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Microsoft Outlook 2007

Using the Scheduling Assistant

Outlook's Scheduling Assistant is a tool which allows you to invite groups of people to meetings or events without having to email them individually. You may complete a new meeting request which Outlook emails to the desired recipients in the form of an invitation. When the invitation is sent, a tentative appointment will appear on the invitees' calendars. Potential attendees can then accept or reject the invitation. If an individual accepts, Outlook will automatically mark the time as busy on his or her Calendar. This document covers the process involved in using Outlook's Scheduling Assistant.

return to topScheduling Assistant Considerations

The Scheduling Assistant is a powerful tool, but like many other tools, the value is determined by how people use it. If individuals actively maintain their Outlook Calendar, the Scheduling Assistant can be very useful. However, not all participants for a meeting will have access to Outlook and some will choose not to use the Calendar feature. If one or more of your participants does not maintain their Outlook Calendar, the value of the Scheduling Assistant decreases. How this is addressed is a departmental (or other appropriate group) issue.

NOTE: The schedule that is displayed in the Scheduling Assistant is updated every 15 minutes.

return to topCreating a New Meeting Request

Outlook 2007's Scheduling Assistant is capable of taking a great number of variables into account when helping you to schedule a meeting (refer to Understanding Scheduling). This section will explain how to create a new Meeting Request and schedule that request using the Scheduling Assistant.

  1. On the Navigation pane, click CALENDARCalendar button

  2. From the File menu, select New » Meeting Request
    An Untitled Meeting dialog box appears.

  3. From the Meeting tab, in the Show group, click SCHEDULING ASSISTANTScheduling Assistant button
    The Scheduling Assistant view appears.
    Scheduling Assistant

  4. To select attendees from an Address Book, click ADD ATTENDEES... » add the desired attendees
    For more information on searching for attendees, refer to Locating Recipients.
    To type the names of the desired attendees,
    1. In the All Attendees list, click CLICK HERE TO ADD A NAME
    2. Type the desired recipient's name
    3. Press [Enter]
      The added invitee's schedule appears in the planner, if available.

  5. OPTIONAL: To classify attendees, right click the iconRequired attendee iconnext to the attendee's name » select the desired classification
    Attendee classifications are taken into account by the Suggested Times

    Creator of the meeting; regarded as necessary by the Suggested Times list.

    Required AttendeeRequired attendee
    Invitees to be regarded as necessary by the Suggested Times list.

    This label marks rooms or equipment added to the Meeting; regarded as necessary by the Suggested Times list.

    Optional AttendeeOptional attendee
    Invitees for whom attendance is optional; separated from Required Attendees in the Suggested Times list.

  6. From the small calendar on the right, click the desired meeting day

  7. From the Duration pull-down menu, select the appropriate meeting length

  8. From the Suggested Times list, select the desired meeting time
    NOTE: The Suggested Times list automatically sorts and displays all the possible meeting times on the date you select based on attendee availability, resource availability (if any resources/rooms have been added), and duration. If no times work during the day you have selected, you can repeat steps 5-6 to find a better day.

  9. In the Show group, click APPOINTMENTAppointment button
    The Appointment view appears.

  10. In the Subject text box, type the appropriate information
    NOTE: The Start Time, End Time, Location, and To... areas should be completed to reflect the adjustments made within the Scheduling Assistant in steps 1-7.

  11. Complete the body of the message

  12. Click SENDSend button
    Your Meeting Request is sent and the window closes.

Understanding Scheduling

The following will help you in determining attendee availability:
Scheduling Assistant

The time is marked as busy.

Blue and White Striped
The marked time is scheduled with tentative appointments.

Purple time is marked as "out of office".

Black and White Striped
Marks time periods for which Outlook has no information. (This could mean the user is not an Outlook/Exchange user or is not a UWEC user or does not have an Outlook Calendar set up.)

return to topResponding to a Meeting Request

When you have been invited to attend a meeting, a tentative meeting will appear on your Calendar and the request will appear in your Inbox. Your reply to the meeting request will be sent only to the person who originated the request.

  1. Open a received invitation

  2. OPTIONAL: To check your Calendar before replying, from the Meeting tab, in the Actions group, click CALENDARCalendar button

  3. At the top of the message window, click the appropriate button (ACCEPT, TENTATIVE, or DECLINE)
    A dialog box appears asking if you want to edit the response before sending, send the response now, or don't send a response.

  4. Select the appropriate option
    HINT: An option is selected if a dot appears in the circle next to it.

  5. If you elect to edit a response, complete the resulting dialog box

  6. Click SENDSend button
    The response is sent and the window closes.

Working with Rescheduling Proposals

As the recipient of a new meeting request, you can propose an alternate time to the meeting organizer. When doing this, you can see the free and busy times of all those invited. The organizer can then choose to agree to your proposal and send out new invitations, or disagree and reply directly to you.

Proposing a New Time: As Recipient of a Meeting Request

As the recipient of a meeting request, one of your options is to propose a new time. When doing so, you are able to view the busy and free times of all attendees, making your selection of a new time more informed.

  1. Open a received invitation

  2. From the Meeting tab, in the Respond group, click PROPOSE NEW TIMEPropose New Time button
    The schedule of attendees appears, showing busy and free times.

  3. Select a new time

    A new message window addressed to the meeting organizer opens.

  5. OPTIONAL: Complete the body of the message with any desired notes or considerations

  6. Click SENDSend button
    The proposal is sent to the meeting organizer for review, and the original meeting is currently shown on your calendar as tentative.

Accepting a New Proposed Time: As Organizer of the Meeting

As the organizer of a meeting, you may receive proposals for a new meeting time. If you do not accept them, the original meeting time stands. If you accept a new meeting time, you can have Outlook notify the attendees and update their calendars.

  1. In the Respond group, click ACCEPT PROPOSALAccept Proposal button
    A new message window opens, addressed to all attendees.

  2. OPTIONAL: Complete the body of the response with any desired notes or considerations

  3. Click SEND UPDATE
    The response is sent and the message window closes.

Declining a New Proposed Time: As Organizer of the Meeting

Outlook does not provide a specific function for declining new meeting time proposals. Instead, you are provided with a list of all new proposed times. From that list, you can select any new proposed time or the original time, and send a new invitation out to all invitees.

NOTE: If you choose to ignore new meeting time proposals, the original meeting time will remain as tentative on all invitees' Calendars.

  1. Open the new proposal message

  2. In the Respond group, click VIEW ALL PROPOSALSView All Proposals button
    A new Scheduling Assistant window opens.
    NOTE: When viewing proposals, the Scheduling Assistant view will contain a list of all newly proposed times.
    Proposal list

  3. To decline all new proposals and keep the original time,
    1. Click the proposal labeled <Current Meeting Time>
    2. Click SENDSend button

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