Experience Google without Gmail - a Privacy focused Google Account

This came about when a friend asked me what solution should I use for calendar with a HEY account.

This got me thinking about the benefits of having a Google account. If people abandon Gmail due to privacy reason, they will still be using their Google accounts for Youtube, Maps, Calendar, Google Docs extra.

So I decided to create a brand new Google account with my personal email address (so no gmail).

It was an interesting experience and as such I would like to share it here:

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Wouldn’t people who don’t trust Google with their data rather use different services for calendars and contacts as well?

I’m glad that Fastmail offers calendars and contacts via (real) open standards (CalDAV, CardDAV) and helps to push them forward.

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I agree.

This is a solution for those who still prefer Google for some stuff. Google calendar and google contacts do not have adverts as far as I know.

I suppose it’s a compromise for those who prefer to keep emails out of Google but happy to use Google’s other services.

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It’s insightful to not forget about all the other services that google has and the data that exist there. I’m using a g Suite account and feel comfortable with it

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Good to look at the different ways you can travel in the Googleverse. It doesn’t have to be this monolithic entity that consumes your data-life if you approach it from the point of only getting what you need and no more.

I just use the built in mail, contacts and calendar capabilities that come as optional is tall packages with my Synology NAS.

It’s all standards-based: IMAP, CardDav, CalDav, and it’s on my own hardware. I open up non standard ports on my firewall and it all works whether I’m home or away.

And since I’m mostly home these days thanks to “the ‘Rona” its fantastically easy.

Of course I need a custom domain (which I have) and need to setup MX records in my DNS zones file to make it work.

I have those skills so it’s not an issue.

Now my wife on the other hand…


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Do you see advertisements in Gmail? I have multiple accounts, and haven’t seen an advertisement in any of them for years.

I do not see any ads. However, I have seen some people gets tonnes of ads. Not sure why. Maybe they know I won’t buy anything lol.

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Due to the increasing number of calendar invitations I’ve been getting since shifting to WFH, I too had to make this move as a solution of last resort, even though my mails have been away from Google for years.

First I wanted to go with Radicale on my VPS, then on my Qnap, then Fruux, etc. None was as seemless and convenient as I wanted, especially after using GCal for years.

So I created a Google account with my exact email address. Mails are still selfhosted, but I get a nice calendar (and Drive!)

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I’m having trouble responding to invitations. Obviously the invite is received on my external email. How have you been able to have invitations sent TO YOU, show up on your google calendar?