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Importing stuff into your Outlook Calendar (or Tasks) from Excel

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Another handy way to add appointments to your calendar is by importing from Excel. To do this you first need to create an Excel file containing the appointment information Outlook needs. Your first row should contain columns titles which match Outlook's appointment fields. You don't need many fields to get started, just try the following for a basic import of all day appointments:

Cell A1: Subject
Cell B1: Start Date

Now add the data you'd like to import into your Outlook calendar under each of these column headings, for example: cell A2 could be "Bob's Birthday" and cell B2 could be "11/05/2005"

Now, here's the important bit. Highlight the entire range of cells that you've used (in my example this would be A1:B2) and give this range a name under Insert, Name, Define (or just type into the Name Box just above the top of column A). Outlook needs this range name so it knows where to find the data to import. Save your Excel file and close it.

Now just pop into Outlook and choose File, Import and Export. Then select Import from another program or file, hit Next, then choose Microsoft Excel and hit Next again. Now locate the Excel file you created earlier, hit Next, select your Calendar, press Next again and check  that Outlook finds the correct Range Name in your Excel file. Now press Map Custom Fields to verify how Outlook is mapping your Excel column headers to its own Calendar Appointment fields, changing if necessary, then hit OK, then Finish.

If you've done everything right, your Outlook Calendar will now contain the appointments you created in Excel.

There are 22 fields you can import into Outlook in this way. These are: Subject, Start Date, Start Time, End Date, End Time, All day event, Reminder on/off, Reminder Date, Reminder Time, Meeting Organizer, Required Attendees, Optional Attendees, Meeting Resources, Billing Information, Categories, Description, Location, Mileage, Priority, Private, Sensitivity, Show time as.

Top tip: try importing in this way to your Task folder rather than your Calendar. This is a great way to move a list of 'to do' items from Excel or Project directly into your Outlook calendar.

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