The way you can manage your daily agenda and even long-term schedule has been change drastically with the help of calendar software, and Outlook for Windows (and even Mac) is at the top of such software in offering the greatest features for doing so. Gone are the days of physical calendar and pen and paper, though some people prefer that too from time to time. However, what Outlook can do for your productivity in creating a schedule for yourself and your team is incomparable to physical calendar.
In an earlier Outlook calendar tips article, we discussed adding multiple appointments in bulk using CSV (comma separate files) and importing it to Calendar. Now we will see how to add a single appointment/event directly.
What are the differences between Appointments, Events, Tasks, and Meetings in Outlook Calendar?
Before moving forward, let’s discuss the differences between appointments, events, meetings, and tasks. The major difference between appointments and events is that an event is “All Day.” If you turn off the “All Day” option, it technically automatically turns into an “appointment.” The meaning of creating an event is that you can also create appointments while the event is ongoing. A “meeting” is simply yet another “item” with the only different that it is shared with the others. You can specify the recipients within the “To” field. When you create a “meeting,” it also gets added to the calendars of all the recipients, once they accept it.
A task is exactly what it sounds. You create it when you need to “do” it, as opposed to an event or appointment, which need to ‘attend.’ Another important distinction is that a “task” is not showing inside the calendar. To view your tasks, you need to go inside the ‘Task ‘section of the calendar.
A variant of the “task” category is “task request” that is meant to specify a task to someone else. Everything remains the same as the normal “task” except you must specify a recipient to which you want to assign it to. There is an option to keep the copy of the task in your tasks list and also to get a status report when the task is finished.
The available options to customize all these “entries” are almost the same. You can add a reminder, due date, attendees, priority level, recurrence pattern, etc.
Another distinction being that you can create a specific reminder for a “task,” whenever you want the reminder to be. But for appointments and meetings, you only have the option to assign a ‘start time’ and then create a reminder according to the preset options, which are like either 10 minutes before, or 20, or a week before, or a day before, etc. The default “reminder” can be set from the Outlook ‘Options.’
How to set an Appointment in Outlook Calendar?
To create a new entry, whether appointment or other type, go to the “Home” tab on the ribbon and click on “new items,” and then select whatever you want to add. There are also quick buttons to add Appointment’s and meetings right next to the “New Items” in Outlook 2019 and Office 365.
After that, you can fill in the details as required.
- Subject: This is the like ‘title’ for the entry that is shown during the reminders.
- The entire text field below is for description and you can fill in as much as you want. It is helpful while creating meetings, so that all the attendees can see the information you want them to see.
- Enter the location if needed. This clarifies to the all the users on the receiving ends where the meeting is supposed to take place.
- Set the entry to be “private.” You can find this option inside the “Tags” group on the ribbon. This hides the appointment/event/meeting in case your calendar is shared with the others. Check the privacy settings with your administrator to fully realize the capacity of a corporate user account for making an entry private.
- Templates: The last group of options on the ribbon is that of templates. You can use the templates to add a quick appointment/event/meeting with preset descriptions and details. You can also create a new template to be used later. To do so, first create a new entry, then click on Templates and then click on the ‘Plus’ sign at the bottom of the list of the templates. Add a name and description and click ‘save.’ Now, you can use it anytime in the future to create similar entries.
From this window, you can essentially edit or customize any entry like you can do with an email. You can use rich text or HTML formatted text, insert attachments, embed pictures, tables, and more. From the ‘Review’ tab, you can check the grammar, word count, set languages, etc.
- For appointments and events, just click “Save and Close” from the very first tab inside the ribbon. Or close the window and when asked if you want to save it, click on “yes.”
- For meetings, click “Forward” to send it to the recipients. You must specify the recipients addresses before doing it. If you close the window without specifying any other recipients, you can still see the entry in your calendar with just your address on it as a sole attendee.
There’s an additional option of creating a new skype meeting, which is pretty much the same as creating a normal meeting, but Outlook automatically adds the phone number and conference ID within the description of the meeting. This only works with ‘Skype for Business’ and it must be running, and you must be signed in on Skype.
There are lot of other options and flexibility offered by Outlook in creating your schedule, especially in collaboration with SharePoint and Exchange. If you work in a corporate environment, these advanced features can offer you a lot more functionality that will suit your needs better. We will discuss these features later in another article.