New Calendar Experience in Outlook Mobile
On October 31st, Microsoft announced the release of the new calendar experience in Mobile Outlook that will open up new doors for on-the-go productivity.
Imagine your average work week. You may have a variety of meetings and events to attend, impending deadlines, and mounds of paperwork to complete. While each day might vary, the amount of work most likely doesn’t, thus your end goal each day is to be as productive as possible, and that means utilizing your time wisely. And not surprisingly, the simplest, yet tedious tasks can be the most time-consuming, such as writing email after email and scheduling meeting after meeting. If you’re like me, then you are always trying to accomplish these tasks on-the-go, so when you finally sit down at your desk, you have time to focus on the work that requires the most brainwork.
One way you can always stay on top of the time-consuming tasks is utilizing Outlook for mobile. It sorts your mail into categories and allows you to zero-in on what you need to focus on most. You can easily use a variety of productivity-enhancing features, such as @Mentions, tagging, and search. And in September, the release of Calendar Apps, which allows you to integrate other task-accomplishing apps into Outlook Mobile, including Wunderlist, Facebook, and Evernote. And if like emoji’s as much as I do, you can even use keywords to create event-related icons. However, if you are an avid user of Outlook App then you have probably run into the same issue as me: the emailing functionality is great, but the ability to schedule meetings is not, or at least it didn’t use to be.
Until this week, Outlook for Mobile did not allow its users to view other calendars except their own. So, if you needed to schedule a meeting when you were on your mobile device, you would just hope that you hit the jackpot timeslot and especially keep your fingers crossed if it was a meeting with more than just a few people.
Now, with the new scheduling assistant, users can schedule meetings with their team members and view the group’s availability from their mobile device. The experience is intuitive and straightforward. First, make a meeting like usual, then when you want to check if each attendee is free, click on the time section. A calendar view will pop-up, and you can see if the time slot is open for all added attendees. If everyone is free the timeslot will be highlighted in green, if not, it will appear in red. Also, if you no longer want to play the guessing game, then you can remain in calendar view and tap on other time gaps to check new availability.
As Microsoft wrote, “from the very beginning, our goal with Outlook has been to provide a mobile experience that’s good for more than reading messages while standing in line for coffee.” Well, you did it Microsoft, and now I can make my long waits for my overly-picky drink at Starbucks more productive.
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