10 Ways to Get More Out of Your Outlook Calendar

Most of us can’t get by without some sort of organizational tool to help us schedule and plan our days. For many of us, that tool is Outlook Calendar, the built-in digital calendar featured in Microsoft Outlook.

It’s a mostly intuitive piece of software that can help you schedule meetings, share event invites, and even collaborate with other people – but it has a plethora of hidden features you could be using to accomplish even more.

Here’s how to squeeze more value out of it.

The Best Tricks for Getting More Out of Your Outlook Calendar

Outlook Calendar is a useful and convenient app, but if you want to use it to its fullest potential, you’ll need the help of these tips:

1. Use multiple calendars. First, consider using multiple calendars within the Outlook app. You’ll be using the same app at all times, so all your events and meetings will be cataloged and available for review in the same place.

However, you’ll be able to segment some of your scheduled items based on their nature. For example, you could have a calendar exclusively dedicated to work meetings and another one for work events. You can also incorporate personal calendars into your portfolio of calendars to stay even more organized in your personal life.

2. Switch to dark mode (or another theme). If you stare at a screen all day, you’ve likely suffered from eye strain, whether or not you’re consciously aware of it. Switching to a dark theme, which utilizes darker colors, could spare your eyes from that fatigue. Give it a try and see if it’s a good fit for you. If not, there are plenty of other theme choices.

3. Enable creating events from email. If you head to Settings > Calendar > Events from email, you can automatically start creating scheduled events from your email. When someone emails you about an upcoming meeting with a date and time, Outlook can automatically add it to your calendar in the appropriate time slot. It’s a great way to save time and improve accuracy, especially if you get multiple meeting invites per day.

4. Take advantage of keyboard shortcuts. Outlook Calendar has a number of built-in keyboard shortcuts. For example, you can open the Day view with Shift + Alt + 1, and you can create a new event with the N key. You can also access a menu with all keyboard shortcuts available by pressing Shift + ?. It takes a while to learn all these shortcuts well enough to call upon them routinely, but it’s often worth the upfront investment of effort.

5. Share your calendar with others. In Settings > View all Outlook settings > Calendar > Shared calendar, you’ll be able to share your calendar with other people on your team. This is ideal if your team members are constantly asking about your availability for upcoming meetings or if you want to be transparent about your work.

6. Use tags and categories to stay organized. Outlook Calendar is much more effective when you use tags and categories to organize your events. With color-coding, you can tell at a glance what your day is going to look like and what your responsibilities are going to be.

7. Make use of your working status. Outlook offers working statuses like “free,” “working elsewhere,” and “tentative” to help you communicate where you’ll be and how you’ll be working in the future. This is especially valuable if you’re sharing your calendar with your teammates.

8. Create and use templates. Do you have a specific type of meeting that recurs frequently? Or is there an event that’s exceptionally repetitive? Create a template and you’ll never have to draw up a new event from scratch again.

9. Print your calendar for the week. Online digital calendars offer a lot of advantages over their printed counterparts, but there are still some advantages to having something tangible. You can also take notes by hand on a printed calendar, which is great for boosting memory retention.

10. Keep experimenting. Finally, keep experimenting with your approach. Consider new organizational systems, try out new features, and tinker with your settings; it’s a great way to discover new strategies and continue improving indefinitely.

Keep Watch for Updates

One more important note: keep an eye out for new updates. Microsoft makes a point to update software regularly, introducing new features, issuing patches for bugs, and polishing fan-favorite aspects.

Periodically, you’ll find new updates that change the way you use the calendar or offer new, innovative features you can utilize to make scheduling even more efficient in your life. If you ignore these updates, you could be missing out on something truly revolutionizing.




Leave a Comment