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Reduce the Burden on Your Brain, Part 1: Scheduling

Double bookings, cancellations, invitations that slip through the cracks … scheduling can be a time-consuming business. Microsoft 365’s built-in calendar has lots of tools to make your life easier and increase your productivity.

In this series of posts, we’ll be looking at easy ways you can streamline your work routine and lighten the load on your brain. Microsoft 365 has plenty of tools that can make your life a lot easier with very little effort. Let’s start with one key feature: your calendar. Getting it set up and functioning in the right way can do a huge amount to improve your productivity and eliminate a lot of those pesky day-to-day issues.

Getting set up

There’s no one right way to set up your calendar. For maximum productivity, the key is to organise it around your own personal way of working. After all, your calendar isn’t your boss. It’s there to work for you, so use it!

If you’re already using a calendar app, whether on your computer or online, moving everything over to Microsoft 365 might seem a bit daunting. But don’t worry – it’s actually very easy to add or import an existing calendar to Outlook. You’ll find a full set of instructions here.

Once you’ve got all your existing calendar information in one place, you can start using Outlook’s scheduling features. Need to set up an in-person meeting? Scheduling Assistant and Room Finder make it easy to coordinate the right attendees and find a venue that fits your needs. And if those attending have busy calendars themselves, AutoPick will work out the date and time that suits the most people. You’ll find the same functionalities in Teams (minus the room booking, obviously) for scheduling a virtual meeting.

Appointments made easy

If you often need to meet with people – colleagues, clients, suppliers or members of the public – then you know what a headache calendar management can be. In fact, it can easily become a full-time job on its own. But you can seriously streamline the process with Microsoft’s Bookings feature.

On the most basic level, Bookings provides you with a scheduling interface you can share with others. It allows them to book an appointment with you directly and to reschedule/cancel if necessary. Because it’s integrated with your calendar, any other events and commitments will be automatically blocked off – making double-booking a thing of the past.

But that’s not all it does. Bookings also allows you to set up different customisable appointment types, with a set time limit, associated participants, and even preferred locations. Whenever someone books one of these preset appointments, Bookings will automatically block off the correct amount of time in your Outlook calendar, as well as setting up the relevant (real or virtual) location.

The great advantage of doing everything within Microsoft 365 is that you don’t need to enter the same information across multiple platforms, or contact multiple people every time you need to schedule or reschedule a meeting. That’s what eats up the most time and effort, and that’s also what leads to pitfalls such as double-booking. Because information is automatically synced across the whole Microsoft 365 suite, you won’t have to worry about anything falling through the cracks.

At Perigon One, we know lots of hacks for making your daily working life more productive. If you have any questions for us, or would like to explore working together, just get in touch to schedule your FREE 15-minute consult.