The ultimate guide
to Outlook Calendar
You have many options in calendars to organize your life. If you struggle with calendars that have complex controls or interfaces that you do not understand, you may want to simply things. One of the easiest calendars to use on the market is Outlook Calendar.
This user-friendly calendar is a Microsoft product attached to your Microsoft email account. In this regard, it is just like the Google or Yahoo calendars. You can access it easily through your email and coordinate it with your email contacts and information.
Having a calendar program that you really like to use and find easy to use is important because it helps you to organize your life. With Outlook calendar, you can track events, coordinate your schedule with others and announce your availability. It enables you to figure out your schedule and stay on top the important things you need to do every day.
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How To Setup Outlook Calendar
You can get to Outlook Calendar through the main Outlook login site at office.live.com. You will need to sign in with your Microsoft log in information. This will take you to your Outlook email inbox. In the pane of the left side of your screen, you want to look at the bottom for the calendar icon. Click that icon to go to Outlook Calendar.
Navigating the Calendar
Once in the calendar, you should orient yourself with where everything is. You will see the setup is very similar to other calendar programs. It is also rather simple and easy to understand.
Looking first to the right side of the screen, you will see a thin pane with a list of icons. These icons lead to your email, contacts, files and to do list. You can expand this pane for additional features, but we will get to that later.
The middle section shows the calendar view. The default is to show the whole month. This is where your events that you add will show up.
On the left is the agenda pane. It shows a list of today’s events. At the bottom is an icon that lets you collapse the pane if you want. You will also find a weather icon here that shows a symbol of today’s weather conditions and the current temperature.
At the very top of the page are your Microsoft tools. You can use these to navigate out of the calendar and to search. At the right side of the screen in this toolbar are icons for Skype, My Day, Settings, Help and What’s new. The Skype icon allows you to open a quick chat within your calendar. You will not leave the calendar. My Day is a calendar control you will learn about later. Settings includes settings for the calendar. Help allows you to get more information if you need about the calendar. The What’s new option shows you new features for Outlook Calendar with explanations about how to use them.
Below this is the calendar toolbar. On the right are three lines. This will expand this pane. If you click it, you will see a larger panel with a small calendar and a list of your calendars. There is also a button to quickly add a calendar. The icons that were in this panel are now running along the bottom.
Next on this tool bar is the “New event” button that lets you quickly add a new event to your calendar. There is a “Today” button that will bring you back to the calendar view for today. Next is an up arrow that takes you to the previous month, and a down arrow that takes you to the next month.
You will next see the current month and year with a down arrow. This allows you to choose the month you want to view. It brings up a list of the months.
On the far right, you have the “Month” button with a down arrow. This lets you change the calendar view. You can choose from day, work week, week and month views. Do note that the name here (Month) will change to the view name. For example, if you choose to view by day, then it changes to “Day.” Next is the “Share” button and a “Print” button.
Customizing your Calendar
Now that you know the layout of Outlook calendar, you can start customizing the different aspects. You will first want to go into the settings menu to create the basic calendar settings.
The settings menu is found in the upper right. It is the gear icon. When you click this, a box pops up. At the bottom, you want to click on “View all Outlook settings.”
A new box comes up with three panes. It should have “Calendar” selected in the first pane. The middle pane, will have “View” selected. In the last pane, you can customize your view settings.
Under “Calendar appearance,” you can choose which day you want to be the first day of the week on your calendar. The default option in Sunday.
Under that, you can choose how you want your hours to show up. You can choose to have them in 15-minute increments or 30-minute increments.
The next option is to set your work week. Check the boxes for the days that are in your work week. If a box does not have a check, it is not part of your work week. The default has checks in the boxes for Monday through Friday.
Under this, you will choose your working hours. It gives you the option to set your start and end times. There is also a note under that about what time zone your work hours are currently in. If this is not correct, you will want to change this. If you have your time zone set already, there will be a box to check that will align your working hour time zone with your set time zone. Check the box to make them the same.
