Suppose I want to setup a meeting with Scott before he takes off on sabbatical, but I don’t want to waste our time trying to figure out when we’re both free. Outlook has me covered; it can help me find a time that works.

First I’ll open Outlook and switch into the Calendar View (Ctr + 2 is the keyboard shortcut). Then I’ll click on New and Select Meeting Request (or Ctrl + Shift + Q if I want to get fancy with the keyboard).
This will bring up an appointment, so I’ll just fill out a few details: sthomson@uua.org in the “To…” field Super important IT Meeting in the “Subject” field and My Office in the” Location” field. I’ll type in some quick notes about what we’ll cover during the meeting: maybe a link to a product online we’re looking at, notes from a previous meeting, or subjects we want to cover during the upcoming meeting. Now I’ll make a quick guestimate that the stuff will take 45 minutes to talk about and dial that into the start and end times*.

Once the basic info is entered its time to figure out when to meet. I’ll just click on the scheduling tab. This will show me the times he is busy and the times I have appointments in my calendar. But it also has a killer feature: the “AutoPick Next” button (this doesn’t exist on the Mac, unfortunately). It knows that I’m busy this afternoon and Scott has an appointment at 10 tomorrow morning. When I click AutoPick it

suggests the appointment could happen at 9 in the morning but I’d prefer not to have a meeting that early so I click the button a couple more times and it recommends we start at 11 after Scott’s appointment is through.
Now I just hit Send. Scott will receive an email with all the details about the meeting and can either add it to his calendar or suggest a new time to meet.
Tip: the location field is optional but it can save you time later, by eliminating the: “Where are we meeting?” question.

*It doesn’t matter what the start and end times are at this point as long as they are 45 minutes apart.
About the Author
James Curran

Comments

  1. Tim

    Where would I find this button in Outlook. YOu don't mention that. I don't see it in Entourage on my Mac. It would be a cool feature if I could find it; if Mac Entourage even supports it.

  2. Tim Griffin

    Well, I guess this is not supported in Entourage. I couldn’t find it in the help files either. I’ll send you guys a screen shot.

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