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Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks
Illustration by Neil Webb

Creating and troubleshooting recurring meetings


From:

Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks

with Gini Courter

Video: Creating and troubleshooting recurring meetings

I want to set up a recurring meeting every Monday at 9o'clock in the morning for professional development. So we are going to kickoff every week with a professional development opportunity. I have started by creating an appointment here on Mondays at 9o'clock for professional development and let's just take a look at series so that you know what it looks like, here's the recurrence on it and we are seeing this every week on Monday 9 to 10 a.m. no end date. I want to invite other people to this meeting but before I do there some issues with Mondays.

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Outlook 2010: Time Management with Calendar and Tasks
2h 27m Intermediate Jan 17, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Rediscover the robust task management features in Microsoft Outlook 2010. Author Gini Courter explains the difference between Outlook tasks and To-Do Lists, and shows how to use Outlook 2010 to handle both business and personal schedules, from making appointments, to creating and completing tasks, to color-coding calendars and tasks for at-a-glance review.

Topics include:
  • Creating an appointment, event, or meeting
  • Inviting others
  • Creating recurring meetings
  • Flagging emails
  • Creating tasks from email or from scratch
  • Creating custom QuickSteps
  • Applying categories to tasks and to-do items
  • Completing a task and sending an update
  • Setting calendar and task list options
Subjects:
Business Productivity Time Management
Software:
Office Outlook
Author:
Gini Courter

Creating and troubleshooting recurring meetings

I want to set up a recurring meeting every Monday at 9o'clock in the morning for professional development. So we are going to kickoff every week with a professional development opportunity. I have started by creating an appointment here on Mondays at 9o'clock for professional development and let's just take a look at series so that you know what it looks like, here's the recurrence on it and we are seeing this every week on Monday 9 to 10 a.m. no end date. I want to invite other people to this meeting but before I do there some issues with Mondays.

For example, this is the second and even if we were open on the second of January nobody is going to want to come to a training the first thing some of them have been out for the holidays, we don't have a professional development opportunity here. So the question is do I want to move this or do I want to delete it. Now I haven't invited anybody to this series of meetings yet and this is intentional on my part. If I start by inviting people and then I delete meetings it increases the odds that I am going to have issues with this meeting later on. So I'm going to simply move this meeting, it says in the dialog box that I change the date of this occurrence if I want change them all I have to go ahead and change the series do I want to change only this occurrence, the answer is yes.

I just want to move that one. Now this is still part of the series if I double-click this meeting and I open the series and I go take a look, it will show me under Recurrence that I have a recurrence that's on Monday even though this is a Tuesday meeting, it's still part of this exact same series that I began with. Likewise, if I have a meeting that for example on the third Monday of the month there might be another meeting, that I have to move my meeting and have it meet a little bit later. So I am just going to open this one item on the 16th and I am going to say well this one day we are going to move our meeting till 10 o'clock.

So notice I have a Tuesday meeting I have a 10 a.m. meeting and then finally perhaps as we move into the next month we will remember that there are actually holiday days here that we won't be in the office at all and in January one of those holiday days is going to be on Monday the 16th. So we're close and in honor of Martin Luther King holiday and I'm going to simply delete this one occurrence. I've set up a different pattern here before I have invited anybody to the set of meetings. Another issue that's related to all meetings but particularly to recurring meetings is that if a user tells you that they're not interested in meeting, if they respond that they won't attend and they actually get dropped off the meeting list.

So with recurring meetings if we sent out a meeting that was recurring five times on Mondays and then a couple of them move to Tuesday's perhaps Greg who would say no I can't come on Monday, could come on Tuesdays and he is no longer included on the invitation list because he replied that he wasn't interested in the first place. So Outlook isn't quite smart enough to say we'll may be the reason he said no was he couldn't come on Monday. So now this meeting has changed so you will want to ensure that if your intention is that everyone who was invited to the original meeting is invited to the move meeting you might have to go back in and when you update the meeting actually add some folks back in who had turned down a meeting earlier.

So as soon as someone says no and totally opts out of a meeting then what you'll find is that you lose track of them in a way that Outlook doesn't keep them any longer on the list when you send updates. For this reason sometimes you'll see people actually reply tentatively to meetings, they will say yeah I might be there and then put a note in the body that says I am probably not going to be here, but if the meeting moves let me know. And they are going to still be in your communication chain because they replied tentatively which is an affirmative reply to meeting, so Outlook is still keeping track of them for all of your updates.

The final issue you will have with meetings is folks who actually don't ever reply to your meetings and so if you send out a meeting request and somebody doesn't reply and then you send an update occasionally what will happen is that if they have never reply to the original meeting request Outlook will choose not to send them an update. One more thing you want to know about Recurrence patterns that have exceptions to them, is if you decide for example that this meeting that's been primarily held on Monday starting at 9o'clock in the morning should move to Tuesday's and go back in to change the recurrence of this meeting, it will throw out all the exceptions.

So if I go back and I say no not on Mondays, but on Tuesdays when I say OK, it says any exceptions associated with this recurring appointment will be canceled. In other words, any appointment that now does not meet on Tuesdays from 9 to 10 will be canceled. So really don't want to set up a recurring meeting as the basis of your meeting if you're not sure that it's going to stay, it would be better off if we said going forward we would like to change this so that its meeting on Tuesday. The best way to do that would actually be to go back into the meeting to end the recurrence to say we are going to end this now as of whatever particular date let's say February 1 and then set up a new appointment that begins on Tuesdays.

So last to think about as you plan and create recurring meetings but the best way to think about them is set up the meeting based on its recurrence, handle any exceptions and then invite folks to your meeting, that's the best way to do this in Outlook 2010.

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