Under this you can choose to show the week numbers in your calendar. The default is to not show them, so the box does not have a check. If you want them to show, check the box.
Next, is event appearance. This is the color theme that you can use. The options are light or bold. Click the circle of the one you want.
The last item here is “Birthday calendar.” This aligns with your contacts. If you have input birthday information in your contacts and then turn on the birthday calendar by checking the box, it will import the birthdays from your contacts into your calendar automatically. The default is to turn on this option. If you do not want this on, just uncheck the box.
Before exiting, you want to click “Save” in the upper right. You can then click the “X” to exit this screen.
Set the Temperature
The next thing you can do is set up the temperature. Go to the weather icon in the right pane. You need to make sure that it is set to your location. Click the icon, and choose “Edit locations.”
In the pop-up box, click on “Add another location” if the location showing is not correct. In the box, enter your zip code or city and state. Choose the correct location from the list. Click “Add.”
You can remove the default location or the previous location if you want by clicking the trashcan icon beside the location in the list. Make sure to click “Save” in the top right before exiting.
Note that when you click on the weather icon, you will get additional details about the weather in your area. You can also click “More details,” which will take you to the MSN weather website.
Change Your Calendar’s Look
You have a few options to change how your calendar looks. In the top tool bar, click the gear icon for the “Settings” menu. This will bring up a box. At the top, there is a search box that lets you search the settings. Below that are the theme options.
The themes will change the colors and background on your calendar. There are 10 options showing, but if you click “View all” under this, it will bring up more options. To collapse the theme options, click “View fewer themes” at the bottom.
You can see the different themes by clicking each box. When you choose a theme, it automatically changes your calendar so you can see how it looks.
Under the “Themes” section, you can choose to turn on “Dark mode,” which will turn the background black instead of white. Do note that if you choose this mode, some of the theme options will not work. If you move the slider to turn on dark mode, it will change the setting right away so that you can see how it looks.
You also have an option for “Bold event colors.” This will show the calendar and categories in bold colors. This effect is more noticeable in dark mode. You can see how it looks by sliding the slider to turn it on.
You can then choose the time zone. Note that if you choose a time zone setting different than the one for your working hour settings, it will prompt you to change your working hours.
Next, you can change the date format. There is a long list of options from which you can choose for the way to format the date. After this is an option to change the time format, which, again, gives you a long list of options. Lastly, you can choose which day you want to start the week on the calendar.
Some of the options in this list are the same options you have when customizing your calendar using the settings menu. If you change them here, it will change them in that menu as well.
You can also customize each individual calendar in the left pane list. To do this, hover over the calendar name, and click the three dots that show up. You can change the color, which changes the color of this calendar’s events as listed in your main calendar view. You can also choose a charm, which is an icon.
That is it for the customization options. If you’ve used Yahoo and Google calendars, you will know that this is a lot more options than you get for Yahoo and comparable to Google.
How To Share an Outlook Calendar
There are a couple of ways that you can share your calendar with other people. The first option is to click “Share” in the calendar toolbar.
A box with come up that allows you to add an email address or contact name. Make sure that what you enter matches what is in your contacts. If you enter a name, make sure it has the correct email address.
Once you enter a name, you will get a drop down that allows you to choose the permissions for this person. You can allow the person to view all details on your calendar and to edit the calendar. You can then click the “Share” button. This will send an email to the person that provides them access.
If you wish to stop sharing, you will go back into this box, at the bottom of the box is a list of people with whom you are currently sharing this calendar. You can change permissions if you like or delete a person’s access by clicking the trashcan icon beside his or her name.
The other way to share is in the left pane. Hover over calendar, and click the three dots that appear. Choose “Sharing and permissions” from the list that comes up. This will bring up the exact same box that you got when clicking “Share” in the calendar toolbar.
How to Add an Outlook Calendar
Once you have Outlook Calendar looking the way you want, you can start getting down to business. A good place to start is by learning how to add a new calendar. You can add a blank calendar or add premade calendars.
