Outlook provides excellent tools to organize your time and schedule, and it all begins with setting up your calendar and reminder options.
Open Microsoft Outlook 2010 (2003 and 2007 will be similar) and click “File” at the top left, then click “Options.” The “Outlook Options” dialog box will open. Click the “Calendar” tab on the left. In the window on the right, you’ll be able to change the settings for calendars, meetings, reminders and time zones.
In the first section, “Work time,” you’ll want to indicate your work hours by using the drop-down boxes to select your start time and end time each day. Next, checkmark what days of the week you work and then select your “First day of the week” and “First week of year” by using the drop-down menus.
Under “Calendar options,” checkmark “Default reminders:” and choose how much notice you want to receive for your calendar entries. This will set the default notice for all your reminders.
For example, if you schedule a doctor’s appointment for June 1, you can set how far in advance you’d like to be notified. This setting ultimately determines how much notice you will receive. You can choose anything between “0 Minutes” and “2 Weeks.” If you use Outlook at work, the remaining options allow you to determine your preferences for scheduling meetings, holidays and using other calendars.
If you have installed “Outlook Connector” so Outlook can receive your “Hotmail,” “Live,” and other web-based e-mail, you can have your online calendars display in Outlook too.
In the “Display options” section, you can choose your color preference and the font you want for the text. If you have multiple calendars, you can select to have the “schedule view” and “vertical layout” automatically change, but you’ll want to experiment with these two settings to see which suits you.
You can choose your time zone and you may even select a second time zone that will display if you find it helpful.
Lastly, Microsoft throughout their software has what is called “ScreenTip.” When you place your cursor over a button, icon or link, a message will pop up and display more detail about the function of that button, icon or link. You’ve seen this used in all of Microsoft’s software and when you checkmark “Show calendar details in ScreenTip,” a description of your entry will display without you having to open up the entry. When you have made all your choices, click “OK” to save your changes.
I fully recommend getting familiar with your Outlook calendar options. Setting up your calendar’s options can help you manage your time, clients and even personal activities. It’s like having your own executive assistant.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 10 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@HelpTooele. com.