Customizing Calendar

Outlook defaults to a workday of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. But what do you do if your workday is 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.? Or third shift, Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.? You can customize Calendar to define when your workday and workweek begin and end.

To change the specific workday parameters, choose Tools, Options, click the Preferences tab, and click the Calendar Options button.

In the Calendar workweek section, click the appropriate days' check boxes to match your workweek. You can enter the first day of the week from the drop-down list or directly type the day. You can also designate the first week of the year, just in case you work a fiscal year rather than a calendar year.

Enter the start times and end times of your day either by using the drop-down lists or by directly entering the times into each field.

Creating a New Appointment

Naturally, there's more than one way to begin the process of setting an appointment. However, all roads lead to the same place: the Appointment window.

The easiest way to begin is to click the New Appointment button on the far-left side of the standard Calendar toolbar. The menu command is Actions, New Appointment. If you like to use shortcut keys, you can press Ctrl+N to activate the New Appointment window.

If you are in Outlook but not in Calendar, and you need to set an appointment, select the Appointment command in the Standard toolbar's New Items drop-down box. This list also displays Ctrl+Shift+A as the shortcut key for activating the New Appointment window. You can always start a new appointment from anywhere within Outlook by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A.

A Quick Look at the Appointment Window

As shown in Figure 18.2, the Appointment window offers menu commands and toolbar functions to help you set appointments as easily as possible.

Figure 18.2. The Appointment window displays as Untitled until you complete the Subject field.


Time and Date Errors

When you first create a new appointment, you might see a warning (located just above the Subject line) which states that the appointment occurs in the past, as shown in Figure 18.2. This is because, by default, Outlook assumes that the appointment you want to schedule is for the time and date highlighted in the current appointment window. If the current time is after the highlighted time, the appointment occurs in the past. Don't worry about this error message; you'll learn to fix it shortly. Actually, although this might seem like an extra step, it keeps you from accidentally scheduling appointments in the past.

Defining the Appointment Subject

Keep the subject short and to the point. Save detailed explanations for the Note box near the bottom of the Appointment window. After you type a subject and leave the Subject field, the window title changes from Untitled to whatever subject you typed.

Entering the Location

Unless your appointments are always at the same place, it's wise to note where meetings and events will be held. This field is especially helpful for offsite events. The nice thing about the Location field is that it is actually a drop-down list box that remembers the last 10 locations you entered into this field. This is great for office appointments, because these tend to occur in the same places. After a short while, the drop-down list should contain a customized list of most of the places your appointments are likely to occur.

Entering Dates

To save you from typing dates and times, Calendar's drop-down boxes in date fields enable you to use the mouse to set up the appointment's date and time. Click the drop-down arrow next to the date field in the Start Time line to see a calendar of the current month. Click any day in the displayed month to choose the day for your appointment. The current date always appears enclosed in a red box. If you want to move to a different month, click the back (left) or forward (right) arrows in the top corners of the calendar. Also, anytime you want to move quickly back to your present position in the space-time continuum, simply click the Today button on the bottom of the calendar.

You can also type dates in the normal format, for example:



December 12, 2004


Outlook understands major holidays that occur on the same date each year (such as Christmas) but not variable holidays (such as Easter or Hanukah).

Setting Times

The Start Time drop-down box displays times in half-hour intervals starting at 12 a.m. By default, Outlook assumes that the appointment duration is one-half hour .

Set the appropriate date and start time for the appointment. Generally, you can skip the End Time date field (appointments generally last less than one day) and click the drop-down arrow for the End Time field. A list of half-hour intervals is displayed, now with duration notations next to them. If you know the specific time your appointment will end, you can click that time, or if you just know the duration of the appointment, you can search for the correct duration time without doing the mental calculations to determine the actual end time.

In the next few steps, you set an appointment to surprise one of your office workers, Kevin, with a 40th birthday party tomorrow. The party is at 2:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. You are the person responsible for getting Kevin there.

  1. Open Outlook if it isn't already open . Click the Calendar folder in the Outlook Bar or Folder list.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+A to display an Untitled-Appointment window.

  3. In the Subject text box, type Kevin's Birthday Party .

  4. In the Location text box, type Cafeteria .

  5. Display the calendar for the start date and click the next business day.

  6. Click the Start Time drop-down arrow and choose 2:00 p.m. to set the start time (making sure you click the second 2 rather than the first 2, so you choose p.m. rather than a.m.). When you finish entering the date and time, notice that in the End Time fields, the end date and end time change to the same date and a half-hour later than the time in the Start Time fields. This saves steps in setting up the end time, provided that the event is supposed to last the default half hour.

  7. If the party is scheduled to last only a half hour, this appointment's times would now be set. However, Kevin and his coworkers are a bit more fun than that, and they plan to party about an hour and a half. This party will last 1.5 hours, so choose 3:30 p.m. (1.5 hours) as the end time. You can use the drop-down arrow with the mouse; or, if your fingers are already on the keyboard, tab down to the End Time field and tap the down-arrow key twice to advance from the default 2:30 to 3:30.

  8. Your Appointment screen should be similar to the one in Figure 18.3. With the subject, location, date, and time completed for Kevin's party (the minimum amount of information you need in order to set up an appointment), click the Save and Close button.

    Figure 18.3. The basic appointment information for Kevin's party has been entered.


More Ways to Set Appointments

You can set your times and create a new appointment in other ways as well. Instead of using the Appointment window to set the dates and times, you can use Calendar itself:

  1. Move to the day on which you want to set up the appointment by clicking the new date on the Date Navigator; scroll to the desired time in the Calendar.

  2. Double-click the half-hour block of time in the daily calendar to indicate when the appointment will begin.

  3. The Appointment window pops up with the correct date and time for a half-hour appointment already entered. Change the duration if necessary.

Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One
Sams Teach Yourself Office Productivity All in One (Sams Teach Yourself All in One)
ISBN: 0672325349
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 474
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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