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Better ways to search in multiple (shared) calendars?

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DanHuber
Contributor

Problem: Users cannot reliably search in multiple (shared) calendars at once.

- Outlook only searches in one calendar at once. There is a list view for the results possible.

- Outlook on the Web can search in multiple calendars at once, but the time range of the results is identical to the display range (day, week, month). One month is the maximum. There is no list view, unfortunately.

 

Need: Users should be able to search multiple calendars at once and the result should be a list that includes past and future dates in the range of +1 year and -1 year.

 

Anyone knows how such results can be achieved? A better way to search multiple calendars with results spanning a larger time frame than a month and results in a list?

 

Details:

The users of a customer of mine have shared their calendars to each other.

In addition, there are about 3 group calendars for coordination of work tasks.

In any case, the users have at any time enabled/selected at least 10 calendars which they display in Outlook 2019 calendar view. The customer has Exchange Online 1 (Office 365).

 

Recently, we upgraded those users from Windows 7 and Outlook 2010 to Windows 10 and Outlook 2019 (not Office 365 Professional).

 

With Windows 7/Outlook 2010 they were able to use Windows 7 Search (via explorer) to find entries in all calendars at once, displayed as a list of hits. They have based a process on that possibility. 

 

With Windows 10/Outlook 2019 searching Outlook content over Windows Search is not possible anymore. The customer thus lost the ability to search in multiple calendars and display the results as a list.

 

 

I would assume that it should be possible to get a list of search results, perhaps with a 3rd party app? Although the customer prefers to keep other applications at a minimum.

Would it be possible with another Office 365 license (like Business Essentials) and using Delve?

Would it be possible to create a PowerApp (although I would not be able to do so) which would show the results as requested? If yes, perhaps there is already a Calendar search PowerApp available?

Any other idea?

 

Thanks for any hint.

Daniel

 

4 Replies

Hi @DanHuber , are you using the React version of Outlook on the web?  (e.g. there might be a toggle in the top right with "The new Outlook). 

 

If so, for Outlook on the Web, it sounds like you are describing the filtering that happens as you're typing.  If you hit enter, do you see the search results list?  The search results list should allow you to see whichever calendars you've selected in the left navigation menu (unless some are explicitly not searchable, e.g. group calendars, in which case you'll get a warning).  You can also further configure his search filters to display the time range you want, including -1 to +1 year.

@yzleigh, Thanks for your feedback.

 

Why is the user searching in several calendars: Each calendar represents the schedules of peoples or teams that do maintenance and/or installations of machines. Phone calls come in from teh respective endcustomers wanting to know when the activity is planned or want to reschedule. The agent on the phone now needs to find that planned activity. Sometimes they need to search older entries, up to one year back. With Windows 7 and it's integration with Outlook, that search was very simple. 

If there was a list with the search results.. that would help..

 

Ok, back to the test and let's see for the things you mentioned.. I do have access to a customers Office 365 login for troubleshooting.

Ok, that user is using the new Outlook on the web already. So there is no switch in the upper right.

Switching to the calendar app on the web, I see that the user has selected several (7) calendars which are also shown in the workweek view. 

I now want to find an entry and start typing in the search field, something that is actually in one of the calendars but in the previous week.

There is no result in the current workweek, obviously. I also have to scroll right to see that all the calendars have no result. 

--> having to scroll the windows to see all search results is very inconvenient. 

(shared view would partially solve the issue here, but the customer then looses the overview who has 

Ok, I know that the result is not in this workweek and I now change the filter, ups..

I get a message (have to translate):

Results

Searching is currently not supported in the following calendars: <here is a list of all 7 calendars I have selected>

(I guess this would be the group calendars you mentioned are not searchable)

 

Clearing the filter is actually not working. I still see an error. So I delete all I have typed in the search field. Now I see again all calendars with entries in the workweek view. 

I could have clicked back and forth (previous week) until I find the eventual result, but I guess you agree with me that this is not ideal.

 

Ok, next approach. I set the view to Month before I search.Now I see the previous week's result at once. But I still would have to scroll month by month. First to the future and then to the past. Very inconvenient too.

 

Frankly, extending the search filter to a year or so does not make any sense to me, as the display only shows one month maximum 

 

So I still search for a better way to search in multiple calendars at once which covers -1 year and +6 months in one go. 

Any idea?

 

 

 

 

By the way, all browsers I have tried (IE, Edge, Chrome, Opera, Chromium and some others) create a mess (showing double entries in calendars, sometimes showing selected calendars of other users twice, etc.) and wrong or no results after searching. Only Firefox seems produce mostly correct results. 

I'm having the same problem.

 

We have 4 calendars on a single 365 business premium account that are shared with 4 other users.

 

The account with the 4 calendars can search them all at the same time.

 

The other users can only search the calendars one at a time on the desktop version of Outlook 365

 

All users can search all calendars at the same time on the web version of Outlook 365 so it's not a permission issue.

 

I wish someone would confirm that searching multiple calendars at once is possible, I see a lot of questions on the subject but no solutions to what should be a basic feature.

Highlighted

@tophatottawa 

I think on the web, searching all calendars at once is possible, but only in the date range which is visible at the moment the search is done. 

So, if you have the week view, it will only find entries in that current week selected. In month view, it will find all entries in that currently selected month... and so on..

That is, if you search for all entries the last year including the next 6 months (this is the requirement in my case), you are out of luck. 

 

In Outlook on the desktop, I was not able to figure out how searching works across several calendars, each from another account but shared. Just won't work. Outlook only searches within one account at a time.

 

Searching across several shared accounts only worked on Windows 7 with the search function included in the OS. I think I once read that because of security/privacy concerns, that functionality was removed in Windows 10. Not sure how the Office versions played a role in that too. 

 

Currently I'm stuck. Probably some non-free indexing tools would be able to search across multiple (shared) calendars, but the customer says that it worked with Windows 7. Why should he pay for functionality that was there before he upgraded to Windows 10..

I know that at least X1 does what is needed (I am an X1 user since ages)

 

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