To add a new blank calendar, go to the left pane. Make sure to expand it so you see the mini calendar and the calendar list. Hover over “My calendars.” Click the three dots that come up, and this will create a blank box in the list. You can then type the name of the calendar you want to create, and hit enter.
You can also add premade calendars. To do this, click “Add calendar” is the left pane. This will bring up a box that gives you some options. In the right panel, you can edit existing calendars or create a new calendar. “Create new calendar” will allow you to create a new calendar from scratch where you name it, choose a color for the events from that calendar and add an icon for the calendar. You can also choose which group the new calendar will be under.
Next in the right panel, you can subscribe to calendars from others. You will need a URL for the calendar. Under this is the option to upload a calendar from a file. This allows for the importing of .ics files that you save to your computer. Through an .ics file you can combine your other calendars, such as Google and Yahoo, with your Outlook calendar.
In the next section of the right panel, you can choose from premade calendars. The first option is “Schools.” You will need to enter the zip code for the school and search to see if that school has an Outlook calendar.
Next is “Holidays.” If you click this, you can choose the country for the corresponding holiday calendar you want.
If you are part of TeamSnap, then that is the next option. You can import calendars from there using this option. You can also sign up for the service from this area if you are not already a member.
Finally, you have “Sports” and “TV.” For sports calendars, just search for the team you follow in the right panel, and add the schedule you want. For TV calendars, you will choose your time zone first. Then, you will get a list of networks. You can choose the one for which you want the broadcasting schedule. You then get a list of shows and can choose the ones you want on your calendar. You can choose as many shows as you want from multiple channels by navigating through this part of the menu.
You can also suggest calendars that you would like to see on Outlook. At the bottom of the right panel, it asks if you are looking for additional calendars. If you click yes, you can make your suggestion.
Do note that there are premade calendars already in the list of calendars in the left pan. You have the default “Calendar, and a holiday calendar that will say “your country” holidays and then a birthdays calendar that comes from your contacts. Any new calendars you add will also show in this list.
Beside each calendar in the list is a circle. If the circle has a checkmark, it means the information in that calendar is currently showing in the calendar on your screen. If you do not want to see information from a specific calendar, just uncheck the circle.
How To Delete an Outlook Calendar
Now that you know how to make a calendar, you need to know how to delete a calendar that you no longer want. In the left pane list, hover over the name of the calendar you want to delete, and click the three dots that appear.
Choose “Remove” from the list that comes up. You will get a pop-up asking you to verify that you wish to delete this calendar. Remember that any events or information that you have in the calendar will be gone if you delete it. Keep in mind that if you simply do not want to see the events on your calendar, you can remove the check beside the calendar name in the list and that will remove the events from your calendar without deleting the whole thing. If you are sure you want to delete the calendar, then click “Delete.”
How To Print a Calendar
On occasion, you may want to print one of your calendars. To do this, you will click “Print” in the calendar toolbar. It is at the far right of the screen.
This brings up a print box that gives you some options. You first will want to choose the calendar you wish to print from the drop-down list. The next list will let you choose the view, which is month, day, week or work week. You can then choose the time range.
At the bottom, you have the option “Show mini-month.” This will put a small calendar showing the month at the top of the printout. The other option here is “Print detailed agenda.” If you choose this option, it will only print your agenda for the month.
Once you finish choosing your options, you can click “Print.” This will bring up your computer’s print box that gives you the general print options.
How To Add Events to Outlook Calendar
You are ready to learn how to add individual events to your calendar. You can do this in a variety of ways as well.
The most straightforward options are to either click “New Event” in the upper left or double click on the day in the calendar. Both methods will bring up a box where you can add the event information and details.
You start with creating a title for the event. Then, you can choose if this is an all-day event or set the start and end times for the event. Next, you can add a location.
Now, you can set the event to repeat if you want. For example, if every week you set an event to take out the trash, you can set the repeat for every week. You have the option to set it for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. You can also turn off repeat or set your own customized option.
