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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.
In the past I used to find myself spending extra hours or even an extra day in an airport at least once a year, because I had done the time zone math incorrectly and arrived too late to board my flight, and from time to time I've scheduled a meeting in a different time zone at a time that was very inconvenient for other participants. In Outlook we solved both of these problems by allowing me to schedule not just times, but time zones, and by allowing me to reflect time zones on my calendar. When you open an appointment or create an appointment and choose a particular time Microsoft Outlook is storing that time not as 10 o'clock in the morning for example, but as a particular time based on zero time zone or Greenwich mean Time which is the time in Britain.
So I'm on the East Coast right now. If I were to choose a particular time it's actually -5 hours from London Time or -5 GMT. If I'm in the West Coast to the United States Pacific time, that's -8 GMT. In other words, whatever time it is in London it's going to roll around to being that time in Seattle or California eight hours later minus eight hours GMT. So this is how Outlook stores calendar information and that's why when I create an appointment Outlook is time zone aware.
If I create an appointment at 3 o'clock in the afternoon Eastern Time and email it to you or invite you to it and you're on the West Coast, you'll know that I'm actually inviting you to a meeting that is three hours earlier for you. My minus five hours, your minus eight hours, the difference is three hours and so it's very easy for Outlook to quickly do this math around time zones, much easier for Outlook than it is for me. One of the first things that I want to be able to do is actually look at more than one time zone.
I am going to switch to a Day view, I could do this in a Week view as well and earlier we learned how to change the detail level here in the time scale. I can also show an additional time zone by right-clicking in the time scale, right-clicking right in this area here and choosing Change Time Zone. So here are my Time Zones. Notice that I'm in Pacific Time right now, so I could say that this is PST and I can show a second time zone and the second time zone I am going to show I want it actually show Eastern Time.
So I am going to show EST and I'm going to choose Eastern Time US and Canada and say OK. So I see always right next to calendar my time zone, which says that if I set up an appointment here I will be setting it up for 10 o'clock in morning, but that it will be 1 o'clock in the Eastern zone. The beauty of this is that you can easily see when you're going to inconvenience people. You won't be doing the math backwards in your head and thinking, well, if we held at 10 o'clock it will be 7 a.m. there, right? No, it will be 1 p.m. One of the things I'm asked often is, can I show more than one time zone and the answer is, unfortunately no.
You can only show one. So right-click, go back to Change Time Zone, if I decide that when I'm setting up a series of appointments for when I'm traveling for example to Chicago that I want to just while I was setting these up be able to see my Chicago Time Zone; I can just label it Chicago. I can choose central time, say OK, and set up these appointments so that I'm clearly setting them up. I am on the phone with somebody and they say, can we meet at one o'clock and I say, yes, and I don't do this time zone math wrong, I have one o'clock Chicago Time.
While you're in his change time zone area there's a button that looks just ever so attractive that says Swap Time Zones. I want to strongly encourage you not to click the Swap Time Zones button. What it will do is it will take all of your appointments that are currently in your time zone, in this case Pacific Standard Time, and it will change them all to the other time zone and your calendar all of a sudden will be very different. So the Change, the Swap Time Zones function is really meant for I'm moving from being based in the Pacific Time zone, maybe my office in California, to working out of Chicago.
So I want to take all of the appointments that I already half and I'd like everything to be shifted to the Chicago Time zone. Again, don't click this just to see what it does or to find out what's going on with it, not a good idea. When you're done showing that second time zone just turn it off right here, and click OK. Now, that's a great way not to inconvenience people in other time zones when you're setting up appointments, but it hasn't taken care of my airport problem. Let me show you what it does that for me. When I create a new appointment, for example, I'm going to fly from Denver back to Michigan, and my flight time is at 11 o'clock in the morning, but that's 11 o'clock in the morning Eastern Time.
It's not the time in Denver. I'm going to click the Time Zones option here and I want to say that I'm going to be flying from Mountain Time and arriving in Eastern Time. So now when I put my flight times in they're going to make sense. So my flight is not at 11 o'clock in the morning in Eastern Time, my flight is at 11 o'clock in the morning in my own time and I will be landing at 5:15 p.m. Eastern Time. That makes perfect sense. Now when I synchronize Outlook with my smartphone or my iPhone or my Blackberry, Microsoft Outlook knows how to do the math.
So when I'm walking around in Denver and I asked for reminder three hours before my flight, I am going to get that reminder at eight o'clock in the morning Mountain Time, which is exactly what I want to have happen. So I won't be missing my flight at the airport by thinking, oh, I have a couple more hours to go, when I really don't. So whether you're scheduling appointments in a different time zone or need to have your calendar accurately reflect local times for travel, Outlook's Time Zone features always do the time zone math correctly and automatically every single time.
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