Edit 4/20/21 - Removed a broken link at the end of the article
In July last year we mentioned that time is one of the most precious and scarce resources we have, and 9 months later that still seems to hold true with people still struggling to effectively prioritize and organize their time, manage meetings, and find time to focus. Almost 2/3 of information workers have had their typical work routines highly affected, add to that how their personal space has also been disrupted and so makes sense why people are struggling to organize their time.
To help you organize your time and meetings, we are bringing 2 new capabilities to Outlook.
Organize everything your way with the new Outlook calendar board
Busier and more disrupted routines have heightened the need for tracking more items across several different solutions, from tasks to calendar reminders to sticky notes, just to make sure things get done, deadlines are met, and meetings get scheduled.
You need to organize your time and doing so across your work and life can be overwhelming. 71% of information workers (IWs) say they have several personal and home responsibilities they must manage during normal work hours and 66% have had their typical workday highly disrupted.
On average, people use 6 tools to track all the things they need to get done. That is a lot of context switching, back and forth, and maybe even double tracking. Clearly, you live your life beyond the grid of your traditional calendar – Those 30-minute slots are not enough for everything you need to do, track, or achieve.
There must be a better way to manage your most important and urgent things in one place, for you to organize it the way you want, in an easy to use, visual way.
Now you can do that, in a place you know. We have re-imagined the Outlook calendar and added a board view for you to quickly see, organize, and manage your time, task lists, sticky notes, files, links, goals, reminders, and of course – your calendar.
The Outlook calendar view is an ever-expanding visual way to organize, manage, and track all that is important to you, including multiple calendars, tasks, and goals.
By selecting the board view in your calendar from Outlook on the web, you will see a free-form, ever-expanding board that you can customize to keep things at your fingertips.
Select “Board” view to see a reimagined take on organization
From there, the possibilities are endless. You can create your own personal board with calendars, goals, files, task lists, sticky notes and manage them in one place.
Create and manage your most important items in the new board view
Board will be available first in Outlook on the web and it will be available soon to customers with a commercial or education license.
Get intelligent scheduling assistance for your meetings
Almost 50% of IWs claim that scheduling a meeting or finding a time to meet that works across people is their biggest meeting pain-point. When you consider that almost 60% of IWs have seen their number of meetings increase, then scheduling becomes that repetitive task no one wants to oversee.
Although all meetings need to be scheduled, not all of them have the same scheduling challenges. We want you to have the right tools to tackle those challenges, whether you decide it is something you can delegate to a service like Scheduler or if you need to be a bit more involved in selecting what time works better.
Sometimes, it’s convenient to delegate scheduling your meetings to an assistant but others, you want to have a little more control on the specific time that is allotted for a meeting. For those times, Outlook can help you choose the right time for you – even if you have a previous commitment.
You can now schedule a meeting in Outlook mobile and indicate a preferred duration and timeframe. Outlook will then suggest times that work for everyone. If Outlook can’t find a slot that works for everyone it will suggest times where your attendees are free, and you may be able to move or skip another event to accommodate. If you decide to schedule the meeting over another commitment, Outlook will then assist you with rescheduling your conflict!
Outlook can suggest times that work for everyone or help you reschedule a previous commitment
Suggested times will be available by the end of March in Outlook for iOS and Android for all commercial and education licenses.
We encourage you to try all the new capabilities in today’s article when they become available to you in Outlook. If you want to learn more about these capabilities, please watch our Spring Ignite 2021 session for Time Management, and if you want to see the latest update about Microsoft Bookings you can watch the Bookings Ignite session.
We hope these capabilities will make it easier to organize your time and schedule your meetings. As always, we love to read your feedback so please let us know your thoughts in our UserVoice channel.