How to Schedule a Meeting in Outlook

When a meeting organizer sends a meeting request to attendees, the request goes both to the Inbox and Calendar of each invited attendee. Their responses (Accept, Tentative, Decline) go back to the meeting organizer. Scheduling and maintaining meetings in Outlook greatly improves efficiency because Outlook keeps track of the details using the Inbox and the Calendar. When details change, they can be updated for everyone, all at once, with the click of a button.

A quick overview of the process:

  • The meeting organizer schedules the meeting and sends all of the participants a special type of message called a meeting request. This request is delivered to the Inboxes of all of the meeting participants.

  • Once the request is in the attendee's Inbox, Outlook recognizes it as something that belongs in the Calendar and puts it there as a "tentative" entry until the attendee has a chance to respond.

  • Attendees read the request and respond. A meeting response, which is similar to a meeting request, is sent back to the Inbox of the meeting organizer — and just as it did with the requests, Outlook recognizes each response as something special. The meeting entry is updated in the organizer's calendar with information about who is coming.

Scheduling a Meeting:

1.On your Outlook calendar, select the date of your proposed meeting.

2.On the day listing, highlight the hour(s) of the meeting.

3.Go to File-->New-->Meeting Request and click.The New Meeting request will open, with your date and time already entered.(Or enter this information in the blank Meeting Request.)

4.Select attendees:

a.In the Meeting Request, click on To to open the global address listing, and select attendees as either “required” or “optional”; click OK; move to step 5; or

b.Enter all names in the To field, separated by semiconons; or

c.Select the Scheduling tab and enter the names.

5.Enter the meeting topic in the Subject box.

6.Enter any additional information in the body of the form.

7.Check attendees‘ availability:

a.Click on Scheduling tab to see the availability of everyone on this Exchange server.Blue = busy, slashed-blue = tentative, maroon = out of office, gray = no info.

b.Note the comparison of schedules.If you cannot find a common clear time, you can use <<AutoPick Next >> to identify the next matching (either direction) time span that is free on all calendars.

8.Once you have identified/selected a date/time, click Send.It will be emailed to all, for each to decide whether to accept or decline.(Remember:Not everyone puts everything in their calendars, so even though someone‘s schedule looks open, it may not be.)

Clickbelow for a detailed lesson: (requires a Caltech network connection, use VPN if off campus)