For many, the Calendar in Outlook is a crucial part of their day and for future planning. To make sure you can rely on it, there are a couple of do’s and don’ts.
Especially when it comes to the handling of meeting requests, or when having delegates assigned to your Calendar, or when you are a delegate yourself, there are a couple of important things to be aware of.
Failing to do so, could cause your Calendar to become out-of-sync or produce corruptions which can cause Outlook to crash whenever you try to do anything with your Calendar.
Tip 1: Never delete meeting requests
Instead of deleting meeting requests, always Accept, Tentatively Accept or Decline them.
When you delete them instead of declining, the meeting could still remain as “not yet responded” on your Calendar or return back on your Calendar when the meeting organizer updates the meeting request.
Tip 2: Process your meeting requests from the Inbox folder and not the Calendar
When you process your Meeting Requests via the Inbox, the requests are automatically deleted.
When you process it via the Calendar, the requests will remain in your Inbox. This could cause them to return to your Calendar when they are being synched and processed by another client or cause confusion, especially when you also have delegates configured.
Tip 3: Do not move the Meeting Requests to a different folder
Meeting Requests are designed to be processed from the Inbox folder. Once you’ve answered to a request, it will automatically be moved to the Deleted Items.
If you still want to keep that request in a different folder for whatever reason (for instance; When you’ve originally declined but want to keep the request in case the meeting spot opens up again), you are free to move it afterwards.
Tip 4: Process any Cancellations as well by clicking “Remove from Calendar”
When you receive a Meeting Cancellation, deleting this cancellation message will not delete the meeting from your Calendar but instead “Cancelled” will be added to the subject of the meeting.
To actually remove the meeting from your Calendar folder, use he “Remove from Calendar” button at the top of the Meeting Cancellation message.
Tip 5: Set realistic end-dates for recurring meetings
Especially when the meeting occurs on a daily or a weekly basis, you should restrict it to a maximum length of 1 year. There are many reasons for this but the most important ones are;
- Recurring meetings are being calculated (although very fast) and processing any exceptions for a frequently recurring meeting requires more processing time.
- Only up to 25 attachments are supported, so adding notes or a presentation to each weekly meeting could get problematic.
- There is (currently) no way to change the meeting owner.
- There is (currently) no way to end or change the recurrence pattern without losing all exceptions.
Tip 6: As a Delegate, only process meeting requests for the Manager from your main computer
When you are a Delegate for a Calendar, it is highly recommended to only perform your Delegate tasks from your main computer.
While technically you could use any device, there is a higher likelihood that another “ad-hoc” device hasn’t fully synched the Calendar of the Manager yet before you answer, or that your answer hasn’t been synched yet before you stop using that device.
In the mean time, another delegate or the manager could have processed the same request as well which can cause a sync conflict.
This becomes less of an issue with the new Office 365 Calendar Sharing model which includes Instant Syncing capabilities. This feature is in preview since Office 365 Version 1907. However, it is still recommended to restrict the amount of devices that you use to manage someone else’s Calendar as a Delegate.
Tip 7: Do not add more that 4 delegates for your mailbox.
Although technically more are supported, the Outlook Team generally tests with up to 4 delegates for a single mailbox.
Adding more delegates would get you into a “supported but not tested” state, which is something you want to try to avoid.
Adding more delegates would also increase the likelihood of multiple people processing the same Meeting Requests at the same time which can cause various synch conflicts.
There is a difference between granting someone access to your Calendar and making someone a Delegate for your Calendar. For details see: Delegate permissions vs. Folder permissions.