Invite who you want in group calendars

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Microsoft

Good news!

 

We've heard your feedback here on Tech Community as well as UserVoice that you really just want to: 

  1. Put something on a shared group calendar
  2. Pick whomever you want to invite, which may not be the group itself.

Over the next few days, you will have more options when managing your group calendar: Just invite anyone you want. If you want to invite the entire group, simply add the group to the attendees list.

 

This change gives a lot more flexibility to the group calendar surface:

  • Invite no one: this is good for putting milestones on the calendar as a visual reminder that it's coming up. If you want to add a copy of it to your own personal calendar, you can "Add to my calendar". This is also great for a vacation calendar, where you can create a ? vacation ? event on the group calendar.
  • "Brownbag-style events": A lunchtime learning session is typically not mandatory for attendees, but is required for the organizer and the presenter. Now, you can create an event on the group calendar and add specific individuals without adding the group itself to the attendees list. This way, those individuals will get an invite from the group, and group members can freely add the event to their calendars. This is also good if you want your vacation time on the group calendar, as well as your manager's calendar.
  • Invite the group and anyone else:  For group meetings where you'd like everyone in the group to attend and edit, this is best. This is particularly handy for recurring meetings that take place over the course of many months where the a single organizer may not be around for its entire desired lifetime (i.e., if someone goes on vacation or leaves the team).

Across Outlook, not much is changing:

  • In Outlook for Windows, removing the group from a group meeting will now, in fact, actually not sent the group an invitation.
  • In the new Outlook on the web, we've updated the tooltips to match the functionality.
  • In the classic Outlook on the web, we won't be supporting this update.
  • In Outlook for iOS and Android, group calendaring is coming soon. ;)

Try it out, and let us know what you think!

Annotation 2019-05-07 163245.jpg

 

 

Cheers,

Ethan

42 Replies
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@Ethan LiThis is great news - thank you!  When choosing to intentionally invite the group and others, is it possible to track responses?  This would be a huge functionality improvement over the old public folder calendars.

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@Ethan Li Still not working...

 

I went to a outlook.office.com, then to a group calendar. When I try to invite just one person I can add them, but Send a meeting invitation to group members is still checked and I cannot un-check it.

 

Am I mis-understanding something?

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@cistern4, that's the classic Outlook on the web. You'll need to toggle to "Try the new Outlook" to invite select attendees.

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So this is not rolled out for the Outlook desktop client? Only the "new" web client?

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In Outlook for Windows, removing the group from a group meeting will now, in fact, actually not sent the group an invitation. This should also be already rolled out.
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@Daniel Carp while accept/tentative/declines are not sent to anyone, responses (including Add to my calendar) are saved to calendar item on the group event. Open the event on the group calendar (not your own personal copy) and you will see the accept/tentative/decline responses.

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@Ethan Li Sounds good. And no need to update to a newer version of Outlook for Windows/Outlook for Mac?

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@cistern4 No need to update. 

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@Ethan LiHi Ethan, my company is very new to 365. I am the admin, and have been asked to manage a company calendar showing scheduled vacation days. I set up a group calendar. Is there any way I can send out an email as an announcement, not as an invite, each time I add a new entry to the calendar? I just need to email a notice to each member; I do not need a reply.

Thanks for any insights. -Rob Schimmel

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@Ethan Li This is great progress. However, you don't mention Microsoft Teams in the post. One of the significant use cases for this is meetings scheduled within a Teams Channel where only a sub-set of the overall team need to be invited. This is especially important as Groups based within Teams are not visible within Outlook! Is this on the road map?

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Group Calendar Invite.PNG

@Ethan Li Hi Ethan, this sounds like great news and will be a welcomed change.  Is it supposed to be working now?  If so, it is not for us.  I have tried the web version of Outlook with the new layout.  When I create a new appointment it actually says "An invitation will not be sent to group members unless you invite them"  Yet the group is automatically added and each person in the group gets a copy of the invitation on their calendar.  These are Teams Groups if that is helpful.

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@Shane Gill Let me follow up with you offline so we can help troubleshoot.

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@Ethan Li , Will members get Mail when doing a meeting update! Can’t seem to get this to work
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Thanks @Ethan Li - this is the missing functionality that we've been waiting for before showing users what they can do with Group calendars.  Following a little testing, we're still slightly confused as to who gets invites to Group meetings and when.  Could you clarify please:

  1. If you don't click on 'Invite members' or 'invite attendees', the appointment will not appear in anyone's personal calendar.
  2. If you add individuals to the 'invite attendees' field they get an invite and it appears in their personal calendar as well as the Group one.
  3. If you click 'Invite members', only some members of the Group have been receiving the invite / the appointment appearing in their personal calendar.  Does this depend on whether they 'Follow' that Group or have notifications turned on?  This is the only thing we can think of.
    1. When using Outlook client, you can expand the Group name to show all individuals so that may be a workaround if you wish all Group Members to receive an invite.
    2. When using Outlook online you can't expand the Group to individuals so is there any way around that?
  4. What happens when people are added to or leave the Group - do the invites get updated automatically?

Really hope you can clarify as this sounds like exactly what we want, but we need to properly understand it and train our users before rolling it out in anger.

Thanks again, Oz

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@Ethan Li

Hi Ethan,

My organisation is still on 'classic' Outlook on the web and it looks like this update has broken the 'Send a meeting invitation to group members' option. In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that when creating meetings in an O365 Group calendar with the 'Send a meeting invitation to group members' option selected, those meetings did not appeared in the members' calendars as previously.

When editing the event, the tick box is deselected and no amount of re-selecting it changes this behaviour.

This means that now there is no way for our users to automatically add a meeting entry in all group members' calendars, which is rather annoying.

Any plans to fix this?

Thanks.

@Oz Oscroft  Points 1-3 are all correct. That being said, for (3), when you "stop following", the default is that you'd still get meeting invitations, just not conversations. You'd really have to try hard to turn off meeting invitations as well.

 

On 4, whoever received an invitation/in their calendar will still have the invitation, even if they leave the group. There shouldn't be any changes with this update in this regard.

 

@Gilles Couzin: Hmm--this shouldn't be happening. Let me follow up with our engineers.

 

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@Gilles Couzin: Thanks for the report! We've found an issue and have since made a fix that's rolling out in the coming days.

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@Ethan LiWe have found that when a member creates an event and adds a "Reminder" that the group will force itself as an attendee and then all members of the group get the invitation. Is there a fix for this? We were hoping we could only invite specific members and possibly add a reminder for those specific members who were invited as attendees.

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Hello @Ethan Li  ,

 

I tried doing exactly the instructions.  I created an event in the group calendar --> removed group calendar name and added myself as the 'main' invitee.  Then I checked out the group calendar view of each member and I do not see the event i created.  However, when I checked my own group calendar view, I can see the event.  I tried creating a second event without inviting anyone and everyone can see the event.  This makes the group calendar inconsistent since we are viewing the same group calendar with an event on my view and without an event on other members' view.

 

Please let me know if I am doing something wrong in setting up an event.  

 

As most of us have mentioned, the purpose of limiting notifications to the group is really for the following:  (1) so that the group calendar event is actually created for everyone to see and be aware of (2)  so that the specific person who should be notified of the event is sent an alert; (3) so that the rest of the group members who are just part of the 'FYI' do not need to be spammed with alerts.

 

Hope to hear a solution from you.

 

Thanks and regards.

 

Marissa