possible with local calendars, although I haven’t found any.

  • CONs: Setting it up is kind of a hassle, also you have to make sure you deselect local calendars or you will see duplicated events all around, and each time your friendly IT colleagues rotate your company password you have to go and enable it again on all your apps, instead of one place per device if you choose to go with local calendars.

I think I would be leaning towards using “local calendars” just for convenience but wanted to check, what’s the opinion of the MPU hivemind about the best approach? Do you link directly your calendar or do it at the OS level and let the app happily use device “local calendars”? Why?

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I’d suggest Local calendars unless you need a particular feature which needs otherwise.

The fewer services with access to your information, the lower the risk.

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I’ve always preferred keeping my data on a server however, I always had admin access so I had a different perspective from my users. When cloud services like gmail came along I signed up immediately for my personal use.

One advantage of keeping my calendar on a server/cloud service is it is always available. All my devices display the same information and I can use any browser to access it should I be without my hardware.

I keep all my calendars unique and color code them.

But if you don’t need integration with some other features (like room reservation, etc.. And don’t mind dealing with conflicts etc. then there is nothing wrong with local calendars. I worked that way for years when all I had was paper calendars.

I set up the service accounts. Fantastical makes integrating easy enough since they automatically offer to disable the local versions of the calendars, and notify of any need to re-authenticate (not that common for me, thankfully.)

Most of my experience is with Google Calendar/Google Workspace accounts, and besides the sync being significantly better, directly connecting lets you invite people you expect you should be able to invite, hide events, and some other things I want to do every day.