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Outlook 2010 - Using the Scheduling Assistant

You may find that the Scheduling Assistant helps you find the best time for your meeting easier than other methods. 

View the Scheduling Assistant

To view the Scheduling Assistant, in a New Meeting window, on the Appointment Tab, in the Show group, click on the Scheduling Assistant button.

Schedule Assistant button in ribbon


Below is an example of the different features of the Schedule Assistant:

Schedule Assistant example



The different elements/features are explained below.

Add attendees

In the All Attendees column, you can type the name of each person you would like to invite to the meeting.

Please note: removing the tick in the box adjacent to each person's name will not remove them as an attendee from the meeting. Those ticks refer only to sending an email. If you remove the tick next to an individual's name, they will not receive a meeting notification email.
All Attendees column in Schedule Assistant

Tip! Use the Check Names button (in the Attendees group) to check that you have correctly typed the name for each person. If Outlook can find a match in the Global Address List, the name will automatically be underlined indicating that it is correct.

Check Names button in Schedule Assistant


Alternatively, click on the Address Book icon (next to the Check Names button) to search for an individual.

3. As you type in each name, you will notice that an icon will appear next to each one. The following table explains what each icon represents.

Schedule Assistant - organiser icon Organiser. Creator of the meeting and regarded as a required attendee. You cannot remove an Organiser from a meeting.
Schedule Assistant - optional attendee icon Optional attendee. Invitees for whom attendance is optional.
Schedule Assistant - required attendee icon Required attendee. Invitees to be regarded as necessary.
Schedule Assistant - resource icon Resource. Marks rooms or equipment added to the Meeting; regarded as necessary.

You can change the icon for an attendee if you wish (E.g. change and attendee from required to optional). To do this, click on the icon next to the name and choose from the list that appears.

Please note: you cannot change the icon next to the Organiser.

Attendance options in Schedule Assistant


4. As you select each name, their schedule will automatically appear on the right hand side of the window (in the availability chart).

  • A solid blue block indicates that the person is busy during the highlighted time.
  • Horizontal lines indicates that the person is tentatively busy during the highlighted period.
  • A solid dark purple block indicates that the person is out of the office.
  • A light grey block indicates that the highlight period is out of office hours of that person.

5. The vertical lines show the start (green line) and end time (red line) of your proposed meeting request. 

You can move these lines backwards and forwards to propose a different time.

Add resources

1. Click on the Add Rooms... button in the bottom left hand corner of the Scheduling Assistant window.

This will open the Global Address List (GAL). To drop down to the list of resources quickly, type a tilde (~) in the search box and this will jump straight to the resources available.

2. Locate your resource, double-click it and click OK.

Your resource will now be added under the All attendees column.

3. The Room Finder on the right side of the screen tells you which rooms are available from the resources you have selected and gives suggested times, highlighting any conflicts with your proposed meeting time.

Tip! If you do not see the Room Finder pane on the right side of your screen, click on the Room Finder button on the Meeting tab in the Options group.

Room Finder button in toolbar


For more information see: Using the Room Finder.

Refresh the Scheduling Assistant

You can refresh the Schedule Assistant to make sure you have the most up-to-date details for each attendee.

Click on the Options button in the bottom left hand corner of the Schedule Assistant.

From the list that appears, click on the Refresh Free/Busy option.

Schedule Assistant Options button

When you are happy with all the details, click on the Send button, located above the All Attendees column.

Alternatively, if you wish to send further details with your meeting request, click back on the Appointment button, on the Meeting tab, and type the information you wish to add.

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Page last modified on 18 oct 11 11:34