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Managing Appointments, Events, and Meetings in Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007

Scheduling, Updating, and Canceling Meetings

Scheduling meetings through Outlook is significantly simpler than scheduling meetings manually, particularly when you are coordinating the schedules of several people. A primary difficulty when scheduling a meeting is finding a time that works for everyone. Outlook displays the individual and collective schedules of people within your own organization, and of people outside of your organization who have published their availability to the Internet.

You can send a meeting invitation (referred to as a meeting request) to any person who has an e-mail account (even to people who don’t use Outlook). You can inform non-critical attendees of the meeting by marking their attendance as Optional. You can invite entire groups of people by using an e-mail alias or distribution list. The meeting request can include text and Web links, as well as file attachments. This is a convenient way of ensuring that meeting attendees have specific information available to them. Outlook automatically tracks responses from attendees and those responsible for scheduling theresources you requested, so you always have an up-to-date report of how many people will be attending your meeting.

If your organization is running Microsoft Exchange Server and the Exchange Server directory includes shared resources such as conference rooms or presentation equipment, you can request these resources by inviting them to the meeting. Resource requests may be automatically approved, or an individual may be assigned the responsibility of approving each resource request.

You might find it necessary to change the date, time, or location of a meeting—for example, because of a schedule conflict. You can change any information in a meeting request at any time, including adding or deleting invited attendees, or canceling the meeting. To edit a meeting request, double-click the meeting on your calendar. If the meeting is one of a series (a recurring meeting), Outlook prompts you to indicate whether you want to edit the meeting series or only the selected instance of the meeting. After you make changes, Outlook sends an updated meeting request to the invited attendees to keep them informed. If the only change you make is to the attendee list, Outlook gives you the option of sending an update only to the affected attendees.

In this exercise, you will create and send a meeting request. There are no practice files for this exercise.

  1. In the Date Navigator, click tomorrow’s date. Then in the Calendar pane, click the 3:00 P.M. time slot (or if you have a conflicting appointment, click a time when you have 30 minutes available).

  2. On the Standard toolbar, click the New Appointment arrow, and then in the list, click Meeting Request.

  3. An untitled meeting window opens.

  4. In the To box, type the e-mail address of someone within your organization, or if you aren’t working on an Exchange Server network, type any e-mail address, for example, .

  5. In the Subject box, type SBS Meeting 1.

  6. In the Location box, type Test – please accept to indicate to the person you are inviting that the meeting request is for testing purposes only.

  7. On the Meeting tab, in the Show group, click the Scheduling button.

    The All Attendees list on the Scheduling page includes you and the e-mail address (or if the person is in your address book, the associated name) you entered in the To box. The black icon next to your name indicates that you are the meeting organizer. The red icon next to the sole attendee’s name indicates that he or she is a required attendee. You can click an attendee’s icon to switch between Required Attendee and Optional Attendee status, or to indicate a resource rather than a person.

    Outlook indicates the suggested meeting time with green (start time) and red (end time) vertical bars. If free/busy information is available for meeting invitees, their time is shown as white (Available), blue (Busy), or purple (Out of Office). Tentative bookings are indicated by light-blue diagonal stripes. If no information is available (either because Outlook can’t connect to a person’s calendar or because the proposed meeting is further out than the scheduling information stored on the server), Outlook indicates this by gray diagonal stripes. The gray row at the top of the schedule indicates the collective schedule of all the invitees.

    You can change the time and duration of the meeting to work with the displayed schedules by selecting from the lists at the bottom of the Scheduling page, by dragging the green and red vertical bars in the schedule area, or by clicking the time you want in the schedule area.

  8. In the lower-right corner of the Scheduling page, click the AutoPick Next button.

    The Start Time and End Time bars move to the next available half-hour time slot.

    You can change the Show As and Reminder settings, create recurrences, assign color categories, and make any other changes you want. The availability specified in the Show As list will apply to all attendees who accept your meeting request.

  9. After you select the meeting time you want, click the Appointment button in the Show group.

  10. The Appointment page is displayed.

  11. Verify the meeting details, and then click the Send button.

  12. The meeting appears in your calendar on the specified date and in the specified time slot.