Working with Events and Dates

Thank you to Rose and David for putting together this awesome podcast and forum for something so useful and powerful. I really look forward to following and learning. (And thank you for choosing a forum on which I can participate!)

The rate at which information is accumulating on the site is awesome. Thanks to all the knowledgeable people as well, I have enjoyed reading the forums almost as much as the show.

I have been trying to wrangle a particularly overwhelming calendar. My business calendar resides on Exchange and it seems to me that every single person in my company can send me invites to everything that pops into their head. So, I’d like to create a personal calendar that would simply contain events to which I had accepted the invitation, plus travel plans and other details (I have facilities in several states to oversee so I am on the road weekly.)

I carry my ipad everywhere, so it would be best if any workflow could start there or my iphone. I have Drafts, Workflow, and use Airmail for my business mail. My main Calendar interface on both iOS and MacOS is Fantastical 2.

However, I’m trying to create a workaround because Exchange will not let you move an appointment with participants. So I will need to copy the event to a new Calendar, then somehow keep it in sync with the changes on my Exchange Calendar. The goal is a clean Calendar without the gazillion other appointments.

So - I can easily copy an event to a new Calendar - and I got some great ideas from Episode 1. Two questions came up:

  • De-duplicating: How do I detect a conflict, then determine if the same appointment already exists. Is there a way to compare two events, and if identical then remove one. Is it possible for a script to halt or skip if it detects that the same event is already present? Also, can a script scour the next time period to identify and remove duplicates?

  • Is there a way to identify specifically which events I have accepted? This would be the criteria to copy it to the daily use calendar.

I still consider myself a novice, so please forgive me if shows… My first thought is to try and create a unique identifier for each copied event and put it in the notes field. Then I’d have a way to deduplicate as well as a way to potentially detect changes (although it seems challenging.) However, Exchange is locked down so tight I can’t add notes to the events. So I would have to be sure that the unique identifier would be consistently generated despite changes to the Exchange event…

Thanks for any ideas. I know there are life-hacks like actually cleaning the calendar manually. However, there is some very basic value in the information. (If I am asked to hop on a conference call at the last minute I can see the attendees, the call information, and the time left. Or I can use it to pop in on opportunities if something in my schedule changes.) I see myself just going into Fantastical and displaying the Exchange calendar if I need something specific like that; otherwise keeping it hidden.

Thanks for any ideas.

Can you add your icloud email address as equipment necessary for the meeting when you are the organiser? I’ve found this is only visible to the organiser and then has the appointment show up in your other calendar. And if it moves, the item in the icloud calendar also moves.