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:
- Create a new message and address it appropriately.
- Click the Insert tab.
- 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.
- 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.
- From the Detail section, you'll probably want to retain the default, Availability Only. You can send more information, when warranted.
- 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.
- Click the Show Advanced button for more customization. (It toggles between Show and Hide.)
- Click OK when you're done and Outlook will embed your Calendar, noting events and other information (as required by your settings).
- 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.