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Send a Calendar via Email in Outlook 2007

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I'm busy testing the latest dogfood version of the new 2007 Microsoft Office system. As I journey ever deeper into the new applications in the system I'm uncovering some really neat features. One of my favourites is Outlook 2007's new Send a Calendar via Email feature which allows you to, er, well, send a calendar via email. It works like this: while composing an email, hit the Calendar icon in the Include section of the ribbon:

Insert-Calendar

This brings up a dialog box that allows you to chose how you would like your calendar to appear.

SendACalendarviaEmail

You can choose to show your time using one of three different options:

  • Availability only (times shown only as Free/Busy/Tentative/Out of Office)
  • Limited details (as above but with the meeting subject lines also shown)
  • Full details (the whole caboodle, warts and all)

And what you then get is a custom piece of clickable text inserted into your email that shows your availability for the dates you have chosen. A snapshot of your calendar is also enclosed in the email as a .ics file. Here's how Outlook presents my 'availability only' for tomorrow:

Availabilty Example

Is this 'useful technology'? I'll say! Use this when you want to organise a meeting with someone who does not have access to your shared calendar. I reckon I've used this new feature at least once a day since discovering it a couple of weeks ago. A real time saver.

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