Use E-mail to share your Outlook Calendar

Use Outlook to send an embedded calendar via email so others can see your schedule and know when you're available.

Your Outlook calendar is probably available to others in your organization; co-workers, managers, and others in your organization can quickly scan your availability when trying to arrange meetings. When someone doesn't have access, you can both waste a lot of time trying to coordinate a meeting—and the time wasted only increases as the number of people you're coordinating with grows!

Fortunately, Outlook 2007 and 2010 makes it easy to share your calendar via your E-mail. You can embed your schedule right into an E-mail message, as follows:

  1. Create a new message and address it appropriately.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. Click Calendar in the Include group. The Send A Calendar Via E-Mail dialog offers a number of ways to customize just how much (or little) the recipients see in the embedded calendar.
  4. From the Date Range control, choose a specific date, a predefined range, or specify specific dates. That way, you send only the days relevant to the event you're trying to schedule.
  5. From the Detail section, you'll probably want to retain the default, Availability Only. You can send more information, when warranted.
  6. Depending on the situation, you might want to check the Show Time Within My Working Hours Only option. You might not want to share non-work related activities. Outlook's default working hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Click the Set Working Hours link to customize your work hours if necessary.
  7. Click the Show Advanced button for more customization. (It toggles between Show and Hide.)
  8. Click OK when you're done and Outlook will embed your Calendar, noting events and other information (as required by your settings).
  9. Finish the message and click Send.

Recipients can quickly discern times when you are both free and suggest a reasonable time for your meeting the first time out!

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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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