Best Practices for Managing a Calendar

Introduction

The following examples are best practices for managing a calendar in Exchange or UOmail.

For questions not covered, or additional questions, please submit a ticket through the Email and Calendar Help service page.

Information

All practices work best with the current version of Microsoft Outlook (2016) or UOmail (OWA)

  • Scheduling Meetings
    • Recurring Meeting Length Guidelines
    • Cancel Recurring Meetings by Moving End Date
    • Create New Occurrences for Changes to Recurring Meetings
    • Appointments for Personal Reminders
    • Edit Time or Date by Opening a Meeting
    • Expand Meeting Invites to Distribution Lists
    • Meeting Organizers Should Add Persons to Meetings
    • Send Updates After Modifying a Meeting
    • Track Meetings to See Who is Attending
  • Accepting Meetings
    • Accept and Decline Inbox Invitations Upon Arrival
    • Avoid Manually Deleting Cancellations or Invitations
    • Manage Calendar Duplicates Consistently Across Devices
    • Only View Meetings from Mobile Devices
    • Reset Mobile Device Calendar
    • Saving Meeting Notes as an Attendee
  • Forwarding Meetings
    • Forward a Meeting as Information Only
    • Forward a Meeting to Someone not Originally Invited
    • Add Comments for the Meeting Organizer
    • Ask the Meeting Organizer to Add Attendees
  • Calendar Delegation
    • Notes about Delegation
    • Limit Calendar Management to One Delegate at a Time
    • Process Meeting Requests from One Client by One Delegate
    • Turn Off Auto-Accept Rules
    • Use Same Version of Outlook for All Delegates

Scheduling Meetings

  • Recurring Meeting Length Guidelines
    Extensive changes to recurring meetings can confuse invitees, and potentially cause the meeting to become corrupt. To allow synchronization to all invitees, wait at least five minutes after each change to a recurring meeting before making another. UO IT recommends meeting organizers not schedule any reoccuring meeting out further than 1 year into the future.
  • Cancel Recurring Meetings by Moving End Date
    Rather than simply cancelling an existing recurring meeting, move up the scheduled end date to stop additional instances of the meeting. This will limit complications and conflicts for attendees.
  • Create New Occurrences for Changes to Recurring Meetings
    When a one-time location, time, attendance, or other change affects an existing recurring meeting, cancel the single affected occurrence and create a separate independent meeting for the new meeting. This will limit complications and conflicts for regular instances, and attendees, of the recurring meeting.
  • Appointments for Personal Reminders
    Set individual appointments for long-term or regular personal reminders, as they can recur for a longer period of time than a meeting and have no other attendees to cause conflicts.
  • Edit Time or Date by Opening a Meeting
    Double click on any meeting on the calendar to open it and then edit the time or date. Do not simply drag and drop the meeting to another location on the calendar.
  • Expand Meeting Invites to Distribution Lists - Particularly Lists that Include Yourself
    Double click the list in the To line to expand the list to see all invitees before sending the invite. If a list of attendees from a meeting request already sent to an unexpanded distribution list must be edited, do not expand the list and start adding or deleting names. Instead, cancel the meeting and create a new one to avoid creating meeting conflicts.
  • Meeting Organizers Should Add Persons to Existing Meetings
    Attendees looking to add individuals to a meeting that they did not organize should ask the organizer to add the person to the original meeting. Meeting requests forwarded by someone else other than the meeting organizer can result in updates, such as time or location changes, not being received by intended attendees.
  • Send Updates After Modifying a Meeting
    Click Send Update when deleting, canceling, moving, or otherwise editing meetings so that the event is updated and/or removed the from all invitee calendars. If a meeting organizer does not send updates, attendees will not be informed of the changes.
  • Track Meetings to See Who Has Accepted
    Open any meeting before it starts and click Tracking to see how invitees have responded to the meeting invitation. Tracking your meeting before going to its location is especially important if there have been edits, such as time or location changes, and ensures no one arrives to a meeting to find an important participant is absent.

