Calendar Detail Levels
Outlook 2007 allows you to send your calendar information in several ways. You determine how much information to share using a detail level setting. You’ll probably use different ones based on the recipient and type of information. In each case, the recipient gets an email with an attached .isc (iCalendar) file. In the body of their email is a small calendar with hyperlinks for any dates with activity. These links act like bookmarks so recipients can jump to the details. The remainder of the email differs based on the detail level. Outlook’s three levels include:
Availability only – your time slots are defined by various states such as “Free”, Busy”, “Tentative” or “Out of Office”. This level shows minimal information. It’s a good choice to use when people ask for your meeting availability and you don’t want to provide specifics as to why you’re busy. If your meetings include prep time such as travel, you might want to make sure the time does not show as “Free”.
Limited details – This can be a good choice when people want to provide some detail, but not everything. The email includes the Subject from your calendar, but not the location. If you marked any appointment as "Private", Outlook shows the Subject line as a "Private Appointment". The default setting is not to show private details.
Full Details – with this setting, more information is pulled from the calendar appointment. Notice how my Dalmatian Coast entry below is a hyperlink. Although this level provides the most information, it comes with some risks. You may have details, which are suitable for some people, but not others. Quick example, don’t share with your family an appointment for “Holiday Shopping” and put in the details what you plan to buy for everyone.
The recipient can click the link to see the details I listed. The detail does include the location and categories if you used these fields.
How to Email a Calendar
As we mentioned, the default setting is for Outlook to send minimal availability data for today. Most likely, you will need to change these settings. The process is easy with many optional steps...
1. Open Outlook 2007
2. Click the New toolbar button and select Mail Message.
3. Click in the body of the email message
4. Click Insert on the ribbon
5. Click the Calendar button. This opens the Send a Calendar via E-mail dialog.
6. If you have more than one calendar, use the Calendar drop down menu to make a selection.
7. Click the down arrow control for Date Range and make a selection.
8. Click the down arrow control for Detail and select your desired detail level.
9. Click the Show>> button if you wish to set advanced settings such as including private data.
10. Click OK.
11. Review the info Outlook generated and edit confidential material.
12. Add in your recipients.
13. Click Send.
Tip: Outlook assumes that you are “Free” before and after your defined work hours. You may want to select this box if you feel people might think you’re available for early morning or late meetings.
Using the .ISC Attached File
Aside from providing the calendar information in the email, Outlook creates an iCalendar file. The attached .isc file can be used by the recipient in many calendaring programs such as the Google Calendar or their own version of Outlook. These files are useful when trying to create a combined calendar. As example, I planned to attend a conference with some colleagues and we wanted to compare which sessions we wanted to attend. Our goal was to cover as many different sessions in the 4 days as possible. People sent me their Outlook schedules or iCal files and I used them to create a combined Google Calendar showing all our choices. Even the Mac person was happy. I know some parents who use a similar method to figure out their holiday schedules for extended families including airport arrival and departure times.,
With Outlook 2007, Microsoft has made it easier for users to share calendars with others especially those who don’t use Outlook. It would be nice if they could expand this concept so you could refine the information further based on a defined view or category. Until then, I’m glad they added this capability into the program. Even if you have to resend the email if your schedule changes, it’s still a great way to jump-start the process.
Related Outlook Tutorials:How to Share Outlook 2007 Calendars Using Email (3 minute demo)
- Comparing Dates in Outlook
Last Updated (Friday, 18 June 2010 20:35)