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Do you ever feel like you are herding cats, trying to keep tabs on all your employees or coworkers or your bosses? With Outlook we can quickly call up the schedule of an entire group as long as everyone in that group, 1) is part of the Exchange Server network. 2) Has their free busy schedule available for you to see and 3) is actually using their Outlook Calendar. In Outlook 2007, we need to create the group first. We'll do this by viewing our Calendar and from the Actions menu selecting View Group Schedules.
Here we can create a group, which we'll be able to use anytime in the future. I'll click New and give the group a name. Now I'll add members to the group. Don't forget that by default the group does not include you. So if you want to add yourself to the group, go ahead and type your name. You might notice that creating a group is a lot like scheduling an appointment and inviting multiple people to it. Using the same window we can see everyone's schedule just by scrolling left and right.
When we're done creating the group, we can click Save and Close, which returns us back to our calendar. Note that at any time I return to the Actions menu, choose View Group Schedules, and there's the group I already created. I can open it, make any changes to it, and then save it again. While you're viewing a group schedule, you can also schedule a meeting with the members of the group. Just pull down the Make Meeting menu and choose either a New Meeting or a New Meeting With All members of the group.
There's no limit to the number of people you can have in a group, nor the number of groups you can create. So create a few groups, for your project team, your social buddies, or even one for the entire office, and enjoy the feature. Let's go ahead and check out tip number 5.
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