Custom lets you choose the day of the week to repeat and set an end date. For example, if you need an event repeated every Friday for the next six months, then you can set it for Friday and the end date six months from now. You can also choose to repeat daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, and set it to repeat every 1 to 10 days, weeks, etc.
The last option showing is to set a reminder. The reminder options include the following:
- At time of event
- Five minutes before
- 15 minutes before
- 30 minutes before
- 1 hour before
- 2 hours before
- 12 hours before
- 1 day before
- 1 week before
In bottom right of the box, you can click “More options.” This gives you the option to add a description to the event or attach documents.
You may also invite attendees and invite optional attendees. Just enter the contact names for each person you want to invite. You can remove an invitee by clicking the “X” beside his or her name.
You also get the option to schedule this as a Skype meeting or add a location.
Across the top of the box, you will see some other options. First, you have “Save” and “Discard.”
Next, is “Busy,” if you click on this, you can mark the day with a status that shows your availability. These include:
- Working elsewhere
You can also make an event private under this list. These options are nice when you share your calendar with other people who need to know your schedule because they can see at-a-glance what your day is like. Plus, if you do not wish for anyone with whom you share your calendar to see the details of an event, the private option will help with that.
The next item in the toolbar is “Categorize.” You can create and manage categories for your events
You can add ones, such as work and school.
Next, are the response options. You can choose to request responses and allow forwarding. You can also hide the attendee list.
You will see three dots next, which provide you for options to customize an event using tools outside of Outlook. These include OneNote, My Templates and the option to get add-ins.
Click save when you finish creating your event to add it to your calendar.
Adding Events under To Do
You can also add events via the To Do option. This will add them in a little different manner. In the top toolbar, look for the little calendar icon. If you hover over it, it will say “My Day.” Click on this and it brings up a panel on the right side of your calendar. The screen showing is “To Do.”
Here you can add tasks to your list of things to do. Click “Add a task,” and type in the task name. Hit enter, and it adds it to the list. If it is an important or priority task, click the star beside it.
When you complete the task, click in the circle and it checks it off and removes it from the list. You will then see an option appear that allows you to see recently completed tasks.
You can take any list item you create and move it onto the calendar. Just click and hold anywhere in the list item’s box and drag it to the calendar.
Once on the calendar, you can click on the task and edit it. Editing allows you to make all the changes and add all the details you can to an event you create using one of the other methods.
You can change the title and date. You can mark it as an all-day event or assign a time to it. There is the option to have it run for multiple days up to five or to customize a start date to end date. You can also set it up to repeat and set a reminder just as you do for other events. Finally, you can add a location, set it up as a Skype meeting, add a description or attach documents.
Adding Events Using the Agenda
In the same area as you find the To Do list, you can choose “Calendar” at the top. This will bring up your agenda, which is a detailed list of your events for the week. You can also view by month or day by clicking the three dots to the right of the pane.
At the bottom of this box there is a box you can click to add a new event. Just click this and you will get the same pop-up box that you did when adding events using the other methods.
Adding Events Direct from Email
Under the settings menu, which is the gear in the very top right-hand corner, you can control the settings that allows the program to add events directly from your emails. To get to the screen you need, click the gear icon, and click at the bottom where it says “View all Outlook settings.”
This brings up a box with three panes. The left pane allows you to navigate settings for the different programs. The middle pane is the menu for the calendar settings. The right pane shows the information for the setting chosen.
It comes up on the view setting. You want to choose “Events from email” in the middle pane.
In the right pane, the first option is a checkbox to make any events added from your email private so other people with whom you share your calendar cannot see them. The default is to turn this on. If you do not want the events private, then uncheck the box.
Under this are various settings for things that you may want on your calendar, such as package delivery notices, service appointments, flight reservations, dining reservations, hotel reservations, rental car reservations and event reservations. For each, you can choose to show summaries either in email only or in email and on your calendar or you can opt out of summaries.
How To Export a Calendar
You may want the option to export your Outlook calendar to another calendar program. If you want to do this, you will need a URL or .ics file. You will need to navigate to the settings menu, which is the gear in the upper right of your main calendar screen. This is the same place you went to import events from your email.
