Five tips for managing calendars in Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 introduced some calendar enhancements that make it easier to stay on top of your appointments and coordinate the schedules of everyone on your team. Here's a quick look at how to take advantage of these features.

How hard is it to get everybody in the same room at the same time one the same day? If you're trying to manage a team, chances are it's pretty difficult. Outlook 2010 includes some new features that make it easy to manage multiple calendars and share the information you all need to know.

1: Add the calendars you want to view

Outlook 2010's Calendar view lets you add the calendars of your team members, as well as your home and work calendars. Click Calendar to get started and then click Schedule View in the Arrange group of the Home tab (Figure A). Next, click Add A Calendar at the bottom of the Calendar view area. If you enter someone's name in the text box and press [Enter], Outlook will search your contacts for that person's information and add the calendar entry in the My Calendars list.

Figure A

Click Add A Calendar and enter the name of the person whose calendar you want to view.

2: Control the calendar display

Use the check boxes in the My Calendars list to control the calendars that are displayed in the Calendar view area (Figure B). You can add as many calendars as you like, but be forewarned — the more you add to the area, the less you can see. For simple things like availability, it might work to show five or six calendars at once. But if you want any level of detail, you'll need to limit the number of calendars you view at any one time. If you want to know availability of the group to schedule a meeting, click Schedule in the New Meeting window to see when different people are available.

Figure B

Add and control the display of calendars by clicking the check boxes in the My Calendars list.

3: Create a calendar group

If you often need to view the calendars of everyone on your team at the same time, you can create a calendar group. Begin by clicking Calendar. Then, in the Manage Calendars group of the Home tab, click Calendar Groups. Choose Create New Calendar Group, enter a name for the group, and click OK. Select the names of the contacts you want to add to the group, click Group Members, and click OK.

4: Open and use a shared calendar

Before you can view other people's calendars, you need their permission and they need to have set up their calendar to be shared. You can open a shared calendar by clicking Open Calendar in the Manage Calendars group and clicking Open Shared Calendar. In the Open A Shared Calendar dialog box, click Name to select the person from your contact list. Click OK, and the shared calendar will open in your Calendar window.

5: Archive old calendar entries

Depending on how busy you are, you may have lots of old appointment information taking up space for no good reason. You can archive the appointments you no longer need by changing your calendar properties and setting up AutoArchive. To do this, right-click your calendar in the My Calendars list and click the AutoArchive tab of the Properties dialog box. Click Default Archive Settings to use the default settings for archiving your calendar entries. Or click the Archive This Folder Using These Settings radio button and enter the settings you want Outlook to use. Click Apply and then click OK to save your changes.

Katherine Murray is the author of Microsoft Office 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), Microsoft Word 2010 Plain & Simple (Microsoft Press, 2010), and Microsoft Word 2010 Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2010). You can reach Katherine through her blog, BlogOffice or by emailing

About Katherine Murray

Katherine Murray is a technology writer and the author of more than 60 books on a variety of topics, ranging from small business technology to green computing to blogging to Microsoft Office 2010. Her most recent books include Microsoft Office 2010 P...

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