Creating Appointments & Meetings in Outlook

Create an appointment

In Calendar, on the Home tab, in the New group, click New Appointment. Alternately, you can right-click a time block in your calendar grid and click New Appointment.

  1. In the Subject box, type a description.
  2. In the Location box, type the location.
  3. Enter the start and end times.
  4. Note: You can type specific words and phrases in the Start time and End time boxes instead of dates like Today, Tomorrow, New Year’s Day, Two Weeks from Tomorrow, and most holiday names.

  5. To show others your availability during this time, on the Appointment tab, in the Options group, click the Show As box and then click Free, Tentative, Busy or Out of Office.
  6. To make the appointment recurring, on the Appointment tab, in the Options group, click Recurrence Button image. Click the frequency (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly) with which the appointment recurs, and then select options for the frequency. Click OK.
  7. Click Save & Close.

Change an appointment

  • Open the appointment that you want to change.
  • Change options for an appointment that is not part of a series
  • Change the options, such as subject, location, and time, that you want to change.
  • You can also drag the appointment to a different date and then edit the subject by clicking the description text, pressing F2, and then typing your changes.
  • Change options for all appointments in a series
  • Click Open the series, and then change any options that you want to change.
  • To change recurrence options, on the Recurring Appointment tab, in the Options group, click Recurrence, change the options and then click OK.
  • Change options for one appointment that is part of a series
  • Click Open this occurrence.
  • On the Recurring Appointment tab, change the options that you want.
  • On the Appointment or Recurring Appointment tab, in the Actions group, click Save & Close.
  • Make an existing appointment recurring
  • Double click to open the appointment that you want to set to recur.
  • On the Appointment tab, in the Options group, click Recurrence Button image.
  • Click the frequency with which you want the appointment to recur, and then select the options for the frequency.
  • Click Save & Close.

Irregular Recurring Events

Exceptions and semi-static recurrence patterns

This approach is suited as long as there is some stable recurrence pattern with only a few exceptions. If your list basically only consists out of exceptions, then using the Grouped set approach would be recommended.

In this approach, you can simply set up a recurring appointment on the most common day/time combination. If you want to invite others and turn it into a real meeting, do not add them just yet.

Now that you have a close approximation of all your scheduled meetings, you can go into your Calendar and move around the generated meeting via drag & drop to the correct day/time combination for that week. You can even drag the top and bottom edges of the appointment to increase or decrease its duration.

Date changes for an occurrence require confirmation. Time changes will not prompt you. (click on image to enlarge).

Turn your appointments into a meeting

Once you've made all the changes and want to turn this into an actual meeting, double click on an occurrence and select to open the entire series. Add your attendees and send out the meeting request. The attendees will now receive an invite for the series and one extra for each exception.

Exception: skip an occurrence

If you happen to skip a week, simply select the meeting and press Delete. You now get a prompt to select whether to delete the series or just the selected occurrence. Select to only delete the occurrence and move to the next. If this is an actual meeting, then a new message will open to send out a cancellation for that occurrence.

Exception: add an occurrence

If you want to add an extra occurrence for a week, drag the appointment for that week with the right mouse button to the correct day/time combination and release the mouse button. You’ll now get prompted if you want to move or copy the item. Select copy. If this is an actual meeting item, double click the item to open it and press Send to send out the meeting request since this occurrence is no longer linked to the actual recurring appointment.

Grouped set of appointments/meetings with Categories

If you were to have a really irregular schedule, with hardly any appointment/meeting on the same day/time combination or even a need to adjust the subject for each recurrence, using categories would be a better approach to create a series of related appointments/meetings.

  1. Create a new meeting/appointments and set up your first meeting with all the information.
  2. Assign it a unique Category to identify the grouped set of appointments.
  3. Save and close the item.
  4. Select the meeting in your Calendar.
  5. Copy the meeting (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+C).
  6. Select the day/time of the second occurrence.
  7. Paste the meeting.
  8. If this is an actual meeting item (you have added people as attendees to it), double click the item to open it and press Send to send out the meeting request.
  9. Repeat steps 5-8 for all the other occurrences.

Note: If you have a very unique subject and do not plan to modify this for any occurrence then you could skip the categorization step and sort your Calendar by subject to see all the occurrences for your recurring meetings.