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Outlook Efficiency: Schedule a meeting for 20 with a click

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in Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

You schedule a meeting, then hear of a last-minute schedule conflict. A round of rescheduling e-mails only leads to confusion. Locations change, people forget to show up ... the list of common problems goes on.

But if you’re a Microsoft Outlook (2002/2003) user, you can rely on Group Schedule to check schedules, fill out meeting requests and send group emails. It enables you to see everyone’s busy times and free times in one view.

1. In your Calendar, select Actions > View Group Schedules, or click the View Group Schedules button on the main toolbar. (Schedules button in 2002.)

2. In the Group Schedules dialogue box, click New, and then enter a name for your Group Schedule. Click OK.

3. In the window that appears, click Add Others and select Add From Address Book to open the Select Members dialogue box.

4. Select each group member’s name and click the To button to add the name to the Group Schedule. Tip: Add your own name, as well. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see whether your appointments conflict with others in the group.

5. Click OK when you’ve finished. Outlook creates a Group Schedule with the names you selected.

6. Click the Save and Close button to save your new Group Schedule.

Now, you’re ready to schedule a group meeting:

1. Select Actions > View Group Schedules, select the schedule you want to view, and click Open.

2. Choose your desired meeting day from the Go To drop-down calendar.

3. Select a time block, in the free/busy area of the window, for the proposed meeting.

4. Click New Meeting With All to open a Meeting form with the chosen date, time and participants already filled in.

5. Add anything else you’d like to say about the meeting, then click Send to deliver the invitation to every member of your group.

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