Microsoft Office 2010 has been out for awhile now. Have you noticed probably the biggest changes are within Outlook (mail and calendar). This is because mail and calendar now have the famous (or infamous) ribbon interface. I’ve pretty much adapted to it, but there are still times I have to click around to find the command I want.
I’ve been using the calendar a huge amount the last couple of weeks, so I thought it fitting to highlight my top 5 tips. Feel free to include any tips you may have in the comment section!
1. Schedule a meeting in a different time zone
This is my favorite tip, so I’ll talk about it first. If you have a need to schedule a meeting for someone in a different time zone, instead of figuring it out in your head, simply start up the meeting request and you’ll see the usual box pop up. To invoke the time zone box, first look for the Time Zones icon over to the right, click on it …
and then you’ll see a rectangular box come up where you can choose your time zone. So pick the time zone you need, finish up the details and send it off. It’ll be placed on their calendar in the right time slot – nice!
If one or more of your meeting attendees live in differing time zones, they will be informed in which time zone the meeting was created. Below, I’ve sent a meeting invitation to me in Atlantic Time (I live in Central Time). When I accepted the invitation, it placed it on my calendar at 8:00 PM. A very handy feature.
2. Calendar Overlay
If you manage or have access to several people’s calendars in your Outlook, you probably know to check the little box next to their name in order to view it. If you check 3 boxes, you’ll see 3 different colored calendars side by side. This can be too much detail to take in with the calendars condensed, packed together and difficult to read.
Use the Overlay feature and wa la – all your calendars are overlaid on each other. This is a great feature to use for quickly locating a meeting time when all parties are open.
3. Add a second time zone
If you are working to schedule a meeting in 2 different time zones, it might be helpful to add a second time zone to your calendar. You can see below that I’ve added ET as my second time zone. With Microsoft, there are multiple ways to do one thing.
- in the overlay illustration, look right above the ‘Overlay’, to ‘Time Scale’. Click the drop down and one of the choices is time zones – use it to change add a second time zone, or swap time zones. I’ve read that it’s not a good idea to keep the ‘wrong’ time zone switched on for long periods of time.
- another quick way to change the time zone is to right-click on the time column (in the illustration above with Eastern & Central time zones) and a box will pop up to make your time zone selection.
4. Send Outlook Calendar Summaries, Reminders, etc. to your Mobile Phone
Even if you’re out and about, get reminded of upcoming meetings on your phone. There are several screens of instructions to step through to get this set up. It could be a real lifesaver for some folks!
5. Tracking Responses
This feature is a bit hidden – go over to the ‘Meeting’ tab and click on it, then you’ll see the Tracking icon. Click on it and it gives you a report of who has and hasn’t responded back to your meeting invites so you can keep on top of things.
So there they are – my top 5 Outlook Calendaring Tips. Try some out and let me know what other great tips you find.