Using the Outlook 2010 Calendar

January 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

One of the key elements of Microsoft Outlook 2010 is the calendar, a multi-functional tool that can be used to organise your schedule both by you and others with access to your account.

On a more basic level, there are several functions of the Outlook calendar that you should be aware of, from the basic task of creating a calendar entry to inviting others and managing the various views and options that are available in this application.

A common complain about the Outlook calendar is that it is “empty” – but just like any calendar or diary, as you add entries it begins to fill up…

Using the Outlook 2010 calendar

The Microsoft Outlook Calendar Home Tab

Something that is easy to forget is that Microsoft Outlook is effectively two applications in one. On the one hand it is an email client with a list of contacts that you can quickly call on – on the other it is a time management application with which you can add tasks and calendar entries.

If you open Outlook and go to the Calendar view (via the menu in the lower left corner) your will see that it defaults to the Home tab. Here you have access to the basic functions – a New Appointment, a New Meeting and other New Items can be arranged in the New section, while using the Go To section you can jump to a specific date or even Today.

With Arrange you can change the view from Day to Work Week to standard Week to Month or even use a Schedule View, while Manage Calendars delivers access to other people’s calendars if you have been apportioned suitable privileges. With the Share section of the Home tab you can E-mail Calendar or Share Calendar with a specified contact, and using Find you can search for an event in your calendar.

That’s the introductions out of the way – just how do we setup a new calendar appointment?

Creating a New Appointment in Outlook 2010

It’s pretty much a one-step action to create a new appointment in Outlook, something that can be done from several different places.

The most obvious and most common way to create a new appointment is to use the New > New Appointment tool on the Home tab. The Untitled – Event window will open, and will remain with that title until you specify a Subject. You might also like to add a Location for the appointment to take place at.

Creating a calendar item is like creating an email, and Outlook uses a similar window. If you wish to Invite Attendees to your meeting, you can then add them into the To: field, just as you would when creating an email.

The Start time: and End time: fields will allow you to specify both a date and time for the event to occur on or over, while the All day event check box can also be employed. In addition to these fields, the Scheduling view can be used to block book the appointment, and in the Options section there are tools available to setup an appointment Recurrence, a Reminder before it takes place and you can also decide to show the appointment in your calendar as Free, Tentative, Out of Office or Busy.

As with emails, appointments can be given tags such as Categorize, and set as Private or High Importance; these are simply buttons that when pressed will highlight the appointment as something to be responded to when received by a recipient.

The remainder of the tabs in the Event window are as standard across Microsoft Office; the Insert tab allows the insertion of the usual Word Art and images, while the Include section features some calendar-specific options such as the ability to add an Outlook Item, Business Card or Signature.

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