Using shared/team calendars in Outlook 2010.
February 13, 2012 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Have you used Outlook 2010 to create/manage shared group calendars at your job? How did you do it? Is it working out?

I'm working on a project right now to help streamline the workflow of my company's event planning team, particularly their calendars. Right now they have 9 different calendar systems - including one that is handmade in Powerpoint on a weekly basis. This is one of the biggest difficulties the team has, as it causes miscommunication and duplicated work. In trying to find a way to consolidate all of these calendars into one system, I came across some mentions of shared calendars in Outlook 2010 (we have an Exchange server). This would be awesome if it could work for them - they've all just received new laptops with Windows 7 and Office 2010, so they're on the same version of Outlook, and e-mail is their primary method of communication so they're always in Outlook anyway and are familiar with it.

As the person tasked with finding a solution, I'm trying to get a feel for how shared or team calendars in 2010 work. I'm on a Mac using Outlook 2011, so I can't really test it out myself, and it's not feasible for me to get ahold of someone else's laptop to play around with. I've Googled around a bunch trying to get a sense of how the system works, but I'm looking to get some info on how well it actually works in action (and how to implement it with a group that's not that tech-savvy).

Some things about the team that could be relevant:
- There are 3 sub-groups within the team, with not a lot of crossover. However, the team manager needs to be able to see the schedules for all 3 groups on one page (or screen).
- They don't want to have to enter information in multiple places. However, they don't want every single thing on their personal calendars to be included in the shared calendar. For example they want to be able to enter an event on their personal calendar, have that automatically show up on the shared one, but then also enter a doctor's appointment and have that not be shared.
- As mentioned, the group isn't terribly tech-savvy, so I'll be creating a user guide to help them get started and maintain the calendar. Any links or other info that could be useful for this would be appreciated.

I'm totally open to other suggestions as well!
posted by DulcineaX to Computers & Internet (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, we do this at work. I have Windows 7 (so do a few of my office mates, but most are still on XP on desktops) on a laptop and Office 2010. We are on an Exchange server.

For your first item, it sounds like the team manager needs to own and/or get permission to view all of the calendars relevant to the group. If the team manager 'owns' the shared calendars, then they will receive all the alerts and have to approve all the details if the calendars are set up with permissions.

Keep in mind that someone is ultimately going to have to own the shared calendar(s); they don't necessarily need much tech savvy, as proven by my super not tech savvy boss who has it down now (we're about nine months in) with the occasional call to our IT guy. If your team manager wants to see all three shared calendars at once, once everything's been configured, they just have to check the three calendars' boxes and all three will show up (very squished) in the Outlook pane.

Your second point is SUPER easily addressed using shared calendars in Outlook. If I recall correctly (I'm at home, also on a Mac, and I can't get the web-based calendars to display properly on anything other than IE), it's easy to put information into the master calendar(s) and then copy it into your personal calendar with one click (it's literally called 'Copy to my calendar') so I would recommend that workflow if it is at all feasible. Otherwise, they should probably set up an appointment in their own calendar as a meeting instead and 'invite' the master calendar(s) to have it appear in both places at once.

Are you actually an IT professional? I'm part of a statewide Exchange server and directions for how to do all of this came down from there to our local IT people and I can recall that the setup and locating the shared calendars for people was kind of a pain the first time our IT guy did it. It would probably help to be in IT and/or have IT to call on if you need help. If you'd like, MeMail me and I can see if I can dig up some of our handouts at work on the switchover.
posted by librarylis at 6:40 PM on February 13, 2012

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