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Earlier posts about Meeting Requests with a Preview of your Calendar and Introducing Quick Steps might have left you wondering what other improvements Outlook 2010 brings to creating and managing meetings. There are many, and I am glad to give you an overview. Here’s how they can work for you.
If an e-mail conversation gets to a point where a meeting would be more useful, just click Meeting Reply to set up a meeting with the people involved in the conversation. It will copy the content of the e-mail conversation into the meeting request, to help keep you within the context of what has already been discussed, and add the recipients to the invitation. All you need to do is choose the time and location.
The new Meeting Suggestions pane helps you choose a location for the meeting and find a time that works for a majority of people. It suggests the best times to meet on a given day according to the availability of the meeting attendees. And, if you are using Exchange 2010, you can select a building and check available rooms there!
Looking at your calendar, you may have found it difficult to differentiate between new meetings that were automatically added to your calendar and meetings you tentatively accepted. It's now easy to tell the difference: meetings that you haven’t yet responded to are dimmed and have a dashed border.
You can also search for all meetings that you haven’t yet responded to. The new Requests Not Responded To button in the Search Contextual Tab makes that a simple one-click action. It also allows searching for accepted and for tentatively accepted appointments.
While you look at your calendar you may want to respond to some appointments, propose new times, change your free/busy status, or make other changes. Now you can do that without even opening a meeting. When you click on a meeting, a contextual tab appears and presents commands that are specific to a single instance or a recurring meeting.
In addition to the standard 5- and 7-day week views, there’s a new view that shows the next 7 days starting from today.
The new Schedule View shows multiple calendars horizontally -- a very effective way to help teams organize meetings. The Navigation Pane now includes your team and your manager’s team by default, so you can look at everyone’s calendars with just one click. You can also add your own groups by clicking Open Calendar and then the Calendar Groups button.
Now Outlook 2010 allows you to respond to a meeting right away when you copy it from another calendar, making sure that you will be included in future updates, and the organizer is informed that you are attending.
Do you organize big meetings with lots of attendees and you need to keep track of who is coming and who isn’t? Maybe you need to reserve a conference room with a table that can accommodate the number of people who have accepted. You can now copy the response tracking status to the clipboard and paste it somewhere else, like Excel! From there you can sort and organize the data just like any other table.
I hope you find these new ways of creating and handling meetings convenient and time-saving!
Outlook Program Manager
More info on managing meeting responses:
Managing Automatic Meeting Responses
Rainer, The Next 7 Days view is exactly what I was hoping for. I use Outlook 2007 at home and 2003 on Exchange at work. Do either of these versions have a comperable Next 7 Day view?
We keep getting feedback about adding timezone display to the Scheduling Assistant - is there a chance that Outlook 2010 will have a way to add another time zone to the scheduling assistant dialog? Or even better, if the person has a second time zone already displayed in Calendar, pre-configure that same second time zone in the Scheduling Assistant dialog.
Very Cool Feature! However, I hope that with those new features the old glitches do net get forgotten: e.g why is it not possible to define rules that move "ONLY" read emails to a predefined subfloder ... e.g. the read emails of Mr. Smith to the subfolder smith, while the unread remain in the Inbox .... or to define a button, that a predefined set of rules will run all together (e.G. Move read emails, that do not have a flag, of my coleagues to dedicated subfolders.
Thanks for all the helpful tips.
The Copy Tracking Status was exactly what I was looking for...but my Outlook doesn't have that menu item. My Tracking button doesn't have any extra menu items like what you showed in your screenshot. Is there something I'm missing?
Rainer....thanks for the heads up on the upcoming features around meetings....a lot of these features I have been wanting, and some of them I haven't thought of, but now I'm looking forward to them! One of the features I use the most is the ability to proprose several time options and have attendees, both on internally and externally, view what options are being selected, and chose accordingly. Currently I use a free service www.meetingwizard.com to handle that. Between Exchange and Outlook, any plans to incorporate a similar functionality? Many Thanks....Bill
Nice ideas. We needed the Copy Tracking Status a couple of days ago to. Don't forget to include the e-mail addresses in case someone would want to send an e-mail only to those who confirmed the invitation.
The single-most requested feature in my office environment is the ability to pick specific dates for recurring meetings, rather than be trapped by "every week" or "every other week." We frequently have meetings that have to take place on, for example, the third Tuesday of each month. In 2007 we have to schedule each of those meetings separately. We could do this in Groupwise, and it's the one thing my users complain about after switching to Exchange.
How can I access que Quick Steps tool, where you have the "Meeting Reply" option? I don't have it and use Outlook 2007. Is this an add-in? Thanks!
THANK YOU for the upgrades in 2010 (from 2007)!!! These seem very helpful and well-planned. Please consider adding the following appointment,event and meeting (referred to as mtg) display options: *option TO display mtg start and/OR end times in the display of the entry in day/week/month view (without having to be manually entered in subject field) *option NOT to display mtg organizer name *preview of "notes" field (not sure of field name) in entry *better calendar searching - the current logic seems to be haphazard. perhaps a dialog box that opens and doesn't take one away from the day/week/month view *option to email or text reminders (in addition to pop-ups) xxminutes/days/etc before mtg ALSO, please consider adding an optional "now" bar that goes across the entire day and not just the time on the left. THANK YOU for considering these requests!
Very nice. My assistant will love the ability to view multiple schedules simultaneously when setting up complex meetings between multiple departments.
...what about a "printing tracking status" feature? When I print out the details about an organized meeting I miss a feature today to include the tracking details in the printout...
Please, please, please bring back the 7-day week view from 2003 with 3 squares on the left and 3+1 squares on the right (the pocket calendar view). Will I ever see this view again?
We have conference room delegates who presently have to manually scroll through all the weeks/months to approve or decline a conference room recurring schedule request. As noted in the Meeting Suggestions pane for recurring meetings, Outlook does not provide the capabililty to recommend day/time alternatives for recurring meetings. Is there a feature that is available in Outlook 2007, an add-on, or funtionality that might be planned for the next Outlook release and/or Service Pack? Note, Outlook 2007 is running on Vista PCs.
These are WONDERFUL additions!!!!! The horizontal view is very exciting, the meeting reply preview will save an enormous amount of time and the export tracking status options are fantastic!!! Please consider adding an option to display start and or end times in meeting block. Also, having the "now" bar go across the day would be an added benefit. Also, I agree about the meeting wizard/doodle need for more advanced meeting planning. If Outlook could also accommodate the fact that assistants need to receive updates, but not be added as invitees, it would be incredibly helpful! Thanks for all you're doing, have done and the way you engage users in what you will do!!!
A simple improvement for Outlook would be to allow the "Location" field, in an appointment, link to a contact's address in your address book. At the moment you have to type this information in.