A beginners guide to using Office 365 Outlook Calendar
Grace Brockbank, Marketing Coordinator, Fabric
I have been working at Fabric as an Administration Assistant since November 2018, and one of the main ways I stay organised is using my Office 365 Outlook Calendar. I create meetings and appointments to keep track of my daily diary and use it to keep on top of my workload.
I use Microsoft Outlook online as I prefer the modern look and simplicity of use. Events are easy to add and quick to change, and the simple design minimalises visual clutter which makes it much easier to see your schedule. Below I have listed my top tips for using Outlook Calendar to manage your diary and to make it work best for you.
1. Meetings and appointments
Creating meetings/appointments is the first step to setting up your calendar to best work for you. Being able to see all your events (both for work and personal) in one place makes you feel much more organised. You can access your diary at any time on any device which makes planning meetings stress-free. To create a new meeting;
- Select a time slot and begin typing to create an event
- Add more details by selecting ‘more details’ or double-clicking
- Personalise an agenda for the event, set a time and date and set reminders
2. Calendar Display
Adjust the way you view your calendar to filter what information you need to see. This removes unnecessary visual clutter from the screen so that you can see more clearly. There are different views to choose from:
- Month – View the entire month.
- Week – View the week from Sunday to Saturday.
- Work Week – View the work week from Monday to Friday.
- Day – View the current day/multiple diaries on the same day
3. Categories and Colours
Who doesn’t love a neatly organised diary all colour coordinated?! I keep my diary organised by categorising my events and meetings so I can make the best use of my time. Colour helps me to distinguish between different calendars and view clearly. You can even add emojis to personalise your events and make them easily recognisable at a glance.
Quick tip: Press the windows key and full stop key for the full emoji selection
4. Sharing Your Diary
Simplify the way you work by sharing your calendar with a contact rather than emailing back and forth. This makes organising events trouble-free and straightforward. To do this;
- Open your calendar
- Click Share in the top toolbar
- Enter the recipient’s email and send them an invitation to your calendar
- If there are any meetings or appointments you’d like to hide from the recipient, you must right-click them on your calendar and select “Private” first
5. Set Reminders
Setting reminders for tasks and meetings is a great way to make sure you never miss important meetings. I usually set a 1-hour reminder message for more important meetings. For more flexible tasks I set a 15 min reminder. You can also set an email reminder message which will email the invitees of a meeting to remind them. This can be useful for when external invitees are involved. To do this go down to the reminder section of the new event and click ‘add email reminder’.
- Reply to emails using meeting invites. Invite others to your meetings by;
- Creating a new meeting
- Select the drop down under ‘People’ and search for your contacts. This links up with your outlook email also.
6. Viewing Colleagues Diaries
This is a feature that I have found the most useful with working at fabric. Being able to view all staff members calendars means that I can keep track of where my team are that day and what meetings are taking place. But also, to check if techies are onsite or in the workshop. In my calendar, I have separated these into the different departments in the office. To add additional calendars;
- Click on add calendar in the top toolbar
- Select option
- Search for a contact
- Select and this will show up on the left-hand side of your screen
7. Adding ‘Fun’ Calendars
When I started at fabric one of the jobs, I was given was keeping track of staff members birthdays. I noticed that in Outlook you could add in a ‘Birthday’s Calendar’ where I could add all staff members birthdays. It also sends me reminders a week before. I also would recommend turning on the holiday calendar (I use UK Holidays) so that all the bank holidays and public holidays show in your diary!
Another important feature is setting up Teams to work with your calendar to set up meeting and share diaries.
To share your calendar in a Team;
- Go to the Group you want to share the calendar to:
- Select “Calendar”:
- Copy the URL from your browser:
- Add a new tab within a Channel in Teams:
- Select “Website”:
- Add a name and the URL you copied from the Outlook Web App:
- Sign in to Microsoft when prompted.
There are so many other ways to use your Outlook Calendar which I have not covered but these few tips should get you up and running. All of the above tips also work in the desktop version of Outlook but may look slightly different.