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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wish List: Collapsible Calendar time

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

First of all, I know: shame on me for using Calendar. But simply put, it’s free, it works pretty well with Google Calendar (my calendaring service of choice), and it’s integrated with Apple’s ecosystem.

That doesn’t make it a great app. It’s improved in fits and starts, but for someone like me, who’s a light calendar user–I tend to have very few meetings, a few recurring events, and a handful of shared calendars–there are really some ways that it could get even better.

One of those is hiding or collapsing hours that are unscheduled. I’ve seen this implemented well in other calendaring apps1, but here’s the basic issue: there’s a lot of time during the day when I’m not scheduled. Most obviously, when I’m (generally) sleeping. And yet Calendar still decides it needs to show me all of those hours, in both the day and week views. That’s a whole lot of white space that I end up scrolling past.

Calendar white space
A “heavy” day for me.

Yes, it’s nice to have a context. Heck, it’s nice to know that my day isn’t booked from end to end. But it’s not exactly an efficient use of space. So why not simply give me the option to hide big chunks of time? Calendar already gives me an option to set the beginning and end of my “day,” and how much it can show at any given time. It even fades out the time outside of my “day”–so why show it at all?

I recognize that this might be mainly the way, with all the caveats from above, I use Calendar, and not the way most people do. It’s also far from the only improvement that I’d wish to see in Calendar (especially in the iOS version, which has improved but is still kind of lackluster). Calendaring in general is kind of a necessary evil for many of us, given today’s hectic life–if we can’t make it less necessary, let’s at least make it a little less evil.

  1. I cannot for the life of me recall which app this was now, but it essentially collapsed non-working hours. One of you dear readers will remember, surely. (Update: Many folks on Twitter have chimed in to remind me that Palm’s Web OS did this. That’s what I was thinking of. Thanks, all!) 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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