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 Office 365

Office 365 Calendar Best Practices

calendarThe Outlook Calendar fully integrates with email, contacts, and other features. Desktop, online or mobile device. This integration makes the Calendar component one of the most popular features of Outlook. The following is meant to help you understand calendaring in Office 365 and why it is important to follow "Best Practice".   Following the tips found here may lessen the frequency of calendaring issues that you may experience.

Best Practices for Calendar:

  • Keep your Software Up-to-date.  Vendors fix problems with the operating systems and email/calendar clients.  Make sure you are always up-to-date!  This includes your mobile devices as well.

  • Run the same version of Outlook on all of your computers, at work and at home.  Mailbox owners and any delegates should be using the same version of Outlook with the latest service pack and updates on all computers that are used for calendaring. If you are in a mixed environment of Windows, Mac or mobile devices, each platform should use the same version and each device should have the latest service pack and updates.

  • Manage your calendar exclusively from Outlook (desktop client) or Outlook Web App. Don't accept, decline, modify or invite others to appointments from your mobile device.  You can, however, create new appointments on your mobile device, (e.g., add one while checking out at a doctor's office).

  • Only one person should manage your calendar (this could be a delegate). Other people, computers or devices that receive the meeting request should ignore them, i.e. leave them be, do not delete them do not process them.  Have no more than two delegates (primary and secondary).  The secondary delegate should only manage the calendar when the primary is away.

  • Accept or decline meetings from your Inbox, not from the calendar.  Accepting a meeting from your calendar leaves the request in your inbox.  If you delete the request you will be deleting the meeting from your calendar.  If you happen to accept the meeting from another location (not your main computer) and the request remains in your inbox, do not delete it - accept the meeting again.

  • Planning holidays?  Do Not invite others to your holidays. Mark them as all day events on your calendar and set the show as to Out of Office.   By default others can see your calendar and see free/busy time.

  • When using a Distribution List open the list and remove anyone you do not intend to invite.  If you are on the DL don't forget to remove yourself as well.

  • Send out a meeting agenda as a separate email.  Any notes, comments, or agendas that are included in the meeting will be sent to everyone.  If the meeting is canceled all information contained in the meeting will be deleted.

  • corrupt meeting will remain that way until you delete it.  If it is a recurring appointment, delete all occurrences and reschedule it.


Note: Best Practices for Calendar applies to the following as well:


Best Practices for Meetings:

  • If booking a room resource, the room should be invited to the meeting as a location. You can easily check its availability with the scheduling assistant. If you do not verify the room before sending the invite, the room may be declined and you will have to resend the invite to everyone.

  • A "corrupt" meeting will remain that way until you delete it If it is a recurring appointment, delete all occurrences and reschedule it.

  • Choose not to require an acceptance when you are inviting a large group (like a department meeting), but don't expect everyone to attend.    

  • When you receive a meeting request, always send a response, even if it is tentative.  You can accept or decline the meeting later, but this will keep you informed should the meeting date, time or location changed.  

  • Don't forward meeting invitations; If you think someone else should attend the meeting, contact the meeting owner and suggest that the other person be invited.  The meeting organizer will be able to add the person and send out an update. That way the other person will receive any updates or changes to the meeting (location, date, cancelation).   

  • If you make a change to a meeting, send the change to everyone.  Include an explanation of what change you have made.

Best Practices for Recurring Meetings

A recurring meeting will take place at the same time, in the same location, and at the same frequency.  For example, the first Monday of every month, at 10 am, in the boardroom

  • Every series of recurring meetings should have an end date.  Microsoft suggest not booking meetings for longer than 6 months in advance.  If you need to schedule a meeting for a longer period, start a new recurring meeting.

  • Invite the room first and wait for it to accept.  Depending on how the room has been configured you may receive an almost immediate reply; or if a human must decide if you can use the room it may take longer.

