We want to start using the Outlook Calendar functionality more effectively at my library, and specifically we want to start using a shared calendar called “Library” to note planned vacation days, conference attendance, and other times that staff will be out of the office to make it easier for everyone to be in the loop. Since this was the first time I’ve ever used Outlook Calendar, there were a few things I wanted to know how to do. I’m coming from using Google Calendar so I found a lot of the tasks to be unintuitive comparatively. However, now that I’ve figured it out, I thought I might share what I found with anyone who’s interested. This quick guide will tell you how to accomplish the following 5 tasks in Outlook Calendar:
- How to set up your Calendar’s main view to display everyone else’s calendars.
- How to view multiple calendars side-by-side or overlaid on one calendar.
- How to add events to more than one calendar at a time.
- How to make personal events private.
- How to set up a meeting and invite staff and other contacts.
1. How to set up your Calendar’s main view to display everyone else’s calendars.
At the top of the “Home” menu bar, select “Open Calendar”. Then choose “From Address Book”. This will give you a list of your contacts in your address book and you can choose whose calendar you want to view. It will also then add that person’s calendar to your list of “Shared Calendars” on the left navigation pane so you can toggle it on and off in the future. As you can see there are other choices as well, if you want to view someone’s calendar from outside of your organization.
2. How to view multiple calendars side-by-side or overlaid on one calendar.
First select the calendars you want to view in the left navigation pane. Next, in all views except the “Schedule View”, you will see an arrow on each tab beside the main calendar you’re viewing. You can toggle between the side-by-side and the overlaid calendar view by clicking on that arrow.
In the following screenshot we’re viewing 3 calendars overlaid on one another. Note the arrows on each tab to separate them.
3. How to add events to more than one calendar at a time.
There is no native functionality to allow you to add an event to a list of calendars simultaneously in Outlook. HOWEVER! You can create an event on both your calendar and one other quite easily by first adding the event to the secondary calendar you want it to appear on, such as “Library”, then choose “Copy to My Calendar” on the top toolbar of the event.
4. How to make personal events private.
If you’re adding a personal event and you want to block out the time and note the event, but you don’t want others to be able to see or print the details of your appointment you can select the “Private” padlock icon on the top toolbar of the event.
5. How to set up a meeting and invite staff and other contacts.
To set up a meeting with invited attendees, simply go to your calendar and double-click on the day you want to schedule the meeting. Set up the time, subject, and location of the meeting and then choose “Invite Attendees” at the top of the toolbar of the event.
This will open the “Invited Event” tab. You will then want to click on “Address Book” to bring up a list of your contacts. You can then invite attendees in three different categories – those that are Required to attend, those whose attendance is Optional, and people who are Resources for the event. When you’re done selecting attendees, click “Send” and an invite will be sent to everyone selected. You’ll be notified by email when people respond by either accepting or declining the invite.