As with the email events, you want to look at the middle pane of the pop-up box. Choose “Shared calendars.” In the right pane, you need to navigate to the bottom of the window where it says “Publish a calendar.”
First, you will choose which calendar you want to export in the “Select a calendar” box. You will then set the permissions in the next box. There are two permission options. You can choose “Can view when I’m busy” or “Can view all details.” Now, click the “Publish” button.
This will generate an HTML link that you can share or an .ics file. If you click on the .ics file, a menu pops up that allows you to either copy the link or download it to your computer. If you are already in your other calendar program, you can usually copy the link and paste it there to import. In some cases, though, you will need to download a file, and then, upload that file into your calendar program. If you click on the HTML link, you get the options to copy the link or go to the page.
Do be aware that when you choose to use this option, your calendar becomes public, which means anyone can see it, not just the people with whom you directly share it. If you no longer want to share your calendar public, you can use the option to the right and click the “Unpublish” button. There is also an option here to reset the links if you want to do that.
How To Add Outlook Calendar to Your Phone
Since so many people use their phones much more often than their computers, especially when on the go, it is important that you can use Outlook Calendar on your phone. There are different options for Android phones and iPhones.
Adding Outlook Calendar to an Android Phone
The only way to add the calendar to your Android phone is to download the Outlook app in the Google Play store. Once you do this, you can sync this with the calendar on your phone, or you can just use the app to access the calendar.
Adding Outlook Calendar to an iPhone
You can also download the Outlook app on a iPhone from the app store. You can also sync Outlook Calendar with your iPhone so you don’t have to add the app.
To do this, go to settings. Click “Passwords & Accounts,” and “Add account.” Choose the Outlook.com logo, and sign into your account. Finally, choose to sync calendars.
An Important Note
You should be aware that there is also another Outlook Calendar that is part of the Microsoft Office products. It is a paid calendar program that you download, set up and use on your computer. Most tutorials and guides you may find online are for the Office version of Outlook Calendar.
The Outlook Calendar covered here is similar to Google Calendar and Yahoo Calendar in that they are all free online programs connected to the corresponding email account. It has more simply options and controls than the paid Office version.
Additionally, the Office version has various other menus and ways to customize it because it is a paid product. The instructions in this guide will not correspond with using the Office version since they are two completely different programs.
The Office version is very similar to the other Office programs in that you have functionality options along the top of the screen in the Ribbon where you can find all the options to customize your calendar, add calendars, add events and create your calendar. If you use Microsoft Word, you will notice many familiar tabs, such as insert and page layout.
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Unleash Powerful Outlook Calendar Features with Woven
Just because Outlook Calendar has a simpler setup and navigation options than Google Calendar or Yahoo Calendar, it still holds it own. Many people love its functionality and use it daily. However, even the best calendar application can always use improvement.
One option you have is the calendar application from Woven. This program is ideal if you use your calendar to manage work-related activities. If you share your calendar with co-workers and use it to schedule work events, this calendar program provides a powerful collaboration tool.
It has a variety of features that you will not find on the simple calendar programs. For example, if you work in a position where you travel often or members of your team travel often, Woven provides tools for travel planning.
If you have different types of meetings and you are tired of setting the formatting up every single time you need to plan a meeting, Woven offers smart templates. You can quickly use a template for each type of meeting so all you have to do is enter the information.
It is also great for scheduling because of Woven’s scheduling links. These allow you to have a central place where everyone can work on their schedules. It stops the back and forth emails to try to get everyone together. Plus, it integrates right with the calendar, so all you do is send out the link and wait for the responses.
Other features that make using the Woven calendar a great experience include group polls built into the calendar, availability sharing, maps and time analytics. You also can use Woven for your personal calendar, which is a separate account from your other calendars to allow you to keep personal events private.
Upgrading your calendar to Woven is something you should consider if you want to get the most use from your calendar. It offers a wide range of tools that improves your experience and makes your calendar more productive.
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