  • A whole series of recurring meetings can be rejected if the room you are requesting is busy on a single occurrenceTip! Ask the owner of the room to allow conflicts.  This will allow your meeting to be accepted with the exception of the one meeting when the room is not available.  This will not result in overbooking the room

  • Once the room has been reserved; send the invitation to the rest of the attendees

  • To change one meeting of a series, cancel just that meeting and create a separate meeting request for that occurrence of the meeting.

  • To change an entire series of meetings, cancel the original meeting and create a new one

  • If you need to cancel a single meeting, delete the meeting from your calendar by using the send the cancelation and delete meeting to everyone you invited.

  • To cancel the remaining entries in a series of recurring meetings change the end date.  This will keep the past meetings in everyone calendars and any notes, agendas, etc that may have been attached to the meeting request.

  • Need to change the meeting organizer?  Change the end date.  The new organizer should set up a new recurrent meeting and send invitations to everyone.


Best Practices for Delegating your Calendar

When you delegate your calendar you are giving someone else permission to view your calendar, accept meetings on your behalf, and create meetings on your behalf.

  • When you delegate your calendar you can choose whether your delegate is limited to just view your calendar or if they have permission to act on your behalf. When you give your delegate permission to act on your behalf, you choose whether you want to receive copies of the meeting requests or if they should just go to your delegate.  If you choose to receive copies of requests you should not respond to them - your delegate will.

  • Only one person should process meeting requests. Other people, computers or devices that receive the meeting request should ignore them, i.e. leave them be, do not delete them; do not process them.  Have no more than two delegates - a primary delegate and a backup delegate for when they are not available.

  • When a delegate creates a meeting or accepts a meeting the invitation/acceptance will be identified as "on behalf of" your name.

  • If you are going to delegate your calendar decide what you expect your delegate to do.  If your delegate will be responsible for accepting your meetings, let your delegate do it.  If you both accept meetings this will lead to confusion and missed meetings. 

  • You and your delegate should both be using the same Operating System and the same version of Outlook.

  • Turn off automatic acceptance of meeting requests.


Best Practices for Mobile Devices

calendarWith Office 365, you will be able to configure mobile devices to interact with your account via Exchange/Active Sync protocol. This section will provide you with best practices on how you should and should not interact with your Office 365 calendar. 

Important: The information below is based on Microsoft's recommended use of mobile devices when it comes to interacting with Calendars. For best results, Microsoft recommends that people who schedule events with one another use the same Calendar client. The majority of Calendar issues involve events with attendees, which may not get updated correctly if the organizer or any of the attendees take action on the meeting via a mobile device.

Best Practices for Mobile Devices

  • Make sure your mobile device has the latest OS/iOS version.  Often new devices do not have the latest OS or updates installed, so be sure to check for updates, and do so BEFORE adding your Queen's account to the device.

What can I do?

  • Configure device using Exchange/Active Sync protocol.
  • View personal or subscribed Calendar data.
  • Only create/modify events that you own and which do not contain any attendees. If you need to make an event which includes attendees, use the Outlook Web App or Outlook (desktop client)  to take this action.
  • If you need to view other person's Calendar data, have them grant you read access to their calendar (which you can subscribe to) or have them provide you with their Share URL which you can subscribe to via the Outlook web app. Once subscribed, this calendar can be synced to your device.

What shouldn't I do?

  • Do not make changes to events which have attendees, even if you are the event owner. Use the Outlook Web App or Outlook (desktop client)  to take this action.
  • Do not take action on events which you are an attendee. Use Outlook on the Outlook Web App or Outlook (desktop client)  to take this action.
  • Do not attempt to manage another person's Calendar. Use the Outlook Web App or Outlook (desktop client)  to take this action.

Microsoft's Best Practices when using the Outlook Calendar

Microsoft has compiled a Best practices when using the Outlook Calendar that applies to Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2007 SP3. Some of the information may not apply to all version, so read carefully.

Topics include:

  • Forward of meeting requests​
  • Why it is important to process all meeting requests and cancelations
  • Working with recurring meetings
  • Maintain devices that connect to your calendar
  • Maintain add-ins that integrate with Outlook
  • Additional recommendations for Microsoft Exchange users