Video: Your calendar, your time

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In this video, we’ll look at ways you can use the calendar in Outlook 2013 to manage tasks and organize your time more efficiently.

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They’re called appointments, meetings and events in Outlook, but they’re really just ways for you to manage your time.

An appointment typically involves a time commitment you make to get something done, like go to the dentist.

In a week view, click and drag to select the block of time you want to allocate. Then, right-click the block, and click New Appointment.

In Subject, describe what you plan to do. And in Location, add where you plan to do it. Of course, you’re the only one who will see the appointment, so you can fill it out anyway you want.

If you’re blocking out the time on your work calendar, click Show as. If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange you can decide how you want others to view your time when they try to add you to a meeting. If you’re serious about the time commitment, choose Busy or Out of Office.

In the body, you can add notes or leave it blank. In this case, let’s go to the Insert tab, click Attach File, and add the PowerPoint file you plan to work on. Go back to the Appointment tab, and click Save & Close.

You can also block out time directly from an email. Let’s say you get an email that requires a time commitment from you. Click the Message tab, and Meeting.

A meeting request opens with the people who are on the To and Cc lines. However, you just want to use the request to block out time on your calendar. So, convert the meeting request into an appointment by deleting the names on the To line and clicking Cancel Invitation.

Now you can decide when to block out the time on your calendar by entering start and end times. Or you can click Scheduling Assistant and block out your time here. When you’re done, click Save & Close.

Because you’re making the time commitments with yourself, you’re free to make changes whenever you want. Change a time block by dragging the start and end times. Or drag the whole appointment to move it to another time.

If you want to block out the same time on a regular basis, click Recurrence. Decide when and how often you want the appointment to recur. For example, you can select Weekly and check Monday.

Down here, decide how long you want the time block to recur, or click No end date. Click OK.

You can also add other options, such as Private, which prevents people from seeing details of the appointment in the Scheduling Assistant. If you have a really busy calendar and want to visually be able to glance at your personal versus work commitments, click Categorize > All Categories.

Click New, and create a category called Personal time. Then, pick a color, and click OK.

Now you can select a time block, click Categorize and Personal time to make it stand out in your calendar.

Finally, if you want to keep your personal time separate from your other appointments and meetings, go to the Home tab, click Open Calendar, and Create New Blank Calendar.

Type a name for it, and click OK.

Check both your work and personal calendars in the folder list to view with them side by side. Now you can add new appointments or move them between calendars. Right-click an item, drag it to the new calendar, and then select Move.

Go to the View tab and click Overlay to view one calendar on top of the other. Now you can store the calendars separately but view them together.

So now you know how Outlook can help you speed up mundane tasks and manage your time more efficiently. Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface. To learn more about things like search folders and conversation view, check out the links in the course summary.

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