Get Organised 2: Never miss a meeting

With Outlook on hand, there’s no reason at all for slack punctuality (bar the traffic en-route of course). Windows Middle East explains…

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By  Matthew Wade Published  May 1, 2006

|~|Get-org---2.jpg|~|If a meeting is a regular thing, hit the ‘Recurrence’ button above the Appointment tab and make sure you never miss one.|~|For the completely uninitiated, let’s begin with how to set up an Outlook meeting. First, you’ll need to activate Outlook’s ‘Outlook Bar’ (this lists Outlook Today, Inbox, Calendar and so on in the left-hand vertical pane). To enable this, navigate to the File menu and click on View/Outlook Bar. From here click ‘Calendar’ and then double-click the time of the meeting (if using the day view) or the date and then the respective time. Change the calendar view to show more or less days and weeks via the buttons in the taskbar at the top of the screen (just below the menus). Look and hear Crucial to keeping organised is remembering each meeting, so before saving your meeting details, set the ‘Reminder’ time (in other words, how long before the event an Outlook message will spring onto your PC’s screen to remind you of it). If you tend to ignore unexpected messages and have a sound card in your PC, click the loudspeaker button next to the meeting’s reminder time and choose a noisy honk to give you a dual-sense reminder. If a meeting involves your teammates, again before saving your meeting details into the calendar (or if you’ve closed it, after double-clicking it open again), hit ‘Invite Attendees’ and you can e-mail the meeting details to them directly. If your staff then accept this invite they’ll be reminded of the event beforehand too. Meanwhile, if a meeting is a regular affair - for instance a weekly update with the boss or a monthly sales recap - hit the ‘Recurrence’ button above the main Appointment tab, as this will help you schedule an event so that you’re reminded each time. If you now move across to the ‘Attendee Availability’ tab, this shows you exactly which staff have agreed to your meeting and who has yet still to reply (classed as ‘No Information’). Staff can even ‘tentatively’ agree to a meeting. If you then change meeting details, click the ‘Send Update’ button. That will send staff another e-mail that includes updated meeting details, which again they can choose to ‘Accept’, ‘Tentatively Accept’ or ‘Decline’. Share the wealth If you use MS Outlook with Exchange Server (if in doubt, ask your company’s IT manager), you can share your calendar with your colleagues. What’s particularly useful for some firms - especially larger ones - is for one user (a department head or their assistant for example), to ‘host’ that department’s shared calendar. This might involve one or two users being able to edit meetings, with everyone else just able to view them. First, the ‘Host’ (in this case the department secretary) must give guests access - in two ways. The first concerns the host’s Mailbox (so that guests can view their Outlook calendar). If you are this host, right-click Outlook Today in the left Outlook pane and choose Properties. Then select ‘Permissions’ and choose the guests. For each guest, click Add and once you have them all, hit OK. To specify what permission each guest gets, in terms of accessing your Mailbox, choose a role for each from the pull-down ‘Roles’ list. For the Mailbox we recommend the ‘Reviewer’ role. This gives guests permission to ‘Read Items’ in your mailbox but only the items you name. You can also specify each guest’s permission for your calendar. Simply, right-click on ‘Calendar’ then click on ‘Properties/Permissions’. Again, the ‘Reviewer’ role gives guests viewing abilities but no editing privileges. You or your assistant’s role should then be set to ‘Editor’. Guests meanwhile also need to alter some settings, in order to effectively tell Outlook that they will be sharing your PC. Thus they must tell Outlook the name of your computer. To do this they should perform the following steps: - Click to Tools/Services on the Outlook Menu Bar - Select Microsoft Exchange Server, then Properties/Advanced tab - Under ‘Mailboxes’, click ‘Add’. Then they should just type the host’s name (i.e. yours), click OK, then Apply and OK again. Your Mailbox should then appear on each guest’s folder list. It’s as simple as that. ||**||

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