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August 12, 2020

Time-Saving Microsoft Outlook Meeting Tips & Tricks

We all want to spend less time dealing with email and meetings, but let’s be honest, a lot of our time is still taken up with meetings and emails. In this blog post, we will talk you through some tips and tricks that have saved us hours and made the experience of organizing and managing meetings much more enjoyable.


Schedule MS Outlook Meeting from an Email By Dragging it to the Calendar

We’ve talked about creating a meeting out of a Microsoft Teams chat before, but you can also create one out of an email.

To create a meeting with the contents of an email, all you need to do is drag and drop the email to the calendar icon on the bottom left of Microsoft Outlook and you will get a meeting automatically created. You won’t get the person who sent the email added as an attendee but you do get the title of the email as the title of the meeting and the whole email copied into the invite.

Microsoft Outlook Meeting Scheduling
Image: Microsoft Outlook Meeting Scheduling Example

Another way to do this is to click on the meeting shortcut from any selected email in the ribbon. That will do the same thing: 

Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting button

You can also do this in Microsoft Outlook online, but with the option of adding an email as an event or a task that goes to the To-Do application: 

Image: Microsoft Outlook Online meeting options

Give Yourself Time Between Each Microsoft Outlook Meeting

If you are stuck in back-to-back meetings and you want some breathing room, you can set it up in Microsoft Outlook to automatically end meetings early. This gives you some options, such as giving you extra time to leave meeting rooms, helping you be on time for your next meeting, and not to mention keeping the meeting focused. 

To do this go to Microsoft Outlook and click on File -> Options -> Calendar and look under calendar options:

Microsoft Outlook Meeting settings
Image: Microsoft Outlook Calendar Options

From here select the ‘End appointments and meetings early’ options and you can choose the default of ending time for meetings less than an hour and longer than an hour.

Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting settings to end meetings early

After you have done this, you will still see your meeting option times in 30-minute blocks, but notice when you select an option it is actually shorter by whatever option you specified.

Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting timings

Remove Past Microsoft Outlook Meeting and Calendar Reminders

If you work across multiple machines, you will know the frustration associated with logging onto devices and seeing past calendar reminders appear. Luckily, you can stop this from happening.

Simply go to File -> Options -> Advanced -> Reminders and select the ‘Automatically dismiss reminders for past calendar events’ option.

Screenshot - Settings for Microsoft Outlook Meeting Reminders
Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting reminder settings

Find Meeting Dates Using Natural Language

Scrolling through your calendar can be annoying, especially if you want to have a meeting with someone 6 weeks from now. Thankfully, Microsoft Outlook has a Go to Date feature that allows you to go directly to any date to make scheduling meetings that are a few weeks away a lot easier. What’s more, it also accepts some natural language terms to make it easier. To access this, go to your calendar and press [CTRL] + G to see the dialogue:

Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting go to date function

From here you can just type that into the date box and be taken there.

Image: Microsoft Outlook meeting go to date function example

Press ok, and you will be taken straight to the right date in your calendar.

Screenshot Microsoft Outlook calendar
Image: Microsoft Outlook calendar

In terms of what phrases you can use, the following are supported: 

  • day 
  • week 
  • month 
  • year 
  • now 
  • before 
  • next 
  • after 
  • last 
  • this 
  • ago 
  • today 
  • yesterday 
  • tomorrow 
  • days of the week 

So there you go! Hopefully, this makes your life dealing with meetings in Outlook a little easier.

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