Top 5 Outlook Calendar Timesavers

Sep 14, 2023 | Outlook Hints and Tips

Calendars are an integral part of Microsoft Outlook and the calendar is such a useful tool for setting up meetings and appointments.  We all want to find a way to save time and these 5 shortcuts could be just what you are looking for.  They are not the most sophisticated options in Outlook but often it’s the little things that have the biggest impact.

Add an email to a calendar appointment or meeting

If you have just received an email and want to set aside some time to deal with it or have a meeting with relevant parties you may want to see the details of the email in the meeting.  Here is the easiest way to do this.

  1. Select the email but do not open it
  2. Drag and drop the email to the Calendar icon on the navigation pane
  3. A new appointment will be created with start and finish times on todays date.  These can be altered.  The title of the email will default to the subject of the email and can also be changed
  4. The appointment can be changed to a meeting by adding people on the scheduling assistant tab

Add file to a calendar appointment or meeting

You may choose to add files to a calendar entry for several reasons.  They may be required for a training course or be an agenda for the meeting.  The easiest way to add files is to drag and drop them into the meeting

  1. Make sure outlook is on the Calendar tab showing the meeting you want to add the file to
  2. Open File Explorer to view the file to be added
  3. Drag the file to the Outlook symbol on the task bar.  Let the Calendar open then hover over the meeting or appointment until you see a box with a ‘+’ symbol appearing
  4. Unclick the mouse button and the file will be added

Open the calendar in a New Window

This is one of my favourites.  It can be helpful to be able to view your emails and calendar at the same time.  I often have clients who give me a list of potential dates for training and it helps if I can also see my calendar to see which are suitable without flicking backwards and forwards.

  1. Assuming you are currently in your emails
  2. Right click on the Calendar icon in the navigation pane and select Open in New Window
Open in new window image

NOTE: This work for any of the locations on the navigation pane in a similar way

Use Categories to colour code meetings and appointments

Colour coding in the calendar helps to make different types of meetings and appointments easier to find and the structure of your day easier to follow at a glance.  Categories can also be used in Search to facilitate the find of a certain meeting.

  1. Create the calendar entry in the usual way
  2. The Categorise icon can be used when the email is open or closed
Categorise icon image

NOTE: If you have not set up categories already then they will be allocated names such as Blue category and Red category.  Giving them more meaningful names is far more helpful and can be done from All Categories.

Select specific dates to view

You probably already know about the Day, Work Week, Week and Month views but what if you needed to see 2 Mondays at the same time or the next 3 days only?  You may wish to do this to see when you have availability on specific dates.

  1. On the calendar in the pane on the left select the first date you want to view
  2. Hold on to CTRL to select individual dates that are not next to each other or SHIFT to select a block of dates


Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about these Outlook Calendar Timesavers, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Outlook? Then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Outlook Courses I run.