11 responses to “5 tips for using Outlook Calendar to manage your work day”

  1. Nancy Lauzon

    Great post, Michelle. I must confess I have Outlook, but I never use the calendar. I’m stuck using a paper agenda, and can’t seem to make the leap of faith to plan with my PC, even though I’m on it most of the time. Maybe I should resolve to start using it!


  2. Liz

    I, too, am a huge fan of Outlook. I’ve grown up in an organization that relies heavily on this useful tool. Like you, I’ve brought it into all aspects of my work and home life. It’s fabulous to know that most everything is captured in one place.

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  4. lovely

    Very helpful tips! This will keep me more productive. Thank you for posting this.

  5. Amy Morgan

    I LIVE by my outlook calendar. Work, personal and writing all have a place and yes, appointments. It is fabulous!

  6. Steve Quanrud

    Great tips, thank you.

    Here’s a nifty way to send status, TO DOs, or Out of Office reminders onto others’ Outlook calendars — without actually blocking the time on their calendars:

    – Open a new meeting notice
    – Fill out the “To” block
    – Fill out the Subject line – keep it short, like Away On Vacation; or Out noon-2pm
    – Leave Location line blank
    – Set Start time/End time as in full days only
    – Check the “All day event” box
    – Set “Show As” to Free
    – Set “Reminder” to None
    – No “Recurrence” (because you set Start/End as the date range)
    – Hit Send

    This places a meeting reminder item at the top of everyone’s calendars without actually blocking their calendars. Great for teams who work remotely. Keeps tabs on everyone’s availability without being nosy or someone keeping yet another calendar. Experiment a little with some tests.

    1. Tim Wolters

      A quick followup to Steve’s tips.
      At my place of business, we send Out of office “appointments” all the time to others. It puts it on their calenders but doesn’t mark the time as busy.

      Here are a couple of additions to what Steve has said:
      1. Make calendar entries user specific.
      In the Subject line, always include who created the appointment. Ex. “Tim W – PTO” or “Tim W Vacation”. On some calendars, especially smartphone calendars, it can get confusing who’s appointment is who’s.

      2. Turn off Request Responses.
      When creating the appointment/meeting, select the “Response Options” and uncheck “Request Responses”. Just a couple less clicks for the recipients to get it on their calendar.

      3. Create a template meeting.
      After you’ve set the common settings as Steve and I have listed, may include the Subject line, make a template in Outlook. Then, you just open the template, set the time/date ranges, fill in the recipients and send. Doesn’t matter how many times I send out these types of meetings, I often forget one of the settings and have to resend. The templates help with that.

  7. Jasmyn

    Hi Michelle,

    I use Outlook too but I am trying to tweak the system and would appreciate your advice. I was wondering if you prefer to put everyone’s appointments and reminders etc in the one calendar, or if you have tried setting up a calendar for each family member in Outlook which can be overlayed or viewed side by side? If so why do you prefer one calendar for everyone? Also, when more than one family member is attending the same event how do you set this up in your calendar ie do you put in for each family member with their colour code or do you do it some other way as one entry? This issue is giving me headaches ie how to represent an appointment when its for more than one family member. I look forward to hearing your advice on the above. Thanks, Jasmyn