Accepting Meetings

  • Accept and Decline Inbox Invitations Upon Arrival
    Take action on invitations as they come into your Inbox (AcceptAccept as tentative, or Decline) to simultaneously delete the request message and ensure the relevant calendar entry stays updated. Accepting meeting requests from the calendar will not remove meeting messages from the inbox.
  • Avoid Manually Deleting Cancellations or Invitations
    Click Remove from Calendar to process a meeting cancellation, and click Decline to reject a new invitation. Deleting a cancellation will not remove a meeting from your calendar, and deleting an invitation will not inform the scheduler that an invitee has declined.
  • Manage Calendar Duplicates Consistently Across Devices
    Do not delete apparently duplicate meeting requests on any device. If a meeting request is still on a device after having been accepted elsewhere, respond to it the exact same way you did previously. Deleting a meeting request on one device after accepting it on another can corrupt the meeting or cause it to disappear from the calendar entirely.
  • Only View Meetings from Mobile Devices
    Using a mobile device to view a calendar remotely makes it easy to keep up with appointments throughout the day, but using the same device to modify meetings requests from others is not recommended. Accepting, declining, or otherwise responding to meeting requests is best done from within Outlook on a computer to avoid creating conflicts within attendee calendars. This especially important when working with recurring meetings.
  • Reset Mobile Device Calendar Occasionally
    It is sometimes beneficial to clear the calendar data from mobile devices and do a fresh, complete sync. iPhone or iPad users can simply go to their Mail, Contact, Calendars, slide the calendar switch off, restart the phone, and then turn calendar sync back on. Other mobile device users should follow their device or application instructions for resetting calendar sync.
  • Saving Meeting Notes as an Attendee
    Any notes made in a meeting by an attendee are overwritten if the meeting organizer updates the meeting. Do not add personal notes to meetings as an attendee. Attendees who wish to add notes to a meeting should send them to the meeting organizer to add to the meeting for all attendees.

Forwarding Meetings

  • Forward a Meeting as Information Only
    To let someone know about a meeting, but not invite them, simply drag the meeting request from your calendar to the Mail icon on the lower left side of Outlook. This opens an email with information about the meeting that you can send out. Note that this email doesn't add the recipient(s) to the meeting, and it only contains meeting information such as date, time, subject, and agenda.
  • Forward a Meeting to Someone Not Originally Invited
    When forwarding a meeting to someone who was not originally invited to the meeting, Outlook sends a meeting forward notification to the meeting organizer. When the organizer receives the meeting notification, the new attendee is added to the organizer’s meeting. Additional notes added in the forwarded meeting will also be viewable by the organizer. If existing attendees need to know that an additional attendee was added to the meeting, then the organizer must open the meeting and send a meeting update to all of the attendees.
  • Add Comments for the Meeting Organizer
    To provide the meeting organizer with a better understanding of why an attendee is being added to a meeting, it is often helpful to provide addtional notes to the forwarded meeting. Important Note: any comments made in a meeting reply will be sent to the Organizer of the meeting, not the person that forwarded the meeting to you.
  • Ask the Meeting Organizer to Add Attendees
    If for any reason the organizer does not receive the meeting forward notification, the meeting attendees are not added to the organizer’s meeting and any subsequently meeting updates are only sent to the original invitees. In such cases, it is best to simply ask the meeting organizer to add the desired attendees.

Calendar Delegation

  • Notes about Delegation
    In general, most users do not want to set delegates for their account, they want to just share their calendar. A Delegate is someone that can act on your behalf. Accept meetings, add attendees, etc. Sharing a calendar is just giving someone read (or read/write) to the calendar. Delegate access is generally reserved for those that have an Executive Assistant that does work on their behalf. Adding Delegate access to an account when it is not needed can result in people getting meeting invites for others (which may result in accidentally canceled meetings). Please use caution when setting delegate access to your calendar, and if you have questions, please submit a ticket through the Email and Calendar Help service page.
  • Limit Calendar Management to One Delegate at a Time
    To prevent duplicate, incorrect, or missing meeting information ensure that only one user for each calendar and inbox processes all meeting requests. It is recommended that there be a maximum of one delegate with Editor permissions and that the calendar owner and delegate closely coordinate who will be processing all meeting requests at any given time.
  • Process Meeting Requests from One Client by One Delegate
    Due to the different methods of synchronization on different mobile devices and email programs, it is easy to have multiple or conflicting replies to a single request resulting in a deleted or otherwise corrupted calendar entry. Only accept or decline meetings from a single delegate's inbox, preferably Outlook 2010 Service Pack 2 or higher. Meetings responded to elsewhere may result in missed updates or mistakenly scheduled meetings.
  • Turn Off Auto-Accept Rules
    If a user has granted delegate access to their calendar, or if a user is a delegate, turning off automatic acceptance of meeting requests will minimize potential calendar conflicts.
  • Use Same Version of Outlook for All Delegates
    The calendar owner and all delegates should use the same version of Outlook, including patch level. UO IT recommends this should be at minimum Outlook 2010 Service Pack 2. Calendar owners using Outlook for Mac 2011 should only delegate to other Outlook for Mac 2011 users.

Credit to Northwestern University for their article that influenced the content, and creation, of this version. 

Details

Article ID: 56229
Created
Wed 6/20/18 1:28 PM
Modified
Tue 10/19/21 12:54 PM

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