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Guard your time with at-a-glance Outlook calendars

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in Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a calendar that provided valuable information at a glance? In Outlook, you can.

When a drop-by office visitor asks, “Do you have a minute?” What should you respond? If you keep a ­really good calendar, you can show it to your visitor and say, “Sure, which minute would you like? I have one at 3:50 and another tomorrow at 10:25,” suggests organization expert and author Ab Jackson.

You may not schedule your day so minutely, but it’s easy to relate to the mayhem of double-booking yourself or the people you support. When you create an appointment, you can categorize an item with a label, decide how to show the time (busy, tentative or free), or get very specific about start and end times.

Learn how to use Outlook's calendars and tasks to manage your schedule and your projects. Get trained straight from Melissa.


By right-clicking on an item and selecting Categorize, you can color-code all items absolutely etched in stone in one color, and tentatively designate temporary or simply “at my desk” activities in another. This lets you see at a glance if you can move an appointment or you have a conflict. Other ideas for categories include projects, clients and reserved time.

Show time as free, tentative, busy, out-of-office

Keep in mind that people can view how you show your time, e.g., free, busy, tentative or out-of-office, as you create an appointment. Also, you can show your time by right-clicking after you create the appointment. If it shows as busy, people will note the conflict and won’t necessarily want to schedule an appointment. If it displays out-of-office, they may be more likely to consider the time on either side of the appointment before making an appointment with you.

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Scheduling the time slot

Guard your time as a valuable resource. The more people you support or work with, the more important this becomes. Tip: Did you know that you can type any time in the Start time or End time fields? For example, some managers start their meetings at odd times (10:07 a.m.) to improve promptness. If traveling to and from an appointment could find you caught in traffic, mark it as an All day event.

If you do choose to move a calendar item, it’s as easy as clicking and dragging it to the new time slot. If a meeting time has not yet been decided, but it’s important enough to not schedule another meeting in that slot, just copy and paste it to the second time. Then right-click and delete whichever one turns out to be the extraneous one.

Does your day start and end with Outlook?

Join us Dec. 7 and you — and everyone in your office — will learn:

How We Use Outlook Today
  • Calendars Only
  • Tasks Only
  • Calendars for Appointments/Tasks for To-Do Items
Understanding Calendars
  • Appointments, Events and Meetings
  • Meeting & Appointment Features
Inserting Objects
  • Attachments
  • Objects
  • Quick Parts
Scheduling Help
  • Recurring Meetings and Appointments
  • Time Zone Help Using Categories for Visual Cues
  • Creating New Tasks
  • Your Own To-Do Items
  • Assigning Tasks to Others
  • Creating New Tasks
Project Management
  • Assigning Tasks to Others
  • Status Reports
  • Software Problems vs. People Problems
Your Day At a Glance
  • The To-Do Bar
  • Outlook Today
What Else Can Be a Task
  • Follow-up Flags
  • Drag and Drop Quick Tip

Use Outlook as your time-management secret weapon. Organize your schedule, your task, your priorities and your projects using the email system you rely on everyday.

Register now for this live training event.

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