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Using the Outlook Calendar: Meetings, Appointments, and Scheduling Assistant

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outlook logo

The Outlook calendar is your all in one place to schedule meetings, appointments, mark important dates, set reminders, and so much more. It is an essential tool for communication and productivity in your organization.

In this guide, we will walk you through:

Outlook Calendar

To locate the Outlook calendar, select the calendar icon on the left navigation bar.

Let's look at some of the essential tools and shortcuts you can access from this screen.

  • Schedule a Meeting [1] - This allows you to instantly schedule a meeting. If Zoom is integrated and installed, then you can easily schedule a virtual meeting with the Zoom plug-in. Additionally, you can also use Microsoft Teams. [2]
  • Calendar View [3] - Choose to view your calendar in Day, Work Week, Weekly, or Monthly View.
  • Date [4] - Choose a date on the calendar, double click the box to instantly schedule an event.

Now, let's learn how to use some of these great tools integrated within Outlook.

microsoft outlook calendar features
Schedule a meeting in Outlook Calendar

Meetings are essential for communicating and collaborating with your colleagues and or coworkers. Meetings are designated times in which a group of individuals will meet and discuss certain topics, goals, projects, etc. It is not the same thing as an appointment. Jump to Schedule an appointment to learn more about the differences.

To schedule a new meeting in Outlook, simply double click on the date you want to schedule your meeting.

schedule a meeting shortcut in outlook

Now, if you are having your meeting over Zoom, click the Schedule a Meeting Zoom or Teams Meeting option.

choose Zoom or Teams meeting in Outlook calendar

A pop-up will appear for Zoom meetings. Select the meeting ID, security options, and video and audio settings. Press Save.


zoom meeting options in outlook calendar

When Teams is selected, the meeting will automatically generate and be displayed in the email.

Select Meeting Options to update meetings settings such as lobby, camera, mic, and recording.


Teams meeting options in Outlook calendar

Don't forget to Save.

Once you've elected your virtual meeting preference, the meeting will appear in Outlook.

It is important that you update the information in the email to communicate what your meeting will be about or topics that will be covered.

But, before we do that, let's Invite Attendees.

invite attendees to meeting in outlook

Inviting Attendees

You have two options for inviting attendees:

  • Required
  • Optional

When you select one of these options, a search bar will appear.

Type the name of your attendees, select their name in the search results, choose Required or Optional.

Press OK.

search and select attendees in outlook calendar

Now that we have our attendees, let's update the meeting details to ensure the information is accurate.

  • Update the title [1] to indicate what your meeting will be about.
  • Input the correct date and time. [2]
  • Add a note in the location [3] to indicate the meeting will be over Zoom or Teams. Or, if you are having an in-person meeting, put the exact location or conference room.

Also, you could include a message in the text box to include any additional information you might want your attendees to know before the meeting.

updating information in outlook meeting

Before you send out your meeting invitation, let's learn how to use the scheduling assistant to ensure that your attendees are available during the designated time.

Using the Scheduling Assistant

The scheduling assistant is key when creating meetings and inviting attendees. As long as an attendee's calendar is updated, you can see the times they are available for the day and upcoming weeks. This will help you indicate if a meeting time is a good time for them, or if perhaps you need to search for a better time.

Take note of your attendees availability prior to scheduling a meeting, and as long as they are clear for your selected date and time, go ahead and proceed with scheduling.

Note: Be sure to update your own calendar regularly, so people in your organization know when is a good time to schedule you.

Select Scheduling Assistant when scheduling an event or meeting.

The assistant will show the names of all attendees along with their calendar availability.

Looks like the time scheduled is open for all attendees, so we can proceed with creating the meeting event.

outlook scheduling assitant for attendees

Now that you have indicated that your participants are available during the selected meeting time, let's take a look at the other important features you can include in your meeting.

Inserting Attachments

Go to Insert, and select Attach File if you have an Excel, PowerPoint, Word doc, or other important document you would like to include in your meeting invite.

Note: Max file size is 20MB.

attaching files to outlook meeting

Enabling Responses

Enable Responses so you can be informed if your meeting invitation is accepted. You may also choose to allow new time proposals if your meeting is flexible.

enabling responses in outlook meeting

Your Status During a Meeting

You can choose to show your current status as Busy, so others know that you are in a meeting.

show your status in outlook meetings


Set a Reminder so you don't forget to prepare for your meeting.

setting reminders for meetings in outlook

Now that you have selected your preferred settings, verify everything is correct before sending the invite.

If everything looks correct, press Send.

verifying information is correct in outlook meeting scheduler

You can now see the meeting listed in your calendar.

see outlook meeting scheduled in calendar

If you enabled responses, you will receive a notification in your email when an attendee has responded to your invite.

responses to meetings in outlook
Schedule an appointment in Outlook Calendar

Scheduling an appointment is not the same as a meeting. Typically, scheduling an appointment is for you and you alone. Think of it as your own personal event, perhaps an endeavor that you need to prioritize and let others know that you will be busy. It is important to schedule appointments for yourself in the event that you have an event or task you must complete and do not want others in your organization to schedule you for meetings during that time.

Examples of potential appointments:

  • Lunch with [Person's Name]
  • Birthdays, celebrations, etc. (While personal events might not seem necessary to schedule on your work or school calendar, it is actually quite useful to remind your organization that you will be out of the office that day, or leaving early, etc.)
  • Errands
  • Doctor's appointments

Now that you know the difference between a meeting and an appointment, let's schedule an appointment together.

Begin by selecting the date for your appointment, then click New Appointment in the top left corner of the screen. You can also double click the date for a shortcut.

schedule an appointment outlook calendar

Enter the appointment details. Include the exact date and time, or check All day if it is an all day event. (Highly recommended for full days you will be out of office).

Optional: Add a note for yourself or for your team, so they know what to expect.

appointment details outlook calendar

Click Save & Close.

Additional Tools and Support

There are many more things to do in Outlook calendar. For more tips, tricks, and calendar tools visit Microsoft's calendar support guides.

Need tech support? Contact your local IT help desk.


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