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How to use calendar and event scheduling in Outlook 365 for Mac

Microsoft Outlook logo

After the Fall 2020 update, Microsoft Outlook 365 for Mac will have two additional views for your calendar, an easier way to respond, better options for scheduling events, and a handy new status for invitations. Plus, it̵

7;s all packed into a more attractive app.

See your schedule with My Day

A handy Microsoft Outlook feature called My Day gives you a quick overview of your daily schedule. You can see a calendar or day view and add an event with one click.

To see My Day in the Mail tab, click the Show Task Pane button on the right, or select View> Task Pane from the menu bar. To see it in the other Outlook tabs, click the Show Task Pane button or select View> My Day from the menu bar.

Click View to view My Day or the Task Pane button

To switch views in My Day, click the three-dot icon in the top right. Allows you to go from “Agenda” to “Day” view and back again.

Click on three dots for Calendar or Day view

You can also select “Settings” from this menu to adjust the calendars you want to view.

Change your My Day settings

To add an event while in My Day, click the plus sign (+) next to the three-dot icon.

Click the plus sign for a new event in My Day

Use the three-day calendar view

If you want to see more than one day in your Microsoft Outlook calendar, but a week (or even the work week) is too much, try a three-day view.

Click on the “Calendar” tab to open your Outlook calendar. From there, select the drop-down arrow in the top right corner or click View> Three Days from the menu bar.

Click View or the drop-down list and choose Three days

RSVP in the same window

It is efficient if you can reply to an email in the same window instead of having a new one open automatically. That’s why Microsoft has added event responses for your calendar in addition to emails.

RSVP in the reading pane

When you receive a new event invitation, you can respond in the same way as before, but now you can also add a message in the reading pane.

As always, you can click on ‘Accept’, ‘Tentative’, ‘Decline’ or ‘Propose new time’. At the top right of those options, you’ll see the box where you can type an optional message to send to the event organizer. If you want to add a post, make sure to do so before clicking a comment.

RSVP for your event

Schedule events with advanced options

Event planning can be tricky when you’re working on everyone’s calendar. However, advanced options in Microsoft Outlook make it easy to select a time, check availability and switch to another day with ease.

To create a new event, click File> New> Event in the menu bar of an Outlook tab. Or you can click on the “Calendar” tab and then on “New event” in the top left. Then you can add all your event details on the left.

Click the New event button

Use the calendar grid on the right for an easier way to adjust the time. Drag the time block wherever you want and then expand or collapse it to adjust the time frame.

Add event details using the time block

If you want to keep that timeframe but check a different date, use the arrows at the top next to the date. When you land on the day you want to use that same time frame, all you have to do is complete and submit your invitation.

Choose a new date for the time block

If you have a lot of invitees, you can also still click “Scheduling Assistant” at the top of the event window to add required and optional invitees and a location.

Click the Scheduling Assistant button

This allows you to view the availability of multiple visitors at the same time. You can also drag the time block and use the double-sided arrow to extend or shorten the time frame.

Use the Scheduling Assistant

When you are done with the Scheduling Assistant, click “Done” at the top left. Any details you’ve added or edited will be applied to the invitation. You will then be returned to the invite window, where you can do everything else or just click ‘Send’.

Set a Working Elsewhere status

You are probably used to selecting “Busy” or “Free” status when scheduling events. However, in the new Microsoft Outlook you now have another option: “Work elsewhere”.

To use it, click the status button at the top left of the event window and select ‘Work elsewhere’. This way your visitors know that you are participating from a different location. This is especially useful when you are working or traveling remotely.

Click Work Elsewhere

The status “Work Elsewhere” is displayed with a blue dotted circle similar to “Tentative”, including a blue dashed circle. This informs others of your status at a glance.

Elsewhere, indicator works

One last new calendar feature for Outlook worth mentioning is Meeting Insights. Outlook suggests emails and files for your event based on your event or attendees. If Meeting Insights are available, you will see them in a tab next to “Meeting Details” in the event window.

Also, keep in mind that with the new Outlook on Mac, you can still color appointments with categories in your calendar and display the weather if your event is in a different location.

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