I want to create an automated series of reminders on my outlook calendar
November 22, 2017 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I run a three-month program that kicks off with a new group once a month, and it involves a lot of moving pieces, including scheduling meetings (that I can't schedule until the new folks have started), and sending instructional emails at a certain time for each cohort.

I can make a checklist for each group, but then I have to remember to look at it pretty regularly. What would be ideal is to create a set of appointments on my calendar with a reminder to do each thing on the proper day. I'd like to be able to do this as simply as possible. We're using Outlook in my office, but we could probably make this work with google calendar if that's much better. Can this be done with relative ease?
posted by spindrifter to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

If you want to set aside time to do this, yes, you can do this in the outlook's calendar. In outlook, you can also create this as a Task. For both calendar items and tasks, you can set recurrence (every day, every X days, every Y weeks, whatever).
posted by entropone at 7:19 AM on November 22, 2017

What I ideally want is to be able to roll out the whole series of reminders with one or two clicks, not to make all 30 reminders per group on an individual basis each month. Recurring every n weeks doesn't work because groups don't always start on the same week each month, and months sometimes have 4 weeks and sometimes 5.

So what I'm imagining is being able to "anchor" a whole automated series of reminders on a particular day, and have them auto populate into my calendar.
posted by spindrifter at 8:50 AM on November 22, 2017

In Outlook, create a new task. In the task's menu bar, click on 'recurrence'. On the left side, under Recurrence pattern, select Monthly.
The options for recurrence under Monthly are: Day (every month on the 22nd), or the 1st/2nd/3rd/4th/last s/m/t/w/th/f/sa of the month (the 4th Wednesday of the month).

Would either of these recurrence patterns suffice?
posted by 8dot3 at 9:14 AM on November 22, 2017

My initial thought for you is that this is how standardized project plans work where are subsequent tasks are scheduled as deltas from the baseline start of the project i.e.

Task 1 starts on Day 0 : Project Commences
Task 2 starts on Day 0 + 1 : Send out intro emails
Task 3 starts on Day 0 + 5 : Schedule conference room

MS Project will certainly allow you to do these things as well as have your schedules automatically flex around corporate holidays, weekends, etc. I however don't know much about Project and Outlook integration but hopefully this is a starting point.
posted by mmascolino at 9:38 AM on November 22, 2017

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