Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Outlook and SharePoint, part of SharePoint Online Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Instructor] In this set of movies, we're going to see how the Office applications interact with SharePoint, and I will begin with Microsoft Outlook. This is an intentional choice, on my part. Outlook is an interesting and unique case. There's a fair amount of duplication between the features of Outlook and Exchange Server, and the features that are present in SharePoint. We don't see that level of duplication with Outlook and Word, or Outlook and PowerPoint, but with Outlook and SharePoint, it's very clear. For example, here's a calendar in Outlook, and you may recall that, in one of our sites, we added a calendar.
Right here, for policy review. So what's the difference between the calendar on the left and my calendar on the right? Here, in Outlook, I have access to people. In SharePoint I have access to a Contacts app, and that Contacts app will synchronize with Microsoft Outlook.
I have a Tasks application in Outlook. I have a Tasks application here, in SharePoint. It's helpful, then, to really think about how your organization uses Outlook when you are designing what you'd like to have in SharePoint, because there are huge opportunities, and also huge possibilities, for difficulties. For example, if you already have a shared calendar that's being used in Outlook, do you need one in SharePoint? Does it replace the existing calendar? Because what you don't need is two calendars that need to be kept up, that have the same information.
But I have the ability to synchronize the information that I enter, here, in SharePoint, with Outlook. And that's where the win is. For example, in my policy review calendar, I'd like to be able to have all of the members of my team use this calendar. That's the goal. Therefore, when the members of my team jump into the calendar, they can click the "CALENDAR" tab, go to the Connect and Export group, and indicate that they would like to connect this to Outlook, synchronizing the items and making them available offline.
Do I mean to switch apps? You bet I do. I'm asked, do I wanna connect this SharePoint Calendar to Outlook? We created this calendar. Don't click Yes, yet. Instead, click Advanced, because the folder name is "Policy Review", that's the site name, and then the calendar, which is called "Policy Review Calendar". I can shorten this up however I would like it to look, and the reason that the site name is there is, many people, when they first are creating apps in SharePoint, aren't necessarily thinking about synchronization and integration, so they simply name calendars "Calendars", and tasks "Tasks", and so on.
This makes it easy for you to modify it. You can add a description. This is the event calendar from the "Policy Review" SharePoint site. Do I want to display this on any computer that I have, with this account? Yes. And how do I want this calendar to be updated? You can simply leave this last checkbox checked, because what this says is that your SharePoint administrator's going to decide how often items are updated.
The default is about 20 minutes, normally. So when a new item is added to my SharePoint calendar, I may not see it for up to 20 minutes, when I'm looking at the calendar. Well, let's click OK. Now I'm gonna click Yes. I'm going to expand SharePoint, and here is my new calendar, my "Policy Review Calendar". Now, it doesn't have items on it immediately. The calendar's set up first, and then my appointments, meetings, and events are added to the calendar, here.
If I want to take an item from the calendar and also put it on my calendar, I simply need to drag and drop. If I want to overlay these two calendars, click the Overlay button. I treat this calendar as I would any other calendar that I have access to in Outlook. I don't need to drag and drop items from the "Policy Review Calendar" to my calendar, if I keep both calendars open, and I'm paying attention to both of them. But I actually prefer, as my practice, to drag events and copy them onto my calendar.
Because then, I can set reminders, and so on. Notice that this is not a meeting, over here, in the "Policy Review Calendar", it's simply an appointment. If I double-click to open this appointment, note I didn't have to use drag-and-drop. It has a command, "Copy to My Calendar", right here. It also has a choice to open this in a browser. That's where it was the last time that we saw it. I can create items on this calendar because I have permission to do so, in this site. This is a new appointment for Wednesday, the 22nd, 5:00 p.m., and this is "Policies after hours" in the Lobby.
It's short shop talk that we do, as people are on their way out the door. I'm going to save and close this. I'm creating it in the shared folder "Policy Review Calendar". Notice the link in the lower left-hand corner, just like that. And if I return to SharePoint, here I am in my "Policy Review Calendar". I'm simply going to refresh this to view the appointment that I created locally for this calender, using Outlook. Let's talk about the implications of this.
I have three different types of applications that I can synchronize. I can synchronize calendar with calendar, I can synchronize Contacts application with people, and I can synchronize a tasks list. When I add new apps to my site, and I check out the types of apps that are available to me, if I look at the App Details, for Contacts, the Contacts app is made to synchronize with Microsoft Outlook, and it will synchronize with people.
So if I have a list of vendors, I don't need to have one person mail the list of vendors to another, or print it out, so that we can use it, and more importantly, both of these applications that I might create in SharePoint, Contacts application or Calendar application, is automatically synchronized. Therefore, if we remove an event from the calendar, or add an event to the calendar, if we modify the contact information that we have for a person, the next time I log in to Outlook, I'll have access to that new, fresh information.
This isn't a copy. This is synchronization. I can use my calendar that I created in the same way that I would use any other calendar that I created using Outlook. I can use my contacts list that I create using the Contacts app, in the same way that I would use any other contacts list, anywhere in Outlook. I could set its Outlook address book properties, and use it in mail merge, if I wished.
I can share, or I can forward, contacts. So these applications that synchronize with Outlook save time, save duplication, save effort. If you have lists of people that would be helpful for your team to share, or a list of events that you wanna keep track of, create the appropriate apps to house that information in SharePoint, and then synchronize those apps to Outlook for every single member of your team. Quick, easy, shared information that keeps everyone on the same page.
- Understanding SharePoint permissions
- Searching SharePoint sites
- Editing, saving, and sharing documents
- Using OneDrive for file storage
- Working with libraries and list apps
- Creating custom and dynamic views
- Integrating Office apps: Outlook, Word, and more
- Going mobile with SharePoint Online