Should I stop referencing Group Email and Calendar when training clients?

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Frequent Contributor

Hi Folks,

 

As per my title, I'm not clear on the status and future of the Microsoft 365 Group Email and Calendar features.  In all honestly, I stopped talking about them awhile ago during training, but it still comes up on occasion.

 

What role do they play today, if any?

6 Replies

@AlexH980 I definitely still discuss group email and calendar when I am doing training on Microsoft Teams. This is not going to go away - you just are more likely to access it via MS Teams rather than via Outlook in the future. I've worked at more than one organization where we have used that group calendar for a way to track everyone taking time off - and it has to be done in Outlook. Almost all of the M365 apps are integrating with Microsoft Teams and the calendar and email are relevant and I haven't heard of it changing - other than you can find in User Voice that users want it surfaced inside of MS Teams rather than users having to deal with context switching by going to Outlook to leverage it. 

If you haven't discovered it yet, when you use your Microsoft Teams team site, there is a great Team Calendar web part there that will bring in your group calendar. I've been known to add a Website tab to a team channel to make it easily accessible to the team. 

 

I hope this helps. 

@Karen_D17  thanks for the reply!  I've explored using the group calendar web part in SharePoint, and then adding it to a Teams as a tab, but the problem is getting to the group calendar to add content to it.

 

When I create a M365 Group through Teams, the group calendar is automatically hidden and becomes very hard to access.  If I recall correctly, you need PowerShell to un-hide the group calendar.  

 

If Microsoft has gone out of their way to hide and obscure the group email and calendar functions, does it suggest that they will be retired in the future?

 

Unless they make a point to resurface these features for the average user, I don't see a point in training new users on something that is needlessly difficult to access and use.  

@AlexH980 Microsoft hasn't hidden the group calendar. It is easily found in Outlook. It's a little clugey if you don't know where to go, but you just go into Outlook and click into the calendar area. 

  1. Scroll down the left column and look for "Other Calendars" there. You should automatically see groups you are in, but frequently you won't see them all there. 
  2. To find your group calendar, look at the ribbon at the top of your screen
  3. Click on the "Browse Groups" button
  4. A dialog box will open with all the groups that you have access to (although you may have to select the "All" tab rather than the "Suggested" tab)
  5. When you see the group, click the "Join" button. It will now display in the calendar navigation and you can select it and even overlay it with your personal calendar. This is where users have to manage the team calendar entries - in Outlook.

The team calendar webpart pulls in the information from this group calendar. It is really quite easy to use. It just isn't very intuitive as you have to be thinking SharePoint rather than Teams to understand how it works. 

 

I hope this helps.

@Karen_D17 sorry for the late reply.  

 

I followed your instructions using the Outlook Desktop app (most recent version) but no luck.  I am unable to view a number of groups that I am the creator & owner of.

 

This seems to be the case for most groups that I've made via Teams.

@AlexH980 Do you know what kind of a M365 license you are using? I'm asking because I just tried this in my personal tenant and I am getting the same result you are. It is a Business Premium license. My work license is an E3 license and I am able to find the groups using the steps I outlined - and we use the group calendar for managing the department vacation schedule. I'm thinking that maybe the license has something to do with it, but I will have to do more research.

@Karen_D17 I use an E5 account at work. 

 

This article from 2018 explains how Group calendars are hidden when the group is created in Teams.  I suspect that this is a key part of the problem.