This document will walk you through the steps necessary to create a meeting using Outlook 2016 Scheduling Assistant.

Outlook Scheduling Assistant is an easy means to invite attendees to a meeting or appointments and also see in advance if they are available at specific meeting times without the trouble of having to use outside scheduling tools or having to send and receive multiple emails from each attendee until a time to meet is agreed upon. With Scheduling Assistant, you can create a meeting request, add attendees, and see when they are free or busy. Once you have created your request, Outlook sends an email invitation to the intended participants and adds a tentative appointment into their calendar, which they can accept or deny. Once an invitation is accepted, it will automatically be added to the person's calendar and the time will marked as busy.

Follow these steps to create a new Meeting Request and schedule that request using the Scheduling Assistant.

Creating a New Meeting Request

  1. In Outlook, click Calendar in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  2. From the Home tab, at the top left of the screen, click New Meeting and select New Meeting from the drop-down list.

    New Meeting button

  3. A new window appears. From the Meeting tab, select Scheduling Assistant.

    Scheduling Assistant button

    The Scheduling Assistant view appears, which looks similar to a spreadsheet. Your name and schedule will appear in the top row.

    Scheduling Assistant view with user's name and schedule
    Note: On the right-hand side, you will see the Suggested Times list. As you had attendees to your meeting, this list will adjust to provide possible meeting times when all required attendees and/or locations are available. The times correspond to the date and meeting duration you have currently selected (more information on this can be found below).

  4. Next, you will want to add attendees. There are multiple ways to add attendees to your meeting requests:

    Directly into the Attendees' List

    If you know the name or username of the person or people you wish to add, click in the textbox under your name that says Click here to add a name, and type in the person's name or username.

    Scheduling Assistant with add a name textbox

    Example: Joy Harris
    Example: jeharris

    Scheduling Assistant with new name in textbox


    Through Outlook Address book

    Use Address book to look up a person's name instead by clicking on Address Book in the Meeting tab at the top of the screen and use the search box. Click OK to add the person to the scheduling view.

    Address Book button


    Through Add Attendees button

    Scheduling Assistant Add Attendees, Rooms, and Options buttons                                    Oulook Address Book

    Click Add Attendees in the bottom-left corner of the screen and use the search box to find names. Click OK to add the person to the scheduling view.

    Note: You may add as many attendees' names as you wish. Every time you add a new attendee's name to the list, their availability will be added to the schedule.

    You can determine an attendee's availability by using the following color codes.

    Blue indicates the person is busy.
    Blue and White forward stripes indicate the person has a tentative appointments.
    Purple indicates the person will be out of office.
    Black and White backwards stripes indicate that Outlook has no information for the person. Either the user is not an UT Outlook/Exchange user or the user may not have their Outlook Calendar set up.

    Scheduling Assistant with attendees added and availability showing

  5. Next, you can set the start and end dates and times in the bottom-right corner of the screen. To change the date you are viewing on the screen, click the calendar icon and select the appropriate date. To change the time, use the dropdown menus.

    Scheduling Assistant Start Time/End Time calendar and time drop-down lists

    Note: When you change the time, you are changing the duration of the meeting in the Suggested Times list: It will only suggest openings that fit that duration.

  6. From the Suggested Times list, choose the desired time. Conflict-free times appear at the top of the list.

  7. Click Appointment in the Meeting tab at the top of the screen.

    Appointment button

  8. This will return you to the Appointment screen. You will see the details for the date and time you selected. Add a subject and location in the appropriate text boxes. If desired, enter text to appear in the body of the message.

  9. Finally, click Send.

View a YouTube video about using Scheduling AssistantNew Window.

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