How to Maintain a Calendar in Microsoft Outlook

Here’s how you can set up and work with one or more calendars in Outlook.

You use Microsoft Outlook for your email. But do you also use it for its calendar? Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t. Either way, you can take full advantage of the calendar feature in Outlook to manage your scheduled appointments and events. You can add an event to the calendar and share it with other people. You can invite people to meetings and other events. You can juggle more than one calendar. You can share your calendar with others. And you can tweak your Calendar settings. Let’s look at the process for creating and maintaining calendars in Outlook.

For this article, I’m using Outlook 2016 via my Office 365 subscription, but the process works virtually the same in the prior few versions of Outlook.

Launch Outlook. Click on the calendar icon at the bottom of the pane to switch to calendar view. You can now manually add an event.

Double-click on the date for your event. In the Event window, enter the details for the event, including the subject, location, date and time, and any notes you wish to record. When done, click on the Save & Close button.

Back in calendar view, your event shows up on the date you chose. Now you want to share that event with another person. Double-click the event to open it. In the Event window, click on the Forward button to open an email with the event as an attachment. Address and send the email. Your recipient can open the attached event to view it. With the right email software, that person can also click on the button to Copy to My Calendar to add the event to his or her own calendar.

Now you want to create an event for which you’re inviting another person or multiple people. In calendar view, double-click the date for the event. Enter the appropriate details. Click on the button to Invite Attendees. An email window pops up. In the To field, type the names or email addresses of the people you want to invite to the event. If the other people have shared their Outlook calendars with you, you can click on the Scheduling button to see if they’re free for the event. Click on the Response Options buttons. By default, your invitation requires a response from the other people and allows them to suggest a different time if they’re busy during the date and time you proposed. You can keep these options or turn off either one.

Click on the Appointment button and then click on the Send button to send the invitation. In return, you should receive emails from the other people either confirming their participation in the event or suggesting an alternative date or time.

Need more than one calendar? Perhaps you want to maintain one calendar for your personal events and another calendar for your professional or work-related events. For example, I have one calendar for personal use and another calendar for meetings with a business client. To create another calendar in calendar view, click on the Open Calendarbutton and then click on the option to Create New Blank Calendar. In the Create New Folder field, make sure Calendar is the selected folder. Type a name for the new calendar and then click OK. You should see your original calendar and the new calendar listed in the left pane under My Calendars. To view your new calendar, click on its checkmark. Both calendars now appear side-by-side. You can manage either calendar by right-clicking its entry in the left pane. From the popup menu for the original, you can hide it, change its color, or copy it. For the new calendar, you can also rename it or delete it.

Next, you can work with shared calendars. You can share a calendar with another person or several people via email. Click on the E-Mail Calendar button. Select the calendar you wish to share if you have more than one. Select the date range, anywhere from today to the whole calendar. Set any other options and then click OK.

Your calendar is attached to your email as an iCalendar file with an extension of ICS. Address and send the email to the other person or people. Your calendar appears in the body of the email for your recipients to view. They can also click on the ICS file or click on the Open this Calendar button in the email to add your calendar to their own calendar view.

If you use an Office 365 or Exchange account on the backend, you can send a sharing invitation to other people using the same server so they can view your calendar. To do this, click on the calendar you wish to share in the My Calendars list. Click on the Share Calendar button. In the Sharing Invitation email, add the names or email addresses of the recipients and then send your message. Click Yes when asked if you want to share this calendar. Your recipients can access your calendar by clicking on the Open this Calendar button in the email. The calendar then shows up in their calendar view under Shared Calendars.

You can also publish a calendar online, though that option requires WebDAV, something you would to access on a computer with Microsoft’s Internet Information Services (IIS). Click on the Publish Online button and choose the option to Publish to WebDAV server. Type the address for the server in the Location field and then click OK.

Finally, you can tweak your calendar through the Outlook Options menu. Click on the File menu and then click on Options. In the Outlook Options menu, click on the setting for Calendar.

In the first section for Work time, you can set the hours and days of the week that you want to appear in your calendar. In the second section for Calendar options, you can establish the time for reminders, add holidays to your calendar, and tweak other options. In the third section for Display options, you can select the colors and layout for your calendar.

In the fourth section for Time zones, you can choose your primary and secondary time zones. In the fifth section for Scheduling assistant, you can decide where to see calendar details. In the sixth section for Automatically accept or decline, you can choose to automatically accept or decline meeting invitations. And in the seventh section for Weather, you can opt to show or not show weather on your calendar.

Whitney, Lance. “How to Maintain a Calendar in Microsoft Outlook.” Windows Secrets, Office, October 10, 2017 

Posted in: Tech Tips for Business Owners

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