Getting the Most Out of the Microsoft Outlook Client : Using Outlook 2007 (part 3) - Using Group Schedules

3/12/2011 4:10:15 PM

Using Public Folders to Share Information

Public folders have long been a staple of collaborative work via Outlook. Outlook 2007 continues to support easy access of public folders. Public folders are often used where mailing lists would be overkill. Rather than flooding mailboxes of dozens of users with back-and-forth discussions, public folders are used as a single storage point for these types of messages and various users are granted access to read or write to these folders. Public folders are also a great place to store common contacts or common calendar items. This makes it easier to share information within a subset of users in Exchange. Outlook 2007 makes it easy to access this information centrally without it cluttering the global resources.

Using Group Schedules

Group schedules are a fairly new feature and are only available to Outlook 2003 and 2007 clients. Group schedules enable the user to create groups of users enabling a quick view of their calendars. The Group Schedules features also allow a user to send all the members of the Group Schedule an email or a meeting request using a single address. This makes it very easy for a user to group together commonly used resources for a quick view of availability. This might include a list of conference rooms in a given building or could be members of a team for a project they are working on. By arranging these resources together into a group schedule, the user can avoid the tedious process of inviting all of the resources individually to a meeting to see when they are available.

Configuring Group Schedules

Users can create multiple group schedules to help them organize resources into logical groups.

To create a new group schedule, follow these steps:

From the Calendar view, click Actions; then click View Group Schedules. The Group Schedules dialog box opens.

Click New.

Name the group schedule and click OK.

The Customized Group Schedules dialog box opens.

Click Add Others and select Add from Address Book or Add Public Folder

Type the name of the user(s) in the Type Name or Select from List box, and click To after each user has been selected. Alternatively, select the user from the list and double-click the name to add him to the To field. When finished, click OK.

Click Save and Close.

After the group schedule has been created, to view it and work with it, follow these steps:

From the Calendar view, click Actions; then click View Group Schedules. The Group Schedules dialog box opens.

Select the group schedule to view and click Open.

A screen similar to the one shown in Figure 5 appears.

Figure 5. Using Group Views.

Sending Email or Meeting Requests to Group Schedules

Organizing subsets of user or resources into group schedules can also be very useful for sending emails or meeting requests. In this sense, the group schedule acts similarly to a distribution group.

To schedule a meeting, follow these steps:

Click Make Meeting from within the Group Schedule view for the specific group.

Choose New Meeting to just send the meeting request to one member or select New Meeting with All to send the meeting request to all members of the group schedule.

Fill out the meeting request as you normally would.

To send an email, follow these steps:

Click Make Meeting.

Choose New Mail Message to send to an individual member of the group, or select New Mail Message to All to send to the whole group.

Fill out the email message as you normally would, and send the message.


It is important to realize that group schedules created in this way are only available to the user who created them. Other members of the group schedule who wanted similar functionality would have to create their own group schedule.

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  •  Getting the Most Out of the Microsoft Outlook Client : Security Enhancements in Outlook 2007
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