Some best practices when working with Outlook Calendar


1.1   Make sure that you are up-to-date!


1.1.1          Outlook

For administrators is very important keep all Outlook clients updated with the latest Microsoft cumulative updates for Office/Outlook.

1.1.2          Exchange


Exchange server should be up-to-date in order to avoid issues that were corrected in released Rollups or Service Packs.


1.1.3          Blackberry/Palm/Other mobile devices used to synchronize the Outlook Calendar


Very often users are synchronizing their mailbox (including calendar) with handheld devices (Blackberry, Palm, Iphone, etc.). For this reason it is also very important to update the software for these devices and 3rd party servers that are used for Exchange mailbox synchronization.


Best practices for the Outlook client

2.1   Same Outlook version when multiple users are working on the same calendar (for example while using delegation)


When working on the same calendar we recommend using the same Outlook version with the same service pack and "updates" level.

In fact an Outlook client up-to-date and an Outlook client that is not up-to-date might have a different behavior while processing a meeting and conflicts might appear. The same principle applies when using different Outlook versions.


When you use delegates in Outlook 2007, it is recommended that the manager and all the delegates use Outlook 2007 Service Pack 2



2.2   Always process meeting invites from the Inbox folder


Normally when a user is invited to a meeting, an email message will appear in his Inbox folder, containing the meeting invite. At the same time the meeting will be placed in the Calendar as “tentative”.  These operations are automatically made by Outlook and Exchange.


We recommend that the user that receives the meeting invite to process it using the meeting invite message (from Inbox) and to avoid deleting this message before processing the meeting.


Deleting the meeting request message from Inbox, before manually processing the meeting, will delete also the “tentative” meeting from your calendar.


Once the meeting is processed using the meeting invite message, you will see that the meeting will change from “Tentative” to “Accepted”


2.3   Always process meetings invites that you receive


As mentioned previously when receiving a meeting request, a meeting/appointment will be placed in your calendar as “Tentative”.


We recommend processing the meeting request (by accepting/ declining/ etc.). This will inform the meeting organizer about your presence in the meeting or not (if you decline). The same principle applies with updates for already accepted meetings.


Leaving the meeting as Tentative without processing it will potentially create conflicts and the information in your calendar won’t be accurate.



2.4   Do not delete meetings from your calendar


Once you accepted a meeting and you are no longer able to participate do not delete the meeting from your calendar!


If you delete the meeting the organizer will not be informed that you declined the meeting and your current response is not reflected in their meeting.


If you are not going to participate in a meeting that you previously accepted please use the “Decline” button to send the meeting cancelation message. When you decline a meeting the organizer will receive this message.


Also, if you are not able to attend a meeting at the proposed time you can always use the “Proposed New Time” feature of Outlook in order to inform the organizer.



2.5   How to move or delete a meeting


Once a meeting was created (organizer) and accepted (attendees) you might want to modify the time/date/etc.


a)      If you are the meeting organizer


If you want to move a meeting, make your changes and make sure that you use the “Send Update” button in order to inform all attendees.


b)      If you are attendee to this meeting


Check 2.4 above


2.6   Accept meeting cancellations


If you receive a meeting cancellation message, open the message and click on the “Remove from Calendar” button. Like this the meeting will be removed from the calendar, in order to avoid the situation when the meeting was cancelled but it will still appear in your calendar.


2.7   Recurring meetings

In order to have a recurring meeting you will need to add a recurrence for it. This means that the meeting will take place according to the frequency you set (Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Yearly). You also have the option to set the range of recurrence starting from (Start field) to:

-          No end date 

-          End After: number of occurrences

-          End By: here you can enter a date


We recommend using an “End Date” for a recurring meeting.


2.8.1 Changing the organizer of a recurring meeting
It is not possible to change the organizer of a meeting or recurring meeting.
2.8.3 Exceptions
 A recurring meeting exception is in fact an occurrence that is modified (date/time). An exception will no longer correspond to the recurrence pattern.
2.8.4 Deleting a recurring meeting as organizer
      Do no delete the meeting from your calendar. In order to delete a recurring meeting you will need to open the series (if you open the occurrence you will cancel only that occurrence) and click on the “Cancel Meeting” (this is the option for Outlook 2007). The next step is to send this information to all attendees in order to update also their calendar. To do this, use the “Send Cancelation” button.
Attendees will receive in their inbox the “Cancellation” message and will have the possibility to remove the meeting from their calendar (with the Remove from Calendar button).
Important: All occurrences for the meeting will be deleted.
 Additional information:
Best practices when using the Outlook Calendar
Working with support to troubleshoot the Outlook calendar in an Exchange environment
Description of common scenarios in which Calendar information may be removed from the Calendar or may be inaccurate
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