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Working With Multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010

Working With Multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010

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The following is a Guest Post by MVP Eric Legault

Calendaring has long been one of Outlook's greatest strengths. Millions of users organize their hectic jobs and lives using Appointment items and Meeting Requests to keep track of important events with many kinds of people and groups. However, managing all of these dates and schedules is a continual challenge. Outlook has always provided ways to open other people's calendars in a corporate environment. Starting with Outlook 2007, new features were added to share your Calendar to other users over the Internet, organize your Calendars into groups in the Navigation Pane, and to view multiple Calendars using Side-By-Side and Overlay modes.

Although it's now far easier to view multiple Calendars, going back and forth from viewing a single Calendar to a changing set of Calendar groups was a challenge. Now Outlook 2010 gives us Calendar Groups. Creating a new group is easy - simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Create New Calendar Group":


Figure 1 - Creating a new Calendar Group

The Address Book dialog will then be displayed and ask you to choose the users whose Calendars you want displayed in that group.

Note that these groups differ from organizing multiple Calendars under a unique heading that we were used to in Outlook 2007. The key change is that we can now select the group to automatically display all Calendars in that group alongside the Calendar we are currently viewing. So if you are looking at your own Calendar, and want to add the Calendars for the Marketing team to your view, click the check box next to the Marketing group to quickly display all three Calendars side-by-side:


Figure 2 - Selecting Calendar Groups

Going back to viewing just your own Calendar is as simple as clearing the check box for the Marketing group!

If you want to create a new Calendar Group from Calendars you are already looking at, simply click the Calendar Groups drop down in the Manage Calendar tab on the Home ribbon and select "Save as New Calendar Group”. The active Calendars will now be added to their very own group in the Navigation Pane.

What’s even better for viewing multiple Calendars in Outlook 2010 is the new Schedule View. Using overlays is fine, but sometimes the details from many Calendars all mashed together with different colors can be a little disconcerting. The Schedule View keeps all Calendar details separate in their own lane, so you can more easily see at a glance who is available (or off on a much needed vacation!):


Figure 3 - Schedule View

About the Author:

Eric Legault, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Outlook since 2003, is the founder of Collaborative Innovations, a Micro ISV and consulting services provider specializing on Microsoft messaging and collaboration solutions.  Eric has over 14 years of experience in the computer industry, and has focused his energies developing solutions based on Microsoft application platforms such as Microsoft Office (especially Outlook), SharePoint and Exchange.  He holds certifications as a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) for Messaging & Collaboration, SharePoint Infrastructure, WSS 3.0 Application Development and MOSS 2007 Application Development.  Eric has also published articles in MSDN, Office Online, Windows IT Pro magazine and various online technology newsletters, edited books on Outlook, SharePoint and Access,  and maintains a blog on Outlook programming and SharePoint technologies. His current focus is on developing custom Outlook Add-Ins to integrate line of business applications or enhance collaboration processes and workflows. Eric is also engaged with technical communities as a co-founder of the Winnipeg SharePoint User Group and via speaking engagements at conferences around the globe.

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  • Have you had any success adding a Google calendar in Outlook 2010 on a Windows 7 X64?

    Cheers Eric!


  • I love the post. I've been trying to figure out how to use Outlook for some resource scheduling for small events. The calendar groups and the overlays will help! I love that I learned something I can apply, rather than just learning about the great things MVPs do!

  • I tend to use Folder View the most and prefer it. Is there a way to get overlays in this view when clicking on CALENDAR? In 2007 they would revert to the main calendar.

  • Is it possible to sync a Private and Public Calendar on Outlook 2010?

    I have looked around for a while and can't seem to find a way to this...

    Help would be much appreciated!


  • But how do I make it so I can view all of my calendars in Month-view, all on one regular month view?

    In other words, I have 10 calendars. Before, all of my events in 2007 were color coordinated to correspond with the appropriate calendar, which it was associated. In 2010, when I try ti view all of the calendars in Month-view, I get 10 columns of mess that I can't even begin to understand. It's extremely frustrating. The thing I loved about Outlook was my ability to combine multiple calendars from multiple locations, all in one view.

  • Adding Google Callendar:

    Using Overlay:

  • What about an individual maintaining multiple calendars for them self? In other words, have a Personal Calendar for family stuff, and also have your Company calendar?

  • Is it possible to sync a Private and Public Calendar on Outlook 2010?

  • hey, i schedualed a meeting to a few of my bosses. the all approved  but one of them is not showing the appoinetment in the calendar. what can i do ?

  • I have shared several calendars with co-workers, but only half of them can see the categories that I designated for the calendars.  Any advice as to what I can do to get the categories to pick up on the calendars that they didn't transfer with?

  • I created a calendar in Outlook 2007, but can't seem to bring it up in some of our staff's Outlook 2010 edition calendars?

  • Is there still a limit of only being able to include 30 calendars in a group calendar?  I need the ability to view 80+ calendars.  Is there any work-around?

  • Great article! I know how to get Outlook to open straight up with calendar view but does anyone know how to open in multiple calendar view or calendar group view?

  • Bug: when multiple calendars are used overlayed on top of each other, the focus often automatically jumps to the bottom calendar of the stack. This bottom calendar is automatically selected.  It happens when switching from Mail to Calendar. This is annoying, because I only edit the top calendar. The other calendars in the stack are of colleagues and I only want to view those. I manually change the focus back to the top calendar, but when I switch back and forth between Mail and Calendar, the bottom calendar is selected again!

  • Speaking of focus, that can cause some real problems with scheduling meetings.   If I'm using calendars in Overlay mode and click on a date/time to schedule a meeting with other people, it will by default create that meeting with the organizer being whoever's calendar has the focus at that moment.  Further, it appears to be impossible to _change_ that organizer without deleteing the meeting completely, confusing all of the attendees.  Both of those behaviors really need to be changed.  It should at _least_ warn me that I am creating a meeting request with the organizer being someone than myself!


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