September 8, 2023 Knowledge Center Office 365

Microsoft Outlook: How to Make the Most of Your Calendar

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By now, if you’re an Office 365 user, you’re probably familiar with the basics of the Microsoft Outlook landscape. While Outlook is primarily a tool for sending, receiving, and managing email communications, it also has features such as: 

  • Calendar, which allows you to easily schedule and track appointments, events, and meetings. 
  • Contacts (formerly known as People), which stores and organizes information about the people you interact with. 
  • To-Do, which integrates your tasks and flagged emails in one convenient location. 

But while there is a myriad of use cases for Microsoft Outlook, we’re focusing specifically on the calendar feature, and how you can use it to take your time management skills to the next level.  

So, the question then is, how do you go about doing that?   

1. Master the Art of Scheduling 

Understanding Outlook’s scheduling capabilities can enhance both your productivity and efficiency by making organizing your day more manageable. To do this, you can use the different scheduling items available in the calendar section of Outlook to differentiate between your day’s appointments, meetings, and events:  

Appointments: From the home tab, you can set up appointments for your own personal scheduling purposes. Appointments are great for blocking time to complete tasks, designating time for “focusing,” and/or setting reminders for important deadlines.  

Meetings: Like appointments, meetings can be scheduled from the home tab, but rather than serve as reminders for your tasks and blocked work time, the meeting invite template allows you to invite other members of your organization to streamline collaboration and teamwork. Meetings scheduled with Outlook can be held either virtually via Teams (with a Teams link conveniently included in the meeting invite) or in-person, which will be denoted in the “Location” field of the scheduling window.   

Events: Create day-long events on your calendar by selecting the “All Day” option when blocking time. For all-day events when you plan to be out of the office, you can also update your status to show as “Out of Office,” “Working Elsewhere,” or “Busy.” 

*NOTE: For each of these scheduling tools, you can set them up as “recurring,” so that they repeatedly appear on your calendar for the selected date, time, and frequency.  

Watch the video tutorial below to learn more about how to set up each type of scheduling feature in Outlook: 

2. Leverage Customization Options  

Adjusting your calendar view in Outlook allows you to manage your time more effectively, as it can be updated to fit your specific work preference. View options to choose from include: 

  • Daily view for focused tasks 
  • Weekly view for long-term planning  
  • Schedule view for organizing collaborative meetings with your team 

You can also color-code your calendar by type of task, appointment, or meeting with the “Categorize” feature to make visually navigating your day-to-day flow that much easier.  

Check out this short video to learn more about customizing the view and permission settings of your Outlook calendar: 

Optimize Your Time with Outlook Calendar 

The calendar feature in Outlook allows you to create events, personalize meetings and reminders, and juggle multiple schedules with ease. At SUCCESS, we can help your team get the most out of not just Outlook but all Microsoft 365 tools. Contact us and discover what’s possible for your business.