Outlook calendar tools

Office 365 help series – Outlook calendars

Calendar tutorials

Learn how simple appointments can be built into powerful collaboration tools. Each video in this 10 part series builds on concepts to help you understand personal use, meetings, scheduling, tasks, public and private holidays, calendar sharing, and iCalendars.

These videos use Outlook for desktop to illustrate functions. The same tools are available in Outlook Web Access. (OWA). Click on the video headers to see bullet point summaries for each video.

1. Creating appointments
  • Appointments vs meetings
  • Creating appointments
  • Attaching files
  • Status, reminders, categories
  • Dragging appointments
  • Print preview and print

2. Calendar views
  • Calendar Views
  • Display preferences
  • Reading pane
  • Search

3. Calendar meetings
  • Inviting attendees
  • Attendee status
  • Categories
  • Rooms and locations
  • Acknowledging requests
  • Managing invitations

4. Scheduling assistant
  • Attendees and resources
  • Attendee status
  • Adding rooms
  • Editing times

5. Calendar sharing
  • Invitations to share
  • Merging
  • Sharing states/permissions
  • Public vs private sharing

6. Advanced tools
  • Calendar as a concept
  • Separating content
  • New calendars
  • Categories

7. Working with tasks
  • Updating events
  • Viewing options and overlays
  • Schedule view
  • Displaying task lists
  • Moving tasks to calendar display
  • Assigning tasks
  • To-do lists and categories

8. Working with holidays

Holidays are appointments that can be used for invitation/attendee/location functions. By assigning holidays to the “Holiday” category, holidays can be managed, published, and shared using the list view.

  • Adding regional holidays
  • Holidays as appointments
  • Deleting holidays
  • Holidays in list view
  • Sorting for duplicates
  • Sort by locations

9. Custom holidays

Birthdays and anniversaries, school dates, and company holidays can be added to calendars as “custom” holidays.

  • Private holidays
  • Business/anniversaries
  • Holidays as invitations
  • Adding to holiday category
  • Copying to calendars

10. iCalendars
  • iCalendar format
  • Content as a list
  • Copy to calendar
  • Save as iCalendar
  • Distributing and email

Miscrosoft ActiveSync

Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync enables users of desktop and mobile devices to access email, calendar, contacts, and tasks from their organization’s Microsoft Exchange server.

Microsoft Exchange is the de facto standard in public sector and corporate IT and is the email backbone of Microsoft’s Office 365 Office suite.  Given Exchange’s dominance in premium email services, Exchange ActiveSync is licensed to all major mobile devices manufacturers, although there may be minor variations in subsets of the application used by Windows Phone, Apple, and Android.

The major advantage this brings to users is that it decentralises reliance on a “primary” workstation from which emails etc. have to be co-ordinated. ActiveSync cordinates all devices to a centralised server so that each device has access to all information equally.

Network administrators can limit availability of data to user devices, which is useful in industries where data sensitivity, or in cases where devices are lost or stolen. This usually depends on in-house organisational competency, or in the case of small businesses, access to “delegated” administrators – Microsoft approved third party engineers. ComStat is an authorised delegated network administrator.

ActiveSync is a protocol. In the past, POP3 and IMAP protocols have been widely adopted by manufacturers and users. As modern technology becomes more widely adopted however, POP3’s limitations particularly make it an awkward protocol for users who want to mirror email, contact, and calendaring information between multiple devices. As small business adopts Microsoft’s Office 365 applications, technologies like POP3 which cannot synchronise data between devices “organically” are losing their popularity.

Microsoft Exchange supports POP3, IMAP, MAPI, all of which are widely recognized email distribution protocols. In its native environment, however, MS Exchange performs optimally with ActiveSync. Office 365 users can connect up to 5 devices to their account services.