Find the Perfect Meeting Time with Scheduling Assistant from Microsoft

Have you ever felt like your days were so packed if only you had an assistant to schedule your meetings? Well if you use Outlook, you’ve had one this whole time! Scheduling assistant is a great tool to compare schedules of people in your organization to find a common free time.

    Scheduling meetings between several people can be a chore. A lot of people are still coordinating back and forth over email or instant message which can be time consuming. You don’t want to spend more time scheduling the meeting than actually meeting. Fortunately, there are a lot of solutions to make this quick an easy. Let’s talk about the simple and easy to use Scheduling Assistant from Microsoft.

    How to Use Scheduling Assistant in Outlook Desktop App

    If you have permission to view an attendees calendar you will see the titles of their meetings. Otherwise, you will just see busy, out of office, etc..

    Scheduling through the desktop app is so simple you’ll wonder why you never used it before!

    • Start in your Outlook calendar.
    • Create your meeting. You can start with a proposed day and time but do the following steps before finalizing it
    • Add attendees in the to section. (You can do this before or after opening scheduling assistant. I prefer to do it before.)
    • Click the scheduling assist tab. You can now see anyone who is busy during that time. To the right is more helpful information on when everyone is next free if you don’t immediately see it in the calendar area.
    • Choose a time that works for everyone and send out your meeting invite

    How to Use Scheduling Assistant in Webmail

    Easily see who is available, who is not, and alternative times available in the web app.

    The scheduling process through Webmail is very similar with mostly superficial differences. 

    • Go to webmail through outlook.office.com
    • Click the Calendar at the bottom left of the screen
    • Create a new meeting either by clicking “new event” in the upper lefthand side of the screen or couble clicking the appropriate time on the calendar.
    • Fill out the event including adding the attendees you wish to invite
    • The scheduling assistant will already start working, showing right below your time a few nearby time slots when everyone is free, as well as the current fay’s calendar to the right.
    • For more days and options click the Scheduling Assistant icon at the top of the window. From this screen you can scroll through everyons calendar and add more attendees if you so choose. Check done when complete.
    • After finding a time that works for everyone, send out your meeting invite.

    More Tips on Scheduling Meetings

    If everyone’s calendar is up to date, you get a clear picture of open times for meetings.

    Scheduling assistant is a great way to gather everyone for a meeting without giving you a cluttered inbox. Keep in mind that it requires people’s calendars to be accurate for the best results. Additionally, don’t forget travel time if any meetings you are scheduling or you see on their schedule is marked as offsite. However, you can mitigate this issue and open up more availability for your participants if you instead make it a Teams video meeting.

    Try Scheduling Assistant for yourself and see how much time you save in meeting prep!

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