Too Many Calendars? A Better Way?

Hey all,

I am sure someone must have had at this problem. Does anyone have “too many calendars” synced to your phone that it stops you from being productive? or overwhelmed?

I am looking for a better/productive way to visually sort my day and appointments.
Here are the calendars that sync to my phone…10.

  1. Diocesan Master Calendar
  2. My Parish Calendar (easy for me to update for the parishioners, contains parish schedules, classes, etc)
  3. Family Calendar (shared with wife)
  4. Personal Calendar
  5. Contacts - Shared by Contacts (this is the only info Fantastical displays for me)
  6. Children’s School
  7. Omnifocus Reminders
  8. US Holidays
  9. Birthdays
  10. Siri Found in Apps (not sure what gets pulled into here)

I have thought about using 2 Calendar apps and putting my Diocese and Parish there. But, then I remembered Fantastical is the only calendar I like to use.

So…anyone else have similar issues? Or should I just learn to deal with it.

Perhaps part of the problem is integrating too many things in the always-visible calendar views.

I live inside my calendar and rely on it to guide my day and I only have appear in my calendar actionable dated/timed items that I am either doing or plan/hope to do at a specific time on a specific date.

But other things, like reminders or events I’m not doing are either not on the calendar or I subscribe to calendars which are turned off from appearing in the calendar until I manually click on them to appear, during periodic (daily or twice daily) reviews. Then they get turned off again. If there’s something on a secondary calendar that I need to schedule I’ll copy/paste it into one of my primary, always-visible calendars.

I have close to a dozen calendars in Google Calendar, but the only ones always visible are Personal, Work, Todoist synced events, and National Holidays (if only so I don’t try to schedule work meetings on a holiday). Calendars like Birthdays and Fun (movies or events that I might want to attend) get snapped on and off every once in a while for review. (I live in Week view on the Mac, Day view on the iPhone.)

If I want to remind myself to do something at a specific time I’ll give it a date/time in Todoist and it will sync to my calendar. For reminders of non-calendar Todoist has multiple alarm capability, and I get alerted without the calendar being involved. Same for tasks. My calendar would be unreasonably cluttered if I tried to keep tasks/reminders in my calendar

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I agree with @bowline. Several of those calendars could be (what’s the right term?) on a need to know basis. Passive I nformation sources, rather than information that drives your workday. Things you could check at beginning and/or end of day, e.g. birthdays.

In Fantastical on macOS you can set up calendar sets. These could be related to the context you’re interested in. If you’re working on work things, probably 1, 2 & 7 from above. Personal could be 3, 4, 6, 8, & 9. These calendar sets can also be enabled based on location, so if you go to an office, you can enable the work calendars, etc.

See Introducing calendar setsfor an overview. I don’t think this feature has made it to iOS, but it’s fairly easy to tap the gear icon and switch them on and off.


Ooh, that sounds neat. :bangbang:

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They’re pretty easy to set up!


Unfortunately this only works on the mac.
I believe the problem @FrMichaelFanous describes is about too many on the iPhone.


I forgot that detail, and solved the wrong problem.

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Does anyone use multiple calendar apps? Since I can’t replicate calendar sets on iOS that @RosemaryOrchard mentioned for Fantastical on Mac? Even though, Fantastical is probably the “best” app for me in terms of calendars.

I am thinking of a 3 calendar app plan - Even though this may irritate me on precious homescreen space.

Calendar 1 App - Important Stuff
I am thinking of Fantastical on iOS to display the important calendars I need based on my list above probably (3, 4, 6, 8, 9)

Calendar 2 App - Passive Stuff
I just need to see them.

Calendar 3 App - Maybe? All 21 calendars displayed to give me and anyone else the seizure we all need in life that we realize we need more time.

That being said…if anyone has experience in this multiple calendar setup…

  1. How do you like it?
  2. How long did it take to adjust and make it a part of your workflow?
  3. Which calendar apps would you recommend for 2 and 3 setup?
  4. Who had it and went back to 1 ?

First, I cannot image trying to juggle 21 calendars. Or 3 calendar apps.

I’ve never used more than 5 calendars, Work, Personal, Church, and a couple of read only info calendars. I prefer the standard IOS calendar in List View, but also use Fantastical for quick entry, and the combined Reminders/Events view.

In your situation I think I would use the standard IOS app for the important and passive stuff since, IMO, it is the easiest to toggle calendars on & off, should you wish to change your view during the day. I would use Fantastical for everything else because, again IMO, it seems it would give you the best view of the firehose of info from all the rest.

A little late to the party here, but I purchased WeekCal on my iPhone years ago and it has a “presets” feature which does this. Until now I haven’t actually set any up myself, I now realise!

They also have an iPad app now, by the looks of it, with the same feature.

On Mac I prefer BusyCal because it can filter events in more detail (and, for example, not show the leave in my work calendar at home, or notes when I’m out of the office) but I haven’t found anything quite as good on iOS.

I have been using week cal for a long time. But i don’t understand what the “presets” do. Can you explain? And do you still use that calendar app? Thanks

Hi! Yes, I am still using WeekCal, yes! (Still haven’t gone to the trouble to set up my presets, though.)

It’s basically a set of calendars that you want to view at one time; rather than going in and manually selecting/de-selecting calendars you can use a preset to save a group of calendars you want to view.

There are some instructions from WeekCal here:

As a more general note, I did see that the latest iOS version of Fantastical seems to include calendar sets as well, which might be relevant to this discussion. :slight_smile:

Thanks. I love week cal but I’m on the might try fantastical. It’s interesting how week cal you have to have a subscription for to use reminders and weather. But fantastical you can get 3 days of weather and reminders for free. Tough choices. Do you have a subscription week cal?