How do I... Publish my Outlook 2007 calendar on the Internet?

Publish My Calendar

Note: This gallery is also available as a PDF download and as a blog entry.

As a contractor, it's important that I make myself accessible to my clients. I am typically set up with an e-mail account, but that may not be the calendar I use for my day-to-day appointments. In previous versions of Outlook, I was able to export my calendar to an Excel file or print out a monthly summary, scan it, and e-mail it to whomever was trying to schedule an appointment with me.

While this process became second nature; it was still cumbersome, as it required a couple of days' turnaround time for the client's assistant to get in touch with me to let me know that he or she needed my calendar. Then, I would have to get off of an airplane long enough to get the assistant information about my schedule. Fortunately, there's now a better way.

Vista users may have already discovered the Windows Calendar feature. But Office 2007 offers a feature that's great even for those still on Windows XP. The Publish Calendar feature in Outlook 2007 lets you publish your calendar on the Internet for a set span of time so that anyone you grant access to can view it in Outlook 2007 or in an Internet browser window. While your free/busy information won't appear in the scheduling window of a new appointment, they'll be able to get up-to-the-minute information about where you'll be at a particular time simply refreshing the URL in a browser window. Here's a look at how it works.

To take advantage of this functionality, all you need is Outlook 2007 and a Windows Live ID (what you use to login to your Hotmail account). Start by opening your Outlook 2007 calendar and clicking Publish My Calendar in the left navigation pane, shown here. You will be prompted to log in with your Windows Live ID later on in the publishing process.